Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Forget everyone

"We 're buddies, we traveled together to Europe last year," he says as he puts his arm around him. 
"Yeah we did," he replies. 
They recount stories.

I drift into thoughts of all the people who graduate, pack their bags and jet off to Europe for a few months, desiring to "discover" themselves, to "discover" the world and start a blog to keep us up to date on their adventures. I stop. Discovering the world? The blogs and photo albums I click through are filled with pictures of them and other like minded tourists, drinking and partying as if nothing else matters. Discovery? Sounds like the art of hedonism, or a scene out of "Eurotrip". To me, discovering the world is going to a country that needs aid, meeting the people, interacting with them, experiencing their lifestyle. Europe is a vacation, a debt incurred after graduating you have to pay off along with your student loan when you get back to reality and realize jobs don't find you you find them. But that's me, a non Western twenty something who grew up reading books about oppression and genocide.

My mind drifts to what I did on April 30, 2008, when I finished writing my final undergraduate exam for a second year class I took in vain. I didn't have any trips planned, just a ticket to the misery of figuring out my personal life plan. No break, just the thought of "what now"? That day I traveled across town in my Helmut Lang inspired dress to an interview for a job I didn't want. Three minutes into the interview, I got up and left. A wasted occasion for a beautiful dress. April turns into May, I was uncertain if I was getting into the grad school I really wanted. Or thought I really wanted. I worked at a job I loathed, barely keeping my eyelids open for eight hours, slowly killing every ounce of creativity I have collected through my 22 years of existence. 
"Why don't you decorate your cubicle?" My colleague asks.
Because it was temporary. They were certain I was coming on as a permanent full time employee in September. I was certain that I wasn't. I had another job that paid nothing that I enjoyed, determined to make it a successful career. I was working for someone who was so afraid of how much I gave to his company and the potential I had that he betrayed me. And everyone was in Europe. 

Sunday night, I walk over to my bed, exhausted from a weekend at a human rights conference. I think of the familiar faces, the riveting people I met, and laugh at the eccentric characters that I'd rather not mention. It's been six months since I moved. Congratulations. There's no one to celebrate with. My roommate isn't home. My inbox has no new text messages, no missed phone calls, no emails. If I get into an accident, no one would know, no one would care to know. The house is a mess, to my standards. I don't feel like cleaning, just thinking. Six months ago I was living on a floor, sending my qualifications to companies that weren't hiring because of the recession while my friends were coming back from Europe, to the debt, to the real world, to no job prospects. I was hanging on awaiting my fate, doubting my abilities, and it came. I moved into a dingy apartment in the east end of town, paying too much rent for what is what worth. Two months after, I'm in this condo, which I adore and I think to myself, where will I be in six months from now? Can I pack my bags and just leave as if it was routine? Can I grow accustomed to the streets of a new city, act as a tour guide to visitors and actually know where to go on weekends? This move was easy because it was within the same province, will it be the same if it was to Western Canada or the USA?

No. I'll be here I hope. 
"You're much happier than you were last year. You're happy here," she says. 
And I am. But I need a vacation, and it might be Europe.


  1. This only further confirms that you must come to Paris with me, and make fun of my horrible attempts at speaking french.


  2. I would just like to say that you know I would care if you got hit by a car...

    that is all (this should idicate pretty clearly who it is)

  3. hehe.. I think I know the people who you mentioned at the beginning. I don't buy the I want to "find myself" argument either. Most people I think go for the fun/change of scenery aspect.

    I too wonder where I will be a year from now.. It's been less than a year after graduation and I already changed jobs. I was naive to think that I had the next few years planned, but that's before graduation.

    P.S bewteen us, who was eccentric at the conference? I don't recall any crazy stuff happening ;)

  4. Homie, I would care if you got hurt in a crash, and I can relate to this post on many levels. At least you have a job you like. I'm less than a month away to not having one at all!

  5. I was listening to track 13 of the album set yourself on fire when I read this, it set the mood perfectly.

    Cest moi, la aussi je me sens seule des derniers jours, je pense souvent a toi et comment on se comprend sur plusieurs niveaux.

    Did u receive my postcard?
    tu me manques xo

  6. @Renata: you know how much i want to
    @rach: i know you do, hehe.
    @omar: were you not there on saturday afternoon? if not you missed DRAMA! and i think staying in the dorms gave me the opportunity to meet everyone so i got all the quirky characters, hehe.
    @seb: you have so much skills, send that resume out profusely!
    @dre: i didn't get it, but i'm sure it's coming. miss you, calendar girl.