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Monday, March 29, 2004

 
It’s Good to Be Me, or, You Have the Right to Remain Jealous: Don’t sweat the small stuff, they say, because it’s all small stuff. Class, internship, housing situation, meals, travel, partying, whatever. All of it’s a part of what’s going down here in Australia, all of it’s been aggravating at times, and it’s enough to make this super-serious person always a little on edge over the last two and a half months.

And yet, when you think about, none of that should matter. I’m 20 years old, in Sydney, Australia, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This is a good thing, and nothing should stop me from seeing it as a good thing. The minor inconveniences are just that, minor. I’ve only got another month, and nothing is going to depress me for very long. Concern, maybe. But, as the Aussies say, no worries! Whatever needs to be settled will be settled, in due time, and it will have very little effect on the big picture.

Readers may be thinking that this essay seems random. And in a sense, it is. It was inspired by a moment Sunday afternoon. It was a lazy Sunday in sunny Sydney, one of the first I’ve had in a while. The new housing arrangements place me just a few minutes walk from the base of the Harbour Bridge, and so I walked down there in the middle of the afternoon to read a little of John Jakes’ Love and War and lay out in the sunshine and work on my tan. And so I pick a spot under the bridge, so that when I look up from my book, I’m staring right at the Opera House. And that’s when I realized: I am a 20-year old American in Sydney, Australia, laying out under the Harbour Bridge, staring at the Sydney Opera House. It seemed so surreal, so unreal, considering that most of the time I go through life here as if it were all normal. It’s not, it’s better than normal. And that, my dear readers, is why it is good to be me.

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