by REBECCA SPARROW
I was an ‘It’ girl twelve years ago. Not in a great legs, glossy hair, Miranda Kerr kinda way. Obviously.
But I had one of those lives that other people envied. I was 28-years-old. I lived in a fabulous old Queenslander I was renting with my girlfriends. I had a good looking American boyfriend. I was earning a terrific salary and, oh yes, I was the editor of one of Australia’s highest circulating travel magazines.
You know what that means, don’t you? I traveled the world. For free. I flopped onto the world’s comfiest bed at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York. I sailed in a First Class Cabin on the QE2. I flew First Class.
Yo, I was living the dream, y’all.
Back then people marvelled at my life and because I was, well, an idiot, I allowed them to think my life was perfect and didn’t tell them the truth: That if Dorothy pulled back the curtain she’d find me in a disastrous relationship that I was barely holding together (and would later attempt to fix with a Vegas wedding! Because that ALWAYS works.). And that the travel, as intoxicating as it looked from the outside, was often lonely. Part of the great joy of traveling is sharing it with someone. Anyone. Annnnnnnnnyone.
So here we are 12 years later and once again people have started commenting on how ‘amazing’ my life is. Or looks. You get to work for Mamamia! You’re a published author! They’re making a movie from your first novel! I can’t believe you spoke to Deborah Oswald!
Actually, I can’t believe I got to speak to her either. That *was* pretty amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have a great life. But it’s not perfect. Not even close. Nobody’s is. And I think sometimes we forget that.
So with that in mind, here’s the bits of my life you don’t know …
- Two days ago I cried in the shower because I felt so overwhelmed with, I don’t even know what. Life, I guess.
- The reason you rarely see photos of me on Open Post is not simply because I’m not based at Mamamia HQ (and therefore not around when the team are snapping pics). It’s because I have absolutely no sense of style. None. I find fashion incredibly stressful. This is partly because I find it hard to find clothes that fit me. I have Wilma Flintstone’s hips and Fred Flintstone’s arse.
- I love my work and more than that I NEED to work because it nourishes me but every day I worry that my daughter Ava’s childhood is slipping through my fingers. I am forever carrying the guilt that I’m not spending enough time with 3-year-old Ava or eight-month-old Fin.
- I’ve started to suffer from anxiety when it comes to anybody other than myself driving my children anywhere. Even my husband. Even my parents. The babysitter. My sister-in-law. Even if Jesus turned up, I’d ask to see his driving record, then I’d smile and nod and claim I’d misplaced the car keys.
- How am I managing to work from home and have an 8-month-old baby and a three-year-old? I take loads of shortcuts. At least once a week I serve Ava the “Bunnings Dinner” (sausage-in-bread with sauce). I don’t always bath her and Fin every night. Our house, at times, looks like it’s been inhabited by squatters who have a fondness for sultanas and Tic Toc biscuits.
I could, of course, go on.
I’m not asking for violins. Or a round of high-fives for revealing this stuff. I’m just pulling back the curtain so that my friends can see that really, the Wizard is just a woman in trakky-daks who makes a mean sausage-in-bread.
Okay, that’s a lie. I frequently burn the sausages.
What’s the truth about your life? What things have you been afraid for people to know?