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Issues I’m into:

Joined 4/21/2009 Views 23380 Blog Entries: 2 Last Blog Entry: 9/3/2009

Name: Charlotte
I live: Sydney's East, Uni and occasionally Cape Town South Africa
I grew up in South Africa, and loved everything about the different cultures, learning about other traditions (and food!) and values. But the things that I share in common with my friends, as well as what I can learn from their ideas and passions is what really makes me happy.

Having an information hub like ActNow is great for voicing issues, learning about interests which you might not have considered, but also building relationships with all kinds of young people. It's also a fantastic way of acknowledging that you do have the ability to take action!

Part of being happy is understanding and respecting those around you, as well as being proud of who you are and where you come from. Having the freedom and voice to share with others the issues that are important to you, in an environment where you know people are listening, is reason enough to smile :)

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Don't Panic! 03-09-2009 11:42

I remember that anxious feeling creeping up slowly, like hot lead through my veins. I felt dizzy and I wanted to get away, run away quickly. Danger all around, but the house was empty, a quiet, just the ticking of the clock and the hum of the fridge. ‘It’ had returned, as I peered into the mirror, confused at the reflection staring back at me.

 I remember the day it felt like I would never be happy again; checking my pulse, feeling weak, convinced I was sick, or dying or worse- already dead. Every flicker of my eyelid, every pain in my chest, each muscle spasm or headache was a trigger and ‘It’ would boil up inside me again.

I remember settling ‘It’ down for while, feeling comfort, and feeling relaxed, feeling positive, sometimes even high, and seeing my own strength. I can beat ‘It’ I thought, I believed. Then ‘It’ would creep back again, like a sneaky lion waiting to pounce, and I was always waiting with no weapon to protect me, feeling helpless.

I remember the night the flames engulfed my room, the smoke surrounding us as we screamed. I don’t remember much in between, it was a blur much like my belongings all mangled, and sodden, burned out on the floor. I remember the smell, how it haunts me, but not worse than ‘It’, lurking around every corner, every movement, every thought.

I remember pretending I was alright after the fire engines had left, and the days, months had passed, soldiering on. I don’t remember when things changed but they did. The anger, frustration, unhappiness slowly infected my days and my day dreams. I remember the first day I met ‘It’, clawing at my insides, screaming at me to get out of the car, to run, to get help.

 I remember the internet searches and the doctors’ visits, the heart tests. Wires and machines clicking and whirring, listening to every heartbeat, but it was all in vain. Perfect health. But ‘It’ was still there.

 I remember the day I raised my white flag- Brand new, never been used, straight out of the wrapper, admitting defeat flag. That was the day I introduced myself and shook ‘It’s’ hand firmly, “Nice to meet you, I see you’ve made yourself comfortable.”

 I remember the realisations, the relief, the books, the words in hour long conversations. In replace of anger, confusion and detachment, my patience and reasoning squeezed through, sometimes ‘It’ would force my new found positivity back and snigger in my happiness’ face.

But slowly, I remember, feeling good again, not great, not just alright, but good. And good’s fine with me for now, because I remember how hard ‘It’ worked to drain out any bit of goodness.

Now I just have to remember that not everyday is going to be a good day, it might not be quite as good as yesterday, but I know how to compromise with ‘It’ now, the anxiety, the panic disorder, the post traumatic stress- ‘It’ likes to go by its’ full name sometimes. I just remember I’m bigger than ‘it’.

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Amer I Can 07-07-2009 05:53

I'm writing from the small town of Columbia, Missouri USA, where I'm currently participating in a journalism training course with 7 other students from my uni back in Sydney. What's American 'school like' you ask? Well for one it's BIG! Think Veronica Mars vs Greek when it comes to the dorms and the caffeteria.

Most of the time our group heads to "Plaza 900", our local diner where we greet all staff with uber excitement because it's like nothing you'll ever see at uni back home (including the word "uni") although I might pass on the cheese sauce which is a little funky looking.

The students we have met so far have been very friendly and super exited to meet  bunch of aussies. Often our excuse for doing things the wrong way around is "We're Australian". It seems to be the start for many freshman, and the paper we will be contributing is College Town, a guide to the surroundign shops, restaurants and the tourists with the reviews!

After loading up with hershy's peanut buttercups we'll get down to business about reporting on student life, and I'll get back to "y'all" with some more news about life in Columbia.

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