Guest poster: Elizabeth, The Doctor
Alright Now: Time to Get SeriousHave you ever wondered what it's like to move away from everything you've ever known into the deep unknown of someplace where everything that lives there has one mission: kill all humans? Well, it's not what you would call "comforting" to know that everything in the country (except for maybe koalas and kangaroos) has some amount of poison strong enough to kill you, or at least make you very sick.
Well, let's simplify things a bit. Imagine you're fifteen years old, just, and you move away from everything you've ever known and you're moving to a country you never REALLY take time to think about. It's a bit like that song Silhouette by Owl City.
If you've never heard it, it's basically explaining an unknown grief and becoming a shadow because of it and asking if the pain is over yet. The lyrics are deeper than that, but that's the basic idea. For the first month or two I was in Australia, I felt like a silhouette but then, I used music to turn my life around and that is not being fake, either.
Back in America, my best friend played guitar and she was so passionate about it and it was her dream to be a singer/songwriter/guitarist. I admired her passion for it and I decided to surprise her when I got home and learn how to play the guitar. So, I did. I got a guitar at a yard sale (terrible idea) and started guitar lessons.
I'm going to be honest, I sucked. It was awful, but it was only because the guitar wasn't as good as it could have been. So, I got a new one and I got more confidant with it. The more I learned, the happier I was. Then, my guitar teacher offered me private lessons because he was leaving the company he was with and the possibilities became endless.
Then, quite by accident, my best friend learned that I was learning to play guitar. I'd Skyped with her multiple times over the course of my learning, but I managed to keep it a secret until I gave in one day. I sat out of the range of the camera, propped River (my guitar) on my knee and strummed. Her reaction was priceless.
At the same time, I was taking an advanced acting class and it was changing me, too. Slowly but surely, I was changing. I remember who I was only twelve months ago and I see how dramatically I've changed, and not just my age. I've become a better person.
The acting class showed me the real complexity of theater. I'd always seen it as two dimensional, but it showed me that there were so many different ways to attack a scene and so many ways interpret it. I met interesting people over the course of the class as well, and they each changed me in their own special way.
Two of them showed me that being the new kid isn't always that bad. Two others taught me to have fun while I was here. One special boy taught me that love at first sight isn't always what it seems, that falling in love with him was the right thing to do, even if the feelings weren't reciprocated, and to appreciate my family and everyone around me, and never take them for granted because I never know when they'll be taken from me.
Another boy taught me that I have to be conscious of my actions so I don't make people think things of me that aren't true. Pink Glasses and Scarf Stealer taught me that school kids don't all have the same agendas and don't all think the same way. There were more people in that class and each one of them taught me something different and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Along the way, I've discovered new bands and singers that have changed my outlook on life and they made me see all that life has to offer. They made me see that most of the time, taking risks can result in good things and to not be scared when approached with something new.
Then, I found a singer who inspired me more than anyone else had to write a song! I didn't write the song about this inspiring singer, though. I wrote it about a boy I met while I was here and the complex relationship I had with him (and another boy at a previous time who had left his mark.) I just finished writing my song the other day. Well, I finished writing the words, but I still need to edit those and finish writing the music. So, it's not done, it's just one step closer to being completed.
Recently, I showed the song to my guitar teacher and he said that before I left the country to go home for good, he wanted to record it - and he sounded dead serious. This was my big break and everything I wanted was going to happen. For the rest of the day and even now, I was glowing with the information and he told me that he would help me any way he could to help me perfect this song.
I've never really found myself appreciating anything. I mean, I appreciated my family and my best friends, but nothing else. I've never truly taken that step. I brought my concerns to my mother and she suggested, among other things, that if I really wanted to change my view on life and to appreciate life, I should start a gratitude journal and not only would I notice things more, I'd appreciate all the little things I didn't notice before.
Twelve months ago, I hated everything. I didn't hate a few select people in my life, or my bed, but I hated everything. I hated my hair, body, voice, house, room, book choices, music, city, state, country, other people. I hated almost everybody whether I knew them or not. I hated everything whether it was mine or not. I hated my life, but in all honestly, I was barely living it.
Now, I'm the complete opposite. I love everybody I know, meet, see, everything I own, all my music, and, well you get the idea. I care for myself now. I take careful note of what I put in my body and how I dress and how I act and everything. Maybe I'm not 100% confidant about my voice (singing) but I don't know (personally) too many people who are.
Every Thursday, I take my younger brother to his class and the guy who has had a strong effect on me is always there as well; let's call him George. George has a class as soon as my brother's lets out. I can't get the courage to talk to him. We both just sit there in the lobby for two hours, exchanging glances and everything, but I forget how to speak whenever I see him. I know about George more than I should because he often talks to his classmates who show up very early as well. After several months of sitting opposite each other for two hours each week, I've developed a bit of a crush on him.
After ages of trying to get the courage to talk to him, I thought about it and I realized that I had to talk to him and the only way to do that was the Four Cs: Cool, Calm, Collected, and Confidant.
Even though I ended up not going to talk to him because of the miraculous cold I got, I still felt armed with the Four C's and that fire hasn't gone out yet. I'm working on that social anxiety.
This boy helped me realize that to get anything done, I have to be happy, appreciative, and I have to have the Four C's. Unfortunately, I won't get the chance to speak to him for eight or nine weeks, but that gives me eight or nine weeks to be thankful for him, despite our lack of conversation.
In short, I thought that coming to Australia would change my life, but not in a good way. I couldn't have been more wrong. I will leave Australia new, happy, cool, calm, collected, confidant, and appreciating the the world around me with no regrets. All the risks and all the new things have all been worth it and I'll never regret a single moment.
Thank you, Australia, for turning me into the person I am today, and will be for the rest of my life.
GREETINGS to readers in Latvia!
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