Hello cyberspace. This is my final address from Perth, Australia.
Much is said while preparing for a time spent abroad regarding such a trip as a life changing experience. In many ways it is. However, I think there is a heavy misconception as to what this actually entails.
This isn't the reason I came to Australia, but I came here wanting to, for lack of a better term, change myself. I had this vision of myself as meek and, while perhaps an enjoyable presence, either unwilling or unable to make the necessary moves by which to arrive at a place where I find myself satisfied (seems to go along the idea of desire). This semester, I was going to become something I've never been: hyper-assertive, a taker, etc. I was going to do this simply by traveling to the other side of the world. By making such a trek, I would change. This made sense to me.
The Curse of the Bambino once made sense to me too.
Here's what I've come to. You don't change by saying you're going to change. In fact, I don't think the biggest control freak in the world can control their change by way of throwing themselves half a world away (though an interesting question is if this belief is only shaped by the lack of assertiveness referenced above, but given the principles of subjective existence I am going to keep going with this). There's too many x-factors. You throw yourself into the chaos and the only order you can arrive at is the result of reaction. You don't forge yourself into something. Instead, you get a bunch of experiences and stories. You lose yourself and re-find yourself. Only now you know yourself so very well that the change is a big ol' bump in confidence. But the you you find is still the you you lost.
So no, I did not become hyper-assertive Adam, nor did I arrive at much of an answer as to how to get to satisfaction (and fathom that it's impossible, but hold out hope that this is a good thing).
However, I did:
watch the sun rise over the outback,
interact with the wildlife of Australia (unpictured, I also watched a kangaroo and an emu [the country's two national emblems][emus are my least favorite animal of all time] get in a fight over food),
get to know a culture,
got to know some people of said culture and began to wonder about the chicken-egg dynamic of that relationship,
and drank mocha and ate pies.
It was all awesome. I'll miss Australia. It is time to go home.
Can I feel the sand between my toes?
8 years ago