we all could use a little

when I was twelve years old I took surfing lessons.
it was one of the lame ‘ripcurl girls go surfing’ things
and I thought I was pretty cool doing it.
the instructor taught us how to stand up on the board.
how we get on our knees first, then stand to our feet.
he also taught us the other way.
the slightly harder way.
going straight from laying to standing.
to be honest, I didn’t try doing it that way, once.
I could blab on about noble reasons as to why,
but at the end of the day, it was because I didn’t want to make a fuckhead of myself.

I’ve just gotten back from the oaktree national conference.
and with no surprises, it was incredible.
words just can’t explain the kind of things I learnt.
the kind of things I did.
so many people all working towards a goal,
that is far greater than any mediocre goal I’ve ever had.
and the people…
every single person there had the kind of intelligence I can’t comprehend.
law students. Engineering students. Students of science. Economics. Business.
and I’m sitting in skills workshops, or sessions… or even running around in a scavenger hunt, thinking
‘these people are fucking incredible’.
more than that… I found myself wanting to become these people when I’m out of school.
mel and I were the only underage people at the conference.
so being among all of these older, more intelligent and far more experienced people made me wake up to how little I had let my life become.
partly because I have been ‘busy’, but mostly because I have been far too afraid of getting things wrong.
despite all the questions I ask my peers, and how much I have learned from so many different people this year; there is still so much more I can be opened up to.
and I realised that I’m tired of safety blanketing myself.
I want to fuck up next year.
I want to cry when i’ve got things wrong.
I want to make mistakes.
and more than anything I want to have high expectations of myself,
and I want to be disappointed.
 I want to be taught.
I think I was testing myself when I planned everything for Melbourne.
usually my parents just plan everything for me.
not this time though
and hey, it may not be economics, but it’s a start.
being at the conference… gave me a kind of confidence I thought I’d lost a long time ago.

so. when I got on a surfboard for the first time in about five years,
I realised I wasn’t afraid.
and instead of being piss weak, I just tried it straight away.
laying. To standing
I wasn’t a ninja at it… unlike henry or bryn or ryan.
and I certainly wasn’t like jo who got it first go.
I was like catelyn.
who looked like a dork doing it, but got it in the end.
and with henry throwing me over his shoulders at the end of the session; happily dipping me into the waves;  I felt real.
I think it was on Saturday night,
at about 1 in the morning,
that I realised it.
surrounded by one hundred and fifty drunken uni students,
singing and swaying to the typical ‘classics’,
I realised that right now I’m exactly where I need to be,
and for the first time in a long time;
i know exactly where I want to go.


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