Tuesday, 17 March 2009

But I'm Happy With Who I Am?

I and 39 other brats were in the same program at school. We did almost half of our high schooling in German. At the tender age of 16 we were then shipped off to Germany for 3months. At this point I should say that we ran an absolute muck and after our little stint the groups to follow us were only sent over for 6weeks. We really weren’t that bad… I hope?

Now back in the day I didn’t get along with most of my peers. I really just couldn’t be bothered with conforming. I had my own ideas about things and in all fairness I was bored and ached for the next step. I just wanted to break free of the box and do my own thing. In other words, while people were studying, I was mapping routes around Europe and watched FX tables. While in class, all I wanted to do was sit and write stories. I just found the whole school experience very draining and not what I wanted my life to be. Although I now work in a German Bank so I can’t say it was completely pointless.

My whole life seemed to be governed for me. Go to school and be told what to do. Come home and be told what do. Weekends, free time but within certain limitations and it just went on! I had no choices. It seemed everything was made up for me. While everyone else my age seemed to accept this situation, I craved to be on my own. I craved independence on the grandest of scales. I was done. At the beginning of grade 12 (17 years of age) I made the decision that I was going to London… FOR GOOD! I couldn’t take much more of it. I promised mum I would finish school but at the end of the year my life would be exactly that, my life. In November I was turning 18 and by law I could do what ever the hell I wanted. Those friends closest to me know first hand how I struggled with every aspect of my lif in my last of school. I felt Claustrophobic. I needed freedom and I was prepared to give up everything for it.

I remember going to the guidance councillor just before the end of grade 12. She asked me what I wanted to study at Uni and why I hadn’t handed in my forms ect. I told her straight that I wasn’t going to Uni. So she asked me what I planned to study at TAFE. I ignored her question and asked, “Have you ever backpacked your way across Europe?”I’ll never forget what she said back, “Kellie, dreaming is not a career. You need to study hard to get anywhere in life.” I smiled, picked up my school bag and simply replied with, “that all depends on what your chosen final destination is.” At the time I thought it was quite philosophical of me! Pretty sure she just shrugged after I’d closed that door and figured I was just a lost cause.

On the 21st January 2005, at the tender age of 18years, 2months and 6days, I boarded a plane to London Heathrow on a one-way ticket. All I had with me was 20kg of luggage, £300 and determination to make it. Now it’s 17th March 2009 and I sit here in London and look out the office window at this marvellous city. I can smile thinking about all the experiences I’ve had, places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. I can take a deep breath and know I have no limits or rules to live by other than my own. I have a good job, a good man, a cute little kitty and the world is at our feet/paws.

I often think back to that meeting in the tiny little, brown and one windowed room that contained nothing more than a desk, 2 chairs and pamphlet stand. “You need to study hard to get anywhere in life.” I should have replied with, “Like you miss?”

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