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Why I Co-Founded The Authentic Rebel by Heidi Millar



Originally from Australia, my affinity for Vegemite is a given, but that's pretty much where my adherence to the Aussie stereotype begins and ends.


I grew up in a place affectionately known as "Brisvegas." Though it's a city, it always felt like a big country town to me, especially back in the eighties. Living there was like being in a bubble, far removed from the bustling, wider world outside.



I knew I wanted to leave as soon as possible. My parents, both immigrants, had their own tales of extensive travel. My dad's adventures were like something from a storybook, a vivid contrast to our suburban neighborhood. I have many wonderful childhood stories about my father. My relationship with my mother, however, was a lot more complicated.




The 1980s were a time of change, especially with women pushing their way from domestic confines into the workforce. Our household? Strict as they come. My mom was all about the 'children should be seen, not heard' mantra.




Yet, amidst the strictness, there were sparks of magic. Every Christmas Eve, my dad would be up on the roof, doing his best Santa impression, crunching on carrots we'd left out for the reindeer. My father and I are very similar... so he must've known how my mind worked, always questioning, always needing a bit more proof than most kids.



I guess that's what happens when you're the youngest, always trying to piece together the puzzle, especially when things like Santa's midnight logistics just don't add up.


I have always been, and still am, the questioner, the challenger, the one who looks at the world a little differently. Losing my father right before my sixteenth birthday was a harsh lesson. It taught me how fleeting life can be and it instilled in me a determination to soak up as much of it as I could.



Losing my anchor, the person I was closest to, marked a turning point in my life. It wasn't just the pain of losing a parent; it was the realization that the path I was on wasn't mine to walk.



I left home shortly after my father passed and then at 17, I left Australia. I traded familiar streets for unknown paths in far-off places. Each new place presented a learning curve, offering me a chance to discover who I was.


There was no grand plan, just a series of choices, each one taking me further from where I started but closer to understanding myself. I didn't see this journey as a rebellion, more like a necessity. It was about living life on my own terms, finding places and people that resonated with my wandering spirit.


Now, I see my journey as one marked by curiosity, resilience and a fair bit of stubbornness. The loss of my dad and the challenges of a rocky family life, followed by even more tumultuous times, could have held me back. Instead, they set me free in their own way. These experiences pushed me to explore, to question and to carve out my own unique path in the world.



Each new country and culture I encountered broadened my perspective and fueled my resolve to live life on my terms, embracing the spirit of a rebel seeking authenticity and meaning.


My rebellion was never about defiance for its own sake. It was a response to the profound realization of life's fragility, a determination to seize the day and live fully in the moment. It was about understanding that true wisdom often comes from the hardest trials, like grappling with the loss of a parent when you're just stepping into adulthood, or finding a sense of belonging in entirely new worlds.



Even as I write this there is a voice saying... that although i have taken a lot of pride in trying ro be my authentic self... I also fear always being my true self. The truth about being gay, is one that I've embraced, yet there are moments when I find myself momentarily retreating back into a shell, silenced by the fear of how this revelation impacts others around me.



My journey has been shaped not only by adventure but also by moments of abuse, times when I've found myself protecting others at the cost of my own voice. It's a reminder that we shouldn't have to censor our authentic selves to make others comfortable. I yearn for a space where judgment is absent and freedom reigns—a sanctuary where raw, progressive connections are forged.



I envision a place where positive change ignites like a chain reaction, a community where individuals who share similar paths can find solace, understanding and perhaps even healing together. It's about creating an environment conducive to learning and growing, where everyone's journey is not just acknowledged but celebrated. A haven where we can all evolve, supported by the collective strength and empathy of those around us.



Looking back, my journey isn't just a series of destinations; it's a reflection of my evolution. The experiences I've encountered, driven by an insatiable curiosity, have molded me into who I am today, always venturing down the less trodden paths.





My hope is that others can find in this narrative a sanctuary for sharing, a place where our collective paths intersect. Perhaps together, we can navigate the complexities of life, each step enriched by our shared experiences and mutual support.

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