My name is Celeste, I am 47 years young. A middle child, with a younger sister & older brother. Mum and Dad raised us on a farm in the south of Johannesburg, South Africa. With my Dad busy on the farm, and my Mum working full-time in an office job five days a week, my daily routine started with Mum shrugging my shoulder to get me up so I could go help my Dad with the farming chores, and then quickly eat a bowl of oats and get ready for the school bus.
With a speech impediment, school life was a challenge for me, as children could be very cruel. The name calling and bullying definitely made me withdraw socially. However I thrived in the sports curriculum, track being my favourite and even managed to break some records and get rewarded full Transvaal colours. This seemed to be my happy place, escape from people. I was a late developer and I never thought I fitted in with the other girls, so while they were prancing around in their ballet shoes and tutu’s, I was getting down and dirty on the soccer field with my brother and his friends, I was mostly designated to goalie, or wicket keeper, and I was a damn good one too. There was nowhere else I’d rather be than running around for hours in the fresh air taking my frustrations out on a ball. It felt like I belonged. I can honestly say I loved being a tomboy when growing up, I loved the outdoors, was always on my BMX, making kites, climbing trees, shooting tin cans with my brother, and was very comfortable wearing his hand me downs oversized t-Shirts and shorts. Weekend activities included moving the lawns, raking leaves, sweeping the garage, feeding animals and assisting in house hold chores.
After I left high school, still semi introverted and not really with much confidence, I applied to go to the South African Defense Force. After a long wait I finally got the letter and was “rejected.” My Life had crumbled, and rejection hit me hard. I felt like it was the end of my career, before it had even started. I had not planned for this rejection, nor had I any other career options. Then time came around and my holiday job became a permanent one, and I went from promotion to promotion. I started to find my interests and career path in Supply chain.
I was a mum by 24 to a gorgeous boy. Opportunity rose and I left South Africa 21years ago to come stay in this beautiful country and whilst it was scary at the time to leave my home and family, I have never looked back. I married 11 years ago to a man that has two boys of his own which I saw as a blessing as I always wanted more children. My Son is Now 23y and is in the NZDF, Living my dream. Our eldest son has recently blessed us with a beautiful granddaughter, who has brought us so much joy, and our middle son resides in Germany.
In my later years of life, I can honestly say I truly feel more well-rounded, better prepared to take on the curveballs life now has to throw at me. I have pushed myself into areas that I know are out of my comfort zone, I have desired to challenge myself physically and mentally to push through what I wasn’t comfortable with. I entered the world of competitive body-building, CrossFit, volunteer fire service, and even public speaking. In my career I have joined workplace Health and Safety groups, lead safety programs with our stakeholders and supported the wellbeing initiatives.
I feel mentally and physically stronger. I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m okay with that. I may not excel in everything that I do, but I’m damn sure going to give it my best shot no matter what it is. My fearless goals are that when it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life…
Blog written by: Celeste
The #IAMFEARLESS campaign was run by Studio81 as a way to encourage women from all walks of life to kickstart, inspire, and/or motivate any upcoming goals they had, to share a part of their life's journey, and to impart any wisdoms learned along the way.