Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nothing Like Australia.

Did you guys know this is post 86?

So. I had a lot of stuff I wanted to say... but none of it came out right. It was all about my friend and how truly amazing he was. But somehow I feel like it's my job to hold his memories close, and not the blogging world's.

So here we have it.

Most Bloggers I've encountered come from America. And America is VERY different to Australia (one way to really insult an Australian is by calling them either British or American, because we're not either). I can't explain in words how incredibly proud it makes me to be part of this country, and here are some of the reasons.

1. Kangaroos.

Oh come on, you all saw that coming. Kangaroos. They aren't found ANYWHERE else in the world, not even in the zoo. These amazing creatures can jump over six feet and can hop at speeds of about seventy kilometers an hour. They can grow to be seven feet tall. There's the grey kangaroo (the kind that hops through my backyard) or the red kangaroo, that only lives out in the bush.

2. Our money.

We have animals and races on our coins, not the queen... not our prime minister (thank goodness, she's shocking), not famous philosophers. We lay our claim to fame on the Aboriginal man on the two dollar coin, the kangaroo on our one dollar coin, the platypus on our twenty cent coin, the Mallee fowl on the ten cent coin, and an echidna on our five cent coin. NO, AN ECHIDNA IS NOT THE SAME AS A PORCUPINE. Our fifty cent coin varies every year.

3. Our beautiful cities...

...That are so completely and clearly divided from the rest of the country. I mean, where I live, you have to drive at least four hours to get to anywhere worth going to.

4. Our diverse culture...

...Which has survived despite every early European attempt to wipe it out. When the British first came here, they attempted to "breed the black" out of the Aboriginal people by taking their children and forcing them to live with European families. It didn't work, needless to say, but the Aboriginals didn't get their apology until a few years ago. We don't walk out on our own people.

5. Our slang...

It's commonly known as "Strine" in the Northern Hemisphere. I mean seriously, people love us just because we're hicks. That's pretty cool. I found this picture pretty accurate, actually. I say "she'll be right" a lot, call every tourist "mate" and say "fair dinkum" a lot. Less common in the city, though. Mostly found in tiny hick outback towns where everyone knows everyone or at least knows OF everyone. By the way, a kangaroo loose in the top paddock? It's like saying something is missing up there. Haha.

6. The wildlife.

Which includes the Tasmanian Devil (mean little things), the kookaburra, the echidna, the platypus, the kangaroo, the dingo, wallabies, blue-tongued lizards and WOMBATS. Wombats are my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITES. I don't know if I'm the only one who thinks this... BUT THEY'RE SO INCREDIBLY CUTE AND ADORABLE. Until they dig up your sprinklers. That sucks.

7. Melbourne Cup Day.

A day off to watch horses race and place bets. I win almost every year :D Look at those beautiful animals.

But there are other things to be proud of too. We are a country risen from Britain's ashes. We are the descendants of the people they exiled. We built our own world on our own foundations with nothing except wood and mud. We fought for our land when the Japanese invaded our ports AND WE WON. We went to Gallipoli with the British and the people of New Zealand even though it wasn't our war and we fought as hard as we could until the last siren was called.

We are the people that took the Aboriginal people's land away from them - AND THEN GAVE IT BACK. We are the ones that built our cities with the prospect of freedom on the horizon. We are the ones that cultivated the land, worked in the mines and helped America in Afghanistan. We are the ones that lost hundreds in flash flooding in Queensland and still sent relief teams to Japan in their crisis.

We're the ones who live out on the farms and know how to ride a horse before we can walk. We can identify seven kinds of snakes and know how to treat poison. We'd rather walk than take a bus or car, and when the time comes, we can all work together. We have never had a civil war.

When we were settled as a penal colony in the 1800's, none of the British ever saw us becoming such a beautiful country. Now, this is our land, a beautiful country with snow-capped mountains, red-soiled plains and deserts, tropical rainforests, outback farms and huge, glittering cities filled with lights. We have the second longest life expectancy in the world, we have the best medical care system in the world, and our education system is to be reckoned with.

For all those reasons, I will ALWAYS live here. This country is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of places. I've seen New Zealand, America, Rarotonga, parts of Greece. And I have never seen anywhere as beautiful as here. Compared to the rest of the countries in the world, we're very young. When the Americans and British were fighting for dominion of the USA, the Aboriginals were still writing prophecies and living at one with nature. And that's what makes it beautiful. Because we have so far yet to catch up. And I can't wait to see where it gets us.

[I came from the dream time, from the dust red soil plains,
I am the ancient heart - the keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come,
For forty thousand years I've been... the first Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come,
We share a dream and sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian.

I came upon the prison ship, bound down by iron chains
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife on a dry and barren run
A convict... then a free man, I became Australian.

I'm the daughter of a digger, who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman, on the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I'm a bushy, I'm a battler, I am Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come,
We share a dream, and sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian.

I'm a teller of stories, I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira, and I paint the ghostly gums
I am Clancy on his horse, I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian.

I'm the hot winds from the desert, I'm the black soil of the plains
I'm the mountains and the valleys, I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come,
We share a dream, and sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian.]

-A Solitary Blue.

Friday, March 25, 2011

In Loving Memory...

This is definitely not what I wanted to post about. But I have to do it.

So everyone knows that teen suicide is a huge problem. Although, it's a problem I find a lot of people ignore. Like if they pretend it's not real then maybe it'll go away. Like maybe it WON'T be real if they just close their eyes and think of unicorns.

Maybe I'm being a bit unfair. Of course people don't want to think morbid thoughts like that. If everyone else is anything like me, they want to live and love with a heart that's full and unbroken, untarnished by the world's discrepancies. So they pretend that things they don't like aren't there in the hopes they'll go away.

Well it didn't.

One of my close friends attempted suicide on Tuesday night by overdosing on pills. He died Wednesday night in intensive care. I knew he had depression, and I knew he was suicidal, but all I could think was "why him? Why didn't I see this coming?" And in a way I had. But he lives an hour away.

I would have sat with him and held his hand every night if it had kept him tethered to me just a little while longer. He was a beautiful person. Of all the people in this town that didn't deserve to die, he was the top of the list. Because he was better than everyone else. He looked after his disabled sister and helped his brother with his homework and loved his girlfriend with everything he had.

Everyone loved him. And I mean that. And yet somehow he fell in between the cracks. Somewhere along the way, he decided I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE, WHAT'S THE POINT IN LIVING, EVERYONE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT ME. At some point, he decided that it wasn't worth thinking about anymore, and at that point, he died. His soul fled this planet long before his physical body did.

But that's my point. How many people are we going to lose to mental illness and suicide before something's done? How many people are going to take their lives because of bullying before someone mans up to the situation? How many people do we have to lose for someone to stand up and say "this is our problem?"

He has over THREE THOUSAND messages on his Facebook wall. So much love. And somehow he never saw it. It was too little too late. If he were alive, he would be crowing about how he had more page views than me. But he's not. He's been dead for three days now.

So yeah. He wasn't the thousands of people who died in Japan. He wasn't all the victims of Hurricane Katrina... he wasn't all the dead from the Queensland floods or the Christchurch earthquakes. He wasn't Justin Bieber, he wasn't Pete Wentz, he wasn't Robert Pattinson.

But to some people that's what he meant. He meant the world to us. And now he's gone. Forever. I keep thinking every time my phone goes off that it's going to be him, teasing me about something, asking to swap shifts with me at work. And every time I go to pick up my phone, it isn't him. It's someone else.

This post will be swept under the rug. These kinds of posts always are. They force people to face facts. Force them to confront the question every person must ask themselves as they leave childhood. The question that everyone dreads because they don't always know the answer.

Who am I? What do I mean to the world? What do I want my life to be about?

He was my confidant. My rock. And now he's gone. Not so rock-like. Tomorrow is the Relay for Life, which he was supposed to be participating in. It's traditionally for all cancer survivors across the world. Running through the night, the darkest point in any person's life when they're afraid.

But I'll be running for him. He was in pain. His whole life in those last two weeks was a nightmare, one he didn't see a way out of. But I know that tomorrow night, as I run, the There's always light at the end of the tunnel. We just go a little blind sometimes. In the morning, when the sun rises and I've been awake all night, sun will be rising somewhere.I'll have done it for him.

He's dead. He's not ever coming back. But we all carry a little piece of him, all his friends and family. We'll all remember. And he'll be waiting for us. But I don't think he'll mind if we're a little bit late getting to him.

If anything, I know this: the world didn't stop turning over night. The sun continues to rise and fall, the birds will always sing and the seasons will change. The world is the same as it always was, just missing one of its vital pieces. And in the end, aren't we all vital pieces? All God's children, all chosen to live, all with destinies and hands and hearts.

Like with Josh, I will NEVER understand why he died. More than that, I will never understand why he chose to take his own life. He had so much to give to the world. There was so much I never got to say to him.

So much that I never will.

[Somewhere between the end
And the point where we begin
There's a fire burning brightly
That's found its way to dim

When the feeling's gone
Shine on, shine on,
On to something new
It's long and overdue
I will remember you

Shine on, shine on,
And let the others see
You've got your victory
Will you remember me?]

-A Solitary Blue.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Something I Need To Say

I had a really patriotic post planned for today, I was going to write all about Australia and how much I love this country with everything I have.

But something else needs addressing.

When people go onto Formspring, they don't want to see "LIKE OHMYGAWSH YOU ARE SO UGLY! >:(" or "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GO DIE OR SOMETHING?!". They've made a Formspring to answer QUESTIONS. Real, valid questions. Okay, so this is where my point begins. I don't have Formspring because, to be honest, I find it to be one of the most destructive, confidence-shattering places on the Internet. Anonymous posters can leave you hate mail telling you to kill yourself all the time. Even if you choose not to publish it and nobody else knows, you do, and that hurts.

But what hurts worse... is that this hate has moved to Blogger. And that this hate isn't coming from low-life spammers anymore. This is coming from people we used to be friends with.

I'm going to come out with it: WHERE IS THE LOVE? What happened to when we could all log on to Blogger and say what we wanted without people trying to shove their own beliefs down our throats? What happened to being able to stand up for our rights without being accused of, among many other things, a "satanist" "disgusting" "fat" "ugly" "putrid", or, my personal favourite (read: sarcasm) "A piece of trash".

I used to come on here because I felt like I'm making a difference. Like everyone here could tolerate one another even if they weren't friends. I feel like when I talk about life, maybe one person will read it and hear me. I felt like I was helping the world.

Now, because of all this stupid hate, I feel like nobody hears me because they're more interested about who's dramatising what on Formspring! If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all!

We all used to be friends. I mean, isn't it bad enough that we get hated on by the rest of the world, you have to go pick on one another as well? You honestly can't just let one another live in peace? When it comes down to it, we're all we have. All those cryptic, snarky comments like "you know what you did :(" or "I can't believe you're not apologising" - it's not cute. It's just sad.

You wouldn't treat one another this way in real life! You wouldn't walk up to someone and say any of the above stuff! So why do it on the internet? It's because, if you're the one doing it... you're a coward. You have no ability to stand up for yourself and so you go on Internet forums where you can hide behind a login password and comment moderation, where you can make anyone believe anything about you.

Newsflash: THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS. In real life, you can't just staple someone's mouth shut because you don't agree with them. You can't just insult them because you don't like their haircut. These are punishable sins.

I'm not accusing ANYBODY who I follow, have followed or who I've emailed. This is about a problem Blogger is experiencing IN GENERAL. I understand standing up for your beliefs. But does that mean you have to tear someone else's down? Aren't some of the things God teaches are patience, love, and tolerance?

Jealously, hatred, fighting - they don't impress anybody.

Especially God.

-A Solitary Blue

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


People always ask me why I wanna be a psychologist when I'm older, why I try so hard to help others fit in while not really caring if I do.

It's because Josh died. I watched him linger in pain for months before he passed away, and I was helpless to do anything except pray and hope God was hearing every word I was saying. I wasn't a doctor. I couldn't give him transfusions, medicines, couldn't dull the pain of countless surgeries, couldn't advise him on his choices.

But I could pray. I could ask God to help him through the pain if not save him. I guess God had other plans, because on the 29th of May 2010, he left this world and joined God in another. Or I hope he did.

So this is my answer - I want to be a psychologist because I want to save lives instead of watching them pass. I'm not smart enough to be a doctor. But I know how to help people. I put all my heart and soul into helping people. I can't bear to see people in pain. It infuriates me, because I know someone is the cause of it... and every human on this planet has rights, and one of those rights is to be happy.

Think about it. When you bully someone, you're taking away their right to feel safe and happy. Josh was bullied every year of his life before his cancer for being overweight. And suddenly, he got cancer, and suddenly, everyone was his best friend. Looking for some attention. Seeking some glory. Or maybe just wracked with guilt.

Don't do anything you're not going to be able to live with when you wake up the next day. And don't say something cruel and brush it off as a joke. Because that "joke"? To someone out there, it's an insult, and it hurts. Nobody in my school can honestly say they've never called another student fat, whether they weighed a hundred pounds or three hundred.

So when someone insults you, don't insult them back. It makes you just as low as they are. Just keep your head up. My friends place too much weight on what the so-called "populars" think (you know the clique - the girls that are always stoned, drunk or otherwise intoxicated) that they don't actually bother asking the opinions of their FRIENDS. Too busy trying to impress people who don't actually have the brain cells left to notice anything outside their next drug binge.

Why are these kids seen as "cool"? It's not cool. In a few years when I've graduated university and I'm saving lives and doing something constructive with my time, they'll still be here, in this judgmental hole of a town and still getting drunk and cursing the world and anyone who'll listen for letting them down.


But if they came to me asking for help, would I do it? Yeah, I would. Because people who can recognise the fact they need it generally are the ones who want to get better. And the right to seek help at any point in life is another basic human right that so many are denied.

Bullying can drive people to suicide. Lives taken far too soon. Can you imagine what it would be like, being so scared, depressed, and alone all the time that you would literally rather die than go on, face your tormentors another five seconds? The pain, the guilt, you experience, knowing what you're doing to your family, helpless to stop feeling what you are?

What if it were you? Wouldn't you want someone to step in and save you? Doesn't anybody want to save a life?

[No one talks to him about how he lives
He thinks that the choices he makes are just his
Doesn't know he's a leader with the way he behaves
And others will follow the choices he's made
He lives on the edge, he's old enough to decide
His brother who wants to be him is just nine
He can do what he wants, because it's his right
But choices he makes change a nine year old's life
Heroes are made when you make a choice

You could be a hero
Heroes do what's right
You could be a hero
You might save a life
You could be a hero
You could join the fight
For what's right, for what's right, for what's right

Little Mikey D was the one in class
Who every day got brutally harassed
This went on for years
Until he decided that never again would he shed another tear
So he walked through the door
Grabbed the 44 off his father's dresser drawer
And said "I can't take life no more"
And like that, a life can be lost.
But this ain't even about that!
All of us just sat back and watched it happen!
Thinking it's not my responsibility to solve a problem that isn't about me
This is just one of the daily scenarios
In which we choose to close our eyes
Instead of doing the right thing
If we make a choice we can be the voice
For those who won't stick up for themselves!
How many lives could be saved, changed, and rearranged?
Now it's our time to pick a side!
So don't just keep walking by
Don't wanna intervene
Cause you just wanna exist and never be seen
So let's wake up
Change the world

-a solitary blue

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let It Go

Has anybody ever had that moment where they're talking about something they're really passionate about (anything from religion and life to cars and dolls) and someone rolls their eyes at you and says you're "too passionate" to be heard?

They're wrong.

Passion is a word that can be defined as anything. You can say you're a passionate person... which, in some areas, I think we all are. Even the drug addled homeless person has opinions that burn within them like a blaze of glory, but they're never heard. Why? Because people don't listen. That's everyone's biggest flaw. It seems like people in general are never listening when you need them. We just go about our lives, thinking of ourselves and only ourselves.

I tried to quit at work last week... and I couldn't. I couldn't physically walk over to my boss and calmly explain that she was the cause of me quitting and that I wouldn't be coming in anymore. Why? It wasn't for some selfish exploit for money (which at first I thought it was) and it wasn't because I was afraid of standing up to her.

No, it was because every Saturday morning a little old woman comes in who can barely walk who relies on me to do her shopping because she's blind. She relies on me to load her trolley with the cheapest things and stack different things in different bags and help her load them into a taxi. If I'm not there to do it who's going to? This woman has worked her whole life raising seven children who all went on to become doctors and lawyers. Now, they've moved away... and forgotten her.

I realised I was passionate about helping people. I wanted her to have the stability of knowing that when she comes to do her shopping at ten in the morning I'll be there waiting to help her. I'm making someone's life a lot easier. She told me once I was her guardian angel.

So I'm passionate about living life to the fullest. I don't want a Nobel Prize, and Academy Award, a Brownie for football. I don't want to be remembered for how many books I sold, how many houses I lived in, how long I spent addicted to crack or meth, how long each of my consecutive marriages lasted.

I want to be remembered for what I did. I want to be remembered as the girl who always tried, even if she never succeeded, she gave it a go. I want to be remembered for how, why and what I created; I want to be remembered by the people I help and I want to go down in history not as someone particularly famous, but as a person who didn't care about fame.

Every second you spend angry or upset is another second of happiness you'll never get back. Forget the bad. You know yourself. You know who you are. I know I'm seventeen and I love clothes and have a bit of a thing for kids' shows. But there's more to me than what people can see - I also know that I'm kind, that I can give, that movies and music and literature set me alight with passion because there's always truth behind the fiction. I know that I have a fire burning inside of me that can't be put out and voice that can't be silenced because I believe in myself, and God believes in me. I can do anything, I can be anyone I want. I could climb the tallest mountain or fly over the highest cloud.

And so can everyone else. We all have different roads that we can take. In fact, there are so many twists and turns and tiny little country pathways and huge city highways in our proverbial future that almost the whole thing is a slab of concrete waiting for us to traverse. But in between those roads are the empty fields and little patches of sand, untouched or destroyed by others.

So what are you going to make of them? Will you build a skyscraper and climb to the top of the world? Will you plant a field of flowers? Will you build the homeless man a house, the sick woman a hospital, fill another with people for a friendless person? Or will you take the land for yourself and live lonely?

I'd fill those fields with my passion. I'd fill them with churches, libraries, theatres, music stores as far as the eye could see. I've never known anything to inspire people more than coming together to celebrate these things.

What will you put in your field?

[You were standing in the wake of devastation
When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown
With the cataclysm raining down, insides crying save me now
You were there, impossibly alone

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation
You build up hope but failure's all you've known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go, let it go

And in the burst of light that blinded every angel
As if the sky had blown the heavens into stars
You felt the gravity of temper grace falling into empty space
No one there to catch you in their arms

Let it go, let it go, let it go]

-A Solitary Blue