Life isn’t about the setback; it is about the comeback

Life isn’t about the setback; it is about the comeback

Being the ‘baby’ of the family, I was never short of attention. ‘Watch me!’ was, and still is a phrase that you may often hear come out of my mouth. Whether I was in the pool believing I was a mermaid, or on the soccer field running just ‘like a boy’ or wearing my clothes inside out, my family were always encouraging me to be who I wanted to be. My mum put great emphasis on being myself and supported any hairstyle, or clothing item I chose to wear. Being so supported at home made school much of a shock. Most of my peers couldn’t tolerate my eccentric personality, and confidence I had in any situation. I liked teddy bears and didn’t care about makeup or what anyone thought of me. No harsh words stopped me from dancing or holding my grandmothers hand in public.

Year 8 was the year. The year I was able to start acting, something I always dreamed of doing. I chose it as an elective and worked hard to prove that even without experience I could exceed expectations…and I did. I managed to come 1st in drama for 3 years in a row. Performing on stage as another character helped me escape the struggles I was facing in my own life. All my energy and emotion would go into every performance. Unfortunately, over time bullying had a vast impact on my self-esteem and spirit. Although my family continuously reassured me that the bullying stemmed from jealousy, the words were no longer comforting.

Each time my family would show their support I would get knocked down again by my peers. Up and back down. Changing schools did not fix the situation. The bullying became physical and the harsh words took a toll on my emotional/mental health. Catching public transport and attending the local mall became a place of fear and anxiety. Being chased down the street, and punched was common. The more I felt authorities and teachers were not protecting me, I became a nuisance.

After the bullying spread to social media, I began to lash out and hate the world. Slamming doors, screaming at teachers, and crying became a daily routine. After skipping class and failing every subject, I became that ‘student’ that was no longer cared about. Luckily, I was introduced to the AIME program, which at the time I did not use to my advantage. However, attending AIME taught me the importance of education. That it isn’t what happens to you, it is how you comeback stronger.

After begging my family to leave high school, AIME made me feel that it wasn’t too late. I realised my family weren’t biased. I am different, but we are all different and it isn’t a bad thing. I was inspired to get through high school. I then made the decision to repeat year 11 and took part in extra curricular activities such as AIME and IPROWD.

Fast-forward 3 years and I am now a presenter for AIME and studying a double degree in Creative Arts and Communication/Media. Thanks to AIME, I now have a purpose in life. And that is to help young Indigenous students who are struggling. I have the power to show young Indigenous students that it is about choices that define us. I have motivation and passion to show these students that their life doesn’t have to be the way it is. It is about turning a negative into a positive. Again, life is not about the setback; it is about the comeback.

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Life is not about the setback; it is about the comeback.

Life is not about the setback; it is about the comeback.
Life is not about the setback; it is about the comeback.

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