One of the first real decisions I made against my parents happened last year. I decided to drop Spanish as a subject and to pick up Media instead. It might not sound like a lot, but to tell my father – one of Queensland’s highest police officers and the man who has told me my whole life I need to study more than one language – was a massive deal.
I made the decision for a few reasons; first of which was that my heart wasn’t in learning Spanish. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s one of the most beautiful languages in the world, I just knew things could be different – better even. The second reason was more to do with the new Spanish teacher that our class had been assigned. I swear she had it out for me. It wasn’t just me who was seeing the bullying she showed me but it was the other students, the kids in my class who I had never spoken to, who were standing up for me, calling her out, and reporting her over and over.
Nevertheless, I made the decision to leave Spanish against my parents and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.
I was only in my new Media class for a week or two before I was top of the grade, and I loved every second in that classroom. My new teacher Mr Beattie was the loveliest, most supportive man I am yet to meet, and to this day I am still in contact with him even though I have recently graduated my high school education.
This man was the sole reason I was chosen as one of only four Australian representatives for the Seoul International Youth Film Festival. He pushed me to apply even though my education in media had only just begun, and he followed it through and sent my name through as his recommendation for a candidate.
I got the message I had been accepted for the festival less than three days later. Allow me to brush over the screaming, crying, and just really embarrassing sobbing over how happy I was after I heard the news.
What this all meant, was I was going to be flown to South Korea to compete in an international film competition. I would be asked to write a film script in six hours, film it the next day in six hours, and finally edit it – you guessed it – in six hours, with a group of international students who I had never met before. Our finished product would then be screened in a nearby cinema and awards would be announced for Best Overall Group, Best Actor, Best Writer, etc.
I was put in Group Three if I remember correctly (or it could have been Group Five, I’m not sure) and our main actors included a Swedish boy named Jacob and a Korean girl whose name I can’t pronounce, as well as a Danish director named Anna, and an American PA named Willis. Those guys were so incredible and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to be put in.
Don’t mind me skipping a few details, but I was assigned the groups head screenplay writer (the person that says where the camera should be, what the lighting should be, which lens to use, how long the shot is, how zoomed in it is, etc.) and after Jacob had been announced as the festivals Best Actor, I almost didn’t hear my name get called. I won overall Best Writer.
Without exaggeration I can honestly say that was the proudest moment of my life… which was then followed by the most embarrassing when I was asked to say a speech accepting the award I didn’t even know I was nominated for. Safe to say I deleted all the footage of that moment I could get my hands on.
Nevertheless though, nothing has brought a smile to my face as fast as when I ran off and called my parents in tears to tell them I had won an award.
I know not a whole lot of people see my blog, almost no one actually, but if you’re reading what I am writing right now, you need to know something. If your heart and your head agree on something – anything – do it. Do it no matter of the doubt you’ll see in the people around you. It could turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to you. I know I’m only sixteen as I write this, and I was only fifteen when I was in Seoul, but I am so incredibly confident that I will remember that decision for a very long time to come; the first time I stood up for what I knew was right for me, and have it work out so perfectly.
Give your all in life, and do what you know in your belly will make you happy.
Wishing you all the kindness in the world!