2021, what a year of wild ups and downs. It started with me still living my incredible nomadic life. And now it is ending back in my home country, surrounded by some of my favourite people in the world. And so much has happened in between it’s hard to find a place to start!
Becoming an Author (oh my god – what?!?!)
What a strange thing to write, never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen! My main resolution this time last year was to finish writing the novel that I started over two years prior. I kicked that goal in the butt after just one week into this year. And now Fallacies of Tomorrow is actually becoming a thing! There were lots of rounds of editing, then trying to feel my way through the process that comes after writing a book.
After four offers from publishers, I have signed a contract with Pegasus Publishers. My book is going to be published and on the shelves in 2022!! We’re currently in the editing and cover design stage, and I’m super excited to see what the final version comes out like. This novel is the first of either a trilogy or series (we’ll see how I go). The second has already been mapped out, ready for me to start in the new year.
The World’s Greatest Shave
In January this year I shaved my head to raise money for Leukemia through the World’s Greatest Shave. There were a few reasons I did this. Obviously one being to raise money for those struggling with this type of cancer. Another was because I had absolutely ruined my hair from bleaching it and dying to so many beautiful colours to be my true mermaid self. I ended up raising around $770, which was able to help a family be close to their loved ones when going through treatment for this cancer.
Shaving my head was one of the most liberating feelings, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to describe it. It’s incredibly freeing. Like shedding a social construct of beauty and just completely being me without feeling the need to conform, and still feeling beautiful. It’s been funny watching it grow back, and constantly being in awkward hair stages that seem there are no possible ways to style it that look half decent. But it feels so much healthier, and I am still enjoying this journey. Who knows, I may even do it again one day!
Losing a Legal Battle
Regretfully, I ended up in a legal battle with the tech giant Lenovo. It’s no surprise who won, but I still really struggle to let go of this because it is so infuriating! The short story goes like this. While I was travelling, I set up a digital marketing company because I had so many complimentary skills like copywriting, website design and development, a little graphic design, video editing, SEO, SEM and many other things. I scaled up quite quickly and purchased a new laptop that could handle all the work I was doing.
Unfortunately, Lenovo sold me a faulty laptop that I purchased while I was in India. It was a tricky to manage at time with me constantly in and out of hospital, but they attempted to rectify it multiple times without success. After four months of this and being able to do quite limited work, I asked for a replacement or a refund. Surprisingly to me, they refused. Being the stubborn person I am and knowing that this was illegal, I engaged a lawyer who was also exceptionally positive that it was illegal for them to do this. If I had been anywhere else in the world, this would have been a pretty straight forward case. Consumer laws are normally in place to protect people from this sort of thing. But I learned the hard way that the Indian laws have not quite caught up with those laws.
After spending thousands in legal costs and Lenovo playing the game perfectly, I had to put many people out of work because I couldn’t afford to pay them anymore. And they, along with myself, ended up like so many other people during covid, without a source of income. As much as it enraged me, I dropped the case because I had spent far more in legal costs than the laptop had cost me, and it was time to cut my losses. I still get angry writing about this, but it’s time for me to let go and move on!
Returning to Australia
Anyone who has been following my journey knows that the last thing I ever wanted to do was return to Australia. But after losing everything I had in that stupid legal case, almost dying a bunch of times from anaphylaxis, and covid taking over the world, I had no choice. It was crazy expensive for me to come back. I think it cost me around $6,500, and that is every cent I had to my name. So I had to start fresh, which meant that I didn’t want to go back to Melbourne and fall back into the same habits and routines that I had before. I decided that Brisbane would be my new home, and I’m quite surprised to say that I don’t hate it.
It was hard not being around my friends and family and somehow needing to start a new life where I wasn’t moving around and stuck in the one place. Covid didn’t help that at all. My grandpa passed away in August, and I was heartbroken that I couldn’t be closer to him or attend his funeral. And I know this has happened to so many people. But I also have so much to be grateful for. I have a house full of beautiful people, I absolutely love my job, working in marketing for a division of the Queensland Government, and I have found myself the most incredible, caring, understanding, smart and gorgeous man that has ever walked the planet. So returning to Australia wasn’t all bad, but I am still excited to start traveling again some day in the future.
The Mystery Health Case
This is something that comes up often. So most people would know that I have been struggling with a degenerating back disease for many years now. But this year I have found out that it may not be what we thought it was for so many years. We went through all the obvious diseases like MS and Parkinson’s. When it wasn’t either of those, all the medical professionals were saying it was muscular dystrophy.
On my return to Australia, I started seeing more medical professionals to better understand and manage it, because I was still not mentally prepared to be in a wheelchair in the next three years. After many tests with my neurologist including an EMG and genetic testing to work out which type of muscular dystrophy and learn how to manage it, we found out that it actually wasn’t muscular dystrophy at all. The current theory is that it is neuralgic amyotrophy, which is far better than muscular dystrophy, but in no ways a good disease to have.
If this disease is picked up in the early stages like the first few months, there is a really good chance at recovery. Unfortunately mine has been years, so they chances aren’t great. But it is still a possibility that I will improve, and hopefully the issue won’t get worse. The current goal is to get me out of pain and start rehab to get more function in the right half of my body. This means a lot of different medication which is affecting me in many different ways. But I am hopeful that I may finally have some answers that give me a far more positive outlook for the future.
Looking to the future
Having a future is not really something that has been on the cards for me before this year. I had believed for years that I would be immobile in my early thirties. Which is why I wanted to travel as much as possible to enjoy the time I had left. But with this new theory for my condition, for the first time in the last 7 years, I am able to start thinking about and planning a future. What that looks like, I’m not sure yet. But I know that it will involve travel and lots of happy moments. I look forward to seeing what this next year brings me.