Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Slytherin Pride

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.
-The Sorting Hat, "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone" J. K. Rowling

And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition
-The Sorting Hat, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" J. K. Rowling

I was devastated when I was first sorted into the noble house of Slytherin. After all, I was young and everyone was of the opinion that you had to be pure evil to be a Slytherin, and that the very best went into Gryffindor. I tried so many times, but every time it was the same - I'm a Slytherin through and through.

And then I realised. I AM a Slytherin, 100% to the core.

I'm ambitious all right, and I will do just about anything to get what I want. My number one dream, ever since I can remember, is wanting to write a story that changed the world. I want to write something so powerful that it influences people, that it changes the way people think and feel.

And damn, am I trying my best. Yes, I might be writing to better the lives of people with mental illness and to change the perception of neurodiversity in the world, but hell, it's still wanting to change the world. It's still a bloody ambitious task, and I'll be damned if I fail. 

I'll admit I'm not being entirely altruistic, I love the idea of being that powerful that I forever immortalize myself in the form of a book. I want to see my name in lights, I want people to look up to me, to wish they were me. THAT is what being a Slytherin is all about - wanting something so badly you'll do anything to get it, wanting to achieve something so bad that you'll give up anything to make it happen.

It's not only my passion for writing either. A few months ago out of sheer determination I walked 50km in one day. Just so I could say that I had done it. Not a charity run/walk or anything like that, just 100% pure "I wanna be better than everyone else"-ness.  That's only one example of how moronic I can be when I want to achieve something.  Let's not get into my smug superiority when my Facebook posts are all grammatically correct with either correct spelling or phonetic spelling for emphasis. What can I say, I'm terrible.

Slytherin has gotten a bad rap over the years, especially due to the Dark Lord, but I know that one day people will stop associating Slytherin with the Dark Lord and start associating Slytherin with ME, someone who will do her best to make the world a better place. 


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

An Open Letter to Chester Bennington

Hi Chester,

I never got to meet you, but you and your music were there for me when I needed someone, something to hang on to. Your music saw me through my tough teenage years before I even knew what Autism was, and that I was on the spectrum. I knew I was different, I  knew I was meant for something more, but the people in the town around me seemed determined to bring me down. Thanks to you and your band Linkin Park, I got through and I'm now in a pretty special place.

One particular song of yours got a LOT of play by me. That song was "Runaway". I LOVE that song. It was often the last song I heard before I fell asleep. I could never really articulate until now what drew me to the song, but now I know. It was the affirmative message embedded in the lyrics, a call to action that I can happily say I took to heart and acted upon.

I'm gonna runaway, and never say good-bye.

I didn't look back when I finally left Oakey for my true home, Brisbane. I ran far away from the negativity of that place. The addiction, the bigotry, the lack of self-satisfaction that permeated the air.

I'm gonna runaway, and never wonder why.

I didn't need to think twice about leaving a place that was determined to destroy me. I place that regularly branded me a freak, that often told me to keep my head out of the clouds, that being a writer (the biggest part of me) was an unattainable dream.

I'm gonna runaway and open up my mind.

My mind is still opening to this very moment, learning more about myself, others and my place in the world. More importantly, my mind is opening up to my responsibility as a writer, a responsibility to help open the minds of others to new ideas and attitudes.

So Chester, thank you. From myself and everyone whose lives you touched. We're going to miss you, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say thank God you're well at last.