Daybreak, Base Camp
You have to be grateful for the mistakes you make. You learn so much from them.
So what have I learned?
I've learned that love, like everything else, won't just fall into my lap. I know the kind of boys I obliviously attract, and the Devil himself couldn't endear me to some of them. I've learned that it's okay to be loud, and flirty, and yourself, and it's okay to ignore the boy who got the wrong idea and is sulky about it. I've learned it's okay to not like someone who likes you, but at the same time you can't hold a grudge against every crush who doesn't return the favour.
You have to be honest with everyone you love, even if you think the disappointment may kill you. As ridiculous as this may sound, the worst thing he can say is "no". Crushing, yes, but the end of the world? Hardly. And sometimes, you might not get what you want, but you can get a pretty amazing friend. But you won't get anything unless you're just yourself, just fearless. It's scary, but the only friends, or more than friends, worth having are those who love you for yourself.
I'm glad that I'm away for a few days. I'm glad I have some time and space to write, even though you know I hate wrting by hand and the lack of technology is killing me. It's nice to go away, be alone, cry a bit, and move on.
It was bitterly cold this morning, but now the sun is shining and the waves tumble happily. It has been twenty-four hours of having the roar of the ocean in my ears. I love how empires can fall and hearts can break but some things remain eternal.
En route to Point Hoop (I think. It might have been Point Hook.)
The men found a whale bone washed up on the beach and were whooping with joy. The babies and I went exploring up the rocky plateaus after breakfast and the rocks are not rocks at all, just sand weathered by the martyrdom of time. They look deceptively ancient and unbreakable, so when they crumble at your fingertips and crack underfoot you feel like God. Just beyond the dunes it is dense and lush and green, nothing but green all around. We're a million miles away from the concrete jungle and I haven't got a clue where we are or where Point Hoop is, but I like the slow jolting progress of the convoy. I just caught a glimpse of the sea before plunging into green again. We've stumbled across a homestead in the middle of nowhere, and I can't help but think that you would not want to hurt yourself out here - it's a long way back to civilization.
We've stopped at an inlet, if you can call it that. It seems to be as big as the sea itself, but very calm. The sand and piles of dried seaweed feel like marshmallow underfoot. Some people went swimming but it's too cold for my taste, so we climbed up to the rocks and sat like mermaids in the sun.
I love being here. I love hearing "Charlie on the move" on the radio. I feel most at home with a file spread across my lap and a pen in my hand. I have a growing pile of papers, ready to divulge to the world. I cannot write without an audience; I love the thrill of tattling. It keeps me safe. There are so many people who are ready to cry traitor, but I only write what I know. I'm a big believer in revenge and retaliation. You can't hurt me and expect to get away with it.
Later, Drage's Beach
If I look into the distance the sweeping scenery reminds me of Korea and I'm cut by a fierce desire to get on a plane and run away. Out here all the tumultuous dramas of reality are out of sight but ot altogether out of mind. I really need the sensory overload that is returning to the fatherland to truly forget about Perth.
Being in love is an incredible high. I'm addicted to the rush, to the butterflies. Last year was my annus mirabilis; last year I was more or less permanently high on happiness, on hard work, on liberating myself from depression, on belonging and believing. But what goes up must come down, and this year feels like the inevitable low. I hate what always happens after I forget to look whre I jump, but I'll trip over again soon. I don't know whether my insane ability to fall in love even though I've been hurt before is fearless or just plain stupid. Am I an eternal optimist or just a bit of a masochist?
Base Camp, Peppermint Beach
It's the lazy afternoons I love best. At home I sometimes loll on my bed for hours, reading books and listening to music and dozing. When I camp it's not much different, only a little more peaceful.
You can always tell who cares about you, and who you care for, on the last day of term. There are a few girls who hug me tight and wish me Happy Easter, all with varying levels of sincerity. Some girls walk straight pass, unknowning and uncaring, as though they've forgotten how much I've given and how much I've turned a blind eye to when we were, once upon a time, friends. Others glare at me as if they rather like the prospect of my being all alone at Bremer Bay, but it would be greatly preferred if I were at the bottom of the sea. I get an awkward nod from an awkward boy and I hastily make my retreat before he can say or do anything that will raise us up to a whole new level of weird, and as I give another guy a big bear hug I feel just a little guilty that I can sit on laps and ruffle hair for so many boys, just not this one.
There's something very intimidating about a boy who is always very kind to me surrounded by people who do not like me at all. I always feign the kind of cool disinterest because interest makes you vulnerable. I do not like how people are so easy to judge, but c'est la vie.
Lockers can tell you much about people. the scatterbrains are always trying to find their locks, only to find it buried in their bags or flushed down the loo or something. I hate how there's always a big grou pof people sitting right next to my locker and how they all stare at me as I fumble awkwardly with the combination. The only thing more awkward was when some girl decided to have one of those annoying giggly whisper converstaions at the lockers...plastered against my locker. A girl bnt her head a fraction of an inch so I could creak the door open a millimetre, and all her friends glared until I sheepishly shut my locker and apologized. I don't know why that still makes me angry, but why did I have to apologize? Oh, I know. Because I'm me, and she's the girl who gets her way in everything, even the colour of her date's suit at the ball. I should have just whacked her on the head with the door of my locker.
But there was one episode at the lockers that really hit where it hurts. We've had the same lockers for ages now, and we've all had awkward conversations with the locker next to yours. My locker is next to a girl I once considered a good friend, before she and all my other friends teamed up to break my heart. A few days ago she asked me whether I had just moved lockers, and why was I there? Two years. Two years of being friends, two years of chatting at the lockers. Two years of helping people with their lit essays, two years of biting my tongue. And they don't even know I exist.
I never realized I meant so little to people who meant so much to me.
To be continued...