Recently there have been lots of insights and realisations in all the best ways. In some ways, it feels like things are finally all falling into place and I feel like I’m being myself in a way I never have before. At 45, if I dwell on it, I wonder what took so long, but realistically I do have some understanding of that and am just happy to be here now.

Many years ago, I mused to my then husband that I didn’t always feel like I was a ‘real’ woman. Apparently this was insulting to him as a man or some such thing so I heard the message loud and clear that I shouldn’t think these things, or at least not speak them out loud. And I didn’t. For a long time.

The thing is, I don’t tick a lot of the boxes that would mark me in our culture as being feminine. I hate wearing make up and finally stopped doing so several years ago now. I much prefer pants to skirts or dresses and I don’t particularly care for doing my nails and other such things. Because of things like this I mostly just felt like a ‘bad’ or ‘failed’ woman. I just wasn’t good at it, I figured.

Over the past several years, I have done a lot of reading and learning about gender and have spent time with and listened to various people who are transgender and/or non binary. Listening to and reading other people’s stories and processes is really helpful in many aspects. I thought about why I felt the way I did and if maybe I wasn’t actually a woman. Tried those ideas on for size. But they didn’t fit me.

One thing I have learned is that all those superficial things, like make up and clothing, are not what make us any particular gender at all. Honestly this was fantastic news to me. I have realised that while I might not be super into fashion, makeup, and other things that are seen as synonymous with femininity in our culture, I actually resonate deeply with womanhood and know that I definitely am a woman. The term ‘lady’ on the other hand does not resonate at all, and makes me feel really uncomfortable and detached if it’s used toward me.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a singing masterclass with Clare Bowditch. The song in the clip above is one of the ones we worked on that day and sang in the evening at our concert. The lyrics speak to me deeply. Her voice and harmonies are beautiful too. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and I’m so glad I had the opportunity. And so glad that I had done all the work stemming from the IE course so that when it came up I grabbed at it.

~ B


It’s the end of another year and another decade. There was a time that I would have written a list of resolutions that I would then dutifully follow out over the coming months, but I’m not that person any more. The changing of the dates is an ideal time to reflect nonetheless.

10 years ago, I was still married, but about to embark on the counselling that enabled me to value myself enough to leave. When I think of who I was back then I barely recognise myself. I was so hard on myself and always setting myself goals to be better. None of them made me or anything else better though.

2015 was the last year that I made a new year’s resolution. It was to learn more about Indigenous people in this country. I started with following @IndigenousX on Twitter and went from there. As it turns out, this is and will be a life long process. It’s probably the best and most beneficial resolution I ever made too. As Australians, we generally know so little about the people who were the custodians of this land we call home before we came and destroyed everything.

2019 has been a year of highs and lows. We lost our dog and my best buddy Massie and my precious nephew Jedi. They were the hardest parts for sure.

For myself though, it’s been a year of growth and consolidation. Haha, those terms make it sound so business like, but that’s not at all what I mean.

After Massie died, I spent a weekend on my own by the beach. I wrote some thoughts at the time and looked back on them yesterday. In less than 6 months I have grown a great deal.

With my son growing up and becoming more independent, along with having worked through all the ‘stuff’ that comes up when you really heal your relationship with food and your body, I’ve started thinking about what I want the rest of my life to look like.

This world is not in a good state right now, and most countries, including ours, are run by people who seem determined to keep it that way. As individuals, it can often feel helpless but I think that the most important thing will can do is build community. Support each other, help each other and reach out.

I’ve realised, as I get to know myself after releasing past demons, that I am very much a ‘people’ person. I met an older woman on the bus the other day and she liked to talk to people and encourage others to accept people who are different to themselves. She wasn’t pushy at all, but just really friendly, kind and welcoming. That’s the kind of person I hope to be too.

With much of the country on fire right now, and our leadership determined to at best ignore it all, it’s going to be more important for us all to come together and help each other.

I don’t have all the answers, or even any answers at all, but I do know that we are stronger together.

I hope that 2020 is a better year for those who have had a tough one.

~ B