With an upcoming birthday, Melissa announces she is turning 45 in a couple of weeks. “Now I feel settled and stable and secure and confident.” Melissa states that she has recently returned to the workforce after 14 years and discloses that before that time she led a very different lifestyle, one which took her off track for many years. “I didn’t have any care factor back then. Zero care factor. I was very lost and confused and couldn’t make sense of things and didn’t know who I was.”
Melissa continues, “I don’t consider myself a gambling person, but now that I reflect back on it, I was one of the worst gamblers going cause everyday I was gambling with my life. That’s the highest stakes possible. With life you get one shot, one shot only and it’s about your attitude and how you choose to approach it.”
“I’m so glad that, as bad as things got, anytime that something’s happened, there’s a positive and a negative. When I walk away and reflect back on it, I make sure that I take something positive from it, a lesson. I’m definitely not a quitter. As much as I get knocked down to the ground, I keep bouncing back up.”
Melissa adds, “Before I did everything for everyone else and put myself last. Now I come first. Anything I do now I do for me and no one else, apart from my parents who’ve always been there for me.”
Melissa shares that prior to coming to Brisbane Common Ground, she lived a transitory life for two years – moving from place to place. Melissa firmly states, “It was time to cut out the toxic parts of my life, including people. I had to cut out the cancer. It wasn’t till I made contact with Micah Projects and eventually got my accommodation here that things have gone gangbusters. I can’t believe how many goals I’m scoring. All those years I had nothing but drama and in a matter of 14 months of me living here, I’ve got safe and secure accommodation, money in the bank. I never have to rely on anybody. I’ve got myself two jobs and the best one being the housing keeping at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre”. Melissa beams when she shares that she thoroughly enjoys her job and looks forward to getting up in the mornings to go to work.
“I like to occupy my time obviously with something positive, something proactive. I try to stay away from the negative as much as possible, people included. It’s just me and my TV and hopefully I might be able to see about getting a companion dog in the future”. Melissa continues, “I might be on by own, but I know I’m in a far better place then what I was in the past cause I don’t have to look over my shoulder and I’m not in a questionable position. I don’t owe anybody anything. Moving here was the best thing for me”.
Melissa proudly adds, “I identify as Aboriginal, being a 5th generation descendant of the Gunggari People in Mitchell, South East Queensland and I have a strong connection to my ancestral lands. But I also spent time in West End when I was growing up so coming back here feels like I’ve come full circle”.
Melissa shares that she is also looking forward to picking up her singing again, now that she’s got work. “I love belting out a tune and I’m always singing or whistling at work, singing Patsy Cline or something”, she laughs. “I’d like to get my Yellow Card so I can perform songs for the elderly in Respite Centres cause I know the old songs. I’d like to give something back”.