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Happy People: Tacey Rytcher

Broadsheet Melbourne.

If Broadsheet is the modern Australian bible about where to eat, drink, hang then Tacey is the Patron Saint of great times.

As the Editor of Melbourne’s most popular, addictive and respected online guides, she sure knows what will make our eyes, ears and tummies happy.

Not only do we love her restaurant recommendations, but her dry humour, refreshing honesty and pragmatic optimism – which says the ideal level of ‘chirpy’ is somewhere between irritating, uplifting and fascinating.

HS: HEY TACEY! SO IF YOU GET TO UNCOVER AWESOME PLACES FOR A LIVING, WHERE IS YOUR ULTIMATE HAPPY PLACE?

TR: I’d really like to not be cliché, but beaches are the happiest places ever. It’s even better when you’re supposed to be somewhere else (like work), but you’re lying on the beach instead. Not that I do that. Maybe it’s happened once…

IF YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY THERE WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP EVOKE IT?

My desktop background on my Mac is a beach (a photo I took at Icebergs in Sydney), so a workday in front of the screen is just as good. And the yelling from outside my window on Smith Street is like the soothing caw of seagulls.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE TAKEN IN THE NAME OF HAPPINESS?

I guess you could say pursuing a career in journalism and publishing, when it seemed there was little opportunity. But it didn’t really feel like I risk, it felt like the only choice – it never occurred to me that I would do anything else. I just try to go with my gut instinct and work it out as I go.

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DID IT PAY OFF?

I feel lucky so far. Most of my big-ish life decisions have felt right. And if not, you find a way to negotiate it.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE WORLD WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN EVERYONE IS DOING WHAT THEY LOVE?

Probably not very functional. We live in a world where not everyone gets to do their dream job, because it’s just not possible. There are a small, lucky group of people who get to make a living from what they love, and hopefully contribute something useful to society too. I think that’s quite a rare thing, and if you’re in that position you can feel fortunate.

WHO IS THE HAPPIEST PERSON YOU KNOW?

Probably my school friend, Laura. She’s incredibly bouncy and chirpy, it’s mildly irritating and uplifting and fascinating all at the same time. She’s great.

WHAT’S THE GREATEST THING THEY HAVE TAUGHT YOU?

She’s very patiently but consistently tried to teach me how to be more responsive to text messages. It’s a long process.

TALK US THROUGH A HAPPY DAY FOR YOU…WHAT’S INVOLVED OR PERHAPS NOT INVOLVED? 

On a day off, it probably involves good weather and eating something delicious with my boyfriend. I’m actually very happy to be at work most days – it’s a pretty great gig, I learn a lot and I get to work with some very funny and clever people.

DO YOU HAVE A LIFE MOTTO?

‘Such is Life’, I got it tattooed on my stomach. Just kidding.

WHAT’S A SIMPLE PICK UP THAT WORKS FOR YOU EVERY TIME?

I’ve recently become a big fan of the walk. It feels like something people usually do as a hobby in retirement, but going for a long walk somewhere new is nice, maybe just listening to a podcast. I look at screens a lot, so it’s nice to not do that for a while.

WHEN YOU WERE A KID, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY DOING MOST?

I liked lots of different things – footy, guitar, drama – but the consistent thread was always writing. My dad was a pharmacist, and when I was bored at the pharmacy I’d take over his computer and write fairy stories on his computer. This was about 1996, so back when screens were just two colours.

ARE THERE ANY ELEMENTS OF THAT IN YOUR WORK TODAY?

Totally. Since I became an editor nearly three years ago, I dropped my creative writing a little – just because it’s hard to find time. But I’m starting to pick it up again. Your body and mind really misses making something, after a while.

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WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’D LOVE TO TELL YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF?

Don’t get that egg-head bowl cut. It won’t look good.

AND YOUR 80-YEAR-OLD SELF?

What is being 80 years old like in 2060? Is it like being middle aged, because we live to 200 now? Go and travel to South America or something, you’re still kind of young!

WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHEERLEADER?

I have some excellent cheerleaders. Mum is a relentless cheerleader and likes to tell lots of people what I do, even when it’s entirely inappropriate. Dad doles out praise in more sensible interims, so you feel like you’ve earned it a little more. And Will (boyfriend), who thinks I can do anything and makes me believe him.

WHOSE GREATEST CHEERLEADER ARE YOU?

I try to be a good cheerleader to Will. He’s an amazing musician, which can be a really rewarding job but tough and emotionally taxing.

PLEASE FINISH THESE SENTENCES:

If I wasn’t afraid I would… do stand-up comedy or write a film.

I come alive when…90’s R&B comes on.

Everyday I…‘m hustling.

If I ruled the world… I’d ruin it. It’s good the way it is.