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Random reflections one month on

It has been a month since my acceptance into HomewardBound#5 was announced, and whilst I wanted to put in writing some of my random reflections on the last month

Firstly, I was overwhelmed by the support. I officially found out about my acceptance about a month earlier, in one of those random over committed working mum moments, I had just returned from 2 weeks in the UK, my husband (who didn’t accompany me on the long haul flight) randomly got a DVT and was in the midst of hospital stays for treatment and I had was on dance pickup duty, going through some emails in the carpark waiting for her to come out when I got the news. I was overwhelmed to be accepted, but it didn’t hit me, everyone at work was overjoyed, I was exhausted.

Fast forward to 23rd August, and I shared the news on Social Media (I think at midnight one night) and didn’t think much of it. The next morning, I opened Facebook and tears rolled down my face. The positive messages, people who hadn’t reached out to me for years, old family friends… it is hard for me to write this without… but they said there wasn’t a more deserving person, oh the tears! I sat in that feeling for a few weeks, overwhelmed by the support, people stopped me everywhere to congratulate me, emails, messages. To be honest I am still struggling a little to process it all. At the same time two close friends were awarded high level awards. We talked about this a lot, how in science, academia but more in life in general, it is a really rare thing to be the centre of such positivity. I often wonder if it is an Australian thing, a tall poppy thing, we don’t often promote our successes, but yet there is so much goodwill for success. And when does it change, in primary school, there is such recognition, but in high school, we often shy away from it, want to stay with the peers and not stand out, but why does that carry on throughout our lives as adults. I have always celebrated others, but not myself - so my first learning from Homeward bound is to enjoy my successes being celebrated. These opportunities are rare.

The confidence I have gained from being selected is also surprising, when normally I would sit back I have stood up. I have called out a peer in a meeting (that was a hard one). I stepped up and created a women in research twitter group for my workplace, connecting 150 amazing women and building my own network. Also randomly I have started playing guitar, something I have toyed with for 5 years, so stay tuned, maybe I will have one song learnt for the boat journey in a year!

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