My, How I Have Changed

Clayton Kovich
November 18, 2014

Kia Ora!

So finals have come to a close, and my suitcases have been packed and zipped! I am now beginning my last full day in New Zealand. Upon reflection, I have found that study abroad has truly done what everyone always said it would; it has changed who I am. I have learned so much from people abroad about other cultures, other perspectives of life, but also the similarities, the things that bind us as people. It has really been insightful. I have also had to face some drastic changes in my personal life which also inevitably leads to further introspection. Upon leaving I find I am more patient, more relaxed, and more accepting of life’s obstacles. Not only do I tolerate them, I embrace them wholeheartedly. I only hope I can take this positive outlook back home to the states with me and not revert back to who I was. I recently wrote a poem I would like to share. It is sort of exploring this idea that while I have changed it isn’t like “before I was black and now I’m white,” but it’s more along the lines of “before I was black and now I’m gray” or even “before I was black and now I don’t know what colour I am.” The idea that personal metamorphosis is not a definable or quantifiable event. It is always an ongoing process. So upon my departure of New Zealand, this poem reflects where I am in my metamorphosis. I hope you enjoy it.



Staring into the darkness
My hand gripping
My hand
I am alone
Staring into the abyss
My feet on the edge

I have stood here before
Placed by anger
The darkness an old friend
But one I always denied

I had stood
And breathed my smoke
Into the unknown
Only to have light
Shine on my face
And lead me away
With a sigh of relief

I used to be this guy
With an open heart
Blood dripping off my sleeve
But you poured your water on the flames
And snuffed out my spark

My transformation slow
The shallow fish
And the oceans of the world
Forcing me to swim
To become fit and lean
To become cold and mean
To dedicate myself
To myself
I am my friend
And my greatest enemy

And now I stare
Into the eyes of my old friend
Into the cold vastness
And I realize this time
I was not forced
I did not get placed there
By a harsh and unforgiving hand
But I had walked there
On my own
And dangled my toes
On the razors edge

It has come to this

And I declare
In a voice made of cement
“I don’t know who I am anymore.”
And I step into the void


It sounds dark, but it’s a song of hope. And I am filled with it.




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Clayton Kovich

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Clayton Kovich and I am a Junior at Purdue University in Indiana. I am studying Psychology with a focus on criminal behavior, hoping to aid in the growing industry of rehabilitation. I am from Michigan originally, but having moved many times growing up I have developed a fondness for travel, leading me to this adventure to New Zealand. I love poetry and music, and I look forward to the inspiration and insight this experience will provide me, and hope to use my talents to bring a piece of that experience home for others to enjoy as well.</span></p>

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