I remember when she first asked me whether I would write a letter. It was over a wine and a chat in Newtown where she shared with me her idea – she was turning 50 and Olivia, her daughter was turning 16. She wanted to do something that marked this momentous time in both their lives…and knowing Amanda I knew a cake would not suffice!
I was surprisingly emotional to think that I was one of the 30 women that Amanda asked to pen a letter to their 16-year-old self, but oh what a marvellous challenge and inspirational project.
Every letter in the collection expresses emotion, reflection and a timelessness. You could be a 16-year-old girl in the 1960s, 1970s or in 2018 with the same self-doubts, questions and wisdom that are captured in the collection of letters titled Dear Me. As Amanda says in her forward “while I think young woman today face some unique challenges, many of the challenges are timeless and, you might say universal”
Dear Me was launched in October 2018, with many of the authors coming together to embrace the final product, party with Amanda and Olivia and celebrate with a tribe of girlfriends, old and new. It is a powerful feeling to be among your tribe, wrapped in a celebration knowing we had travelled similar but different paths to this moment in time. Those paths captured so eloquently, sometimes raw and forever etched in the pages of Dear Me.
The energy I savoured from this event, buoyed by meeting new inspiring women in my tribe then propelled me to another experience a few days later in my own home town. As part of Small Business Month, we welcomed Lisa Messenger, Australian entrepreneur and author to a luncheon. I have enjoyed The Collective, especially the mag for some time and was excited to enjoy the company of Lisa with other townsfolk to glean some brilliant insights as she spoke to local business people (85% women!) over lunch.
I was not disappointed.
Her hometown is Coolah, just down the road from me and she remarked it was like ‘coming home’ as she drove across the north west of NSW. It is that old saying you can take the girl out of the country, but you cant take the country out of the girl!
Her tomes of counsel resonated across the hall, such as – have an unwavering self-belief, just meet people as equals, make it easy for people to say yes, cash isn’t the only currency – sometimes sharing the same values and beliefs will be enough for a business relationship to blossom, dont be afraid to break a few things, find people that supplement your weaknesses, be nimble – be flexible – duck and weave until it works, always be curious.
Oh so many pieces of very sound, encouraging advice!
I was already sold however I almost wanted to leap from my seat and bear hug Lisa when she said with such conviction that…
“Rural communities are the single thing that I am most passionate about. Location isn’t an issue – as long as you have a laptop, kitchen table and vision you can do anything”
Yep, I know you want to hug her now too – don’t you!
She finds the BEST talent in regional areas. We have known this for decades, the secret is out and I’m OK with that.
I’m a believer in things happen or come in threes. What could my third be – what other revelations about the power of a tribe could I experience this week?
2pm – The Civic – Gunnedah – Sunday. I enjoyed an afternoon at the movies with my mother watching, most fittingly Ladies In Black. The underlying themes of women as second-rate citizens was such a yang to the ying of the tribal celebrations of earlier in the week.
I could not help but think what the women in the movie would write to their 16 year old self, or what they would think of Lisa’s advice. It was a serendipitous close to the week, a time to reflect how far our tribe has progressed, but there are similar challenges that still exist today.
Thank you to my tribal colleagues, I am inspired by many from the past, stimulated by those in my present and so excited about the vision I see for our future tribe.