Monday evening, city lights, dear friend, book launch – such a perfect combination. On Monday evenings I am usually in the depths of kid-chauffeuring to basketball training and Coles shifts, as well as dinner and dishes – nothing so inspirational as a book launch.
A friend and I met at the Athenaeum Theatre for Clare Bowditch’s book launch for her memoir, Your own kind of girl. We were given a copy of her book, Jamila Rizvi introduced Clare and Dr Susan Carland interviewed her. And then Clare sang – of course, she sang!
I am such a big fan of Clare as I’ve attended her Big Hearted Business conference, as well as a few of her Tea with Jam and Clare sessions. She’s creative, inspirational and she keeps it real.
Her memoir covers her early childhood to her late 20s. She was raised in a happy Catholic family who suffered a great loss when Clare’s older sister Rowena died at age seven, after spending two years in hospital. Clare found food gave her comfort through this harrowing time, and her weight alternated from one extreme to the other throughout her childhood, teen years and early adult life. Her anxiety and nervous breakdown while travelling were a rock-bottom period, but ultimately the catalyst for overcoming adversity and finding a gentler way to look after herself. She learnt to tell her inner critic (named Frank!) to back off and that the stories we tell ourselves are often not the truth. Her return to playing guitar, writing songs and singing led to forming a band and meeting Marty, her husband. Clare speaks her truth in a compelling, compassionate voice – she’s a true storyteller in book and song.
Clare wrote a list of things she wanted to achieve in her ‘amazing life’ and Susan Carland checked them off on stage – make an album, write a book, get married and have kids, help people – big ticks. She still needs to learn a language and run fast!
It felt like an honour to witness Clare’s story, to see her hold a light to her shame and doubts about her body, anxiety, and songwriting and singing ability.
Being a creative, sensitive type myself, it always makes me feel less alone to read or hear of another creative, sensitive type’s outlook on life. Thank you, Clare.
Best Monday night ever!