Heart From Hazel

Lessons I’ve Learned

I’ve made so many mistakes in my time, that it’s hard to condense them down into three lessons, but these are my current favourites:

1. Anyone can be a Girl Boss

We all seem to be guilty of comparing our “success” against someone else’s. Social media tells us that in order to be a Girl Boss, you need to be self employed or a CEO, but preferably both. One of my favourite Girl Bosses spent 10 years out of paid employment and instead taught my sister and I really important stuff like how to walk and talk, and how to read and write and use a knife and fork. She continues to teach us things like how to be patient and kind, and how to book a dentist appointment.

One of my closest friends has two kids under two, she has better time management and negotiation skills than I could ever hope to have. Another friend runs an animal rescue and has up to 30 rescue animals in her converted barn house at any one time, she is my inspiration when it comes to conflict resolution and working with different personalities.

2. It’s never too late to change your mind

At school I wanted to be a nutritionist, but some poor advice from a career advisor (go figure) meant that I went to uni and studied law and accounting. I got a degree, worked as an accountant, did my professional accounting exams, and then decided I wanted to be an event manager. I love working events, but I’m too old for the long hours and poor pay, and now I’m about to do my project management qualification.

When I decided I wanted my own business, it was an online clothing store. It was an epic fail. Then I did the concrete thing and the candle thing, and loved it but it was a logistical nightmare. When it came time to move house and I had a garage full of concrete pots that I needed to transport, I knew I needed a hobby that was easier on the back. When I started crocheting, I was mocked pretty relentlessly, but I enjoyed it, so I kept doing it, and now I make chunky scarves and slippers and amazing Couch Candy.

3. Remember what’s important

I took one of my besties on a buying trip to Sydney and while we were flying home my dad was minutes from death in the passenger seat of my mum’s car. I had thousands of dollars of stock that I’d already paid for but zero inclination to sell it because my dad was so sick in hospital.

Customers were making purchases online and emailing me within an hour asking when they could expect delivery of their wool blend cardi, and all I could think was ‘who cares about your cardi, my dad could die’. The anxiety caused by the pressure of posting on social media, answering emails and packing orders, damaged relationships with my friends and family, and at the end of the day, it really wasn’t worth it.

The only thing I could add, is to stop thinking that you’re at the age when you should have it all worked out. I’m almost 33, I’ve recently moved back in with my parents after my engagement ended, I’m working on a temporary basis in a junior accounting role – I spend my spare time with a crochet hook and ball of yarn watching Netflix. What messes us up most in life, is the picture in our head of the way it’s supposed to be.

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Photography by www.bellacreative.co.nz

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