It’s safe to say that the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 was one of the worst introductions into a new year that my family has had in a long time. Within the space of four months we had three deaths within our family. December 21, January 24 and March 1 saw the unfortunate loss of Uncle Eddy, Aunty Mary and Grandpa, respectively. It was a very difficult period for the entire extended family, however, more specifically, it was extremely difficult for my Grandma who lost her son, her sister and her husband. The sudden loss of three family members took its toll on everyone in a number of different ways and, regrettably, due to legal reasons, certain issues were dragged out longer than necessary, hence prolonging the grieving period. I know that for me personally I will always be affected by certain things that will trigger memories or take me back to a time when I could still see my loved ones as I wished, however I know that that is completely normal, and for as long as I hold onto my memories of them they will never be forgotten, living on forever in hearts of those who they touched.
Also in January I finally got my learners permit. I may have been 2 years late on actually sitting the test, but at least I passed it and earned my right to drive on the roads. As a learner I have to have my permit for a minimum of one year before I can go for my driver’s license. On top of that I also have to have a minimum of 120 hours of driving practise. Keeping all of this in mind I set myself a goal; to get at least 10 hours of driving up a month so that by the time my one year is up I’ll have my 120 hours. Well, luckily for me, I had my 120 hours up within 10 months, so all I need now is to book some lessons before my instructor feels I am ready to go for my license. Not that I am in any rush of course. I don’t have my own car and I don’t really have anywhere I need to drive to that public transport can’t get me to. I’m just hoping that by sometime in February I’ll have my license.
2010 also saw me enter my final year at high school, the most important year, becoming a year 12 VCE student at St.Peter’s College. It was a year of my schooling that, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t looking forward to in the slightest. Usually before I return to school each year I want nothing more than for school holidays to last forever, however, there’s normally a part of me that actually wants to go back. This time though, as I prepared myself to start off my last year, there wasn’t a single ounce of my being that wanted to be back at school. Consequently, I spent my entire year wishing for it to be over and just trying to make it by, one day at a time. Admittedly there were moments when I enjoyed being at school, like if there was a certain topic we were studying that I had an interest in or if we were learning something that I actually wanted to learn about. And, of course, being able to spend every day with my friends is a big bonus! (Probably the very best thing about being at school!) But, other than that, I would arrive at school every morning just counting down the hours until the bell sounded to go home. I began the school year in the wrong mind frame and with no motivation and, as a result, I was never going to have a productive year unless I changed my mentality. As much as I wanted to change my approach to school, the desire wasn’t strong enough, so basically I just ‘got by’. I always knew that I had the potential to do better than what I was doing and, that when the time came at the end of the year for everyone sit exams and get our ATAR scores, I knew I would regret the minimal effort I put into my school work. Luckily for me though, according to everyone else, I have enough ‘natural intelligence’ and I was able to get a reasonable ATAR score. So all in all I suppose I did what I had to in order to pass VCE and successfully complete my formal education.
The first school holidays, during the month of March, is when I think my world got turned up-side-down slightly. My family went away for a basketball tournament that Jack was playing in and, seeing as how I didn’t want to go, I got to spend that time at home by myself! During my days of freedom I watched a lot of TV (even if the only TV I watched was Muse’s HAARP DVD on repeat, all day, every day) and I spent a lot of time online. And this is where I found myself slowly emerging myself, oblivious at the time to the long-term consequences, into a world that I would never return from. It all started when I was randomly looking through some music websites until I stumbled across an MTV poll, what for I don’t remember, between My Chemical Romance and Muse. I picked my side and set out to gain votes for Muse. The first place I went to try and recruit voters was Twitter by copying and pasting a little note attached with the link to the voting page. People began replying to me and before I knew it I found myself in the middle of this online community that I had no idea even existed! In no time at all I had a whole new following on Twitter consisting primarily of Musers; the term given to the dedicated following of British alternative rock band, Muse. From Twitter this online community took me to the Muse forums on muse.mu where I officially became a ‘boardie’. I spent the rest of the Easter holidays talking to these people and getting to know them and, from that moment on, I have never looked back. To this day I am still friends with all those musers, even having met up with them at the Muse concert in December. It would be an understatement to say that my fascination with these British rockers has consumed my life, but I honestly don’t care. I owe so much to them for giving me inspiration when I needed it and providing me with hope when my outlook was bleak. I honestly feel as if Muse changed my life. Most importantly though, had it not been for Muse, I wouldn’t have come across some of the most amazing people I know. So for that and so much more I am truly grateful.
May 9, 2010: Supernatural All Hell Breaks Loose II Convention! This was definitely a dream come true for me. I finally got to meet some of the cast members of my all time favourite television show! Unfortunately Jared and Jensen were unable to attend; however, we were graced with the presence of Samantha Ferris (Ellen Harvelle), Rob Benedict (Chuck) and Julie McNiven (Anna), Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer) and, last but not least, Misha Collins (Castiel). Joining me at the convention was Emma and Bonnie, two fellow Supernatural enthusiasts like me! We spent the day asking questions and listening to the stories that the cast would share with us. It’s very true what people say about the Supernatural cast; they are without a doubt some of the most down-to-earth celebrities you could ever come across. They were funny and intelligent and simply a great bunch of people to spend the day with. After the Q&A sessions we were given the opportunity to have professional photos taken with the cast member/s of our choice. I got a photo with Misha and then a photo with Jim! I remember my photo with Misha very clearly. We were told not to attack the actors with hugs unless they went in for the hug first. I had no intention of attacking Misha; however, as I went to put my arm out so I could be on his left side, Misha interpreted that as me wanting a hug. He then went in for the hug and, not knowing what else to do, I followed his lead. But due to the awkward position we then found ourselves in, the result was the most awkward hug in the history of hugs. I put my arm around him and my head kind of leant forward into his shoulder. Essentially, I nuzzled into Misha Collin’s shoulder, lol. And after all that I still ended up on his right side, lol. Afterwards, because we had some money left over, Bonnie, Emma and I pitched in to get a photo with Rob. Later on in the day, the last item on the agenda was the opportunity to get signatures. I ended up with a signed photo with Misha Collins and a signed photo with Rob Benedict. Rob was very kind! Emma, Bonnie and I had our names on a sticky note so that Rob knew how to spell our names; however, we didn’t tell him who was who. So Rob tried to guess which name belonged to each of us. It was quite funny. Then, as he was signing, he was thinking to himself how to finish his message to us and we were saying to him, “how about ‘love from Rob’, ‘thinking of you always’, ‘see you later on tonight’?” Rob just started laughing at us, lol. After he was finished he asked us if we wanted the sticky notes back but we said he could keep them and, as we walked away, we saw him stick the sticky notes to himself and keep them there for the remainder of the signing time! The day spent at the Supernatural Convention really was one of the best days of my life!
With June came my 18th birthday. Never having been one for big celebrations I decided to just have a simple get-together with a few of my friends for lunch at my house. It was nothing fancy but it was nice to have my friends around to celebrate. On the night of the 13th Emma and Elly stayed over so that they could be there with me when I officially turned 18. It was very sweet of them and, at exactly 12am, we cut my birthday cake; a Freddo Frog Ice-Cream Cake! I wasn’t the only one to turn 18 this year though. Beginning with Bec in May and ending with Emma in December, 2010 was the year that majority of my friends and I all became legal! We still have a few people in our group who are yet to cross over into official and legal adulthood, however when their time comes, I guarantee that it’ll go off just as everyone else’s has. Of course, with legality came a few privileges, like being able to drink alcohol and go out clubbing! Not that I’m really one for clubbing, in fact, I can’t stand it. However, get a few drinks into me and I’m more than willing to show off my moves on the dance floor, lol. Not that I even have any ‘moves’, lol. It has been fun though, regardless of whether it’s my ‘thing’ or not. Just being out with your mates and having a good time, that’s all that really matters.
July 4, 2010: The Vampire Diaries Convention. Taking place in the same auditorium at Melbourne University as the Supernatural Convention was held, Emma and I got to meet the cast members of the television show, The Vampire Diaries. The events of the day took place in very much the same fashion as the Supernatural convention in May. At this convention, though, we were lucky enough to meet the three main stars of the show, Nina Dobrev (Elena), Paul Wesley (Stefan) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon). Looking back on the day I remember how gorgeous and smart Nina was, how ripped Paul’s arms were and how incredibly intelligent and passionate Ian was. Emma and I got photos together; one with Ian and one with Paul. As we walked towards Ian to get our photo taken he looked at us both and said “look, two tall fine lovely ladies”. Gosh, that sent Emma and me into a spin, lol. Later on we then got our photo with Ian signed. These conventions are such a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the actors and actresses of your favourite television shows and I hope that I get to attend more of them in the near future!
2010 was also the year that I got to attend four concerts in the space of 3 months, even if 2 of the gigs were for the same band, lol. October 13, December 1, December 14 and December 15 were the dates I got to see Paramore at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, U2 at Etihad Stadium and Muse x2 at Rod Laver Arena, respectively. All three acts were incredible all in their own regards. Going to these gigs has made me want to go to more concerts more frequently! However, that would mean I need to get a job so I have to money to be able to do these things… There’s no question about it, Muse was my favourite act. I couldn’t possibly go into detail now about my Musing adventures because it would honestly take up too much time. I recommend you visit this post (link to be posted later) if you want to read all about Muse. And this one if you want to read about U2.
While on the subject of Muse I’ll take this opportunity to mention my meeting Muse at Melbourne airport earlier this month. On December 12, my fellow musers and myself went to the airport to try and meet Muse as they arrived in Melbourne for their Melbourne leg of the Resistance Tour. It must have been our lucky day because the boys did indeed arrive that day and we were able to stop them, talk with them and get photos. It was easily one of the greatest days of my entire life! I unfortunately was unable to get a photo with Matt or even talk with him for that matter, but I was able to talk and get photos and signatures from Chris and Dom! That’s right; I got a photo with Dominic Howard and I got my ‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’ 7” vinyl signed. It was an amazing day! Not just the fact that we met them, but just chilling at the airport with an awesome group of people!
December 3, 2010: Hamish and Andy’s Thank You Tour, Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Emma, Elly and myself headed out into the city so that we could be there as radio and TV personalities, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, broadcast their last radio show. They will be back next year, but only once a week instead of every weekday. This Thank You Tour was their way of saying, as the title itself explains, thank you to Australia. It was a great day filled with lots of laughter and musical performances. Michael Paynter and John Farnham were scheduled to play during the show and, Daryl Braithwaite made an appearance, as well as Newton Faulkner via video but, it was surprise musical guests U2 who really stole the show when they rocked up to perform.
2010 has been a big mixture of emotions. On one hand it has been one of the worst years, with the deaths in our family and my motivation for everything in general being at an all time low. Yet, on the other hand, having the chance to meet the cast of both Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries, as well as meeting the members of Muse and attending the Muse concerts, has made it one of the best years ever. I suppose the good and the bad equalled out, creating some kind of natural balance. However, despite all that has happened this year, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. 2010 has brought with it new memories, new experiences, new friendships; and it’s the people I got to share these things with that have made everything so much more memorable.
So here is a little something for one of the most important and influential friendships in my life and something for the few new friendships that I have formed this year.
You’re my best friend! You have quite literally been there for me this entire year, no matter the reason. Whether you knew it at the time or not, you helped me so much during the most difficult time of my life. You were the first one I was on the phone to; you listened to me and respected what I wanted during that time, regardless of whatever it was. You gave me space when I needed it and comforted me when the time called for it. Simply being around you and in your presence helps in any situation. You’re one of those ‘glass-half-full’ types of people who tries to look on the bright side no matter what. Remember, there’s always a silver lining; a ‘light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel’, so to speak, lol. You put so much energy into being there for your friends and that’s something I admire about you. This year you have been there with me for pretty much every monumental event. We got to go to two conventions together and fan-girl over our favourite celebrities. We went to Hamish and Andy together and got to see the boys off in style! Admittedly, you were the second person I called after I met Muse, but that was cos I had to ring Ev so we could go insane over Dom together. But regardless, you were the one I called when everyone else was on the phone to their families and loved ones. That’s because you’re more than my best friend; you’re my sister. You’re a part of my family now, as you well know. You have been accepted with open arms into the Keen household, lol. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing together; whether it be sitting on the couch watching movies and having a food-fest or going out on pub crawls (which are going to be so much fun, lol), I just enjoy spending time with you. Next year is going to be so much fun; freedom at last! I don’t need to hope that we can create some more awesome memories together because I know that that’s a given! Love you, girl!
It doesn’t matter that I only met you this year because it feels like I’ve known you for so much longer. You can officially go down in my history books as the first online friend who I met up with in real life and who has also stayed the night at my house, lol. And that’s a good thing because that means I feel comfortable with you. It’s uncanny how much we have in common but, as we have both decided, that stopped being weird long ago! Our similarities go beyond a mutual love for Shia LaBeouf and Dominic Howard and Muse; we’re very similar in personal traits and those aspects of ourselves that make us who we are. It’s for that reason that I think we get along so well; because we understand each other. Earlier this year we said that we would get to meet Dom together and, guess what, we did it!!! We met Dom together, we met Muse together and we got to rock out at Muse together on the barrier! I’m so glad that I was able to share in that experience with you and, hopefully, there will be many more experiences like that in the future that we can join in together!
Oh, Evelyn; my muser sister! I was trying to think back to how I even got started talking to you and, you know, I think I remembered how. I’m pretty sure Ash was talking about sticking posters up on her wall and wanted to know if using sticky-tape or blu-tac was better. I told Ash that I use blu-tac but put little squares of sticky-tape on the back corners to stop the poster from ripping or discolouring. You must have seen Ash’s question because you started talking to her about it too. Then you started talking to me about different methods of sticking up posters, lol. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s how we started talking regularly, lol. Then our friendship progressed! You sent out nightly twitpics of Muse and that’s how we discovered we were both Dom-girls! From there I got Dom-pics dedicated to me nightly! Before we knew it you were stalking me everywhere, lol! Twitter, Facebook, muse.mu, MSN, mobile number… It got out of control, lol. But I wouldn’t change anything about it! I don’t think I know anyone else out there who knows as much about Muse as what you do! It’s quite incredible actually. Together we can go off on quite a tangent making up impossible Muse fantasies which, hopefully for our sake, don’t remain merely a fantasy forever, lol. Not to mention you’re the one who got me into QI and, consequently, began filling my head with more random and useless facts! I’m very grateful for the fact that you accepted me for who I am so easily! You know I’m strange and it doesn’t bother you. And, despite the fact that we live in neighbouring states, we FINALLY got to meet one another at the Muse concerts in Melbourne! But not before we got to share, two days beforehand, an epic Muse/Dominic meeting! You had your ninja stalking skills in top gear that day! Thank you for everything you've done for me this year and all the memories you've given me! Here's to many more next year!
Lucy, you are such an amazing chick! I am so very grateful that I found you all the way over there in Scotland via the very useful internet! I can't begin to tell you how much it means to have you in my life. It's so strange how, for two people who have never met before, we can be such good friends! I've loved all those crazy and perverted conversations we've had over MSN and TinyChat this past year, even if it means I was up until 4am on a school night, lol. We kicked it off so well so quickly, it was great! And then once we found out each other’s love for fanfic, well, let's just say I think Ev sometimes got a bit worried about us, lol. You really are like the older sister that I never had! I can talk to you about anything at anytime and I like that; it feels comfortable! It is going to be my mission to visit you, Lucy! It will happen! I know it will. And then you can come to Australia and I'll take you to visit the penguins! Thank you, Lucy, for being a part of my life this year! It's been so much fun! And I know that next year will be just as, if not more, awesome!
Well, where to begin, eh? We met because of the MTV poll and I was trying to find 'fans of Muse' (I didn't know they were called 'musers' at the time) to help vote. And I was telling you about all the hate that was going on between the two fanbases. And because you couldn't log onto the website to comment, you gave me some 'Dead Star' lyrics to post and, as a result, I copped so much hate from the My Chemical Romance fans, lol. And thus began our friendship! From that moment on we simply began talking to each other on Twitter and, to this day, we still do! (And Facebook and muse.mu and MSN and TinyChat.. lol). And it's cos of all the 4am conversations that I've gotten to know you so well! To quote myself and reiterate everything I've already told you, I consider it an honour to have been able to get to know you this year. Though we are so far away in actual distance, I feel that in reality we are so close to one another in spirit. I know that no matter what situation I find myself in I can always come to you for guidance and support. Not to mention you always encourage me to do my best and to be my best. It means a lot. So thank you for everything this year, it's been fun! Now for 2011!
I’m sure there is so much more that happened and so much more I want to say but, for now, this will have to suffice!