Yesterday, I left you in Oman. Now, I'm taking you to a farther, earlier place in time. Let's go back to the first foreign country I've ever been to, a place where so many things changed me for the better. Let's go to Australia.

When I was a little girl, I loved excellence. I loved being at the top of my class and I felt excited every time we did class activities and group works. I was at the point where everything I did was to elevate myself and to make sure people would notice what I could do.

I guess I'm still like that today. Yes, I still live for excellence and I still want to be better than most people, but I know now what to avoid and what to do to keep friendships. I now know that some people love fame more than others, and that I should stay out of their way to avoid my own destruction (wow, that was a mouthful - err - handful?). I don't live for attention as much as I did as a kid, and good thing too, since I experienced just how cruel people like that could be.

Aside from dreams for academic status, I also participated in events I found interesting. Above are two of the certificates I found from the suitcase, which will hopefully prove what I'm telling you. Ahhh, those days were the life. Carefree and happy all the time... no responsibilities... and just the right amount of expectations. Not that I hate these things, but people often expect more from me, and I fear I might disappoint them. There's pressure in how life plays for me, as with everyone's. I think it's just a matter of perception.

I remember one of the best skills I acquired in Australia is my ability to swim. Yes, I'm a swimmer. No, I don't swim professionally. I had it as a sport in elementary, but I didn't pursue a serious career in the area. I wanted it as a hobby, to add to my interest in singing and the arts in general.

My happy experiences didn't stop there. There are numerous other moments I could share about my childhood. A lot of my first experiences were in Australia, and no place would've been better to have them.

Time. What would I do if I had the power to go back and relive certain moments? I certainly know what I'd fix. What decisions I'm going to make. I'd do anything in my power to stay in this happy, safe place from my childhood, where I only felt love and joy. No pain, no self loathing, no pessimism.

Of course, these are just "if only's". I wasn't given the power to change my past, but I can still alter my future. It'll be a good one. I know it will.
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