‘It was very late in life when I finally worked out what I wanted to do. I started at the age of 47. I think sometimes things are meant to happen at ages that you don’t expect things to happen.

‘I don’t wish it had happened earlier. I think my life has panned out just nicely. There were other things I wanted to do. I was convinced I wanted to be a beauty therapist and an actress. I did both of those things and then realised they’re not for me.  My passion just naturally changed and I think there is a strong message in that for everyone looking at what they want to do with their life. It’s not too late to change your passion. It was very hard to let go of the acting because I studied for 3 years, did my degree and then wondered how I could possibly stop but I finally gave myself permission to finally let go. This is my new passion and I love what I do.

‘From about 14 I was drawn to vintage clothing. I went through a number of years working in retail, studying acting and always in creative fields. One day I was unhappy with where my life was going. I walked in to an antique shop. I was looking at a shop counter and the guy asked where my shop was. I said that I didn’t have a shop but just loved the counter. He asked me if I did have a shop what would I have and it just came out. I said to him that it would be a vintage clothing shop. I had an epiphany at the moment, walked out and rang my husband and my mum straight away and said to them I know this sounds crazy as I have no stock but I just want to have my own vintage clothing shop. I didn’t buy the counter. Someone else bought the counter and I kick myself to this day that I didn’t but it was the catalyst. It really was like a bolt of lightning. I literally walked on air out of that antique centre because I knew what it was that I finally wanted to do with my life.’

‘This year has been both good and bad. I had two close friends pass away so that was pretty shit. One died from suicide – hanging herself – and the other one passed away from a motorcycle accident so that was pretty sucky.

‘I’ve met some amazing friends through this year and the support I’ve got from all my friends when I thought I didn’t have many close friends was great. I thought I had friends that were more acquaintances and I didn’t expect them to be as supportive. Maybe I’m just paranoid but it was nice to feel like they actually truly cared and actively wanted to be a part of my life. It’s definitely made me feel better as a person as well.’

‘They always thought I was a freak – that I wasn’t normal. I just wasn’t the average Joe as they say. It pretty much lowered my self-esteem and I thought I can’t dress this way or be this way and I have to look the same.

‘I used to live in a country town but now that I’ve moved here I have the chance to be myself instead of hiding away. It’s like I’m free now.

‘You can’t let other people’s expectations get you down. Just follow your heart and what you really want in life. If you want to be yourself then why not do it? Nothing is standing in your way. It’s only yourself that’s stopping you.’

‘In Hong Kong I just didn’t have the time to enjoy things. It’s too rushed and you can’t really observe stuff in detail. We don’t have a second to relax and enjoy life so for me, I want to take back the time. Here, at least I can get back free time and the lifestyle. And the food and the air. The air is so important because Hong Kong is so polluted.’

‘I think I’m going to take the Australian lifestyle back to Hong Kong with me. I’ve been back to Hong Kong twice since living here and now I’m just not used to how people walk so quickly and how rude they can be. I’m so used to now getting off the bus and saying thank you and stuff. I think I’m just going to keep doing that in Hong Kong.’

‘We were together for five years. We moved here from New Zealand and then he left me. I’m very family orientated so for me just to not pack it all up and go back home for a boy, that was really challenging.

‘I had to look within myself and think was it worth giving it all up for a guy because he leaves you or do you want to further yourself? When I looked deeper within myself, I found somebody who’s very outgoing and spontaneous. I learnt that I shouldn’t be defined by what somebody else makes me. I saw myself as a bigger entity than in a relationship.’

‘I spent too much time being angry. I spent a good couple of years being really, really angry at someone that showed no remorse, never apologised, never even looked at me. But karma gets you at the end of the day. It is what it is. He’s living his life and I’m living mine. I try not to think about it.

‘My biggest challenge is removing the stigma that people in chairs just stay at home and do nothing. Also being socially accepted and being able to access all gig venues and general locations independently. Not have to plan whether I can go and see a band or meet up with friends at a café that I can’t get into.

‘Life’s too short. I don’t have time for negativity. Don’t worry about the small things. I just want to live. Stay true to yourself. Just love who you are and love life.’