Still curious? About me
Hello! I’m Michelle, I love travel, writing and family and friends. Here’s some quick stats and some background for those wanting more info.
Thirty-one years old from Perth, Western Australia. Self-employed since age 26 in a profession that took about five years to figure out how to describe… basically, sustainability ‘stuff’ – working towards a more sustainable way to live, work and play. Married once, divorced once. The youngest of four girls by quite a way – figure out for yourself what that means!
Once completed a home renovation in about six weeks (I recommend doing the demolition phase yourself). Owner of one eight-and-a-half year old German Shepherd, Lola (aka Bear – and in typical Gen Y style, now lives with my parents and pops in for the occasional sleepover when I’m home).
My story (well, part of it)
In June 2013, I decided some adventure and a change was in order. After recovering from a major ‘dose of life’ which shook up marriage, career and family, I was in that interesting in-between space of not quite miserable but not quite fulfilled. I’m a believer in taking action and following your heart (though it’s taken me a while to get there)… so I packed up my house and my bags, stored some furniture, rented the house out, gave the dog to mum and dad (bless them!) and headed to Shanghai (via Bangkok to do an English teaching certificate). A well-trodden path into other countries, teaching English felt like a sensible and ‘doable’ starting point (you’ll just have to keep reading this blog to find out how that hypothesis ends up!). I may still a little or a long while, that will become clear soon.
For most of my adult life, I’ve never had a so-called ‘real job’ or even applied for one; I’ve had a hard time explaining what I do for a living (it’s an evolving concept) and I’ve struggled with the best way for me to ‘have an impact’. Living a life of purpose and contribution is important to me, and so much so I often feel overwhelmed at the freedom, opportunity and responsibility to do so. It has sometimes lead to impatience and lack of focus (both useful at times, when suitably applied).
Ironically though, part of my quest in travelling and living in Asia is to get focused, get clear and get going on what I really want to offer and create – and I’m glad you’re here to share in that ‘work in progress’. For me, this starts with exploring what being authentic means, for me and others. Those that know me well know I have a tendency to think deeply about some things (what?!) – in the words of my friend Maarten van der Wall – a fellow blogger who reviewed some early posts and provided encouraging feedback –
“Okay, so you take yourself seriously, sometimes. If you don’t, who will? (Said with my best Jedi Master inflections…)”
And that’s the thing – I think paying attention and being curious are actually two great gifts in people (including me). I look forward to what we might explore together.
Personally I like the way Hermann Hesse says it “Learn what is to be taken seriously, and laugh at the rest”