Ever wondered how you ended up here? How a compilation of choices resulted in you being exactly where you are?
Let me take you on a little journey… One where a split-second decision resulted in the most wonderful adventure and changed the course of my life.
In mid-2017 my best friend snapped her ACL while playing netball. Yes, this sounds like an odd place to start, considering this has nothing to do with me, but bear with me. This best friend and I worked at the same school as sports coaches. Around the time of her rupturing her ACL she was asked to go on a marketing tour with the school to Mount Isa for an event with ICPA (Isolated Children Parents Association) and MISOTA (Mount Isa School of the Air). Our employer had been asked to run sports clinics as part of an annual event called Sports for Bush Kids where children from MISOTA, who live in some of the remotest areas of Australia, come into town for the week and get their fix of team sports.
While I was stoked for her, I was also jealous. The school had been doing this trip for a number of years and it sounded like a blast. Fast forward a month and preparations were in place for the trip when I get a phone call. The lady from our school who was organizing the trip informed me that my best friend would no longer be going on the trip because of her knee injury and asked if I would be willing to go. Ummm duh! If I was going to list all the things I love in life, red dust and sports would be towards the top.
December rolled around and we were on our way to Mount Isa. By this time, I had a graduate teaching job at a school in Brisbane for 2018 and this would be my final school event with my current employer. We got to Mount Isa and apart from dealing with summer temperatures in North-West QLD (if you’ve never been to outback Australia and want to know what the temperature feels like, imagine climbing into a fan-forced oven. The air is hot. The sun is hot. The breeze is hot) the week got off to a cracking start. As each day passed, I grew more and more invested in the kids I was coaching, their stories and their life. For 5 short days I was welcomed into the community and got a first-hand experience of country hospitality. I was invited out for dinner with the governesses (Thanks Pip!) and had a yarn with many parents. One afternoon while watching the kids play Rugby, I had a very casual conversation with a lady about what Governessing was and what it entailed. It piqued my interest, it sounded like a wonderful adventure, but I had a job in Brisbane to return to. As I flew out of Mount Isa airport at the end of the week and jetted across the vast red plains, I knew that North-West QLD had stolen my heart.
Fast forward to May 2018. I was living in the inner-north of Brisbane (if you’ve read Spread that Heart Wide you’ll know my struggles with living in a concrete jungle), working at a great school. There was no doubt about it, I loved my job, but I just knew I wasn’t meant to be at that school forever. One morning, while I was eating breakfast, I got a facebook message from the mum I’d had a conversation with in Mount Isa 6 months prior. It said something like ‘Hi Hannah, hope you’re well. I don’t know what you’re doing next year, but we’re looking for a govie if you’re interested.’.
Woah, what an offer! As someone who finished 12 years of schooling and went straight into an accelerated undergraduate degree, followed by a two-year post-graduate degree I’d never done something simply because it sounded fun. So, without much thought, I said yes and decided I’d figure the rest out later.
2019 was the greatest year of my life. I had more once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in the 12 months living in the outback than I did in the 23 years prior. 3 little girls stole my heart and became huge motivators for my career ambitions and a little demountable classroom in the middle of a cattle station allowed me to become a better teacher. I was welcomed into a community that typified tenacity, compassion and kindness. I was given the opportunity to speak on the radio about why quality education in the outback is so important and have articles published in newspapers about my adventure.
All of these things were possible because my best friend ruptured her ACL while playing netball. Crazy right? The direction of my life changed because my best friend landed incorrectly while playing a game, she’s spent her whole life playing. My motivations, ambitions and goals for what I want from life altered all because I had a casual conversation about governessing.
Isn’t it wonderful to sit back and admire the thread of events that have been woven together to form the fabric of your life? Isn’t it incredible to admire the everyday beauty that has bloomed from one decision? When my best friend did her ACL, or I had a yarn with a random lady, neither of us knew that it would lead us to where we are today and that’s the best bit.
Saying yes to a job on a cattle station wasn’t a big deal, it was a small beginning. A small beginning that grew into something far greater than anything I could’ve imagined. If you’d asked 2017 Hannah what she thought would come from a marketing tour to Mount Isa, she probably couldn’t have given you an answer. If you’d asked 2017 Hannah what she thought would come from her best friend rupturing her ACL, she probably couldn’t give you an answer for that either.
There’s been plenty of small beginnings sown in my life that have lead to greater things, this is just one example that I continue to see fruit for. I bet there’s plenty of small beginnings in your life too. Sometimes the smallest things set in motion much grander futures. Do not despise these small beginnings, they might just open up the door to something great…