Day 1, Dec 3rd. TLDR: I'm starting a blog, yo

My grandmother was born in 1931 in France, lived in Pont-sur-Seine 200 kilometres West of Paris, left to travel Europe and the Americas when she was 19, lived as an au pair for a wealthy family in Vancouver and eventually caught a boat to Australia where she lived until last Thursday.


I'm telling you this so you understand that my grandmother was more radical than I'll ever be. For as long as I remember I've never had any guts. I always wanted to write things, but I didn't even have the guts for that. I didn't even know what writing things was called. I didn't consider the word I was looking for was 'author' until I was ten and all I'd done since I could write was make stories. 

The first time I shared my writing with anyone, I was fourteen and it was a short-story draft. I wanted to send it in to a local writing competition but I was so certain it wasn't good enough that I decided not to. A little while later my mum nicked it from my room and submitted on my unbeknownst behalf. 

I got a letter a couple of months later and I was so excited to be getting a letter at all (because what kid actually receives a letter in this day and age and doesn't suspect they're a wizard?) to really question why I was getting a letter in the first place. 

I was sitting on the floor in our dining room; a little bit freaked out because the letter was congratulating me and inviting me to an awards ceremony and other what-have-yous. So I called my mum over and she came over and started explaining that it was just one of those participation letters they send to people who don't place in the competition.

Only, I had placed second. And I hadn't technically entered it.

Point being, I basically had to read the whole letter to my mum for her to believe that it wasn't just a participation letter.

It was the most awesome moment of life. Spiffing. Fantastico. They published my story in an anthology. There was a huge spelling mistake on the first page. The plot didn't make any sense. It was possibly the worst draft out of my collection of terrible drafts. I can't read it now without having a cringe attack. But I placed.
Any award at all was so surprising that it didn't really register that I hadn't come first. I got a little trophy. They took my picture. There was even a little article in the local newspaper. I'd been a straight A student up till then, and I was really awkward so I spent most of my time reading books and had gotten my fair share of school awards. But this one really meant something to me. I wasn't first, but for the first time someone liked what I had loved doing and it felt pretty good.

So this brings me back to my second year at university, studying - you probably guessed it - nothing at all to do with English. Going into a Bachelor of Biomedical Science seemed like a good idea when I left school; mainly because I'd given up on ever being a person who writes things and had put myself through level 3 physics, chemistry, and maths and I was not going to let it go to waste.

Writer's don't earn money, they said. You'll need algebra, they said.

I decided to can the writing thing, because I was going places. I was gonna be a scientist. Boom. The future. Genetics. Immunology. The good stuff. Anyways, my uni requires these things called broadening units, where they make you study units that don't come under your particular school (science was mine, so I had to do arts or commerce). And I thought, hey, that Art's unit called 'Reading and Writing Creatively' looks like a hack, I bet I could do alright in that.

And I did it. And it was hard. 

An assessed short story made 40% of our grade, and I really wasn't happy with mine. I nearly died of happiness when my teacher gave me a good mark, but she didn't just do that.

Maybe sensing how crabby and upset I was at myself all semester, she sent me an email once she'd finished up assessing my class.


And in it, she told me that I had "enormous talent."

Enormous talent.

Who even says that?

Nobody real.

It made me realise that, even though writing the story had been hard, I hadn't done it thinking it was an assessment. I had done it because I wanted to. I hadn't written anything in years, but as a kid I'd filled all these journals and made up all these stories so I could play make-believe with my older brothers. I loved this stuff.

I had a real dream and I shelved it because it wouldn't earn me any money. I was supposed to grow up and become an adult. 

I'm telling you this because I'm tired of this push we all feel to be numero uno at all aspects of life: that if we're not number one at something, we should give it up and find something to be great at. 

I think the truth is, some of us have really weird dreams. Dreams that don't make sense. Dreams that are really more like desires or wants or bucket lists. Dreams that don't align with our talents or our positions in life. Some of us don't have any dream at all, and just get battered to-and-fro by the expectations of everyone around us. 

That thing you've been thinking about doing? I think you should go for it.
Me, well, I'm starting this blog today to encourage me to write everyday, because of something my grandma always said: 

("Life is like a field of freshly fallen snow, be careful how you tread in it, for every step will show.")
Like I mentioned, she was radical.

Anyways, while I was writing something to say at her funeral, I thought about what I wanted to get out of my life and decided that I'd start working on my own bucket list. I figure taking up writing again's a pretty good start.

I've decided to make this blog public, 'cause that way it feels like I'm maybe actually talking to someone and not just myself, but I do hope that if I get some followers you guys can share your stories with me and we can do a not half-bad job at this dream-making stuff. Mine starts here.


P.S. I can't actually draw for peanuts and this is the first time I've ever used a tablet but I figure it'll get better as it goes. It sure better. 


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About Billy

Billy is a uni student/nobody hailing from Australia whose mother would have called her Billy Ruben if she'd been born a boy. She can't draw for peanuts or write in third person, but hey, she'll improve.

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The End Game

Good Show Old Chap is an example of a bucket list resolution in progress. For more info you can read the first post, but to break it down for you: we often give up the little dreams we have to make way for greater and more practical life aims and it's time to take those little dreams back.

This here is mine; where's yours?

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