WORDS BY SIMONE HOPE
We usually say ‘What would you write to your younger self?’ Now, that you are older, wiser and more experienced, what advice would you give? But what if we turned the tables? What if our younger selves wrote to who we are today? My younger self in this case isn’t too much younger than who I am today, in this very moment. Only 12 months younger, actually, but she was bright eyed, determined and about to embark on her life long dream of living in London. She almost feels like a stranger but I think these would be her words if she could foresee the next twelve months that she was about to live:
It’s me, your younger self sitting at the departure gate. I’ve just said goodbye to my friends, my Sydney life and I’m waiting to board the QF1 to London. I am so excited right now! My dream is happening and I am feeling like the best version of myself. My new workplace has quickly hired me, saying they can see my potential and I know my potential. I am a strong leader, a caring friend, I encourage and inspire people to do their best and provide trust and support. I can feel that everything is aligned; everything that is meant to happen will happen… so don’t forget me.
Don’t forget me when the three months you’ve given yourself to change back to a supervisory or management position passes, and you don’t apply for new roles because you’ve grown too comfortable. You stepped back to an entry level position in your career to get a job and get started in London. You will use travel as your excuse and internally cringe every time. This isn’t you, but the will, and even the energy to try, disappears more and more every day.
Don’t forget me when time slips by, and you are walking home with a bitterly cold wind whipping around your face, and slowly, but surely your morale lowers. When you lay in bed facing the wall, and the first tear appears on your cheek as you realise you sabotaged your career. Even worse, you realise this isn’t even the career you want anymore.
You will forget me. When you feel that horrible loss of identity. The kind words from your friends won’t work because the voice in your head, the blank space occupying your being is too loud… too much.
But with time you will remember me, when you realise that this is when you take control, this is the time to change. That growing interest that keeps peeping through the cracks needs tending to. You always had curiosity in human resources. In helping, in shaping, in encouraging people. Taking the intangible persona of a brand and making it real amongst those who embody it.
You will remember me when you speak up and volunteer to do work experience with your current company’s human resources team. Then after a few months you will start applying for HR roles.
Then, you will forget me again when rejection after rejection enters your inbox. You try not to take it personally, and a guiding friend will remind you that you are on a visa, which is a major factor playing against you. But you will feel it now more than ever… you will feel stuck.
Time will pass on and you will stop applying because it hurts. It just feels that every time you get up you get pushed back down again to this feeling.
Nothing is permanent, Simone.
When you read story after story of inspiring women around the world living their dreams, working hard and achieving, you remember me again. The reason being, because you saw me - you - in them. You read their profiles and recognised yourself in there somewhere. Perhaps that’s why you read them so much. You always did.
Don’t forget me now, when you are feeling determined and excited for your return to Sydney later this year, when you will begin this new career somehow.
And don’t forget most of all; you are still living your dream. You are still in London and travelling with your loving boyfriend. And on a personal level you still posses all your amazing qualities from twelve months ago. You are still passionate, still smart and still goal orientated. So be kind to yourself and don’t forget me - the bright eyed girl about to board her plane. “
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