Posts Tagged ‘rowena southgate’

It is All Happening Right Now

Posted:02.09.2011

In the last entry to this blog, I finished wondering how it was that I will be remembered in the world. I actually spend a lot of time thinking about this – not in a ‘I’m going to be famous’ kind of a way, but in a ‘what am I going to be when I grow up’ kind of a way.
In this thinking, I also spend a lot of time writing. On scraps of paper, in diaries, making lists, writing on the computer. Much of my writing has a theme – what I am going to do, how I am going to do it, how I am going to be ‘the best I can be’.

As obvious as it may seem to others, it hit me just recently, that I am not just going to ‘be’, but I already ‘am’. Until now I have had some sense of ‘when I get a house’, or ‘when I start to write’, or ‘when I have a family’, that is when my life will start. That is what I am planning and waiting for, and that’s when the fun of ‘being grown up’ will begin. It occurred to me though, in the revelation, that my life has not only already begun, but it has been going for thirty years now! I feel like I have been preparing for something that is ‘somewhere, in the future’, whereas it is all really all happening right now.

My personal life, my career, my ambitions, are all being produced as we speak, either through action or inaction. My plan to buy my own little piece of land is in train, even though I am not spending my Saturdays trawling through house inspections, but I am reading and researching and saving. My ambitions as a writer need more action, and more access to readership, rather than to be furtive little secrets that only I can read!

My future from yesterday is happening right now. How I will be remembered is happening right now. There’s the opportunity for ‘someday’, for ‘future’, for ‘plans’, but there’s also the opportunity for ‘now’.

As all this insight was falling on my like a tonne of bricks, so too did an opportunity: to attend the 10thousandgirl planning workshop. It was like finding ten bucks in your jacket pocket, when you thought you only had ten cents – all the possibilities open up!

There’s little point in berating myself for the lost time, waiting for a new start, something better, or for the right time to make a resolution. Every action from yesterday is already having its consequences: what are the consequences of today’s actions going to be?

For me, I have decided the workshop is the perfect opportunity to think not only about the ‘future’, but also the present. What am I, can I, could I be doing right now? How am I going to educate myself, to make the most out of now, and ensure that I don’t look back, and be sorry?

I’m really looking forward to the workshop, to meeting other people who want to do the same thing I do – to be the best we can be, and get started straight away!

Rowena Southgate (aka ‘Ms Alchemy’) is based in Melbourne. While she would love to write as an occupation, she still needs to earn a living. This living so far has seen her work in research related to employment, in policy related to disability services, in HIV prevention in Vietnam, and also in the sexy world of communicable diseases. An acute observer and amateur photographer, Rowena likes to think twice about she sees in the world around her, and what it would take to make it a little bit different – for the better.

Introducing…Ms Alchemy

Posted:11.08.2010

Rowena Southgate (aka ‘Ms Alchemy’) is based in Melbourne. While she would love to write as an occupation, she still needs to earn a living. This living so far has seen her work in research related to employment, in policy related to disability services, in HIV prevention in Vietnam, and also in the sexy world of communicable diseases. An acute observer and amateur photographer, Rowena likes to think twice about she sees in the world around her, and what it would take to make it a little bit different – for the better.


I’m sitting here, with a glass of wine, trying to figure out how best to introduce myself. So I guess straight away, you can deduce that a) I like wine, and b) I’m indecisive.

This is the first ever blog I have written, so I figured I’d tell you a bit about me, and how I came to write here.

There are so many angles, so many different paths to take! Do I introduce myself by work and education history (an age old favourite); with six kooky facts (not really my style, but it is a great game to play); or give you a chronological account of my past thirty years on the planet?

So many options. So I’ll just start with a few little things about me.

First thing is that at times, I can be stubborn. I actually prefer the word ‘determined’, but my dad, the very man I inherited this trait from, calls it stubborn.

This can definitely come in handy at times – like continuing on a holiday that has a rough start, but ends up being literally unforgettable (in a good way). Being stubborn (or determined) can be destructive as well. Like playing poker, knowing that you should pass your hand in, but knowing that you’ve bet too much on a pair of four’s. Or that moment in a debate where you realise that you are wrong, but you’ve come too far and too strongly to concede.

My stubbornness has been evident at many different stages in my life. My parents love to tell the story of the three year old me, who argued with them vehemently that it was a dog, not a kangaroo, that jumped across the road in front of the car during a drive in country New South Wales.

As a fourteen year old, I became a vegetarian partly because I didn’t like the thought of animals being killed, partly because I didn’t like the taste of meat, but mainly because Dad was really against it.

As a seventeen year old, I refused to chose between a school trip to France and a school trip to Vietnam in the same year, and instead insisted on saving up to do them both.

Stubbornness has served me pretty well throughout my life. I am determined to have new experiences, and therefore hang in there despite the part of me feels that I shouldn’t.

This brings me to the second little thing about me. I love the concept of change. Some people are scared by change, others are unable to sit still – I’m in awe of and constantly fascinated by the possibilities of change. The way things could be, rather than the way things have always been. The change we can make, whether big or small, in whatever way we can.

This covers a whole spectrum of things – the way that someone’s smile can change the whole tone and expectation about your day – and the way that some well thought through programs and intelligently donated cash can turn someone’s life around.

Mind you, I’m not always happy about change – I’ve recently had to move, for the second time in six months. Then again, I’ve had 12 addresses in 12 years, so maybe it’s not change, but just the norm.

So that’s one of the things that brought me to 10thousandgirl. After having to move on the whim of another landlord selling another house that I rented, I decided I needed to ‘change’ my home ownership status. Ideally I’d like it to change to ‘home owner’ sooner rather than later. However, for the moment, it’s going to have to be ‘potential home owner, looking for all the finance info and education she can get’.

So as well as wanting to change my own personal circumstances, one day, I’d like to think that I left an impression on at least a few other people. I love words, and the impact they can have, when said in the right way, to the right people. I love the idea of education and inspiration, for those who are ready, willing and able to receive it.

That’s another reason that 10thousandgirl caught my eye – something for me, and something for someone else. The potential for change that is inherent in education, money, and investing in girls and women overseas. A few years ago, I lived and worked in Vietnam for 12 months. While it was definitely a challenge, I absolutely loved it. It was an education that I will never forget. I realised the power of money, of position, of education and of gender. I saw the power and choice that being able to invest in a small business gave some families.  I also saw the exploitation and lack of choice in other industries, where such an investment wasn’t viable.

So that’s me – I’m indecisive, love wine, am stubbornly hopeful that I will leave the world a little bit better than I found it. I love words, I am aiming for big things, and am ready for the fun that little things bring me while I am on my way there! I hope you enjoy reading, and will check back to see what these things may be.

Life Planning Workshop

Get a life and finance makeover ..and a beauty makeover! The first series of one day Life Planning Workshops are being held at Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy venues in capital cities from February to June 2010.

More info and register now

Personal Finance Program

Find out more about the one year Personal Finance Program. Available from June 2010, we're looking for girls to jump on the boat early. Provide feedback on each of the modules and receive your program free!

Click here for more info

Share Your Inspiration

Get involved in the discussion! Looking to build your writing portfolio? We're looking for active blog contributors with all kind of fun and exciting rewards and incentives, you'll play an integral part in collating stories and helping us all stay in tune and inspired.
Contact us for more information