Sure, I've had some hellish moments. All in all, however, I am one incredibly lucky person.
I've lived in seven cities in five countries all around the world.
Sure, one ended up being a war zone, and I can remember trying to fall asleep to the sound of machine gun fire moving through the city, and I have a fear of helicopters (it's the sound. It puts my teeth on edge and makes my shoulders rise) now. Thinking on it also, growing up in small town Australia was far from heaven - people threw rocks at me. I was also assaulted. I developed teenage depression that went well and truly beyond the relatively normal I'm-a-walking-cocktail-of-out-of-control-hormones kind of angst.
All the same, I've had ridiculous amounts of exposure to different cultures, which has made me a better person. I'm more open-minded, more tolerant, more understanding, and far less ignorant than many people my age... and older, come to think of it.
Probably not surprisingly, I felt miserable and restless in Australia, not sure where I belonged or what I was supposed to do with my life. Then, six months after graduating High School and moving as far away from that town as possible, came the option of moving to Canada.
I'll admit, I was exceptionally cautious about this decision, but in the end, I decided on a one-way ticket. Now, if someone asked me to move to China, I'd do it in a heart-beat. Hello adventure! In any case, I was terrified of change when I was seventeen.
No offence to my Australian friends, but - best. move. ever. It took me a few years, and one very hellish, two-faced, backstabbing, hypocritical viper of a false friend (I'm not still bitter about it....) who had me about ready to slit my wrists (I wish I was exaggerating, but this girl put me in a very bad place - on purpose), but I found somewhere I didn't stick out like a sore thumb.
I entered and completed an very cool university degree; Bachelor of Arts, Honours, Directed Interdisciplinary Studies - Ancient Cultures, concentration in Celtic Studies. Say that all in one breath!.
In my last year of university, I started Kick-boxing with Wutan Canada. Then I signed up for training in Chinese Weapons as well. How cool is that? Ridiculously cool, that's how cool. Then I decided I might as well go for all three and signed up for Kung Fu as well. Now I have the opportunity to train three hours a night four nights a week for a very reasonable price, and I take full advantage of that.
I've met so many wonderful people through that school. I find myself continually blessed by some of the best, most supportive friends I think I'll ever know. How lucky am I?
A couple of years ago, inspired by Peter Jackson's portrayal of the Rohirrim (yes, I'm a geek, I thought this was established), I searched around for some Equestrian Archery lessons. Would you believe that there's a guy nearby here that teaches that? How cool is that? Now ever summer, I get out to ride and shoot arrows every chance I get.
After graduating university, I was lost for a while. I mean, really lost. I had no idea what to do. I didn't have enough money to pursue further education (though I did, and still do, really want to do a masters degree). I worked retail until I found another job.
This particular job was hell. I was basically at the beck and call of a 40 year-old toddler, who would tell me one thing, then change his mind, then get made at me if I did it one way or the other. He bounced eight of my pay-cheques. I was broke and my credit score was sliding. I felt bullied, miserable and angry. Then the miserable [insert expletive] fired me a few days before my one year mark so he wouldn't have to pay me severance. What a jerk.
Also, that was after I booked my holidays and paid for my plane ticket home. If I had known I would be out of a job, I might have stayed in Australia for a month instead of just two weeks. Perhaps I might have moved their permanently. Who knows?
I got back and lived on precisely half my wage for two months. That was miserable, since I was paid little better than when I worked retail by my former employer. I cried myself to sleep nightly.
Then, the following year I scored the most amazing job - a job which lets me, even encourages me, to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. As long as I do the work expected of me, I'm welcome to write. So write I do. I get paid the same as my former job with much less stress and a chance to make it in my chosen field. How many people can boast that? Hardly anyone.
I am so incredibly ridiculously blessed, and I am so incredibly, ridiculously grateful to be here right now. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all the bad stuff, so, though it sometimes brings me down, I'm grateful for that too.
The only thing that could make my life better right now is a publishing contract. Hopefully that will be coming along too. So, I'd just like to take the time to say:
You are ridiculous. Thanks so much for everything you've done, and will do!
Wow a long post.
In writing news, French Friday, abandoned months ago in a mad effort to make my manuscript ready for the Terry Pratchett Prize, has made a return. This means I will not be doing any writing today... most likely.
Have a lovely, ridiculous weekend. I'm looking forward to mine, which looks to be just as ridiculous as the rest of this week, and indeed my life, has been!