'Girls like us were never much good at colouring between the lines' quipped my younger sister Lindy. 'We don't do well in the black and white lines, we want to move and change things and colour wherever we want to. My second grade teacher hated that..' she continued with a laugh. 'Lawyers are so... well behaved' she finished, with a chuckle; that was an added hint of an apology in case she had crushed my dreams. She hadn't.
That was her response as I mused over the prospect of ditching my university law degree. I hated the idea of not finishing what I had started, but a year in the courts with lawyers fighting for justice- whatever that was- had killed any desire I had left to continue my studies. The female lawyers I knew seemed quite miserable, warning me off when I questioned them about their choice of career. (though they looked rather smashing in their pin stripe suits). My textbooks sat in a dusty pile on the shelf and I looked at them with disdain and feigned interest. And so there I was at a cross roads. I knew she was right.
Things had always been a bit that way. My sister and I were raised in a strict Christian home, with church like clockwork each and every Sunday. My Dad was a bit of an old-fashioned misogynist and my mother winced with some discomfort at the word 'feminist' and yet- here we were, my sister and I- stubborn as hell and not exactly shrinking wall flowers- adamant that we were going to change the world.
We were and still are still all about empowering women to go get what they want and for changing the status quo.
Our family dinners are often quite 'colourful' and we now have a 'no politics or religious discussion' rule at the dinner table and there's wine. Less of a blood sport that way and at least we still like each other when its time for cheesecake.
I've always been about dancing to the beat of your own drum, living life on purpose and taking risks. Don't get me wrong, I've made some monumental screw ups in my time, but I own them and they are a part of my story. It took me some time to figure out where I fit in the world and to grow comfortable with my own 'fuck it' style of rebellion. It wasn't always convenient, especially when I realised that what I had been taught and what I believed had a few fundamental differences.
I've made choices that haven't been easy, haven't always been popular- but they have been right for me.
I'm proud of those achievements. I've helped 13 women become mothers through egg donation and surrogacy and seeing their posts of their children covered in food and destroying their once white couches fills me with a sense of wicked glee. And pride.
My life is richer for knowing these women who haven't taken no for an answer and have been strong enough to stand back up to fight when life didn't turn out like they planned.
I've also campaigned for change for family violence legislation and stood in Parliament house as the laws were changed. I'm a huge advocate for women's causes and women supporting women. That will never change so if you are a follower of my blog- expect plenty more of this. I'm the first to admit that I'm a stubborn bitch. I have little intolerance for injustice. But I love hard and those around me know it. I've realised that if you're not pissing someone off, you're probably doing it all wrong.
But ultimately, I want to live a life I'm proud of. I want my girls to grow up in a world where they are valued and loved. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it.
They say that showing up is 80 percent of life. and here I am.
Looking forward to getting to know others on this journey.