.Thank You.

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This has a cohesive point by the end. Stick around.

It’s difficult attempting to explain your passion for something or someone. No one will ever understand just how much certain sports mean to you, or music, or traveling, or your favorite actor or artist. I know that for as many people enjoy and love my favorite musician, I would never be able to fully explain how I feel after listening to him. It’s a personal experience and journey that varies from fan to fan. John Mayer writes music that I would definitely have written off if I weren’t at a certain point in my life when I first began listening. But I’m so glad that the timing was right. He swooped in with just the right lyrics, the perfect melodic line, and the mind-boggling guitar solos that helped me more than I can ever describe. Think about your favorite artist or your favorite song. How does it do it? How do they do it? They say the things we wish we could. They seem to deal with life better than how our heartache feels. They create the music that hits us hard. Without timing and our need to be understood, we would be in a much different place in our lives.

Music exists to change you. It’s an escape or a fortress from the daggers being thrown. A safe-haven for the happy, the broken, and the bored. I needed his music to say what I couldn’t and to comfort me when I needed it. I need his music now because it reminds me of what I was and who I’ve become. It no longer speaks for me but rather aids and fuels my words. One of my favorite lines of his has to be, “I can’t wait to figure out what’s wrong with me so I can say this is the way that I used to be.”

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I look back to four months ago when I left the United States and I see the ghost of a person I was. I see myself now and I know that I’ve never been happier to be somewhere for as long as I have been. I’ve said “this is the best day of my life” more times than I can count whilst in Australia. Besides all the things I’ve already talked about, I’ve also started and ended my wonderfully informative internship, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, went to Port Stephens (where I fed/waded in the water with sharks, rode a camel and went on a dolphin cruise), went to an AFL game, saw the Royal Family, enjoyed a perfect Easter weekend by relaxing at Watson’s Bay, saw a ballet at the Sydney Opera House, had a picnic/BBQ with friends where we played on the playground like five-year-olds, and met John Mayer on the street and then went to his concert.

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Every single day was the best day ever. When I acted as an extra multiple times on a nationally broadcasted, highest-watched TV show in Australia. When I climbed the bridge and saw the entire city lit up and then fireworks began filling the sky. When I realized how bad a Shark and Ray centre or camels, in general, smell. When I toughed out the rain and witnessed my first Australian rules football game (those are random men that asked me to take their picture because they were sad Sydney lost). When William and Kate were feet away from me.

When I stumbled upon a nude beach and saw the ocean smashing against majestic cliffs. When we dressed up and enjoyed a beautiful three-hour ballet. When my friends joined as a family for an Easter dinner because we all missed our own families just a little bit more that day. And finally when I met my, I don’t even know what to call him; hero is too strong a word and favorite musician isn’t descriptive enough. Well, John Mayer.

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These days will never be forgotten. My smiles will never erase. The timing of this happening in my life was perfect. I needed to travel. I needed to realize that at 20, college isn’t the end of the line. Life is waiting for you whenever you’re ready. Go it alone or have someone with you, it doesn’t matter. Just travel because you can and you should. It took me living somewhere for four months to realize that traveling is a very realistic possibility and no more an abstract, I’ll-get-to-it-when-I’m-older conquest. I can now be understood by those that have studied abroad or spent time in another country.

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Going back to that lyric previously stated; there may not have been anything wrong with me (there was) and I thought I had figured out a lot of life (I hadn’t), but it’s nowhere near where I am now. I’ve found what I can tolerate, what I must wait for, what brings me joy and what I’ll probably never do again. I’ve found what hurts (falling into water from 25 feet on your butt or belly-flopping from 15 feet), what thrills me and what annoys me.

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If you’re passionate about something, do it. If you’re curious about something, try it. If you think you’ve made your mind up about someone or something, give it one more go. (PSA: all previous statements disregard drug use and habits sorry and thanks).

I’m leaving Australia in four days and I’m heartbroken but thankful. Thank you for teaching me so much about myself and others. Thank you to my parents who have listened to my woes and excitements. Thank you to my friends who constantly reaffirm my wonderful decision to come here by repeatedly telling me “I’M SO JEALOUS.” You all mean the world to me and now I’m off to see more of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Write you soon,

Mariana ❤

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