Enjoying my morning coffee I glanced over at the man beside me and realised the current situation was anything but ideal. I was grateful to be an independent and strong woman who had the capacity to support myself and my young son and not rely on anyone. It had always been that way, well since my teens. I started paid employment early, at the age of 12 casually working at my Mum’s cafe on the weekends. Getting up at 4.30am both Saturday and Sunday we drove to St. Kilda collecting bread and pastries from different suppliers along the way to sell that day. The $5 an hour I was earning satisfied me for a while until I realised I could be earning more, so a year later I walked out after she refused to give me a pay rise. Convincing my Dad the same day when I returned home begging him to drive me to Pizza Hut to apply for a ‘real job’. I lied about my age on the application form and before I knew it I had a red and white uniform and was washing dishes and making pizza 4 nights a week. Independence was the motivation and the money was the bonus.
I’ve continued to work hard my whole life following the path of hospitality and into fine dining working as a restaurant manager and sommelier throughout Australia and New Zealand which provided me with a modest lifestyle and great social and fun times throughout university, then starting my business with my brother in my late 20s. The in-between was filled with further post-graduate studies in education (what else does one do with a Philosophy degree?) and a stint of designing programs and teaching English to refugee Muslim women amongst other marginalised groups.
The point to my ramblings is that there are plenty of opportunities to work and create an independent lifestyle and the comforts that go with it given the motivation. The man beside me of similar age had no regular income, no assets, and although a brilliant world class musician could not compliment my life. My past relationship had been one of financially supporting my husband, but I had accepted the situation as the love was deep and supportive. The question of acceptance of this situation had presented itself again.
My intuition had been speaking from that very first date warning me of the pitfalls of dating a man who was financially unstable. The fun and lighter side of my mind was enjoying company, the laughter, and long chats by the fire well into the night. He was a kind and caring man and we’d been friends for more than 20 years. Could I put aside my financial concerns and continue this passionate weekly rendezvous?
It’s interesting that the older we get the more we trust our intuition, well that appears to be my experience anyway. That feeling that arises within your body that only you experience. Is trusting your intuition the ultimate act of trusting yourself? It was time to trust my heart, because if I couldn’t trust myself then I couldn’t trust anyone.