Day two of the epic journey of 7 towns in 7 days. I woke at 3.30 am unable to sleep. Part nerves, part excitement, part being in a strange bed in a Southbank, Melbourne apartment.
Yesterday felt like the first day of school camp as we all made our way to the rendezvous point in Melbourne. At the departure gate in Brisbane, I saw an Instagram post from ‘The funniest model you’ll meet’ Stacey McGregor. She described her excitement about being part of the Embrace Yourself tour after first seeing the Taryn’s documentary two years ago and blowing snot bubbles as the message resonated with her soul. I recognised a kindred spirit. I let her know I was at the same gate and she’d be able to spot me by looking for unicorn hair.
Eleven of us congregated in the Melbourne airport, a mix of dynamic women from various backgrounds and one brave man, Glen our film maker, who was soon to be supported by Stuart our bus driver. The first sighting of the Embrace Yourself bus was something to behold! Not at all subtle, and why would you be when you have such an important message to share, it is plastered in images of Taryn having her characteristic, unabashed fun.
Loaded up, we raced Taryn to Channel Seven for a quick interview while the rest of us ate lunch. Then we drove to Penguin Books for a planned publicity stunt. I was on the phone with Lou, from publishing, who had all the women from their office lining the street, holding space for the bus (which is yet to be named – but it must happen!). The cheers that broke out as we pulled up were like those for a rock star. Taryn’s infectious joy was so obvious – it reaches everyone. Traffic backed up Collin Street as we did a mad rush to unload boxes of Taryn’s book from the bus trailer. Glen then filmed the line of fabulous women all holding Embrace Yourself, amongst the hectic city street. The energy was phenomenal. What a way to kick this thing off!
Last night we gathered in Taryn’s hotel room for the whip around get to know each other. Sorry for the hackneyed word – but it was surreal to be sitting there, surrounded by so many amazing women, not least of all Taryn. Just two years ago, I wrote a blog after seeing just the trailer to Embrace, knowing the message was going to be trans-formative for me. Now I was working with her and her team, to bring this body loving message to hundreds more women. I tried to act cool and comfortable, but my inner fan girl was having conniptions!
Listening to the varied stories of the women in the room, I was comforted to know we were well supported. Kate from Love, Food and Gratitude shared her story of a near death experience that brought her to a new and beautiful appreciation for life and subsequently brought most of us to tears. Comedian Ellen Briggs brought us back up with her quick wit. The ‘birds’ from Birdsnest, brought the experience and professionalism that assured us all this epic undertaking could be achieved. Stacey’s unbridled excitement made me feel less self-conscious about my overwhelming sense of ‘how the hell did I get an invite to this!’ Taryn and the Body Image Movement team had assembled a kick-arse crew of women and I take great pride in being welcomed as one of them.
So today we are on the bus to Albury, alternating between napping and chatting. Tonight is the first event and the one making me the most nervous. Once we have this completed, I’ll be feeling more comfortable with the process. The conversations going on around me and so empowered and dynamic, it’s making my head swim. I’m soaking it all up, determined to glean every possible drop of inspiration from this. Bring it on.
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Thank you for this – so inspiring xxx