What have your twenties taught you? Rosemary Slade

Rosemary is the author of Lashes & Lattes Link Here, she is truly a glamorous, fun loving and beautiful woman. She is the Editor of MODERN HAIR+BEAUTY, LUXURY WEDDINGS, a wife and beautiful friend. She always has advice and a beautiful thing to say. She is quite simply divine.....

How have you changed in your twenties?

My twenties have brought me many changes. I feel like I know myself better than I ever have before. I’m a more confident person. I know what makes me happy, what I want out of life and what I have to offer. I’m much more secure in my own skills, talents and values. I used to be really concerned with what people thought of me, how they viewed me and the thought of someone criticising me, or something I’d done would bring me crashing down. Even if it was something small, like a critique of something I’d written, I found it really difficult to take. Now, I realise that criticism is part of what helps you to grow as a person and as a professional. I’m also much more comfortable in my own skin. When I was younger I’d spend hours wishing I were different: taller, blonde… lots of crazy things. Now, I realise I am who I am, and that is what makes me special. I’ve learnt to embrace the things that make me different, and to accentuate my best features and make the most of my talents.

What lessons have you learnt?

I’ve learnt that hard work is worth it. Being in the industry I am, there are a lot of long days, overtime, deadlines and sometimes sleepless nights. But when you step back and see what you’ve created – in my case, a beautiful magazine – and people email you, or call you, to say “the magazine is amazing!” or a girl who knew almost nothing about hair and makeup says “your magazine helped me so much!” or a bride who’s been stressing about finding the perfect wedding gown sends you an email to say “thank you, the fashion shoot you did in the last edition helped me to find my dream dress”… it’s all worth it. The reward is well worth the effort.

I’ve learnt that you need to find a balance between work and life. I have a tendency to over-work. In my early twenties I was a serious workaholic. I would do 16 or 20 or 22-hour days without thinking anything of it. It was just expected, and because I enjoyed what I did, it never bothered me. There were times when I would go home just to shower and change before heading straight back to work. But it took its toll. I became tired, disenchanted, and depressed. It was fine while I was working, but then I took a two-week holiday (my first in three years) and suddenly I didn’t want to go back. So now, I do the overtime and I put 100% into my job, but I know that I need to keep some energy, and some time, for myself. Otherwise, you end up having no life. And after all, we work to live, not the other way around. No matter how much you love your job, you need to love your life just as much.

I’ve learnt that I am who I am. And that’s a good thing. My twenties were all about figuring that out. Trying out different lifestyles, fashions, jobs, boyfriends, hobbies and even different circles of friends. I went through a lot of phases: being boho, being a bit gothic, deciding to be a photographer, deciding to move to the US, being a complete workaholic, being blonde, being a gym junkie. The truth is, I’m not any of these one things, and I think that’s the biggest lesson I learnt from my twenties. You aren’t just one thing. People try to pigeonhole you because it’s easier that way. But you can’t be pigeonholed. You’re YOU. A wonderful, crazy, multifaceted person with many different talents, hobbies, friends, styles and even personalities. I learnt to embrace them all and give them all attention and time, because to be a truly well rounded (and happy) person, you need to acknowledge everything that you are.

I’ve learnt that mental health is just as important as physical health. Exercise keeps you fit, and doing things that make you happy, or challenging yourself to do things that are out of your comfort zone or things that frighten you keeps your mind active and healthy too.


What do you know now you didn't when you were a teen?

I could write an essay just on this question! But there are a few things I wish I could have told my teenage self:

1. Being 20 isn’t scary and being 30 doesn’t mean your life is over. When you’re a teenager, twenty seems scary and thirty is unthinkable. But you’ll be a stronger, more capable, happier, more beautiful person in your twenties and thirties. Things just get better and better.

2. Your family is important. Yes, they will always be there for you, but you need to put time and effort into those relationships just as you do for your friends.

3. You are beautiful, just the way you are. Stop wishing you were someone else, and embrace what you have.

4. Don’t be scared to go after what you really want. As a teenager I always wanted to work in publishing, but I was too frightened that I wasn’t good enough, or that I’d fail and look like an idiot. The truth is, you WILL fail and you WILL look like an idiot if you’re chasing a dream, but if you really want it, you’ll get up, dust yourself off and keep going until you get what you want.

5. Stop worrying what other people think of you and worry more about what you think of yourself. Focus on what’s important to you, your values, your dreams and your passions. Once you find them, they will be what drives you to achieve.

What achievements are you proud of?

Firstly, I’m so proud to be the Editor of Modern Hair+Beauty magazine and of Luxury Weddings magazine. I worked hard to get where I am, nothing was ever handed to me on a silver platter, I put in the hard yards and when I saw an opportunity, I chased it down and crash tackled it!

I’m proud of my blog. It’s something I’d always wanted to do, but it took a while to find the guts to put myself out there. Finally, I decided if I didn’t try I would always wonder. So I started writing, and sharing, and suddenly people were reading it. I’m proud of the stories I’ve told, the honest reviews that I’ve given and the parts of myself that I’ve shared. And I’m especially proud when I read comments from people who say they enjoyed reading a post, or that something I’d written helped them.  


I’m proud that I completed my University degree in Communications, with majors in Journalism and Public Relations. I’m the first person in my family to complete a university degree.

I’m proud to say I came from a small town and moved to Sydney to follow what I wanted out of my career. It was scary, starting a new life away from my family and my support base, and at first I was lonely. But I focused on what I wanted and I worked hard.

I’m proud to have found the love of my life. My boy is the sweetest, most generous, loving person I know. It’s probably a strange thing to be proud of, but it makes me happy.

I’m proud that I’m fit and healthy. That sounds a little silly too, but it’s important to me. I eat well, I exercise and I enjoy physical challenges. Being fit means you’re always ready for what life throws at you and it puts you in a good frame of mind.

What have you overcome, been through?

My parents divorced when I was nine. My mother worked very hard to take care of three children, so I spent a lot of my younger and teenage years trying to be a grown up: taking care of my brother and sister, and helping with housework. I don’t think of this as a negative thing, I don’t think I had it particularly tough; my mother did a great job making sure we never wanted for anything. But the early years were hard, my Mum was sad a lot, and I felt like I had to shelter my younger brother and sister from that.

When I was 21 my mother told me that the father I’d grown up with was in fact, not my real father at all and that the sister and brother I had grown up with were actually my half sister and half brother. I found my biological father in the white pages and sent him a letter. Luckily for me, he was happy to hear from me and had been expecting me to make contact with him for years. I met him, and his three children (my two half brothers and half sister). I’ve spent a lot of time with them since then, but when my mother first told me it sent me into a bit of a tailspin, I felt like my sense of who I was, my identity, had been pulled apart and I felt a bit lost for a while. But I welcomed my new family into my heart and now it’s just another part of what makes me who I am.

Two years ago, the day after my birthday, I suddenly (and violently) became allergic to penicillin, after taking it for years with no issues at all. I was prescribed a course of antibiotics (which I’d taken many times before) and about 20 minutes after I took the first tablet, my throat started to close up and I couldn’t breathe. I went into anaphylactic shock. The ambulance took what felt like forever to arrive and I was just sitting out on the balcony, desperately trying to suck in air, but getting nothing. I was terrified. I was rushed to the hospital and the whole way I was asking God, the universe, anyone who would listen “please don’t let me die”. Luckily I had great doctors who knew straight away what the problem was, and although my heart was beating at 180 bpm and I was gasping for air, they calmly put me on a ventilator and got some steroids into my system. I passed out, but when I woke up I felt a lot better (but looked a lot worse – my whole body was red and my face was puffed up about double its size. I looked like a cartoon chipmunk.) I’m just so grateful that I survived. I know it’s probably not as dramatic as some people’s experiences or brushes with death, but it was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through and it made me all the more determined to live the life I wanted.

How do you feel you have grown and developed?

I’m a much more confident, secure person now than I ever have been. I know what I want, what’s important to me, and I’m happy in my own skin. I’m a positive person. I like to see the good in everyone, and I like to remind people that they’re special and talented and that they’re important to the universe. And to me. Every one of my friends is like a ray of sunshine and I’m grateful and feel so lucky to have all of them in my life. I like to think I’ve grown into the sort of person that people like to be around. I value friendship, positivity, a kind word, fun, silliness, beauty, honesty, generosity and a “go get ‘em” attitude.

Who inspires you?

 Ita Buttrose – simply because she is one of the strongest, sweetest, funniest, most talented women I have ever met. She overcame obstacles that many women our age would never even dream of. She paved the way for us to have a chance to chase our own dreams, especially for those of us in publishing. And she’s still inspiring people today. She’s an incredible person.

My mother – because she is kind-hearted, she worked her ass off to make sure her three children never went without, felt secure and she encouraged us to be anything we wanted to be. She always told us to go after what we wanted and gave us the opportunity to try new things, like dance classes, cello lessons, karate to name just a few. She’s stylish, hard working and sweet. And she still doesn’t look a day over 40.

My Nanna – she’s in her late 70s and she still dances. She’s as fit as a fiddle and wears the same sized clothes as me. She’s part of the “Ever Young Golden Girls” which is a dancing troupe that visits clubs and retirement homes around NSW to entertain people. She and the other ladies put themselves through a grueling training schedule. My Nanna was the one who taught me all about makeup. She still won’t go to the shops without a slick of lipstick on and her hair perfectly curled. She’s quick with a compliment, or a clip around the ears if she thinks you deserve it. She always says what she thinks, and she values family above all else.

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