The Four Lives of Susan.
I thought that I would write a bit about myself so you can get to know me; the person behind the emails. It seems to me that Internet marketing is an impersonal way to deal with people. I would prefer to get to know people more intimately. To build a warm friendship founded on truth & trust which is mutually beneficial. So, here's a bit about me and maybe some of you would like to share with me some of the things in life which inspire, enthuse, annoy or evoke any of the gamut of feelings in you. (Email me from here. I won't share anything said to me without your permission)
I'll start from the begining. I was born and grew up in the suburbs of Sydney. An 8th generation Australian; descendant of the 1st fleet. My mother is an extraordinary woman who raised my three siblings and myself single handedly, as my parents split when I was quite young. As such we were quite poor though I don't recall missing out on anything really. We were well educated, each attending selective high schools for more able academic students. My siblings are much more academically inclined than me and completed all the years of high school. I left after year 10 with my school certificate. I also attended Brownies, Girl Guides and church, most of the time as a leader of my peers.
After school I started an apprenticeship as a hairdresser. I also explored my passion for theatre doing backstage work & performing in plays at a couple of local theatre groups.
At 17 I moved out of home for the first time to share a house with a friend. Young? Perhaps. I felt ready for it. I had my own income albeit meagre. What else do you need? I think it was hard on Mum because I was the first of her children to leave home though not the eldest. It was a big learning curve for me too. I had to take care of all my domestic responsibilities for myself. Most of which I had no real idea ever existed previously. My poor friend had to bring it to my attention that nobody else was going to wash & pick up after me etc. Funny how you don't think about these sort of issues when Mum takes care of all that stuff. It's taken years to get even halfway good at recognising necessary but tedious domestic tasks and then doing it.
After six months I returned home to save money. I decided I wanted my own house as rent was dead money. I started putting aside regular savings towards my goal. I dreamt of one of the quaint little town houses in Paddington, a fashionable inner city suburb.
Before long however the shifting ambitions of youth had me moved out again, with different friends, into a unit easy walking distance to work and the temptations of the suburban city. Since I was 17 I had used a semi false ID card to get me into hotels to see bands (only my age was incorrect, giving me access to venues for over 18's). I started hanging with a different crowd. People who drank & smoked plenty. Ones who traded in dark corners and spoke in quiet tones.
I fell in love. I suffered embarassment, rejection, loss and heartache too. It was fun, exciting, naughty. At times dangerous. Very appealing to a naive young woman with low self esteem. My path became less visible. I lost my job. My shining hairdressing career was disappearing into the squallor that was becoming the norm in my life. Then an opportunity came to me and I siezed the day.
I moved to Alice Springs. I had visited there a couple of years earlier on a whirlwind bus journey around half of Australia. There I made a new life. New home. New friends. New jobs. New love too. I had a couple of different jobs: roulette & keno croupier, car washer, kitchen hand & life art model. My new love gave me a new family too. Wonderful people who have become life long friends and huge inspirations to me. Under their influence I became interested in organics for health and in organic gardening. They lived in a double decker bus at a caravan park where they'd built a fabulous little vege garden in pots and cooked fresh organic bread for breakfast in a frypan. Very cool people!
We lived in the Alice for a couple of years then left intending to tour Australia in our 1959 VW combi van. Made it to Mannum, South Australia where we camped with different friends who lived around the area. My partner had lived in this area for a time prior to us getting together. Life was pretty easy & pleasant overall. We had little money to get anywhere but my partner was a gifted artist/signwriter and some how managed to get a continual dribble of work which topped up our dole payments. It was enough to keep us & our two large dogs fed. We did do a little touring around the area but after a while decided to settle down in Mannum on the River Murray where there was people we knew and demand for a signwriter. Also we were expecting our first child. Within a week or two of moving into a shed/residence in the town, our old combi burned to the ground. Fate?
Around this time I became friends with a woman called Caroline who would become one of the greatest influences in my life. Through our friendship I learned unconditional love. I think too few people ever get to experience the depth and quality of our friendship, mores the pity. Caroline was an inspiration to many people. She was a talented artisan, passionate about the environment. She lived on a barren, dry prickly 20acre block at the fringe of the town. There she was building a beautiful house made of stone, recycled timbers, doors & windows and pressed tin. She made leadlights for the windows and stripped, planed, sanded & oiled all the timbers. Caroline did amazing jobs most women would never consider lending a hand too. Now, it really is a beautiful home. All the while she was also growing 1000's of trees from seeds and planting out her land to become the forest it is presently. Dismally, Caroline died of cancer in her early 30's leaving a huge gaping hole in my life and the lives of others who loved her also.
My partner & I packed up and returned to Alice Springs to be nearer to his family again. Our second child was born there. Things between us which were not always good, grew steadily worse. My partner was constantly unhappy and searching for a lasting solution to his unhappiness; always outside of himself, frequently in a bottle or bong. I was entrenched in caring for the children and trying to keep a peace. It was hard. I felt depressed and didn't want to do or say anything that might incite another volatile response. I felt lost of myself in many ways. It was my interest in gardening, learning about plants, foods, organic living etc which carried my spirit through the hard times. I wanted to raise my children to know & value the environment and a natural lifestyle.
Caroline & I had long discussions (and letters) on our mutual interest in organic gardening, the environment and alternative lifestyle. I read every book and magazine I got hold of. I also hung out with my partners sister and learned more about the value of organic food for health & nutrition. She was running an organic bakery at that time, catering for people on special diets because of illness. It was a good education. I dreamed of having my own hand made home on a couple of acres with big trees, a creek and a gorgeous vege garden hosting every imaginable fruit, flower and herb.
After about a year back in Alice Springs we ventured off again, this time to tour Australia on push bikes! Insane! There was my partner & me with a two year old, a 4mth old baby, a full grown German shorthaired pointer (dog) & a pointer puppy with all our belongings packed into a trailer I pulled behind my bike. My partner rode a trike with the children all strapped in safely. I knew it was idiosy but I didn't want to be accused of destroying his big dream. To be the cause of his perpetual unhappiness. We lived in our tent like that for a month or so prior to leaving the Alice. I used to make bread in this gigantic stainless steel bowl for lunches before using it to wash the dishes, the babies and all our clothes in later (including cloth nappies as disposables are dreadful for the environment; leaching toxic chemicals into waterways and the soil etc). You just have to laugh at the ridiculous things you do at times, in hindsight!
We caught the train to Adelaide and had our bikes bought up to Mannum where we planned to start our journey from. Finally, about a week after that, we were struggling up a very steep incline on a 40°C Summer day, he admitted it was ludicrous to continue. I agreed whole heartedly. We started looking for a house to rent the next day.
My story continues. This is but a brief overture of what I perceive as my first two lives. I shall write more at another time as this is already a considerable length. Funny how easy it is to write about oneself, your own life, compared to writing an article requiring some research & planning.
I hope you are starting to get an idea of who the real person is behind the emails you receive from me. I'm not angelic but generally kind & good natured like my mother. Of course I haven't divulged any details of shameful & regretable acts, though I have some. No one can travel through life without making mistakes. Like everyone I must suffer the consequence of all my actions which have caused grief to another but I don't have to tell it to all the world.
Again, if you'd like to share any of your life with me, send me an email. I'm a good listener and always open to building new quality, mutual friendships.
Until next time.
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