Sometimes it feels like I have three separate lives. That there are three Brons in the world and each one is lost in her own world. Why? I think it’s coming from having three jobs – each of which defines me in a certain way.
I’ll start in order, I guess.
First there’s the patisserie. I’ve been working there for over eight years. Sometimes that baffles me, to think I’ve been in one place for so long. I’m part of the community. I have my regular customers – I know how they like their coffee and am happy to oblige. I know their pets’ names, where they like to sit, how long they stay for.
I know the ins and outs of that place as if it were my own hand. Getting up at 6am every Sunday (as I only work there one day a week now) is so familiar, yet so difficult too. The rest of the neighbourhood is asleep and I, lone solider, wake even before the sun to trudge up the road and make coffees.
This is the Bronwyn who has deep roots in the community. The kind of person who wakes up in the morning knowing exactly where she is going to go, for how long and for what purpose. It’s not as boring as I’m making it sound. It’s comforting, it’s the comfort-zone bubble that I – like so many others – have fallen into.
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Next up, there’s Booktopia. It’s been over three years already and in some ways I feel like I’ve been there forever and in others I still feel like the new girl.
Before Booktopia, I had no experience in the book industry. No experience in social media. No experience in Marketing. No experience in professional content creation. And yet I got the interview? My boss at the time – John – said he brought me in because he wanted someone responsible and trust-worthy to run Booktopia’s social media accounts. My background in the military was, he told me, the thing that sold him. My time in the military is the gift that keeps on giving, I tell you.
Since then I have been thrust into the world of books. It might surprise you to know that, despite being an author at heart, that I haven’t always been a huge reader. Not like I am now. I’ve always read and have definitely always written, but not like I do now.
Surrounding myself daily with fellow book lovers, getting to spend my days talking about books, hanging with authors and constantly being supplied with new books (often for free!) has ruined me. I will never be able to leave books now. At least, I can’t imagine a world where I exist without a book in my hand. Whether it’s my book or someone else’s… it doesn’t matter!
This is the Bron that can’t live without books. This is the Bron who walks into a room without a book in it and thinks that something is missing. This is the Bron that people refer to as ‘their bookish friend’.
Then there’s my writing. For years I desired nothing more than to be a published author. And for years before THAT, I think I suppressed that same desire. I think, deep down, I’ve always known I wanted to be an author but didn’t believe it was possible. I can attribute this change in belief to Booktopia and the book industry. To my incredible colleagues. To my supportive parents and friends.
This is the Bron who is chasing her dreams. Who is terrified half the time and excited for the rest. This is the Bron who goes to bed every night hoping that the last few months haven’t been just a dream.
Each Bron has given me something invaluable. Each experience – each career – has changed me. As they should! Eventually I will move on, things will change, new Brons will appear. Maybe it’s strange to define yourself by your job… but that’s not what I mean by this. Each job has put me in a new world, surrounded me with new people and introduced me to new things. These are the worlds I live in and I am grateful for each and every one.
~ Bronwyn xo
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