“Any time you identify by what you are not, for myself, when you determine your politics and rights based on what you are not, I think you’re not on the road to empowerment. I think you’re on the road to systematically, mindfully marginalizing yourself.”—
Merlin Mann, Roderick On The Line (via dlheidemann)
“Nothing you do matters as much as you think. Your greatest achievements aren’t yours at all, they’re accidents and jokes. You’re a puppet, the universe does the work, and it gets the most done when you’re moving the least. Surrender, flow, relax. Don’t be hard on yourself, don’t put pressure on yourself, life is just a chain of experiments and results, and you’ll be perfect when you’re dead.”—Dan Harmon (via dustinmartian)
“I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms? Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad, even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds.”—
We see a man sitting in his bathtub, relaxing. He is eating a piece of cake with no particular expression on his face. You can hear the sound of rain outside, a clock ticking, the sound of water dripping out of the faucet.
The man takes a bite of his cake; just then a loud knocking can be heard coming from another part of the house. We see the man take a moment before he finally decides to get out of the tub. The man, now with his bathrobe on, opens the bathroom door. We hear the sound of the rain coming down even more heavily. The sound of the knocking is noticeably syncopated; atypical of someone trying to get your attention by knocking on your door.
The man is now visibly distraught, but trying to keep a cool demeanor. The man heads to his bedroom first, looking for something to defend himself. He spies his long sword resting in the corner of his room. This will do. The man continues to follow the sound of the strange knocking. We can now tell the sound of the knocking is coming from the kitchen where the back door is. The man slowly rounds each corner of his house with a type of attention he didn’t know he had. Finally, we see the man approach the door to the kitchen. He enters the room, now the source of the curious knocking becomes clear. During the violent storm the backdoor had been beaten open by the harsh wind. We see the man, still expressionless, standing in his rain soaked kitchen. The door still is beating against the wall. He now sets his sword on the counter and closes his backdoor – defeated.
It’s coming up on a month since I moved to Vancouver. I moved to Vancouver for a couple different reasons. For one, it’s where my Dad lives, and the place I was born. Before, I had been living with my mom and my grandmother in Shreveport, Louisiana. In addition to coming to live with my dad, I felt like I needed to move away from Louisiana. I was sure that whatever it was I was looking for was not there. Why would I continue you to live somewhere that wasn’t good enough, in my eyes.
Well, here I am, Vancouver. Still searching for what it is that I am lacking. Certainly, a change of scenery will do the trick. Of course, that’s not how things work. Up until this point I’ve been forgetting one crucial bit of information that I need. That is: What exactly am I looking for? This is the first step. The first step I decided to skip over.
I’ve been proceeding, but without the basis on which to stand. I don’t have the foundation to build on with my actions. What I really wanted was to leave Louisiana, but for what reason? I couldn’t tell you. What I know is that I live in Vancouver for the summer, and in the fall I will be attending College in Oregon. So, I’ve begun to build, but with nothing concrete to build on.
All I can do is take this time to continue to construct myself. The only thing I have control over in my life is every thing I do. I’ve put myself in this position, so I might as well continue down this path. I know now that the answers to what I’ve been searching for can only be answered by me.
I’m 18. What does this mean? I’m getting ready to go off to college. What else? I’m thinking more about my furture, more about myself. Who am I?
In my first year of high school, I decided to drop out. I had become complacent. Happy to get C’s in my classes, or worse. When I dropped out of highschool I decided to begin a homeschooling program, if only to justify dropping out of highschool to myself. At this point I spent most of my time on the computer. Surfing the internet not looking for anything in particular, but searching nonetheless.
In school I didn’t have a problem making friends. I was a pretty amicable fellow, however my friendships were a bit shallow. I thought befriending everyone was the right way to go. In so doing, I became more of a likable familiar, rather than people knowing who I was as a person. I didn’t think much about who I associated with, just so long as they accepted me. I’m not trying to say I hung out with the wrong crowd, but that I didn’t belong to a crowd. I didn’t have an identity.
Slowly, as I came to these realizations, I began to understand the importance of knowing myself. I hadn’t been comfortable sharing who I was with other, because I hadn’t spent the time to understand who I was. What I thought. Why I thought it. I was content to bend to the thoughts of others. —
Well, I could continue to ramble, but I think I’ve said what I wanted to. I’ll write another post pretty soon.
My blog up until now has been about my time that I spent in Vancouver as a First Grader. That sufficiently filled the “Stories” portion of this blog. However, “Ramblings” has been noticeably lacking. At risk of talking too much about blogging while I’m writing a blog I’ll suffice it to say. Ramblings will happen! Not tonight, but perhaps starting tomorrow.
There’s a multitude of things that I’ve been thinking about lately and I thought “Why not type them out and put them on the internet.” Sounds good, right?
In conclusion: my last month or so in Vancouver was spent out of school. My mom took me out of school for whatever reason. I didn’t mind, I don’t think I even noticed. I was doing some home schooling, but it seemed like it was all the same to me. I can’t remember exact dates, but when my family moved back to Louisiana it had been about a year since we had left. Looking back on it I think the time I spent in Vancouver helped shape who I was and what I thought about the world.
Seeing where I am and what the future holds. It does seem like history repeats its self. when my family got back to Shreveport we moved into my Grandmother’s house. I fit right back in at school, and it was like I never left. Now here I am living in my grandmother’s house getting ready to move back to Vancouver where my Dad is. Someone I didn’t talk about much during my retelling of my northwestern experience. I’m ready to go back to Vancouver now, and fit back in like I never left.
As the seasons changed in Vancouver, it became more of what I expected from Canada. That is, it turned chilly. It was consistently more cold than it was in Shreveport. Which I was fine with, I do prefer the cold weather to warm. My first time seeing snow was in Vancouver. In Vancouver, however, since the town is right on the water. There isn’t a chance for there to be a legitimate snow. That didn’t bother me though. My mom and I were able to have some fun out in the snow on one day when it did. We built a snow man, despite there only being about an inch of snow with which to work.
Winter time is definitely my favorite time of year. I remember going to a holiday festival in Lost Lagoon. Which was a lake adjacent to Stanley Park. I believe they were connected by a path, even. Also, for new years there was a fireworks display in English Bay. The bay, of course, was surrounded by the city. It was especially special for my family since the owners of the apartments we lived in would let us onto the roof to see the fireworks.
I didn’t mention this in my last post. In the summer there is an annual fireworks event that last about a week or two called Symphony of Fire. I believe it is a competition between different groups or ‘teams’ I guess. What makes this unique, though, is that each team has their fireworks displays choreographed to music. It’s quite a spectacle.
Editor’s note: Looks like there wasn’t much story progression in this installment! I think my next post will be the last for this North Western Experience though. So, that should be exciting.
During the summer I spent most of my time near Stanely Park. There was a driver safety course for kids in a small concrete parking lot right before you entered the park. A police person would be there to make sure everything was in order. Some days they would have miniature stop lights hooked up to make it feel really authentic. I remember there were days I couldn’t take the course because my mom didn’t have enough money. I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but that really was the story of my time in Vancouver.
Early in our stint there in Vancouver, we lost our car. So, naturally we would walk wherever it was that we needed to go. I was young and wasn’t used to having to walk everywhere. Looking back I think I did complain quite a bit about having to walk to wherever. A few times, though, I convinced my parents to call a cab. That was fun, for me.
When it came time for school to start again, I think I was ready for it. My peers were unlike the ones I had in Shreveport. In that they were from many diverse cultural backgrounds. There were two brothers from korea, another two were from Yugoslavia(I think). There was at least one from China, as well. Of course, there were a few natives, excluding me, as I was from the U.S. After school all the kids would make their way out to the playground in the back of the school. That’s where everyone’s parent would come to pick them up after school. Though, typically, the grown ups would talk at the picnic tables as the kids played on the playground.
On the way home from school in the afternoon, I would often ask my mom if we could get a Popsicle. Most days I believe we did just that, too. It was about a dollar for a Popsicle, and whatever change we got back I would like to give it to a homeless man outside the door of the shop there on Denman.
And so Summer turned into Autumn, the leaves began to change, and the weather turned from warm, to brisk and often raining.
Denman Street was home to a couple food destinations frequented often by my mom, and myself. Along with a small convenient store owned by an old oriental man. When it came to restaurants I believe Vancouver had some some of the best. (Of course I can only compare with what I’ve experienced here in Louisiana)
I had a fairly limited idea of how large Vancouver was. As far as I was concerned it was a giant park with some urban area tacked on to the side of it. As most of my time was spent on Denman Street and the immediate surrounding area. My school was just another block down the street past Denman. a brisk 5-10 minute scooter ride was all it took to get there. Depending upon the weather and how quickly it took me to race down to the crosswalk and press the button to make the red ‘stop’ hand change into a white ‘you can walk’ person.
My first experience at school was pretty harmless from what I can remember. I liked my teacher, and I made a couple friends. I needed to finish out my last couple months in kindergarten since I was unable to finish them in Louisiana. So, I had a quick few weeks to get myself acquainted with what this school had to offer. Then, I was free to have fun during the summer.
So, I didn’t know what to expect from Canada before we got there. I was just taking in the sights as we meandered along. We traveled North West across the United States for 5 days. There’s a place I’ll never forget that we stopped in at, while we were traveling. On the last day we arrived at a place called Leavenworth, Washington. A quaint town that looked like it was out of a book. Really a cool little place.
Along we went. We rolled up to the U.S./Canada border in what seemed like the afternoon. I was starting to get excited. I would be living in another country. albeit English was still the predominant language, so it wasn’t too foreign. Our new abode was small one. A one bedroom apartment for a family of three. My parents had their bed in the living room. Mine was in the one bedroom. The apartment was all white: the carpet, the walls, The tile in the kitchen. It was our home, on the sixth floor, right by the ocean.
We lived right next to the ocean. One apartment complex over from Stanley Park. A 1000 acre peninsula dedicated to nature walks and sea walks. There was a food kiosk there, and a playground right by the beach. You could really lose track of time if you weren’t careful. They even had a pool there. Right next to the ocean! Hm, I thought that was pretty funny.
So, that was to the left down our street. if you turned the other way you would need to walk a few blocks down a street paralleled by towering apartment complexes. You would come to an intersection. Denman and Nelson.
Ah yes. I was born on a chilly morning in a Vancouver hospital.On December 18, 1993. I was born in beautiful Vancouver B.C, Canada. I don’t remember my time there. I just know that my parents and I lived there for about 6 months after I was born. Then, took off for Shreveport Louisiana. Where my mother is from, and my parents met. So, I went to preschool. The next year I switched schools to First Baptist Church School. In this school there were three years of Kindergarten: K3, K4, K5. Then you would graduate right on in to 1st grade.
So, I started in K4 I made some friends, that I still know to this day. I generally got along with my fellow kiddies. Now, by this time I had moved to two different houses. We lived in an apartment while I was in K4, then in K5 I lived in a different house.
In the spring of ‘99 I was informed that we would be moving again. However; this time it wouldn’t just be to a different house or apartment. We were moving to a different place. Beautiful Vancouver B.C, Canada. I wasn’t able to finish out my school year in Shreveport. I did have a nice going away party though. I said goodbye to my friends, and before I knew it I was in a car, on a ride to Canada.
(Now, of course there were things that my parents couldn’t tell me at the time. I’ve decided to keep the details of the story congruent with the details I had at the time.)
I’m a 17 year old dude from Shreveport, Louisiana. I’m not in highschool, and I live with my Grandmother, my mother and her boyfriend. Of course, there’s a story behind this, and that’s really why I’m here. To share a story or two with you, dear reader. Hopefully you’ll find some humor, or just general entertainment in what I have to say. That’s really what I’m here to do. That is; I want to tell this crazy ass story!
I think I’ll leave it at that for now. I still need to figure out where I want to begin. One might think the beginning of my days would be ideal. However; I’ll need to do a bit of editing to make it less tedious. I believe.