Mandy (looking very happy) in Florence
Mandy lived for many years in Huntfield Heights and has been an active community contributor in that time. She has made lots of changes in her life over the years and recently fulfilled a long held dream to go to Italy. Here is her story…
Over 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to be involved in a group called Dare to Dream at the Noarlunga Health Village. It was facilitated by the ‘Princess’ Elizabeth Becker. It was the start of a dream come true story for me.
There were about 12 women sharing their dreams, ideas and stories. We were taking turns going around the circle to share with everyone what our dream was. I think it was mentioned that there I no budgets or limits to worry about. As the other women were revealing their dreams and it was getting closer to my turn, my stomach was doing flips and I was in a real panic as I could not think of a single dream of my own.
I had recently left and survived an abusive 11 year relationship, and felt so oppressed from the mental and physical abuse that I had forgotten how to dream or even think about things that I might want.
My turn was getting closer and closer and I was really scared as I nothing was coming to my mind. Then all heads and eyes turned to me, it was my turn, I was sweating and trembling, trying to hold it together and all the sudden I found myself saying “I want to go to Italy”, well you could have knocked me over with a feather, I had no idea how that came out of my mouth or where that dream came from.
The group’s term had come to an end, and I guess it must have planted a virile seed, as coincidentally I started receiving books about Italy for birthday gifts and random lovely presents. Quite a few years went by and the thought always stayed in the back of my mind.
I met a new man and we eventually got engaged and moved in together. My dream of Italy got put on the back burner as we had talked of travelling Australia together.
Then in 2013, our relationship broke up and I moved into a share house. I had a great opportunity to re connect with Robyn, a good friend that I had not seen for a couple of years. Robyn and her sister Jo had a holiday booked with the WEA to go to Italy. I kept mentioning to Robyn how envious I was and would say: I wish I was coming to Italy with you. Meanwhile and coincidentally again my Mum had generously decided to give her 3 children $12,000 as an early inheritance. Once again I said to Robyn, “Gee I wish I was coming to Italy with you” Robyn said “Why don’t you ring up and put your name on the waiting list” Robyn ended up ringing the WEA to ask about this. I rang as well and the lady took my details but said it was highly unlikely I would get a chance to go as there are 8 people on the waiting list and she said people never cancel from our trips as they are so good.
A few weeks went by and I was searching for a job. I had an unexpected call from the WEA saying that the tour leaders wife is not going, that meant there was a vacancy, and she is calling all the people on the waiting list, so first in will get to go. I hung up and took 2 hours to decide and rang back and said “YES”.
The next day I received an offer for a 3 month contract, so I had to explain that I just booked a holiday leaving on the 6th September, going on a tour of Italy for 3 weeks. They were kind enough to say they would work around me.
So 6 weeks later I was at the airport with Robyn and her sister Jo and 23 other just as excited people about to fly to ITALY!!!! I could not believe my dream was coming true. We went for 23 days and I absolutely loved it, I was so, so excited to be going overseas. Who would have thought that all those years ago, when a timid, oppressed, insecure woman with a dream to go to Italy would actually end up going. Life is so splendid when you are able to travel down a path toward your dreams and make them happen. Thank goodness for a group called: “Dare to Dream” and Princess Elizabeth that gave me the courage to think: I am worthy enough to have a dream of my own.