Words change lives.
(This girl would know.)
(This girl would know.)
Slinging hairbrushes, insults or any ammunition within reach. Despite our full-throttle sibling rivalry my determined ‘blood blister’ taught me more than most about loyalty, humour, grit and fortitude. And it was she who stood at my hospital bedside, squeezing my hand tight as I delivered my baby girl who doctors predicted wouldn’t survive. But she was born a fighter too.
Holding my breath while the only man I’d ever wanted to impress told me he’d had a change of heart: I should pursue University (and be the first person in our family to do so). When I managed to look my dad in the eye all I could do was cry. I ventured away from my sleepy hometown carrying every lesson my parents had taught me: Set your mind to it and you can do anything; If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all; Everyone poops.
A reply email from a writer I admired enormously and its opening line declaring: “You can write. You can really, really write." This gem signaled that I could offer up my creativity to the world and it wouldn’t always be rejected. But even loved and welcomed and celebrated.
Promising myself I’d play it cool yet dialing the number he gave me within hours, reassuring him I wasn’t a crazy person. 18 months later and we went from swapping numbers to exchanging vows: love, honour and cherish through thick and thin, in sickness and health, for rich or poor, racking up miles on that wild road faster than I dare to clock.
My roly-poly first-born gurgling “Ma-ma” while I questioned how the early years of motherhood could be so fulfilling yet so profoundly lonely. Or trembling in ER as the doctor gently offered to phone my husband to explain that our daughter - just three - would begin chemotherapy in two days’ time. Picking myself up off the floor, I turned to all I knew about self-expression and self-preservation. Thoughts poured out on paper and later, online, connecting with so many mothers bound by the same heartache.
One decade on from signing my twenty-six-year-old name across each dotted line that saw me with my first, fully-fledged business (and more revenue, responsibility, learning curves and success than a quiet girl from the bush could ever imagine), it is time. Here begins the next chapter - a new business, a re-imagined career and my fleeting chance to spend more time with my kids before they began to contemplate spreading their wings… with every word of wisdom and life lesson they’ve collected to date.
Prom Queen is Nami Clarke’s alter ego (cooler, funnier and with her own walk-in shoe closet). She fearlessly helps women shake off imposter syndrome and takes their business from beige to badass. *Whip cracks*
The small biz-obsessed writer and creative honed her sales, marketing, and content strategy skillz running a photography studio for 10 years in one of Melbourne’s fancy postcodes. What surprised Nami more than the fact that her Bachelor of Arts wasn’t completely useless, was realising that she could support so many clients who dreamed of ditching the 9-5 grind to launch their own business too.
Nami has been published by Mamamia, Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, and more, but nobody likes a bragger. She’s also an advocate for perinatal mental health, and her online project Little Tsunami proudly supports COPE, the Centre of Perinatal Excellence.
She lives in Bendigo, Australia.