Although exchange is a great experience, you have to be prepared for when things start to go wrong, or if you hit a few obstacles on the way. One of the ones most commonly met in my experience is communication breakdowns with friends and family back home. Despite the weekly skype calls and messages, sometimes you start to feel guilty when the calls become less and less frequent, as you become more and more involved with the new life that you've created for yourself over here. Sometimes when things start going wrong at home and you're feeling guilty that you weren't there to help shoulder the burden, these kinds of tensions may also lead to a breakdown in communication or just generally unpleasant feelings. But I read something which really helped to put my mind at ease.
The bestselling book <The Alchemist> by Paulo Coelho has an introductory section, where Coelho discusses how following your dream is full of obstacles. Sometimes you may feel that friends and family are not supportive of you, but if you are really going for what you want, be it a goal or a new experience, know that the people who really matter to you will be supportive of you no matter what, 100% all the way. In the end, its only going to be you standing in the way of yourself achieving your own dreams and goals ; and you'll have no one to blame but yourself. Someone once said to me 'All obstacles are your opportunities, defeat these obstacles and you will achieve your dreams'. I thought about this for a long time, and it made me feel instead more confident that behind everything, there will be something waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. No matter what, each obstacle will help me grow as a person, and with every passing day, help me to get closer and closer to achieving my dream. So I hope that you all are able to achieve your dreams too!
A song that I'd like to dedicate to you is Anthony Neely's <Wake Up>, a totally upbeat song that encourages you to get up and out of your comfort zone and to achieve your dreams.
Being on exchange and meeting so many different people, I find that one of the main things that I've gotten from the exchange so far was being able to understand myself. As all of you probably already know, being a teenager/young adult is no joke. It's all about finding who you are through what you like, your personality traits; your faults and your positive points. Meeting many different people and getting out of my comfort zone, I'm able to see how different people view me as a person, getting different viewpoints that I've never myself considered before. Its also given me more self-confidence and a deeper understanding of myself and what I want to achieve in life.
Being on this kind of journey allows me the opportunity not only to meet new people and learn more about other cultures; but also being able to find myself in the process. So my best advice is to be yourself, and always do the things you love. Put your best foot forward, and let others see you not for the person you want to be, but for the person you are. Soon enough you'll find that the best version of you was always inside you in the first place!
So in celebration of this revelation, here's an oldie but a goodie: S.H.E's <Just Be Yourself好心情> from their 2007 Play album. Enjoy!
I can safely say I'm a pretty lazy person. But when you get out of your comfort zone, and try new experiences, it is truly a fantastic feeling. Try thigs you've always wanted to try, or do things that you never thought you would ever do. Who knows, you might find yourself a new hobby or just a wonderful experience! So no matter where you are in the world, steel yourself and be open to any opportunities! They may come in forms that you least expected; a blessing in disguise!
In the spirit of new experiences, I've been keeping a ear out for some new and promising acts, one of them being a Indie Taiwanese band called Gigantic Roar! Definitely not the kind of music that I generally hear, but I still feel that they've got a great rhythm and interesting melodies. Although I'm not 100% in agreement with some of the clips they use in this music video, here's their single <突然决定去泡温泉>(Suddenly decided to go bathe in the hot springs).
This is one great opportunity you definitely shouldn't miss out on! James will be performing live at A House on the 22nd of March, and tickets are actually at quite reasonable prices (350NT). So if you're in Taipei, definitely recommend you to check him out! I guarantee that you will not be disappointed! He's a really talented artist who I feel would be even better live than on the album(which is saying a lot), so if you're into some great music and artists, this is the event for you!
Here are the details as below:
James 楊永聰 3/22 [Stay 停 看 聽歌會]
門票 3/7(五) 中午12:00 開賣 Tickets go on sale on the 7th of March (already on sale)
Time: 3/22 8pm @ A house
Address: Taipei City Da'an district FuxingSouth road first section alley 107 number 18
台北市大安區復興南路一段107巷5弄18號 => Chinese address if you're getting there by taxi
Telephone Number:(02)2778 8612
Price: 350NT (and a refreshment)
Where to get your tickets: http://www.walkieticket.com/product.aspx?P1=0000002696
Wow, the days are going by so quickly its getting hard to count! I'm already dreading having to head back to Australia after my time in Taipei, its been so much fun! Today we didn't do much, but I was able to go for karaoke for the first time since I arrived in Taipei with friends! It was a totally different atmosphere than singing in Australia; for one everyone was really happy to sing along to any song that they even had an inkling of, and everyone(for the most part) were picking songs that everyone else could sing too! Being someone who loves singing and Chinese music, I really had a lot of fun singing with people who had a broader understanding of the chinese music scene, and allowed me to have a greater feeling of participation. Usually in Australia, none of my friends really listen to chinese music so I felt like when I sang my chinese songs while at Karaoke, people weren't really listening or having fun, but were instead 'giving in' to me. Needless to say, I generally felt bad about it and picked only a few songs (unless I went with a closer group of friends).
But the feeling of singing here with people who had a better idea of chinese music was completely different, and it made me really really happy to be able to participate in that atmosphere. So I guess happiness comes from the simple things really. Being in Taipei, I'm so thankful for every wonderful meal I have, every trip I go on with my friends, and every moment that I'm in this amazing city. So be thankful for what you have; keep your eyes and ears wide open and your life will surely be full of little moments of happiness!
As Sodagreen's song <你在烦恼什么>(What's the trouble on your mind) says : “是片刻组成永恒啊" (It's the moments that merge together into a period of forever. So make every moment count!
Here's Sodagreen's song that I previously mentioned; no matter whether you're feeling happy or sad, this song will give you time to sit back, reflect, and appreciate what you have.
And also here's a song I personally love that we sang at Karaoke yesterday; Wang Leehom's <依然爱你>(Always love you). Just like the lyrics say; treasure every moment of happiness be it with a loved one or with friends, or even by yourself!
Definitely there will be a lot of first times in life; but being overseas really made me realise how a new landscape could lead to changes that I would never have foreseen before. Meeting new people and making new friends, it creates dynamics that I was surprised to find are completely different from those which I shared with previous friends; a bond that could not otherwise be forged without me being in this exact time, at this exact place, in this exact moment. Sometimes, first times don't have to be forced; instead they just come naturally!
For the first time I found that telling people things about myself was not me showing off ; neither did I have to think about how much to say and whether I was annoying them. I've never had anyone truly, genuinely interested in what I had to say and what I do, especially in relation to chinese music. But in these few days I've come to recognise many friends who may not share this interest in the same way that I do, but are really interested to learn about my ideas and views on it!
So for the first time, I gained confidence in myself; For the first time I found people who are interested in what I love. And for the first time I was truly happy in sharing my personal views on what I love to do most in the whole wide world with others. I really feel that this isn't something that can happen everyday, so live in the moment and fill each day with happiness and optimism.
Here's a song for all of you to encourage you to live in the moment! I really hope by doing so, you'll be able to remember fondly each and every one of your first times, without letting them pass you by.
It's been my dream since I started getting to know more about Chinese music to be able to live in Taipei, and now I'm finally going to be able to! Starting from the 11th of February, I will be staying in Taipei for 139 days and hope to share parts of my experiences that may be helpful with readers everywhere! (Feb 2014)