I’ve started a list craze. I know, I know, it’s probably not the most intelligent way to write a blog, but I seem to either keep writing something that’s too long or something that’s too short. Anyway, I’ve been reflecting on what makes me me, and I realise there are so many things that I do due to little things that have changed me. Not big things, like becoming a Christian or even learning how to ride a bike [so many stories right there], but little things. Things that could probably happen to other people and have no effect whatsoever. Here are six little things that have changed me remarkably. Six things I’d like to give a shout out to.
1. Reading Harry Potter. On my eleventh birthday, I got really excited. This is before the word fangirl was invented- “back in the day”- but if you’re a Potterhead, you’ll know why. Anyway, I waited all day and night for someone to turn up at my door, for an owl to fly to my window. I wasn’t sure if I actually was one, but then, neither was Harry. Anyway, it’s safe to say nothing happened [I’m just a muggle, unfortunately], but I still live in hope that I’ll either give birth to a Mudblood [sorry for the derogatory term] or marry a wizard. Either way.
That’s not actually why Harry Potter changed my life, though. The biggest thing about it was when Dudley was described as looking like an idiot because his hands were swinging by his sides. That’s why my hands are always in my pockets- because I just remember wondering if maybe I looked like that. Then there is all of the deeper stuff, like wondering how people can be so cruel to others, and finding myself sympathising for the first time in my life, with the villain [Severus and Tom, when they were just kids. I mean, come on]. Reading those background stories, when I was in primary school, was the first time I’d ever fully realised that even bad people have to start somewhere.
- Stepping on a stick insect. When I was in primary school, I was walking along one day chatting to someone, and I stepped on a stick without thinking about it. In year six, the CSIRO came to our school with these beautiful little stick insects and taught us all about them- I fell in love with them. The way they walked, the way they moved- I’d never seen anything so beautiful, and graceful. That day, when I stepped on a stick insect, I cried. Seeing it try to walk away, and it slowly bleed to death- today, about six years later, I still remember it vividly. I still want to cry.
That is why, to this day, I still look at the ground as I walk. I don’t know whether you’ve ever realised you’ve destroyed something beautiful- a vase, a phone, a life- but I cannot describe the feeling you get in your chest.
- Seeing the pigment in my dog’s eye. A lot of my stories have to do with Enzo, I think. Sitting in the sun one day, I basically saw right through to the iris, and it was crazy. It looks like golden foil, insanely detailed, like something so small sat down with a paint brush and spent weeks creating it. I just stared into his eyes until he tried to lick me [I guess he got a little confused], but for me, it’s moments like those that reinforce my faith. I know the science behind it, and I still can’t even look at something as simple as an eye without being blown away by the wonder of God. No wonder we call him the Creator- there are few more accurate names.
- The melon bet. At the end of last year, despite the advice everyone around me tried to give, I dropped Maths. I was trying my hardest, listening intently in my class, writing notes, doing homework, studying for hours, and still failing. That’s a pretty harsh feeling, that helplessness. Anyway, after failing so many tests, I made a bet with my friend that whoever got the lowest mark would have to buy the other a melon. It wasn’t exactly the season for them, but we both really like melon. On my side, it was rockmelon, on hers, honeydew.
The situation taught me to make light of every situation. You can’t be the best at everything, but you can try to make the best of everything. At the time, it was a desperate attempt to make the time a little easier. Just so you know, she won the bet, but is now taking 3 unit. Go figure.
- Seeing turtles in a box. A few years ago, I went to Indonesia with my parents and Nan. We spent the majority of our time in Jakarta, the capital, and did a lot of shopping as well as seeing the tourist sites. Fun fact, there’s a shopping centre that’s pretty central to the city- it’s kind of a tourist site and a place to go shopping. We were wondering around, looking for something nice to buy, but I was already pretty depressed. A bit of background to the country is that a lot of it is currently in poverty. The majority is classified as “third world” and the people, although a lot of them are friendly, will do whatever possible to make a few dollars in order to survive. It can take its toll very easily. Seeing people like that, especially coming from a first world country, made a very impact, but seeing animals almost killed me. There were monkeys in cages that should be holding birds, chains on their ankles and hands. There were dogs tied next to streets with hundreds of motorbikes on them at a time- there isn’t enough space in the country for the people in it.
That night in particular though, I walked past a bucket full of baby turtles. They could barely move, and turtles themselves are endangered. It wasn’t just that, though. They were trying to climb up the side of the bucket, making futile attempts to escape, but they were kilometres away from the sea, anyway. They just kept trying and failing, and in that moment, all I wanted to do was buy them all and set them free. What would their owners do anyway? What would they feed them? Where would they keep them? Just the thought of the life they had ahead of them, it really struck me how different the life these people had.
- Seeing deaf people sing. I’m going to end with a happy one. I was at Hillsong Conference earlier this year with my dad, and we got there pretty late, so they put us in the back. It was kind of hard to see, and we were on the bad side of the stage. I mean, its round, but you still can’t see what’s going on in the main section. Anyway, we were cold, we were tired, and we were sort of grumpy that we couldn’t see. As we all got up to sing, though, I looked in front of me and saw this lady waving her arms about. I realised we were looking directly at the area where the deaf people congregate, and they were signing the words to the music.
I have written on here somewhere that one of the coolest things about church is listening to everyone sing and just being a part of that, but these people weren’t part of that. They didn’t care, though. The way they looked, like they were worshipping, and it was just them and God. I understood what worship was, in that moment. So often we make it about us and those around us, but for these people it was just them and God. They didn’t mind who saw them, and they weren’t concentrating on or even being inspired by everyone around them. They were just in the moment, and enjoying it. It was pure, and it was beautiful.