Anybody else been comparing their life to a deflated tyre of late? Once upon a time you were shiny and new, fully pumped up ready for life's highway. But as the kilometres mount and after all of the road's bends and potholes you've lost your traction and feeling a bit flat. You're hanging in there though and know you're not quite ready for the pyramid-shaped tyre pile mounting up in the farmer's paddock.
Sounding bleak - but that's exactly how I've been feeling. After months of travelling life's highway, the 24-hour news cycle seeping through my pores, leaving me a saddened soul, the troubles of the world weighing heavily on my shoulders.
So slumped over, I drove to the Festival of Open Minds on Saturday in that state. Don't get me wrong. I didn't go begrudgingly - quite the contrary, in fact. I was looking forward to a day out of my black mood, hoping somebody would show me the way to a universe with rainbow unicorns and sprinkle dust. Where all news is good news, and social media commentary is an ongoing river of those bursting heart-eyed emojis.
I was so keen, I was earlier than most and took my place in the front row. Right up there with the action. I mean if there were any free magic potions to be handed out I was having it. Admittedly I was a little bit tentative about my front row seat. What if I was pulled up to be a volunteer in front of the audience - they say negativity is contagious.
Since that was my fear and the day was supposed to be about opening your mind, with that comes facing your fears. Much to my horror the day started with local singer songwriter Corrine Gibbons lifting everybody out of their seat and singing "The Turtles Happy Together". The room started to gather a collective hum, people's voices joined as one and I think a little bit of colour may have just entered my heart.
From that moment on I strapped myself in for the emotional ride that poet Meaghan Holt (aka Sassi Nuyum) said would have turbulence. With speakers ranging from local to global including Tim Costello, Pastor Christie Buckingham, Nas Campanella and gutsy horsewoman Emma Booth, not to mention the panel of locals who courageously spoke their minds and bared their souls. Every speaker that took to the stage added colour to my blackness. I laughed, I didn't just cry, I blubbered, and most of all I became inspired - really inspired.
I felt like a chameleon who had found the lollipop forest and the world's colours had seeped into my pores, leaving me with a bright soul. One full of hope that all we have to do is believe in ourselves and collectively we can change the world.