Time to Change – Day Twenty-Six

Today was a tough day.  I woke up knowing it wouldn’t be a barrel of laughs, but it was definitely worse than I anticipated.  It started out much the same as every other day this week – getting ready quickly, walking to the bus stop, commuting by bus and train to the city.  We were in a different place today and I am extremely directionally challenged.  I managed to get thoroughly lost despite following Google Maps in my hand, messaging one of the guys I was meeting asking where it was and only being about 300 metres away.  How do I manage it?  Talent.

Anyway, so that kind of threw off my day even more.  I hate getting lost.  It’s stressful and frustrating and seems to always happen when you really don’t need it to.  Once I finally got there, we went in and started the day.  We registered ourselves onto different internal websites, then spent hours doing compliance modules.  For anyone who’s ever had to endure them, you’ll understand my pain.  It was horrendous.  Thankfully, I’d had plenty of experience in my previous job with very similar trainings so I smashed through them and finished first.  Even finishing first, I still spent a good chunk of my day on it.  Once that was done we worked out rosters and where we’ll be placed to train for the next month.  Wouldn’t you know it, I got landed two shops down from where I used to work?

Fan-fucking-tastic.

Of all the shops in all the state you have to put me there.  Next to a store full of people who hate me.  Next to people I wouldn’t trust again in pink fit.  Part of me wants to walk past them all and wave and act like this was part of my game plan (a rather large part, actually).  Another part wants to park as far away from possible, sneak into the store, hide from the front of it as much as possible and not leave it until home time so they won’t see me.  Still not sure which route will actually happen.  I think it’s unrealistic to think I’ll be able to avoid all of them for a whole month…especially because I need my pants altered and that shop is right outside my old work.  Yep, I think plan A is what will happen.

Anyway, so after finding that out we needed to try on uniforms.  Something I’d been dreading.  Please be big sizes, I thought.  I hate hate hate working out uniform sizes so much.  It was every bit humiliating and embarrassing as I thought it would be.  I tell them size 20, they look at me and say “no way, you’re not a 20, you’re like a 14”.  Um, I haven’t been a 14 since high school.  Try on an 18, too small.  No size 20s.  Try on a 22, and it fits.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

They don’t have any shirts in stock to fit me, even in guy sizes.  Great.  I’m the only one without a shirt now while they order it in.  Fuck.  I have a cardy but it looks horrible buttoned up.  Yep, this was a feel good exercise alright.

By the time it let out, my head was hurting, my ankle was killing me (it’d been getting progressively worse for a week) and to add to it all, it was so humid and disgusting that I was sweating by the time I’d gotten the train station.  I tried touching on with my Myki, but it wasn’t working.  I tried again and again.  Nothing.  I was holding people up.  It just wasn’t working.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

I took so long I caught the eye of one of the wandering helpers, who managed to get it working.  Once I got into the station, I immediately knew something was wrong.  It was a madhouse, even by peak hour standards.  You couldn’t even move there were so many people.  I’m still not 100% sure but I think one of the trains was broken down or something so everyone decided to go to my platform and catch a different train.  Luckily it wasn’t my train, because they were packed in like sardines…moreso than usual.

When my train arrived I was forced to stand up, which wasn’t fun because my ankle was seriously giving me grief.  There wasn’t anything I could do about it but try to ignore it.  The train was packed and it was hot and unpleasant.  I grit my teeth and put up with it.  It was a relief to get off and jump onto the bus, even if that was packed as well.  At least I got a seat.

After limping home, I collapsed onto the couch, wanting to never move again.  Instead, I had a look at my ankle.  Definitely swollen.  So instead of relaxing like I so desperately wanted to, I got back up and hoped into the car and went and bought a brace for it.  I knew if I didn’t, I’d regret it.  I couldn’t avoid standing on it – it was part of my new job and I wasn’t going to be all “Sorry, can’t stand, my ankle hurts” – so at the very least I knew I had to give it some support.

Finally, I got home after an epically long day again.  I can’t remember the last time my days felt so packed and exhausting.  I, once again, ate like crap, and I feel bloated and gross.  Now that I’m back in my old stomping ground, I’m going to be able to plan my meals and stuff a bit better, and be home slightly earlier.  I think this will help a lot.  I’ll be able to find a routine again and hopefully I’ll be able to get a smaller uniform size sooner or later!

Hope your day was better than mine 🙂

-JD

Modern Families

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Modern Families.”
If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

This is an interesting thought.  I’ve spent a bit of time building my family tree, and I found it really cool.  That being said, family trees don’t go into much detail past names, birth and death dates and maybe a grainy photo if you’re lucky.  This prompt forces you to think beyond that a little.

If any of my ancestors came back, I don’t think they’d be too surprised about anything in my family.  We don’t have any skeletons in the closet, there’s no teenage pregnancies or mixed families.  There’s one divorce that I can think of, no gay people or even inter-racial relationships.  We’re the epitome of unsurprising in this day and age, to the point it’s actually kind of boring.

That being said, I think they’d be extremely surprised about the world we’re growing up in.  Technology is everywhere and taken for granted.  Can you imagine someone from 1900 seeing what we have today?  Giant TVs that can stream basically any movie you want, gadgets in your pocket that allow you to speak to anyone at any time, watches you can control by speaking to it, cars that run on batteries, roadsigns that can change depending on traffic conditions, lights and heaters that can be switched off and on from anywhere in the world with the click of a button, wifi internet that allows you to connect to all the information you could ever need.  The list is endless.  We might laugh at how advanced they assumed we’d be when they were asked “what will it be like in the year 2000?” – we may not have hoverboards and flying cars but we have a lot of other things they couldn’t have even dreamt of.

I think the single biggest thing that would blow their minds would be navigation.  It’s something we all take for granted now, but it’s actually incredible.  You can be basically anywhere on earth, and with the tap of a couple of buttons you can find your way.  You can have a voice telling you where to turn, if you miss your street it can automatically readjust and find another route, you can even use Google Earth to see almost anywhere in detail.  How crazy would that seem to outsiders?  Instead of having to pour over maps and planning your trip in advance, you just do it on the fly, without even thinking about it.  Instead of asking strangers for help if you get lost, you just wait for the gadget to readjust and keep right on going.  To them, it would seem like you literally have the whole world in your pocket.  It would be the coolest, scariest thing in the world…and we don’t even think twice about it!

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Twenty

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Day 20 – Something You Love to Wear

Ah, this one is definitely my favourite prompt!  I have a giant collection of Converse shoes in all different colours, patterns and designs – the crazier the better!  I have roughly 40 pairs and once I start having a steady income again, it’ll no doubt grow from there.  My favourite pair are my purple hi-top platforms, as they’re not only eye-catching but super comfortable as well.  When I was at my old work, I used to (naughtily) get away with wearing whatever shoes I wanted to (the bottom half of our uniform was jeans so it didn’t look terrible) so I got to make use of my collection.  This new job isn’t gonna be quite as flexible as that unfortunately, so back to weekend-only wear they all go 😦

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-JD

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Five

So, I’ve had a massive couple of days.  It’s exhausting going from zero to a hundred in the space of a week.  It feels weird to think this time last week I was sitting around all day, and now I can barely catch my breath.  It’s good and I’m enjoying being employed again, but it’s hard to get used to and even harder to find time to write (especially because my TV shows are already starting to pile up and get out of control, argh!).

Yesterday was pretty good.  My ears were still giving me grief but I made an effort to keep my painkillers topped up instead of letting it get out of hand then battling to get it under control.  I was in induction again, and it went well.  All the people in there were really friendly and fun, and the trainers were awesome.  I’ve been in a lot of crappy training sessions in my time, but this wasn’t one of them.  The day’s focus was on products, which is something I didn’t know much about in terms of telco-specific stuff, but I knew a lot about in it the broader sense.  I still feel like I have a lot to learn about the products they offer, but I’m not letting myself get too overwhelmed or concerned by that stuff.  I know it’s easy to get lost in it, but realistically you can fake-it-til-you-make-it with the help of computers and brochures and stuff.

Public transport is definitely a challenge.  I’ve done it before (in fact, I did it for a month this time last year) and I’d rather PT than driving into the city and paying through the nose for parking, but it’s certainly different.  Firstly, you have to get to the station, which is always a longer walk than it would be to a car park.  Not necessarily a bad thing as it gets my step count up, though adds to my exhaustion at the end of the day.  Then you wait for the train.  Then you get on and it’s peak hour so there’s no seats and barely even anything to hold onto so you’re basically focusing entirely on not falling over as the train lurches around.  You know if you do fall, it’ll be like human dominoes and you certainly don’t want to be the one that causes it.  After 45 minutes you finally arrive at your station, then get off and hurry to the waiting bus (praying it doesn’t leave before you get there).  You get on and hope he doesn’t take off until you’ve sat down, lest you fall flat on your face (I’ve done it before).  Twenty minutes later, you get off the bus and walk about a kilometre home, avoiding big trees so you won’t get swooped by crazy mother magpies.

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Seriously, I hate the fucking things.  Then again, I hate most birds so that isn’t really saying much.  Still, there isn’t much that scares me more than the sound of flapping fast approaching and the thought of claws and wings suddenly attacking you from behind.  You ask any Australian what they hate about spring time and chances are this will make it into their top three.

Anyway, I digress.  After getting up super early, battling public transport in the morning, doing training all day, battling even worst public transport at night, I get home absolutely wiped.  I didn’t get the chance to rest yesterday though.  I jumped straight into the car and headed to the doctors to see what they thought was going on with my ears.  I always arrive early and I always wonder why.  I always seem to land the ones that are miles behind.  The doctor next to her saw six separate people to my doctor’s two.  She was half an hour behind, so I didn’t get in there until 7.30.  At least she was thorough with her questioning.  We basically got nowhere though.  She said it wasn’t ear infections (surprisingly) and thought it might be part of an ongoing migraine, which I wasn’t so sure about even though when it first started it coincided with one.  Then she dropped the bombshell – she said if it was from a migraine, I should get a needle to hopefully fix it.

Wait what.

I hate needles.  I was totally blindsided by it.  I didn’t even know migraine needles were a thing, and even if I had of, I didn’t think what I had was a migraine.  So I get sent to another waiting area then ushered into a nurse’s station.  She tried to brush it off as nothing but I mean, hello, you’re sticking something into my skin.  That isn’t nothing!  Still, after getting a wisdom tooth out recently, I knew this wasn’t gonna be anywhere near as bad as two needles in my gum.  It was okay.  The needle itself didn’t hurt at all until the very end, but for the rest of the night my whole arm was so sore.  I was paranoid it would become stiff like it did once when I was a kid (though I had a feeling as a kid I probably didn’t move it at all for fear of pain and that caused issues).

So, after all that, I got home at about 8.15, tired, hot, sore and hungry.  Not the ideal end to the day.  By the time I fed the dog and got changed, it was 8.30.  I had half a bag of popcorn for dinner, watched one episode of the Block then went to bed and fell heavily asleep.  I haven’t slept like that (without drugs) for a long time.  It was one of those sleeps where you wake up and it feels like five minutes ago you crawled into bed.  While it probably means it was a good sleep, it isn’t a nice feeling because it’s like you never got to appreciate the time between work.

I battled PT again today, and had my last day of induction.  It’s funny, as I said I’ve had heaps of trainings before in my life with people I don’t know, but it’s never felt as friendly as this.  We all got on really well and had a lot of laughs.  We even added each other on Facebook at the end of it.  I think it has a lot to do with the cool people who ran it – they were just as friendly and awesome, and really set the tone for the whole training.  Today was focused mainly on systems and tying up loose ends.  I think overall I liked this day the most as I’m a bit of a systems nerd and really enjoy that aspect of work, and getting to play with all the different features.  We didn’t go in depth at all today but we saw what was possible and what we’d learn about in the future once we get into store and it seemed pretty awesome (albeit confusing and complicated).

After finally getting home, I had to leave straight away (again!), this time to go grocery shopping, which I’d been putting off for a couple of days.  Once again, I wasn’t home until after 7.30.  At least I’ve now had a chance to catch up on a few TV episodes and relax a little.  I’ll probably had a bath later on, before resting up and doing something similar tomorrow – induction might be over but now it’s compliance training, which is going to be dry and long and boring.  At least I should be able to smash through it, after doing all this at my previous work.  I’m looking forward to getting my roster for the next month and seeing where I’ll be put to train up prior to my store opening.  Hopefully it’s close by.

In terms of my diet, it went out the window this week.  Honestly, while I know I should be focusing on it and keeping it up, I just didn’t have the energy.  I had so much else going on that what I was putting in my mouth just didn’t make it onto the list.  I fell back into old habits hard.  I think once I know the gameplan I can mentally prepare a bit better and work out how I’m going to tackle it, but right now with everything so up in the air, it’s just too difficult.  This is pretty much how it was this week:

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At least working in the city and using public transport has automatically lifted my step count to an average of between 5000-7000 a day.  I haven’t had a chance to go on my walk (I feel bad for my dog who has kind of been shafted – one week I’m there and walking her every day and the next I’m out of the house heaps and not walking her).  I will make an effort to start the exercise back up once I get my roster and know where I’m working.  I know I need to stick to it, it’s just a lot harder now to find time for everything.

My ears are still sore, but I’ve cut back on the painkillers a little bit, and it’s coming and going more now instead of being constant.  I don’t know if that’s because of the injection or just because whatever’s going on is fixing itself.  I feel like it’s probably the latter – I even told the GP I didn’t think it was from migraine pain because I get migraines heaps and they’ve never been like that.  I don’t really care what the issue is, I just need to feel better.  Being sick on top of all this is making everything even more stressful and exhausting.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, even if it’s going to be boring.  I really think I’m going to enjoy the job once I get settled in, and I can appreciate it after losing one and then hating the next one I got.  Really makes you want to do well once you find something you like!

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Nineteen

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Day 19 – Something I Feel Strongly About

Another very broad statement.  I feel strongly about a lot of things.  In fact, I’m sure my tangents drive people crazy sometimes.  What I feel strongly about today though is something that has divided nations and dinner tables everywhere.  We’re all firmly on one side of the fence or the other.  It’s a controversial yet oft-spoke about topic of debate.

Pinapple does not belong on pizzas.

There, I said it.  Fruit should not be touching my ham and cheese deliciousness (I know, I know, except for tomato, which is technically a fruit but is also an honorary vegetable in this instance).  Fruit should be kept until after the meal!  As a dessert, preferably in pie form.  Mmmm, pie.

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For those firmly on the opposite side of the fence, don’t tell me to just “pick it off”!  Pineapple is juicy, everyone knows that, so just because the little yellow devils aren’t on the bread any more, doesn’t mean we can’t still taste that it was there!

Way to ruin a good pizza, Hawaiians!  What side of the fence are you on?

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PS Yeah, I skipped yesterday.  Sorry.  Just picking up where I left off again!

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Three

So, today was my first day at my new job.  It was induction so nothing too scary.  I wasn’t really nervous at all.  I’ve found that happening a lot lately.  Things that should have me shaking in my boots don’t phase me at all any more.  Not sure whether it’s a sign of maturity or just me being more non-chelount.

That being said, I slept horribly last night.  I woke up what felt like continuously.  Very frustrating.  It was made worse by me knowing I needed sleep, and began a vicious cycle of stressing about not sleeping and therefore not being switched off enough to sleep.  Maybe subconsciously I was nervous?  I don’t know.

Anyway, the day started off pretty cruisy.  I didn’t start until 11.30, so I took my time getting ready.  I got on the bus at 9.30 and was in the city by 10.30.  It was as I was getting off the train I realized I’d gotten in an hour early instead of half an hour.  I’m still not sure how I managed that, because I checked half a dozen times prior to it that it started at 11.30.  Yet somehow, my brain automatically thought 11 when I was planning everything.  I decided I’d get a smoothie (I got a large but I don’t know why I did.  I always forget how much is in them.  I barely managed to get through half so it wound up being less than 200 calories in the end).  I wandered around for a bit but I hate the city and being in such a crowded place, so I quickly found a seat and waited it out.

The induction started okay.  I was one of two people who had worked in the industry previously, so most of what they went through was stuff that had already been drilled into me previously.  I guess that was lucky because the migraine I’d had on and off decided then was the perfect time to come back with a vengeance.  Luckily it was almost lunchtime by then.  I spent half the break in the toilet covering my eyes from the light and hoping nobody noticed how long the cubicle had been locked for.  I honestly would have sat there the whole break except I thought I’d probably better find some food.  The painkillers I’d taken had taken the edge off by then, so I headed to the closest place I could find.  Oportos.  Hmmm, not my first choice but it would do.  I ordered my all time favourite comfort food – hot chips – and took them back up to the classroom to eat, worried I was running out of time thanks to the guy taking ten minutes to get my order done. (Seriously, ten minutes for some fries!  It wasn’t even busy!  Are you freaking kidding me?).

I downed some more painkillers before the class started back, vowing I’d go to the doctors that night.  I don’t like having to take so many but it was either that or go home sick…and that just wasn’t an option on a first day.

I survived the rest of the day.  The migraine stayed at bay, though I could feel it trying to overpower the drugs.  I started to feel it again on the train home, but it wasn’t enough to concern me.  Once I started my walk home, I called the doctors who said they didn’t have any appointments tonight except for 10.40.  After the crappy night’s sleep last night there’s no way I was going to trek out at that time of night, so I made an appointment for tomorrow night instead.  I’m hoping it might clear up before then but it’s probably wishful thinking.

On the plus side, without going for my walk today, I clocked up over 7000 steps!  I usually average about 5000 including my walk so I was pretty happy about that.  Another plus was I officially start full time work as of today – as it was induction and the store I’ve been hired to work at isn’t opening until next month I wasn’t sure if there’d be a gap or not.  Turns out there isn’t!  Yay, time to be financially secure and independent again!

Anyway, I think that pretty much sums up my day.  I have a longer day tomorrow so I’m hoping I’m feeling better.  I feel like the doctor won’t have much else to say than “rest up” which isn’t going to happen right now.  Stupid body falling apart the second it’s called into action!

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Eighteen


Day 18 – Something that Feeds Your Brain

I think the best thing to feed my brain is reading.  It’s something I don’t do anywhere near enough of, but I can feel myself getting smarter (or at least, some of my smarts returning after magically disappearing once high school let out).  It’s something I did religiously as a kid.  I always had stacks of books waiting for me from the library, and I’d devoure story after story.  I remember I started with Grug as I was just beginning to read, then moved to Goosebumps and the Baby Sitters Club.  When I was a bit older I got into the Mary-Kate and Ashley books, then John Marsden’s the Tomorrow Series.  Then someone introduced me to the Sims and suddenly reading wasn’t so important any more.

I got back into it a couple of years ago, re-reading the Artemis Fowl books (which are awesome!), then getting lost in the back catalogues of Catherine Ryan Hyde and Jodi Picoult.  I finally got into Harry Potter as well.  So many wonderful stories and characters!  As much as I love video games and cartoons, nothing makes my brain tick like a good book.  I really do need to make more of an effort to keep reading.  It’s so easy these days to chuck on the TV instead.

-JD

“Who is your favourite literary character of all-time?”

My favourite literary character of all time is Ellie Linton, the heroine from John Marsden’s the Tomorrow Series and later, the Ellie Chronicles.  A character a lot of Australians would know well.

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I first read the series when I was about twelve after a recommendation from my Grade 5 teacher.  I initially didn’t think much of it.  I was young, what could I possibly like about a series based around a war?  Little did I know it would become my favourite series ever, one I’d read over and over again.

All the characters in it are great and relatable in some respects.  Fi is the innocent friend, the one you hate to see hurt the most.  Robyn is the religious friend, who is caught between her faith and her loyalties.  Lee is the smart one, who can sometimes be a little socially awkward.  Corrie is the faithful best friend, always there with a shoulder to cry on.  Kevin is the outspoken one, who let’s his words get him into trouble as much as get him out of it.  Homer is the boisterous one, the good guy with a rebellious front.  The reason I love Ellie most of all though, is because she’s the bravest and the toughest, even in her weakest moments.  Where Fi and Robyn show bravery then fall apart, Ellie doesn’t let herself do that.  Not only that, but she’s incredibly selfless, and always puts her friends first, even when it could cost her her life.  That kind of loyalty is something usually reserved for male characters.  In saying all this, though, she isn’t some sort of war robot.  She’s constantly torn between what’s right and what needs to be done, and sometimes she gets it wrong.

I love the character because it shows that it’s okay to be scared, to make mistakes, to be human.  It shows girls can be brave.  It shows girls don’t always need men around to protect them.  She’s fiery and strong and a leader, a character that I believe has shaped me into someone I’m always striving to become.  I don’t believe the books would be half as powerful to read if a male was the narrator.  It would be just another war series.  John Marsden made a fantastic choice when he put Ellie in the driver’s seat!

Who’s your favourite literary character?

-JD

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Two

So, today is my last day of unemployment.  You think I’d be nervous, but I’m not.  I’m not really feeling much of anything.  I guess it’ll hit me tomorrow.  This is hopefully the start of my next journey.  I just hope I found it as enjoyable (and educational) as my last one.

I’d been feeling pretty under the weather from the migraine that had carried on from the previous day.  It’s a weird one too.  I’ve had my fair share of them but this one isn’t normal.  I woke up at 1am with the top of my jaw and ears hurting just as much as my head.  I took more painkillers and went back to sleep.  Woke up and my ears were really sore again, though my headache and jawache were basically gone.  My headache came back about 9am, so I took more painkillers.  It’s been okay most of the day, though my ears are both really sore again now, as are my eyes.  It’s really annoying because I can’t afford to get sick, and I’m worried it’s the beginning of ear infections.  The last time I had an ear infection was during a trip across Australia when I was about 14.  It was the worst pain of my life.  I was screaming and sobbing while my parents were frantically trying to find a doctor still open at 8pm in a foreign city.  I can’t afford to go through that again, particularly when I’m about to start a new job.  I’m just hoping it’ll fix itself and painkillers will do their job until that happens.

I went for my walk about lunchtime.  I wasn’t going to waste my last day off, although as always, I was tempted.  I got home and napped in the afternoon, hoping resting would ease my incoming illness.  I don’t know if it helped.  It doesn’t feel like it did.  I ate dinner late, as I just wasn’t hungry.  I knew I couldn’t go without though, so I eventually made myself something healthy and forced it down.  Skipping meals isn’t a good idea for weight loss or for keeping healthy.

Tomorrow will be a big day, I can feel it.  Meeting a whole bunch of new people, in a new place, in the city which is always congested.  I don’t see it being a fun experience for me, but I know it has to be done.  At least I feel like once I get this out of the way, I’ll enjoy the job much more than the one I was doing (temporarily).  I hate being the newbie and feeling out of my depth, but I know it has to happen, whether it’s with this job or another one.  Everyone has to go through it before they become one of the team.  I just need to suck it up and try to learn things as quickly as possible.

I think I’m gonna head to bed now.  My ears are really starting to ache.  I hope they don’t get much worse.  Now is not the time, body!

-JD

What One Song Defines Your childhood, Teenage & College Years?

The song that most takes me back to childhood is Aaron Carter’s cover of I Want Candy.  I know, I know, as if you’d chose this over Spice Girls.  Honestly, I never got into them as much as other people.  I was on the cusp of getting into pop music at that time (being only 6 or 7) and I never had their album.  Instead, mum got me my first completion CD – “Barbie Slumber Party Mix”.  This song was on it, and got a lot of plays.

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Also on the CD mix was Steps – 5, 6, 7, 8,  *Nsync – It’s Gonna Be Me, S Club 7 – Bring it All Back (a close contender for this title!) and Len – Steal My Sunshine.  It may have been released under a cheesy name, but this mix is still pretty cool for 90s nostalgia. (Yes, I may have just spent 25 minutes tracking down all the songs and making a playlist.  Don’t judge me!).

The song the defines my teenage years is an easy pick – Simple Plan’s “Perfect”.  It was the first song that really got me and my teenage angst.  Plus, these guys were the first band I ever saw in concert.  I remember almost my whole year level went and it’s all we could talk about for the next week.  Such an awesome show.

Hmmm, a song that defines my college years.  I think I’m going to have to go with Taylor Swift’s Teardrops on My Guitar.  Although comparatively late compared to everyone in the US, I was one of the first to discover her all the way over in Australia, and this was her first song I got into.  I remember going to her concert and it was so small and intimate that there was maybe 300 people at most there.  By the time she came out the following year, she’d filled up a whole stadium.  It’s pretty awesome to know I was there before all that.  Look how close I was!

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What songs define you?

-JD