We all need a little help from our friends

A few days ago, I got an email from a friend asking me to tell her about a whole list of interesting things going on in my life. We're both very busy people and I thought it would be better to share the thoughts with you all ... 

A few weeks ago, I had an insanely busy time. I organised two events to run, one for work and one for fundraising, I had a Burns Workshop to learn more about Medicine, a Rural Nealth night and my other work. I had started my week with ATedxMacUni and finished with the Google+ Photo Walk.  You might think me insane for being so busy and if you did, I wouldn't disagree. I thought I was pretty nuts that week too.

A few weeks ago, I was more stressed than I had ever been. There was so much to worry about and so much that could go wrong.  Through it all, though, I had amazing help from my friends. My beautiful housemates took good care of me.  They feed me tea non-stop when I was biting their heads off with stress, they make sure I set balanced meals and they let me rant when I'm frustrated.  I am not sure what I would do without my boys.

I also have a very wonderful group of friends. My Med friends, who make fun of me for always being so busy and never having time for the social things, remain loyal and caring despite all of my complaints.  My high school friends never forget me despite my moving to a different state.  My volunteering friends are all pretty much as busy as I am, doing their own amazing things to change the world.  And then I have my mentor-friends.  I won't name them individually because I think they know who they are.  Those people who have started their own world-changing projects, those who are helping with my grand plans (which are nearly out of the planning stages - more on that further down), those who find solutions to my current quandaries with ease and and at short notice because I've called them up in desperation.  My friends are my anchor.

At the end of that crazy, crazy week, I went on the Google+ Photo Walk. Lucky I went, because I got an awesome t-shirt with my own personalised QR code.  Yes, I'm a nerd.  I know you're probably wondering what that is...and why I didn't just stay home and watch a movie. Well...I like doing things. And I like meeting new people.  A photo walk, for the uninitiated, is where a group of people, either friends or completely random, get together to follow a path and take photos of the journey. You may have a focus - such as sunsets or trees - or you may just wander to enjoy the scenery. We were mostly new people from across Sydney who had never met before and who came together with curiosity, excitement and passion for photography. There were experts with their DSLRs and the amateurs among us with point and shoot or phone cameras. The majority of us got distracted with great new conversation rather than focusing on the pictures.   We talked for hours - the great thing about new people is that you have so much to learn. What are their passions, what do they do, where did they grow up, what makes them them, how did they find out about the event? The questions continued and the relationships grew. Within a few hours, it felt like we'd known each other for years. It felt like we were this stunning Google community. You don't get that feeling a lot.

The great thing about this Photo Walk was that we met through Google+ so we had an existing network. We had each other online and now had the faces and lives to connect to those identities. We had new people, passionate people to call our friends. We are from all different walks of life but we all live in the same city. And we can meet up and do this all again. We were all just faces on the street and the train, but a social network brought us together. THIS is the beauty of the Internet.

The weekend after, I spent my day meeting inspirational people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander innovation. While I will write another separate summary of that event, I think it rates a mention in here.  It rates a mention because it fits in with the networking that I've been doing. Because it fits with the driving forces in my life. With my passion for improving Indigenous health. I spent my Saturday in the company of people I can only dream of emulating.

That evening, I went to dinner with a wonderful young lady to tell her all about my own project. For those of you who have been living under a rock, I'm busy starting up a not-for-profit called Avenir Rural Mentoring. It will hopefully help young rural people find their path, support them through transitions and give them skills that will be useful, whatever life entails. We will be using technology to achieve these aims.  My dinner with this wonderful young lady left us both excited, energised and pumped for the future. The reflection upon this only reminds me how lucky I am to live the life I do.

The next few weeks will probably involve me hiding under a rock. I will be busy studying for my very big exam.  Thankfully, though, I have had a lot of experiences in the past month from which I have learnt, been inspired and found more meaning.


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