Let me introduce you to Bluey Snowflake.


She’s one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received, a gift from my aunt when I turned 7. And because my family is all egalitarian and stuff, my sister got her birthday present at the same time even though her birthday is more than a month after mine – her name is Pinky Snowflake. We built a dynasty around these two.

Bluey and Pinky Snowflake are twins and pop stars who dabble in acting. Every soft toy we ever owned (over 100 each) was made to fit into a grand narrative revolving around our two bunnies. First, we populated the Snowflake family. There was the matriarch, Snowy Snowflake, a sister, Fluffy, and a brother, Polar, along with his wife Sally. Then there were numerous family friends, many of whom were interconnected by marriage. Pinky married Terrifico the troll; Bluey followed suit, tying the knot with the (imaginary) troll Fantastico (clearly I did not have an Alpha personality). The four of them starred in an epic musical about the woes of war, called The War of Secretland. All of these characters inhabited Rabbitland, a realm of magic dust and wonderful adventures.

Now, Bluey’s first hit single was called Bluey Goes Round. I was playing some of my stuff on the guitar the other day when I remembered this tune – probably the first song I ever wrote. At the time the only overseas countries I had visited were Malaysia and New Zealand and some other destinations much closer to home. Back then, I wasn’t particularly interested in travel, apart from a desire to see England, fuelled by too much time watching BBC Kids. My sister wanted to be a singer when she grew up; I wanted to study accounting and live in Malaysia.

Yet I wrote this song about Bluey’s travels abroad – and I wonder at the extent to which my present dreams are reflected in this song. The first verse and chorus are as follows:

I have travelled long and wide

Far, a million miles out to sea

I don’t get airsick, carsick, seasick – no

And when I came back my friends would say

Bluey goes round

Bluey goes round

Bluey goes round

These lyrics are bizarrely true of the last decade of my life (except maybe the part about not getting seasick, because without some drugs I do occasionally feel pretty nauseous at sea). In the end, my sister was the one who studied accounting; since high school I have had zero interest in that field or in moving to Malaysia.

Are our childhood inventions an accurate reflection of our hopes and dreams? It seems logical. Bluey was surrounded by a supportive and accomplished family; she had lots of friends; she was always doing fun things and even work was fun. Yet I don’t think that the 7-year-old me, even deep down, ever wanted to be a pop star and actress, touring the world and married to an imaginary troll. The 17-year-old me, however, is a different story. Well, an imaginary troll of a husband hasn’t ever appealed to me in the least, but those other aspirations – the desire to travel, to perform, to be seen, to give of who I am and share it with the world – had begun to emerge, quietly and slowly, but steadily as I finished high school. And they are far more present in my life even now than they ever were when Bluey first began her adventures.

Of course, I don’t believe childhood imaginings shaped or foretold the direction of my adult life. But it’s fun toying with the idea.

*Pedant’s note: The word prophetic in the title of this blog post has been placed in inverted commas because I don’t generally use the word to mean an accurate prediction of the future. Prophecy is about understanding and communicating the will of God, regardless of whether it concerns the future.

Also, here’s the rest of the song:

Verse 2:
When I came back I’d tell my friends
What I learned and saw
The beauty of a country and what they eat and drink
It’s good to be able to know and feel

Bluey goes round
Bluey goes round
Bluey goes round

You should go and try it too
Being adventurous is really cool, whoa-oh
Different places, things to share
It’s not trip fares, it’s just what’s there
Just what’s there

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