11 June 2012

Exhale - This is who I am.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

And breathe.

Today, at about 4.40 pm, I submitted my thesis - my final assessment for my Masters of Communication. It's a great feeling. But I am exhausted. My thesis was on blogging and how it's given me a greater sense of identity because it allows me to have a voice and engenders a supportive community. Don't ask me much more about it right now, I forget.

Right now I am tired. With the pressure of a ridiculously busy period at work, completing my thesis (I've been working on it for around three months, but getting it done this weekend felt like I was plating up on MasterChef - right down to the wire!) and preparing for my trip. This semester doing my thesis has felt a bit lonely - I haven't had to attend uni, and I have also forgone a few social activities to procrastinate concentrate on the research. My trip has been on my mind more than anything. When I think that I fly out in 18 days, I grin and get butterflies in my tummy. Oh the opportunities!

But I worry. I am a worrier (and sometimes a warrior).

I am worried about my trip. I worry about my skin and money and what I will do about my phone to avoid bill shock. I worry about the cost of holding my mail (why should I have to pay for the post office to hold it when I have a PO Box that I already pay for? I worry that I won't have enough room in my suitcase and that I'll have too many suitcases to carry because of my special luggage allowance, and that I'll run out of cream.

I worry about the change in seasons and whether I should take a coat for London and a maxi dress for New York. I worry that it will be so "hot" in London that people will think it's a heatwave at 24 degrees and I'll be freezing in the aircon. Similarly, I worry about the New York summer. I worry about the health of those I love.

I worry about missing my friends and missing Offspring - how will I know what Nina is wearing each week, and whether she's got a chance with Kick Gurry's character? I worry that Darren Hayes will release concerts tickets to his Australian shows later this year and I'll miss out because I won't be notified in time. I worry that the woman whose apartment I am renting in New York will freak out about my skin. I worry.

Enough! I mustn't worry.

It's going to be the trip of a lifetime! I am incredibly excited!
This fortnight I will be doing the following things:

  • Surviving and enjoying work (and celebrate our big achievements of this project!)
  • Buying an iPad and downloading apps for blogging and photography
  • Downloading ebooks for my iPad - I have a list and an Amazon voucher!
  • Organising my travel money
  • Writing my speech for the Centre for Appearance Research's Appearance Matters conference that is happening in Bristol on 3 and 4 July
  • Packing (I have done my toiletries - being progressively buying things for my trip)
  • Going to the hospital to organise my final prescriptions
  • Laminating my doctor's certificates for travel
  • Emailing my friends and contacts in the UK
  • Having dinner with friends and attending a party
  • Giving a practice speech at my hospital.
I have a bit of an announcement to make (I can't recall if I have mentioned it before)! Two months ago I went for my regular checkup at the hospital clinic. One of the professors came to see me, telling me the hospital is able to support me by funding a ticket to London and paying for the conference! The Centre for Appearance Research works with my dermatology team. The professor told me she has spoken with the CEO of the hospital and they are both in full support of my trip, speaking at the conference and doing work experience at Changing Faces.

I felt so happy and overwhelmed with their generosity that I cried. I asked them how I can repay them. Other than inviting me to speak to some dermatologists and geneticists, they told me that I don't owe them anything. "You've paid for this, Carly" they laughed. I sure have. The support of my hospital, and the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation, is better than any corporate sponsorship. They believe in me.

Right now I am worried. But I am so proud. I am following my dreams and making things happen. Who would have thought it could be this amazing?

(This is a post for Eden's Fresh Horses meme - 'Who the hell are you?')


  1. So excited for you Carly. You are amazing! Are you allowed to have friends attend the practice speech at RMH?

  2. Carly, I am so excited for you. Excited that you handed in your thesis (HELLO - sweet relief!)and excited for your trip. Despite all your worry, there is so much good stuff that I hope makes up for it. And congratulations on the sponsorship from the hospital! I'd be crying too. Go and shine Carly Findlay!

  3. I'm so excited for you lovely lady. You're going to knock their socks off in the UK and you can always catch up on the Offspring goss by reading @StylingYou every Thursday ;)

    Have fun, and I can't wait to follow your journey xx

  4. Fantastic news Carly , what an opportunity and to receive funding from the hospital is validation for your voice and valuable knowledge and experience on and about 'Apppearance' matters.

  5. Carly, what an exciting time you're having. Do all your worrying here do you can relax and enjoy an organised trouble-free trip. I look forward to your stories when you return.

  6. How lovely that places recognize the value in sharing your lived experience. If you get stuck I'll hold a cake stall or something - you'll do this and you'll be grand!

  7. I feel so proud of you Carly.You are so brave to have these fears and not let them hold you back.You are reaching for your dreams and not letting anything or any fear stand in your way.What a great example to set for everyone around you and all who visit your wonderfully inspiring blog.
    Soak up all the fantastic new experiences you will encounter as you have earned every single one of them.
    Be proud of what you have achieved knowing you have also helped many others along the way to your amazing now.xx

  8. We all worry, it's human nature. You have a fantastic time. You bloody deserve it.

  9. I worry too - about everything, truly! I can't say goodbye to anyone without crying cos I worry that I won't see them again. I will happily keep on Darren Hayes watch for you and will email you pics of what Nina's wearing on Offspring if you like? You are a remarkable woman Carly, truly! Have a wonderful time and I really look forward to seeing your adventures. Congrats on getting that thesis done and on the support too. xxx

  10. Congrats Carly, no one deserves it more. Leave your worries at home and enjoy yourself!

  11. I did chuckle when you said 24 degrees would be considered a heatwave in London! Congratulations again on completing your thesis and good luck with the conference - I've no doubt you'll be a massive hit x

  12. Yay I'm so happy for you -happy that you finished your thesis and happy that you are embarking on this exciting adventure! You definitely deserve all the good things that come to you - you work so hard. Have a great time!

  13. Re: mail and phones.

    When we went to the US last year, we gave a friend a set of keys and had him stop by every couple of days to collect our mail. When we landed in the US we bought pre-paid SIM cards for our phones. Sadly they didn't have any data, but we had free wifi in our hotels for the most part. Also Starbucks has free wifi in most places.

    As for everything else: you're busier than I am, phew!

  14. So much love and luck and well wishes for your trip lovely! So exciting and I'm so glad that the hospital has been grand with sponsoring you. Looking forward to your words and pictures!

  15. Several blog posts have made me cry today, but this made me cry happy tears !
    You are going to have an amazing trip. iPad is the very best travel best accessory you can have.
    Brilliant news on the grants - very well deserved. Dee x

  16. So happy for you Carly, what a great opportunity and my word you have earnt it. You've earned a lot of things. It always seems pointless when you tell someone to try not to worry. So- go forth and shine! xx

  17. Yay, Carly!! Congratulations on all your fabulous news! Enjoy every dazzling moment of your trip. Relish in the good things, you deserve them all! xxx

  18. I'm right there with you on wondering what to pack Carly. After much umming and ahing I think I will take a coat. I have an iPhone so I will be using Skype (on wifi only) and still blogging. I go in 7 days. OH MY GOD this time next week I will be on a plane.

    Have an awesome trip and congrats again on your thesis.

  19. That's such great news Carly! Have an amazing time x

  20. Oh wow Carly what amazing news!
    They're right though, you have earnt it. You are a gorgeous person, inside and out. You don't even need ten seconds with you to realise that. Don't worry, just enjoy the ride.

  21. Carly, this is such fabulous news. You have earned it - I have read this blog on and off for four years and your always amaze me with your light, kindness, courage and openness. Don't worry, and this is coming from a worrier, just embrace this moment. You deserve it. x

  22. Hey Carly! Sent you a message! Happy traveling!

  23. Exciting! Absolutely no sign of any summer in London, so bring a jumper and an umbrella. Have a fantastic time.

  24. Wow, that's all so wonderful Carly! I think it's normal to worry, just don't let the worry get in the way of enjoying yourself. Although I have a feeling you already know that. :-)

    Congrats on finishing your Masters. I sat my final exam for my MBA on Wednesday, so I know exactly how that feels. Wonderful!


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