There are days when getting up at 4.00am for work seems tough, especially on those cold winter days. And it can also seem tough when you start a Monday with five key people down who it appears have no remorse on who they let down. Of course these days can balance out with amazingly successful moments when all is right with the world, or the world as I see it.
Yesterday, Sunday, I was invited to speak at a CanTeen Camp for young women who were part of a program called “Girls A Loud”. These were young women who have either lost a family member to cancer or are recovering from treatment themselves. I have faced tough moments in my life both personal and business, and of course these moments are not finite. I have stared down chefs who are 6ft 5 and weigh in at 120kg while carrying sharp knives. I have even been attacked in the park and fought back with my handbag. But the thought of facing a group of teenage girls who have known true tough moments literally frightened the pants off me.
I kept wondering what to say - don’t worry it will be fine? Everything happens for a reason? Did they really care that I was a business women with awards and a fairly good resume?
My brother drove me to the camp, and on arrival I saw the girls were in a workshop with a cute stylist - a young man. They were enraptured, captivated even. This was who I was meant to follow? How? Why would they listen to me? I was sweating. Audiences full of CEO’s, a Prime Minister or two hadn’t fazed me, but this was about to test me. I approached with a bravado that I hadn’t felt the need for since I was a teenager - I had even agonised for hours about what to wear, not wanting to look too old or too young.
It was the most fun I have had in ages. The girls were so beautiful and sweet, and I got hugs and kisses and chocolates and a hand made flower and card. These I have put next to my awards, to remind me of the true value of being a human being and not being scared to talk to people who know that life goes on no matter what happens, including the worst. They just wanted to hear normal - although I haven’t looked at myself that way for a while. I stayed for a sausage sizzle and a giggle, sitting with bodies that were decades younger than me but souls that were much older than me. Life isn’t quite fair when the young are robbed of youth. But they were strong and ferocious, young women to be proud of. I thank them for letting me learn something about me - that I can do more than just run a business or two.