I won an award recently. It was for Best Student in the Diploma stream of Sound Production students at TAFE for 2023.
And boy, did I ride that wave of pride and elation and gushy giddiness.
Super proud of myself.
Sure, it's just a silly award at a government run technical and vocational education college but I attempted to do the same (or almost the same) course around 20 years ago, when I was a lot younger and a lot more inclined to not care about much around taking responsibility for anything. I was, however, very interested in the location of the next party as well as where the party favours needed were coming from to thoroughly enjoy said festivities.
Suffice to say that I left the course just before I graduated just because I'd had enough and could not be bothered with it all any longer.
Shannon and I pre graduation awards night
So this time, I graduated with flying colours and got an award on top of that to boot.
While I was riding the wave of pride and accomplishment, it got me thinking about the amount of bullshit and later on in life, the work I put myself through to get to where I am today.
From not liking myself and feeling like a loser, to loving the shit out of myself and believing I can achieve anything as long as I put in the work. What a change 20 years can make!
It’s funny how life throws these curveballs at you, right? Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, bam! You're back at square one. But this time, it was different. I wasn’t the same person who wandered aimlessly into that TAFE course two decades ago. This time, I was driven, focused, and hell bent on proving to myself that I could do it. And guess what? I bloody well did!
As I held that award in my hands, I couldn't help but think about the journey that got me here. The sleepless nights, the endless assignments (seriously TAFE, what happened?!), and the constant battle against my own doubts and insecurities. It was like climbing a mountain, but instead of rocks and dirt, it was made up of my past failures and fears.
Personal growth isn't just about the highs. It's about trudging through the muck and mire of your own psyche. It's about confronting the demons of your past and telling them to fuck off because you’re busy building a brighter future. And let me tell you, those demons don't go without a fight.
But here's the kicker – every struggle, every setback, and every single tear shed along the way, they were all part of this intricate tapestry of self discovery. Like pieces of a puzzle, they slowly but surely came together to form the picture of who I am today.
And who am I today, you ask? I'm a survivor. A fighter. A sound production wizard who turned the cacophony of life’s chaos into a symphony of success. I've learned that it's never too late to turn the page and start a new chapter. That sometimes, the most significant award you can win is the one you give yourself for simply not giving up.
So, what’s next for me? Well, there's definitely sound, traveling Oz with my love AND delving deep into the world of decentrilised finance because fuck the man...But also, I’m not done writing my story. Not by a long shot. There are still mountains to climb, oceans to cross, and yes, more parties to attend (though maybe a tad less wild than my younger days).
But one thing is certain: I’m going to keep riding this wave of pride and accomplishment. Because after everything I've been through, I've earned it. And if there’s one thing I can share with you, it's this – no matter where you are in life, no matter how many times you’ve fallen, it’s never too late to pick yourself up and chase after your dreams.
So here’s to new beginnings, to never giving up, and to riding those waves, no matter where they take us.