WELL, HELLO THERE!
My name is Annie. It rhymes with Fanny. I usually tell this to people upon introducing myself because I once heard that rhyming and/or association helps people to remember names. Alas, that name was already taken as a web address name – bummer! So I went with Uncanny Annie. It seemed to fit better. Maybe I should take you back to the beginning to see if you agree?
I grew up in a small town in the Western District of Victoria, Australia. I was always the eccentric, animal loving kid; I raised $200 for my mouse’s tumour to be removed, walked around with a chicken in a make shift sling nursing her broken leg, and even had a “rehabilitation centre” for snails that had accidentally been stood on. My parents explained me as “intense”. I went vegetarian at 8 and proved all those wrong who said it was a phase, as I am now 29, vegan, living with many adopted animals and trying to live life as ethically as I can.
I was bullied throughout my teenage years which eventuated in me having an accident which has left me with a permanent visual disability. Was happy to see the end of school and graduated, getting into law/science at university. After trying to adjust to being a newly, visually impaired person, I wasn’t coping and slipped into a deep depression, dropping out of university despite being quite some way into my degree. I struggled with my inner demons for a while and then re-enrolled at university again.
This time I had moved into a house in central Melbourne with my close friends that I had grown up with in my little country town. We were naive, over-friendly, eclectic and partied oh-so-very-hard… but still had a lot to learn! It seemed there was never a night that we didn’t have a couch surfer in our house. I had the time of my life and I suppose you would say I “went off the rails.” Some questionable decision making, lack of money and insomnia did not help my already fragile state and I ended up finding myself looking out the window one night at the train station next to our house fantasising about the possibilities. I did not return to uni. I was lost.
That was until I met my partner, Liam, in what was then rated the worst nightclub in Australia according to credible sources (revolting mens magazines.) We became an example for “opposites attract.” I mean, he isn’t a Trump supporter or anything. Rather the positive introvert to my extroverted, overthinking personality.
All of a sudden I found myself in an intensely inseparable, spew-in-your-mouth, ooey-gooey, loving relationship. Despite being the independent person I am, I do credit Liam with helping me through.
Then (to our bloody shock) we found out I was pregnant with a whoopsie-daisy pregnancy only months into our relationship. I didn’t know what to think or feel. I was scared about what plan Liam had with his life and scared I was going to screw it up.
But before I had time to even think about the prospect of having a child, my brother (whom I was extremely close to/my best friend) was killed in a car accident. It’s here where I struggle to articulate the pain I endured (and still do.) Life shattered.
I forgot I was pregnant and didn’t show signs of morning sickness. I think it was because I was far more tired and sick from crying and wailing about my brother. Liam was next to me the whole way comforting me and making me sip soup. It was a blur but before I knew it I was 12 weeks and having to tell people that we were expecting a baby. Surely you think that there would be no bigger trigger for my depression than the death of my brother? But unusually, if not for my pregnancy I would hate to know where I would be. My unborn baby gave me reason to look after myself. I got out of bed. I showered. I ate. All very big steps. And eventually became excited about becoming a mother.
In March 2011 we welcomed our son, Malachy. I had my challenges, like every parent does, but I also had a lot of perspective after my brother’s passing. Every sleepless night and every snotty nose I wiped didn’t get me down because I felt alive. Malachy was truly the easiest and best baby (such a mum comment.) And I thought, how could life be any better? Hold on. Lets make another one like him! So we tried for another baby.
And I was pregnant soon after… with twins. Because, heck, we wouldn’t want to make it easy on ourselves would we?One week before Malachy turned 2, I gave birth 13 weeks prematurely to our twin girls, Delphine (Delphi) and Cheska. It was a long haul with the twins in hospital for months and months but we now have 2 healthy, happy girls.
Like Liam and I, they are the chalk to each other’s cheese; Delphi being sweet, introverted and sensitive while Cheska is carefree, confident, independent… and the family ratbag. Malachy is extremely energetic and an intensely deep thinker. You could say it makes for an unpredictable and almost sitcom worthy life.
In 2015, I began my blog as an outlet after being the primary carer for our children for so long and to find what I want to do with my career again. What’s more, I wanted to have challenging, intelligent and thought provoking conversations with people. I wanted to learn more from others and I have tried hard to create a place where others voices are also heard. I’m very humbled by the response.
I’m biased, but I really do think the community that has popped up around my Uncanny Annie is one of the best communities I’ve ever seen. The people are quirky and many are on the fringes. They are accepting of difference and intolerant of hate. They converse and observe to learn and broaden their perspectives. They take important issues seriously, but don’t take themselves too seriously. They make me laugh and they enjoy laughing.
And they have been there for my family online when Liam and I got married, when I’ve gone viral (repeatedly), when my children have hit milestones, when my husband won the AFL Grand Final, when I’ve taken risks, and most recently, when my husband acquired the brain injury “post concussion syndrome.”