Back On Track

Hey friends, 

I think it’s time for a little career update. (What a concept!) 

I could sum it up this way; “We’re not in Latvia anymore, Toto!” 

Hmmm, that bastardisation of a classic movie line only works if my writing sticks in your mind like chewy clings to hair….

For those with more than my old blog posts ruminating around in their heads, you can get the context for that declaration here

Remember when I briefly worked for those number-lovin’ Lats last year? What a misstep that was. 

*eye roll*

Two weeks ago I started a new administrative job in a small property law practice. Being a part-time role, it is much less financially rewarding than my stint at the Latvian Embassy, but it is so much more rewarding in ways that money can’t buy. For instance, I don’t have to rush out the door and battle morning peak hour traffic…. whoop glory! 

Most importantly, I fit there. 

As someone who bangs on about non-conformism and can’t think of anything sadder than wearing a workplace – or any place – cloak of invisibility, it may seem strange that fitting in (at work) rates so highly for me, but it does, and here’s why. 

When you fit, there’s ease. 

This means that if you’re wired like I am, a compelling, confounding yet alluring mix of confidence, rebellion and stupidly high expectations of myself when it comes to learning (some) new things, feeling a sense of ease and rightness is critical to not having a meltdown when, shock, horror, you don’t perfect something after 3.4 minutes seconds. 

I know, right? It’s not as if anyone in the history of ever – except me – couldn’t grasp something after one rushed explanation… oh, is the sarcastica font showing up on your screen? I sure hope so. 

Being the new girl, being a beginner, starting over again; that can be challenging. 

The thing is, there’s no alternative path. New things are new. And I, and you, can’t know in advance everything that is required. Bummer dude. 

As my new job is in a legal practice, where I have many years of experience, the familiarity of that helps me cope with any omygodimissedthatthing freak outs that may crop up. I’ve held similar roles before and I’ve loved them and excelled in them. It’s been a while though, so some forms, processes and procedures have changed, and the way things are done always changes from business to business. 

Do I scan it and copy it for the file? 

Is it filed under number, number, name, date or name, number, number, date? 

Why are these phones not working!? (That one’s universal but the frustration is always new!)

Knowing what a PDF is isn’t the same as being familiar with Adobe. 

Where are the pens? 

Who took my pen? Seriously, give it back. (Yes, I have an issue with pens, deal with it.)

Overwhelmingly, what I feel every afternoon as I follow the tram tracks to the office, is that I’m back on track. 

I have a job I know I can succeed in, and that makes me so happy. 

Bonus: Mirrors everywhere, cheeky selfies have never been so easy! 


Now gainfully employed, I remain, your compelling, confounding, alluring pal,

Annette  😄 



PS If you’d like to contribute to my getting back on track fund, just click here. Thanks!



In praise of beginners

Five, four, three, two, one… lift off! 



There are many, many ways to launch into action. No matter which way you choose, they all have one commonality – a beginning. 

More and more, it seems that people are increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of being a beginner. 

New habits, new creative outlets, new careers, new relationships – they all have to start somewhere, right? 

What is it about beginning that makes our palms sweaty and our hearts race? 

A response I hear often is that nasty four letter F word – FEAR.  

Fear of not knowing what we need to know. 

Fear of not knowing how to get where we want to go. 

Fear of not having a fixed goal. 

Fear of looking, and feeling, stupid, of being irrelevant. 

Fear of being discovered as an imposter. 

Fear of not being exactly 100% on point the very first time we try something new. 


I’ve felt all of these things, and it is a profoundly uncomfortable experience. 

Beginning involves fear, there’s no getting around that. 

If the goal is to avoid fear at all costs, we can simply write off ever learning anything new. 

If we don’t put ourselves in the place of being a beginner, we can avoid a lot of uncomfortable feelings. 

That’s a valid option, but at what price? 


Think of it this way, almost everything we interact with and enjoy in life comes from someone’s curiosity and their willingness to explore that curiosity. That’s what being a beginner is; being curious enough to take action.  

Did you boil the kettle this morning to make a cuppa? 

Read a newspaper? 

Travel by car/bus/train/tram/bike?

Television wasn’t invented when my grandparents were young. 

The concept of the internet – science fiction, until people began to work on creating it! 

Croissants, traffic lights, press studs, chopsticks, craft blogs, pet hotels, everlasting gob-stoppers…. all of those things exist because someone’s curiosity trumped their fears. 

They began. 

Beginning changes the world. 

That doesn’t mean that every beginning will set you on an epic path, but without beginners, there wouldn’t even be any paths! 

Beginners are rad.

Beginners have courage and stamina. 

Beginners are curious enough to tell their fears to pipe down while they explore new territory. 

Beginners deserve a frickin’ PARADE, because they are having a crack at something. 

The something could be mastering chess or learning to speak Italian. It could be knitting or coding or tightrope walking or kinesiology. 

Beginners often feel vulnerable, and need encouragement to keep going. They need support from more learned beginners, as teachers and mentors. 

Beginners do not need to rush to become something ‘better’ than a beginner, because beginning is awesome! 

I am so inspired by beginners. I love people who feel those uncomfortable things that fear throws at them, who feel uncertain and awkward and six different kinds of dumb, but who push through those feelings in pursuit of whatever they are curious about.  


If you are contemplating beginning, I have some advice for you:

Find other beginners you can bounce ideas off, and gain courage from. 

If you’re learning via a course, embrace the community of beginners you are part of, participate fully in discussions, offer your insights, trust your fellow learners, be open to feedback. Buy new notebooks, do your homework, download resources, and create a database of information you can refer to over and over. Mine every opportunity you’re offered. 

Ask questions. Then ask follow-up questions. Questions are good. 

Email a more learned beginner in your field of interest. You might just find someone willing to share their best beginner’s tips with you. 

Most importantly, in the company of other learners, forge your own path. Find your point of view, your spin on things, and share it. 

Let curiosity take the lead, and don’t give fear top billing. 

And on the days where you feel overwhelmed, remember I’m here, cheering you on. 

Need a permission slip? Let me know and I’ll send you one. 

Let’s begin!

Annette x 



Be a life long learner – three thoughts

Hello there,

Just a few unfinished thoughts to share today, not brand new ones, but some that have definitely been more frequent this year as I’ve learned a new skill or seven (or seventy billion) in becoming a blogger. It is amazing how learning to write a blog has bled out into every area of my life and offered me opportunities to think things through from a new perspective, to remember old lessons, or to try to put myself in someone else’s shoes more.

Thought 1:  It is COOL to be a beginner, it’s okay not to know, to stuff up, to need to ask questions, to feel a bit wobbly about things. It’s okay. Here’s something that might rock your world – think about someone you admire, the business guru, that amazing fashion designer, that great blogger, that scientist, doctor, super organised mum, Australia’s best footballer – can you see them in your mind…. right, that person, who excels at something that perhaps makes you feel a bit small and not-at-all ‘in their league’ and perhaps even a tad jealous, that very person in your mind, Steve Jobs, for instance, once had NO IDEA how to build a computer, or run a company, or become a global icon. He was just a guy who had an idea. Or think about Oprah Winfrey – same deal, different industry, she was just a little girl who grew up in poverty, who became a TV reporter with a name people couldn’t pronounce.

There’s no person who has ever walked the face of the earth who hasn’t been a beginner, a novice, a newbie. Not one! Isn’t that encouraging? Well, it makes me feel a lot better!

Thought 2:  New things can be scary. That’s okay – don’t let that fear stop you from doing something that could turn into a massive passion in your life.

Learning requires a great deal of kindness towards yourself, the humility to ask, yet again, and a good whack of confidence. I think that confidence gets built up by being around other learners, and by having encouraging people who may be a bit further down the road around you – whether that’s blogging, athletics, parenting, global dominance of social media, or crochet, everyone starts out as a beginner. Everyone needs to be willing to learn.

When I was starting this blog, even before I got to that part – in the very beginning, when I was thinking of a name, and trying to understand how to get the blog from an idea in my head to a web presence, I don’t mind telling you, I cried a LOT of hot, angry tears of frustration. I was SO frustrated with myself, then I got frustrated at being frustrated, when I thought I’d conquered a lot of my tendencies towards being stupidly demanding of myself. It wasn’t pretty. I nearly gave up, before I’d even begun. True story.

The only reason you’re reading this blog is because people ENCOURAGED me to keep going, told me that I could do it, and learn new things, and eventually become proficient at them and create something that people would enjoy.

Thank you to those people. Thank you so much. Thank you for still encouraging me when I wobble.

Which leads me neatly to Thought 3:  We all need encouragement. Every human being needs to be looked in the eye and told, you can. I believe in you. The aloof/confident girl you envy, she needs it. That ‘cool’ mum you see at school, she needs it. The guy at your coffee shop, he needs it. And I know I do.

It may be unfamiliar to verbalise our good thoughts about other people, but it really isn’t hard to encourage someone.

I think the key is to just be genuine and don’t make a big song and dance about it initially. Do they look great? Just tell them.


Let me break that down so you’re in no doubt – say you’re at work, and one of your colleagues looks really good one Tuesday, or has just given a killer presentation that you really got something from, when you pass her desk, or see him getting a coffee, just say, hey, you look great today or that presentation was so helpful to me. Just that, you don’t have to gild the lily, just be sincere and smile at them. Job done!

Really, it’s as simple as this – USE YOUR WORDS.

Use them for good, to build others up, and to build yourself up. The more you use them in this way, the more ease you’ll have at being someone who sees good in others, and tells them. You might even turn into a stranger on the street compliment giver. That stuff is FUN!

No photos today, no catchy title or six point action plan, just these thoughts – beginning is common to all of us, learning new things can be scary, everyone needs encouragement.

How can I encourage you today?

What are you learning that’s scaring you?

Jump in and comment, let’s talk this stuff out. Maybe someone else who reads this blog will know exactly what you need to know, because they’ve been there. Let’s find out!


Annette xx