It’s true, terrible things do happen to good people. I have led a charmed life, gifted with many great things. I won’t list them all here because I don’t want to sound like a bragger or “up myself” as we say in my home country of Australia. You see, there’s nothing worse in Australia than being accused of being “up yourself” or “having tickets on yourself” as the saying goes. IT’s a funny expression, but I think it means you’re so enraptured by your own show, that you’d buy tickets to yourself, even if no one else cares. Sort of like Kanye.
I have written about the Tall Poppy Syndrome before, and it is a very Australian thing. Journo Peter Hartcher says, “According to the unspoken national ethos, no Australian is permitted to assume that he or she is better than any other Australian. How is this enforced? By the prompt corrective of levelling derision. It has a name—The ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’. The tallest flowers in the field will be cut down to the same size as all the others.” Have you had terrible things happen to you?
However, often in life we are left bitterly disappointed, and that’s what I am writing about today. How to cope when you do not get what you really want.
So, despite my relatively charmed life, general good heath, sunny country and loving family – there have been times in my life when I have been kicked in the guts by the Universe. Really, and truly, there are times I think back to and cringe.
What terrible things have gone wrong in my life?
Lots and lots of things. I have had a very difficult and chequered working life and career, despite working very hard and very honestly and with having great ambition. I have never taken a cent off the government, and have always worked, since my very first job at age 14 (I did take a break from work at age 17 while completing my final exams).
Despite this, I have often been fired, made redundant, forced to work for dodgy conditions, at unsociable hours and for little pay. I spent the first decade and half of my career working in radio, which is an industry that is very volatile and harsh and one that has been losing more and more money as entertainment diversifies.
More terrible things that went wrong: A really hard time in the love department too
Yep – I have gone out with some real bas**rds. When I think back to the people I have let close to me – I cringe. I went out with the most awful, horrible, terrible person for 2 years. I let him treat me like dirt. And I genuinely loved the stupid idiot and gave him money, bought him things, cooked for him and cared if he lived or died. Now I couldn’t care if he lives or dies and I try actively to “forgive” this waste of space.
I am now married, to the most wonderful, caring man. He’s not perfect, and neither am I, but when I think of all the wasted years I spent with people who just didn’t love me, it fills my heart with true regret. I really have few regrets in life, but spending too much time with utter dishrags is one of them. If you are dating an asshole – pack your bags today. It’s not worth it.
What else has gone wrong in my life?
I have strived very hard with many personal projects that have failed to get off the ground. I have written books, put together demos and showreels, come up with concepts and pitched myself here there and everywhere. Often, these personal projects have failed to get off the ground, despite my trying very hard.
However, I do not have lots of regret about this. Hard work is often recognised by the Universe, even if not in the way that we think. My ex asshole boyfriend was a dreamer and muso (musician) and he thought he had more talent than he really had. He would spend hours, days, months, years creating songs that he never published, never played in public and that only served to soothe his vast ego.
I will not have to go to my grave with any regrets. I can always know that I tried hard and I tried my best. And maybe there is more to come for me, who knows?
How to cope when things don’t go your way
Recently, something very devastating happened to me, something that made me very sad. Something I have been anxious about for a very long time. I hate to say it, but despite how Happy we say we are, within every human is a core of sadness, a heart of darkness. Otherwise we would not be here, would we?
I remember when I was very sad and living on my own in an awful, awful place called Perth in Australia. It is known as the most isolated capital city in the world and it is a godawful place. Physically beautiful, it is not a place I love, and I hope I never have to go back.
I was at Cottesloe Beach, a truly beautiful place. It was a weekend in summer and the beach was full of smiling, laughing people. I thought to myself, “No matter how truly happy these people all look right now, each one of them carries within them a personal set of problems that makes them truly sad.”
I am not crushed by my sadness, some are. Learning to cope with feelings of sadness is a great life skill to learn. Resilience needs to be built up as kids and we need to learn how to “self soothe”.