This is an excerpt published from Postcards From Tomorrow, a heartfelt collection of letters from women across the world with advice to their 21-year-old selves. The book marks the 21st anniversary of Lou’s Place, the only daytime refuge in Sydney for female victims of domestic violence. This is Business Chicks’ CEO Olivia Ruello’s letter…
I want you to know that whatever life throws at you, you will handle. And some days will be hard (most days won’t be), but during those dark days, please know there is light always.
Stop worrying about what others think of you and whether or not your tummy is too fat. In two decades’ time you will realise it doesn’t matter and the people whose opinions matter to you don’t care. Most importantly, you are enough just as you are.
Please stop comparing yourself to others. Your path is unique like everyone else’s. Own that and be you.
Recognise that the power of kindness and compassion is far more valuable than anything else. Being kind isn’t a weakness; it’s a superpower.
You don’t need to have all the answers now. Stay curious. Travel more, grab experiences with both hands, be less responsible and more courageous. Worry less. Love yourself more. You’ve got this.
A few more stories to tell…
Liv’s letter is accompanied by hundreds more letters and pieces of advice. We’ve got some of the best here.
Layne Beachley AO, Seven time surfing world champion, founder of charitable foundation, Aim For the Stars and current Chair of Surfing Australia
I feel you are worried about how you look compared to your peers, and you think you can hide how you feel about yourself, but I can see it. Take a minute to recognise your beauty. You are perfectly imperfect and will never fi t in no matter how much you want to. Why fi t in when you were born to stand out? Actually, by staying true to yourself, owning your story and having the courage to share your struggles openly and honestly, people will grow to love you and support you.
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Kate McClymont, investigative journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald and seven-time winner of journalism’s most prestigious award, the Walkley
How many times did I see young men, with the same – or less talent – than we young women convince people they had what it takes. They actually didn’t but they were astonishingly convincing in their self-confidence. This doesn’t just happen when you are going for a job. It is also happens when you get one. Women tend to think if we do a good job, it will be recognised and we will be paid accordingly. Sadly, most bosses operate along the lines if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Research shows men are four times more likely than women to ask for a salary raise. That means they are four times more likely to get one. This is where the next generation of young women has to do better than we did. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Fiori Giovanni, best-selling author and former child soldier
Remember when you were 14? At the camp in Eritrea, Africa, they were training you to be a soldier, but you couldn’t bring yourself to fire a gun. Despite the commander’s threats, you stayed true to who you were: a strong but peace-loving human who opposed violence.
Postcards from Tomorrow will be released on March 8 – International Women’s Day. You can visit their website to find out more about the project and Lou’s Place.
Compiled and edited by award-winning author and Business Chicks Premium member Kim Chandler McDonald, there are messages from Australian and international stars from the worlds of comedy, theatre, TV and dance, solo adventurers and Olympic champions, broadcasting and journalism, activism, philanthropy, politics, business, innovation and adventure.
As Lou’s Place is run solely on donations, when you purchase a copy of Postcards From Tomorrow, you are sharing your spirit and support with Lou’s and enabling its team to continue their incredibly important work.