Someone I really admire in my professional field is the most excellent Kate Toon. Kate is a copywriter and SEO expert who is very successful but very down to earth about it – and she’s also very quirky which leads to very funny blog posts. Oh, and she’s written an amazing book about being a “Misfit Entrepreneur.” I highly recommend it!
[Kate, is that enough SEO karma for you?! 😉 ]

I stumbled across an old post of her yesterday entitled “What would the child you once were think of the adult you have become?” and it really got me thinking about what I’ve achieved and where I am in my life.

So as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I’m nicking the premise of Kate’s blog post and applying it to my own life…

 

Me at five

zoe-arpin-aged-five
Me aged five.

Five-year old me was very hyperactive and a regular fixture at the emergency department due to my adventurous exploits (sorry, Mum!)

I was a complete and utter tomboy and very into dinosaurs, reading, and writing stories. I enjoyed listening to my mum talk about the trip that we took to Australia when I was 20 months old, and looking at the photos. It looked like a rather exciting place.

I’m definitely calmer and less accident prone – it’s now me getting all the grey hairs rather than giving them to my mum! So. Many. Grey. Hairs.

zoe-arpin-dinosaur-pyjamas
Exhibit A: wearing dinosaur pyjamas aged 32.

I’m still quite tomboyish, although I’ve definitely embraced my feminine side over the years. I not only visited Australia again, but moved there! Bought a house. Got married. Had a baby. Set up my own business providing copywriting and digital marketing services. In AUSTRALIA.

The best news for five-year old Zoë? I still absolutely LOVE reading. And dinosaurs.

 

 

Me at twelve

zoe-arpin-aged-12
Me aged 12.

Twelve-year old me was extremely into sport (running in particular), and I was DEFINITELY going to be a famous singer with my best friend Lisa Bright. I can actually remember telling my mum that I’d need to get a tutor to come on the road with us when we hit the big time because we’d have to leave school, which is amazing. I mean I can hold a tune but I’m no Adele! However, kudos for the self-belief I had, I guess!

So what would twelve-year old Zoë think of how she’s turned out? She’d be pretty disappointed that I wasn’t blowing up the music industry with my incredible voice (ahem…). However, I will say that I’ve never lost that self-belief – and it’s got me a long way. I’m definitely much more realistic about things, but I really do believe I can achieve anything I set my mind to if I work hard enough.

As for the running… not so much. I stopped when I moved to Australia for some reason, and never quite got back into it. But it’s never too late, right?

 

Me at fifteen

zoe-arpin-aged-15
Me aged 15.

I was involved in anything and everything at school – I joined pretty much any committee for any cause. I was even given an award at school when I graduated for “all round achievement”, but a large part of this was because I was involved in pretty much everything the school offered. School council? On it. Orchestra? Clarinet section. Track team? See you at the start line.

This was also around the time that I needed to start considering which subjects I would take at college, and start thinking about potentially what I’d like to do when I was “grown up” (still waiting on that). I didn’t have a bloody clue what I wanted to do as a career, but it was clear that my strengths lay in areas which involved lots of writing and looking at things from different perspectives. I chose English Literature, History and Psychology.

Well. Fifteen-year old me would certainly recognise the 32 year-old me that just can’t say no to joining or organising things! I’m terrible for taking on too many projects! It was a bit easier at 15 when I didn’t have a family to look after, business to run and general adulting to do. I’m definitely trying to say “no” to more things!

But it’s certainly interesting to look at the subjects I chose to study around that time in relation to what I do now. Down the track I ended up getting a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and all three of the subjects I chose gave me great foundations for my career and still reflect my interests now. Marketing wasn’t on my agenda at all for fifteen year-old Zoë, but I think she’d be pretty damn pleased with how she ended up making a living.

 

So is adult me awesome, or not?

zoe-arpin-adult
All “grown up” with my son. And a dinosaur.

Well yes, obviously. But this is about what child me would think!

Overall, I think child me would be pretty content with how I’ve turned out. Apart from the brief pop star goals, I must confess that until recently I’ve never really been someone with laser focus on career or personal goals (apart from becoming a mum: achievement unlocked…). My ambition was more general – I wanted to do well wherever I found myself. I’ve just always worked hard and embraced the opportunities which came my way.

But having that approach to life has led me to not only have some great experiences (which I may not have had otherwise), but has also ultimately led me to a career which incorporates all of my passions and skills. And led me to live in an amazing part of the world (I only came here for a holiday!).

Adult me is pretty happy with how I’ve turned out, too.

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