A letter from Tara
Who am I? My name is Tara, I’m 28. I grew up in Cairns, Australia in a small Queenslander shack that we rented on a hobby farm with my mother, who is from New Zealand, & my dad who is Australian, and younger brother. My parents separated when I was 7 and we lived with my mum after that. We were independent kids, we did our own thing mostly & we had a fun childhood, usually outdoors exploring creeks & mountains with friends, riding bikes & running a muck. Daily we grew up around a lot of drug & alcohol abuse with a lot of characters around the house. I’ve been sexually assaulted & faced many adversities at a young age. I went to a state school graduating year 12 & had no idea what I wanted to do for a job afterwards. We didn’t really have money for me to go to uni so I decided to go out there & try as many things as possible to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I got a job when I turned 13 & worked afternoons after school & on the weekends. I moved onto jobs in retail and pharmacy and I worked at a zoo and saved as much money as I could to set myself up. My first full-time job was in reception at an accountants firm with the opportunity to be trained as an accountant after one year. I watched these accountants come to work & no one truly looked happy or satisfied with what they were doing everyday. So I quit with nothing else to go to but knowing that that wasn’t it. I took my first big trip overseas to Italy for 3 weeks at 18 with my savings & fell in love with travel.
I came back and landed a job in the bank as a teller, assuming it would be the same as the last job but instead fell in love with the people side of the business. You meet the young, old, rich, poor, people getting married, divorced etc etc. I got to see the ins & outs of their finances & I loved listening to their stories; & from there my career began. I worked my way up through 9 different roles in the bank, moved cities twice & sacrificed being around friends, my boyfriend & family to chase a career at the age of 19. I was on my own, in towns & cities where I didn’t know anyone. I had to face things that scared me but I very quickly learnt I was capable and could do this. I jumped in the deep end, & learnt I could swim.
The power of knowing that notion at a young age is priceless, it’s been the foundation of any other success I’ve had in my life, it gave me the courage to go after what I want. I’m now a Home Loan Executive for the largest bank in Australia. I pick my hours, I have an associate who supports me, great leaders who support me, a free company car & a good salary, with high expectations.
At 28, I’ve taken a year off of work to go & travel the world, it’s a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl & that I’ve been saving for since I was 13. I’ve now travelled to 31 countries, 19 of them on my own with a 12kg backpack just this year. I’ve seen the Northern Lights, icebergs & glaciers, trekked Machu Picchu in Peru, hiked in the Amazon, ski’d in the Alps, snowboarder in Japan & surfed Portugal’s coastline. I’ve lived with local families in their homes in Italy & Iceland, had Ireland to myself during covid19, chased an erupting volcano, road-tripped most of Europe & rode a camel in the Saharan desert in Morocco.
These experiences have taught me many things but the one lesson that got me there was working hard for what I wanted because without that I wouldn’t have experienced any of those things I mentioned above. I believe it is only truly possible if you believe it is, especially if you live & are born in Australia or a western world. We are all dealt with a hand & aspects of adversity, it is up to you when you let those hands stop you, define you or drive you. Your life is an outcome of the decisions you’ve made along the way, and the decisions you continue to make… & that it’s not too late, only you decide when it is too late to chase after what you want.
I am proud of myself, & it’s taken me almost 28 years to be able to say that. I have achieved a lot of the things in my life off of my own back, but I have had important people around me to encourage & support me along the way. It’s not your usual support team of super loving & close parents in a healthy home. Mine looks like a family of people I’ve built & met throughout my life who have made me better.
My best friend Kailee, who lived down the road since I was 7 who has been through it all with me. My best friend Louise who showed & taught me that I deserve to be loved. Teachers in school who guided and told me to pull my head in & that my life is up to me. Bosses who has believed in me & encouraged me to jump in that deep end because they could see I could do it. Boyfriends who have cheated & manipulated & tried to control me who taught me my own strength & importance of self worth. Ex-Boyfriend who set a high standard and bar for who and what I want in my life and a partner. My parents who, are not your standard mum & dad, but let me explore & make my own decisions. My friends who have been there for me at times when I may not have deserved it & made me know I’m loved no matter what. The people across the world I met on my travels who were also taking a chance & being brave, exploring who they really are & just being themselves.
I 100% believe everything happens for a reason, it’s just what you do with that ‘everything’ that happens to you that determines what’s next.
Chase your daydream.
Tara. Follow me on Insta here