Daphne Kapsali

I want to send a big thank you to Daphne, an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author, for our Skype conversation.  I was read the first few chapters of 100 days of Solitude and I felt like a connected with her on so many levels, I knew I had to contact her and see if she would be interested in chatting to me. So grateful that she said yes. I was thrilled to learn so much. Thank you Daphne.

It was a constant process and a constant transition. There was stages when I was like “oh this is fine, then it would be this is terrifying, then it would be oh what the fuck am I doing.”

I am quiet shy and introverted and I can’t deal with groups of people, I hate it and I get really insecure. I am very good one to one, and I have my very good friends and I am approachable, but this whole thing, it was a really weird thing, because it was I was on my own but I had to actually open up. I mean this process really helped me, because I have started talking to everybody now. I mean one to one talking to everyone, not in a group.

Hiding behind my computer is a comfortable place for me.

I actually had to do a book launch, presentation for 100 days of Solitude . It was a really little thing last summer. I was deranged, it was absolutely horrible, I nearly walked away. I sat at the back and was like please don’t make me do it, don’t make me do it.

I mean the people on the island don’t speak English and the book is written in English, so they know that I am the girl that wrote the book, they have been really positive, even though they haven’t read it. When I published it, I did change the names. But people would know who is who.

This is funny and it’s a joke now I am known as “one local author”. This name came about because a person that was a non-English speaker, walked into the local bookstore and said “I am looking for a book by one local author”. So I am officially a local now.

I made chick peas with the locals on Sunday. I have only just realised, that is seems to be a gathering of men. I had noticed that it was the men that bought the chick-peas to the oven. I mean, I think it is just an excuse to meet the mates and catch-up on the gossip. When I took my chick peas on Saturday I looked around at all of these men and well me, and I was like “oh maybe they don’t want me here”. But, “I was like oh whatever and lit up a cigarette.”

No, no regrets about being here, I mean I can always pack up and go back. I wouldn’t change anything actually. As long as I know that the option is there.

For the first couple of days it is a shock to the system to be off the island. I have more trouble when I travel from Sifnos to Athens, than here to London. I mean in London, I have my London persona and I switch back into like instantly. I know how to handle London.

But getting on the boat here, where it is all peaceful. And then arriving in Athens which is chaos. There is, absolutely no order to that city, I mean I have grown up there and should know how to handle it, but I just can’t handle it. That is a culture shock. That is like, there are too many people around and they are touching me, why are they touching me.

A couple of years ago when I was here and started this process, it was really interesting, I wanted all kinds of stuff, from all these shops in Athens and London and now when I go back I just don’t want anything. I look at all this stuff and go this is excessive, all these shops and this stuff.

Someone sent me an email with a quote in it something like “All sadness comes from thinking about the past, and all anxiety comes from thinking about the future, and if we are just in the moment we are fine”. That is a nice theory, but we can’t cut ourselves off from everything that has happened and everything that might happen. But if we have moments, where we kinda feel, that we are fine right now, then that is good enough. Just more moments. We just need more moments.

I am counting on the universe to provide. Air bnb is pocket money. I mean, the universe has done alright for me, considering I haven’t had a job for a couple of years, and I am not in jail. I constantly prompt it, I am still here. I mean, you know I have these moments where I am like; oh so when I am positive, shit really happens. And then I forget again, cause you know the fear sets in. I mean it’s a constant thing. You have to truly trust it, like you can’t just pretend. You have to truly trust it or you’re not gonna get shit. You know you have to live like you already have the stuff. Like “I don’t have a job but I am fine” and I just trust, then something actually does come up.

I mean, I know that a good dose of yoga will sort me out. I have to force myself, otherwise I will sit here and feel really sorry for myself. I sometimes have to force myself to do the beach walks. And I am bored of the stairs, there is no novelty left. You know when you get yourself into a situation, and you know that certain things will help you, but you don’t do them? That walk is exactly that, within about 15 minutes the walk clears my head, it just changes everything. I did it yesterday, and it was just before sunset, so I had just about an hour, which is as long as it takes, so that I will have light while I am walking. It was amazing, I was so glad that I did it. I got to the beach and there was nobody on the beach, and I had a swim and I was like; yep, I need to remember this, and this is why I do it cause it makes me feel so much better.

I find that with writing too, and that is why I have been in a weird state because I haven’t done enough writing. I need the method of writing. The 100 days was really worked for me. Because it was basically you are going to have to produce something that you have to post. So it is going to have to be fairly decent. So I would just sit there for as long as it took, and it goes to show that you can do it. It just needs to be a daily thing with writing. Because if I think; oh I will do it at some point, well it’s just never going to happen. It has to be part of the daily routine.

There were days there, where I would sit there and think, what am I going to write about. I have absolutely nothing to say. I haven’t spoken to anybody for 3 days, I haven’t left the house for 5 days. I mean I spoke to the cats, so then I write a post about the cats. It did end up being ideal writing conditions for me once I sat down and started, things would just come. I mean not always obviously. Sometimes I would go away and leave it for a few hours and comeback and start again, but it did come naturally, after a few days.

I mean do people really give a shit about this thing that I am doing? Who gives a shit, some girl on an island, so what! But for some reason, you know, you kind of stumble across something that makes sense to some other people. You know, when I am writing sometimes I feel that it is too much for me, but I have found that it has become easier, because once  I started getting responses from people, saying “that makes sense, I get that too”. Then I kind of go, oh well we are all the same. You don’t have to pretend to be sorted all the time, you don’t have to hide the strange thoughts that you have or whatever. I mean I talk to everybody now, there is a story in everybody, when you talk to them, there is always something that you can relate to.

No, oh god no, no, no, no,no, never do crowd funding ever, ever again. It was incredible, but it is so exhausting, it is so, so stressful. I mean even if you believe in what you’re doing, it does feel a bit icky, you know it’s like “give me your money”. I am really glad that I did it, but no never again. It was incredibly exhausting, I am happy to put in the effort but you have to be on the internet 24/7.

Everyone is on Facebook, I built up a little community there and then I put up a small post about what I was doing and people responded. I mean as long as you be you, the right people will respond and you’re going to feel alright about what you’re doing.

 

I want to send a big thank you to Daphne, an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author, for our Skype conversation.  I was reading the first few chapters of 100 days of Solitude and I felt like a connected with her on so many levels, I knew I had to contact her and see if she would be interested in chatting to me. So grateful that she said yes. I was thrilled to learn so much. Thank you Daphne.

“If you have ever stopped yourself doing something you love because ‘now just isn’t the right time’, read this book.” A personal journey that inadvertently became an accidental self-help guide to doing what you love and living as your true self, whoever that might turn out to be, 100 days of solitude is inspiring thousands of people to claim the time and space they need to find themselves and live their best lives. Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

 

 

Why back me financially, by having to pay to read the interviews? Because I am creating a platform for me to showcase my best work, build a community and get paid to keep on creating. The more patrons in our community means more interviews, and more stories. A portion of this money will be used to pay it forward, sharing the love with other women and girls and raising their voice.

Peta Hughes

I have always known Peta, to be a woman that waves the flag very passionately for feminism, and celebrating women and their accomplishments. I have known her, to be a loyal and devoted friend to the people around her. Peta is very aware of her emotions, and from conversations with her, she tries to live very closely to her core values. I knew that Peta had been in the navy but I didn’t know her role.

I saw a post on Facebook, celebrating the anniversary of the day, she was the first woman, in the Royal Australian Navy to fire a missile. I was so proud of her, and it solidified for me, her passion and commitment to feminism and celebrating women. Because, she had done something so significant, and bad ass in a male dominated profession. I couldn’t wait for our interview.

“I was on the HMAS Sydney, I was the second woman to do the job of fire control technician on frigates. Frigates at this point hadn’t long had women on board.”

“Really, all male crew into the early nineties? How?

“Because it was the whole warfare thing, women were not allowed to go to war, the job that I did was combat role, and I was on a frigate which is a war ship.”

“So why did you choose the job you did?”

“In 1993 when I joined there was three jobs available. They were recruiting for chefs, stewards. My mum and dad had been in the navy, and dad said, “you will be totally bored doing the chef and steward’s job. You could easily do this job of electronics technician.” I had absolutely no interest in technicians I just wanted to travel.”

“If it was all male, why start recruiting women to combat roles?”

“More opportunities where coming up and they had roles that needed to be filled. But you know the thought of sending a women off to war, I mean it’s tradition to protect the little woman and all that. War is the last bastion isn’t it.  Women can be nurses, teachers. Well I mean she can fire a missile too you know. I mean later on I went to east Timor and the Persian Gulf. I didn’t go during the war, I was in Kuwait after the war though.”

“The rank that I was, was a seaman that is bottom rung. I was 22 when I was posted on there, you know a ship is so rank orientated. You need to prove yourself. When I was at Cerberus in Melbourne – Port Phillip Bay, there was 10 female technicians, amongst 400 blokes. We really stood out, we couldn’t hide. When you look at this through a feminist microscope there is sexism and misogyny everywhere, patriarchy everywhere.”

“Ships are like a very, very small towns, people talk. As a naval woman early on in my career I learnt to keep my head down and just do my job. As a woman I was always a little bit afraid of being judged. I felt an enormous amount of pressure being in such a male dominated job.”

“There was aptitude testing to do this role, I passed those. I really liked that it was the crème de la crème of the techos. This was the job that happened to keep me at sea a lot as well, so I was able to do a lot of travel. Out of ten years I spent six on ships. Twelve months of that was in San Diego with my radar and missile course. There is the radar and there is a 3 inch and a 5 inch gun on the launcher and it tracks the target. I mean fire control, I was like oh yeah I want to do that. It was really, really fun, at the time we were so young and so arrogant.”

“So in relation to the missile, the girl ahead of me never go to fire it, all the boys had a turn, I was just lucky really when it came to my turn. I was working for the weapons electrical engineering officer, as a technician, we were operators and maintainers, I was a maintainer technician. But we operated the radar as well, and that is how I came to fire the missile. The gunnery officer directed us what to shoot at, where and when.”

“We had trained and trained and trained, I had my chief, my petty officer, the leading seaman we all worked together. Lots of testing of signals and safety stuff goes on. We would do a preparation called ballistics, so it would take in the weather, wind speed, the temperature anything that would alter where the missile was going to go. So what I fired was an anti-air missile,  it would be a drone remote control air-craft, towing a target, on a very long 2km line. The target was a computer as well. We didn’t want to blow up the target, the missile was designed to blow up near the target. But well I actually blew up the target.”

“I was always really good under pressure, we had been trained to be a machine, we did so much training, so many drills, it was constant, there was sleep deprivation, and there was more pressure. We were machines, our emotions were ignored.”

“My gunnery officer said to me “this is for navy news”. I said without hesitation, nope. I didn’t want to bring attention to myself, I didn’t want to be different to the guys.”

“Really this was such an important step for women in the navy”.

“Yep I know”

“It wasn’t celebrated!”

“Nope, maybe I was thinking it would divisive, I mean in order to survive you just have to get on board with things that are going on around you.”

“I was always good friends with the guys, I never got on board with all the sexist jokes or anything, but I was just quiet, got on with my job and was friends with most people. But above all I had the girls back. When I was on the Melbourne I was an able seaman, and the leading hand in the mess for two years, because I did a great job. And I always was like what happens in the mess stays in the mess. I was always like don’t be talkin’ shit about the sisters here, cause it will not be tolerated. We need to stick to together to be a force.”

“In communal living it is all about honesty and respect for others. If someone needs to be left alone, leave them alone. Wash your clothes, wear your deodorant. Cause someone will tell you, you stink.”

“The absolute best thing about the navy for me was the friends I made, I am still friends with a lot of them. The water was also a saving grace for me. All that water, looking out at the ocean on a starry night with the moon reflecting off the ocean, seeing the dolphins and the whales.”

“By the time I was finishing I couldn’t wait to get away, I was done. I had done my 10 years and I just thought I can’t wait to get away from the patriarchy. The navy has a really poor environmental record which really pissed me off. I had enough of going to sea, I mean they own you. They run everything, tell you when to eat, you just have to do what they say. Once you sign on the dotted line they own you.”

 

Why back me financially, by having to pay to read the interviews? Because I am creating a platform for me to showcase my best work, build a community and get paid to keep on creating. The more patrons in our community means more interviews, and more stories. A portion of this money will be used to pay it forward, sharing the love with other women and girls and raising their voice.

Amanda Metelli

The third lady in my #mesistertribe series is Amanda Metelli.

 

Metelli and I meet at a coffee shop for our interview and were seated in booth seating, it was the perfect setting for our fun chat. This gorgeous lady, saves lives everyday as an emergency department nurse. I was fascinated by her plans to celebrate her own life and wanted to hear more about it. Because I don’t know many women, who plan for a whole year to celebrate themselves, to celebrate their achievements and their successes with the absolute most important people in their lives. As Metelli said to me “these aren’t people that are on a list, just to make a list, these are the most, the most important people in my world.”

Our tea and coffee was delivered to our table and she started telling me about her plans. I love her excitement and how animated she is in telling me all of her plans.

“I literally started planning this party on my 29th birthday. I was on a beach in Nice and I may have had a little bit of a moment, where I had a meltdown, with my Dad – of course.  Where I looked back, and thought I will be turning 30 and what have I achieved.  How can I celebrate all the things that are important?

Metelli went on to tell me that her Dad, started listing everything that his daughter had achieved.

“You have a career, you have your own mortgage, you have travelled and you have great friends.”

Although our conversation was about how she was going to celebrate her 30th birthday these achievements, and the importance of family, friends and self-discovery was the foundation.

“If I could recommended anything for anyone wanting to find themselves. Is to literally pack themselves a suitcase, get on a plane and go somewhere completely foreign. You will find out who you are and what you are willing and not willing to do.”

“Tell me all about this magnificent party that is nothing like a wedding.”

“This party going to be so far from a wedding it is not funny, it’s not a birthday bash or a dirty 30.”

“The invitation has set the tone for the party, no jeans allowed and if you wear joggers, I will kick you out”.

The room is booked, the event planner has meticulously listened to Metelli’s vision and her dream for her 30th birthday celebration, the florist has the flowers picked and the photographer is organised. One of Metelli’s talents is cake making, and I mean amazingly creative, stunning cakes. So she will be creating her own purple, black and gold masterpiece.

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Look at her cake making skills

 

 

“The event planner and the florist have been so great and so excited, I think they are excited not to be doing a wedding or a Christmas party.”

“The morning of the party, I am going to book us all in for pedicures. Because even my Grandma can come to that, the accommodation is booked, I just need to order my dress.”

“I set myself a challenge to lose my 50th kilo by my 30th birthday. I have 10 kilos to go. I’ll order the dress in the next couple of weeks.

After listening to the intricate details of the lavish party, the thought, the challenges and the goals set for this fabulous celebration. I wanted to know how she picked the guests.

“This party is not about things, it is about people, it’s about the people that mean the most to me right now at this point in my life. Who are the 30 most important people that I want to spend an extravagant night with. You know that concept of picking 30 people to have dinner with alive or dead, these are my people.”

“The way you are describing it to me, and the detail you have gone into, this party sounds more like a celebration of the people in your life than yourself.”

“It absolutely is, because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be me.”

“My mum and dad and my grandma and my grandpa, need to take one hundred percent accountability for the person that I am.”

“I kind of had an epiphany, I needed to define a friend and a colleague. This process was almost like a journey of self-discovery, and me defining who are the most, important people to me. The people that make an effort. I am so lucky and blessed with the people in my life, they have always been there for me, I am so grateful for all of them.”