Friday, January 28, 2011


Do you ever feel like you are watching life instead of living life?  Like you're watching a movie and yelling at the main lead "Don't go down the stairs!" and they go regardless?  (And deep down, you knew they would).  Like you can see the ending some miles away, and you know there are no plot twists or heart-felt character transformations?  (Like you're watching a movie made for children).

Today, I watched Donnie Darko.  When Donnie reveals that he has learned "every living thing dies alone", the doctor asks him how it made him feel.  I answered "relieved" (as though she had asked me).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Somewhere Out There

I promised I would discover this year.

I'm well on my way, kicking off the year with my trip to Berlin, where I've discovered that I make single-serving friends easily, that I am fully independent and capable, and that the human capacity for evil is horrifying.

I'm also discovering the difference between liking something, and loving something.

The difference is in value.

Our generation likes music.  We lust after it's possession, talking about how big our 'library' is, or how many bands we've seen live.  Our generation likes travel.  We like to talk about how many cities we've been to, and we like to advertise that as much as we can.  Our generation also likes popularity.  If our world used to be about 'knowing thyself', it has now become about 'showing thyself' in the best-laid-out-and-most-unique-and-interesting-Facebook-account-possible.

But what does our generation value?  Value is intrinsic to the claim of love, because you had to part with the potential of something else in order to access this thing you love. 

I heard someone say this week "I love music too much to pay for it".  Sounds right at first, right?  It did... but then I thought about it.  That's not love.  That's like.  Or maybe even lust.  If you love music, you value it.  It's no longer about having as much music as you can on you iPod, but about valuing the music that you actually have.  When was the last time you sat down and listened to an album.  Like actually listened to it. Question part two: did you even pay the artist and record label for that album?  I have a suggestion.  If you love music, I want you to delete uTorrent, pick up an album that you actually have to pay for, sit down with a glass of wine and no distractions and listen to it from start to finish.  That, my friends, would be valuing and ergo loving music.

How about travel?  It's a little different of an approach, but it hurts me to hear people say "I've been to Brussels" when they really just passed through the train station.  Now I know that time is a precious commodity in our world.  And in order to see the most of the world, you'd only be able to pass through a lot of places.  But maybe valuing travel intrinsically carries with it a humility in knowing that you will never "see the world".  And maybe valuing travel means taking a month out of your life to spend in only one country.  Perhaps time, like money in the music example, needs to be sacrificed in order for your love of travel to truly exist.

As for popularity, it's a mix of money, time and emotion -- what I would submit is the third "most valuable commodity" in our world.  When I say popularity here, I don't mean getting a high count of friends on your Facebook.  I mean genuinely investing yourself in your relationships.  Valuing your friends by putting them above other aspects of your life.

I know that our world is flawed, and that it's hard to truly love things.  But in my journey of discovering, the one lesson I've come across time and time again is that love is, and always has been the only solution to any problem.

So next time you say you love something, make sure you hold true to that commitment.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If All We Are is Dust ...

Last night I went out with my class.  Best night ever!  I tried hard not to make friends and get attached here; it happened regardless.  Also, everything good happens after 2am.

The other Redeemer girls arrived today.  Lynette and I showed them around our quartier.  It's so bizarre that they are here!  We've been talking about 'when the girls come' for so long, I find it strange to know that our time here is now halfway over.

I leave Saturday for Germany and then Italy.  I have no real itinerary and most of the trip isn't even booked yet.  It is terrifying, but it's going to help me discover a lot about myself and about the world.  Likely it will raise more questions than answer, but what's life without questioning?

Monday, January 17, 2011


I can't believe I haven't put this up yet.

Everyone needs to give this song a listen or two.  My friend Josh and his co-musicians have put together a fantastic work of art.  The song, the video, the faith they have in their message -- it is all fantastic.

Mes amis Européens: c'est ça, un portrait de ma ville au Canada.  Elle est plus que ''belle'', elle est merveilleuse.  Et ce sont des musiciens de mon école.  Ils ont vraiment du talent.  Il faut que vous l'écoutiez!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Juxtaposition of Art and War


It has to end sometime, right?  Eventually the Rootless put down roots, right?

The problem is, the Rootless have been taught to test the waters, the soil, the wind conditions and the company wherever they go.  And they have been taught suspicion.  And, sadly, you can always find a problem with something if you look hard enough.

So how do the Rootless know when they can put down their roots?  Never.

Enter, once again, wanderlust.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Don't Lose Your Nerve

"These are the best days of our lives... it's a terrible thing to know" (Pirate Radio).

Alright, so it sucks to be away from the "family" this year, but this is still going to be a good year.  Because only 5 months separate us, and during those 5 months I'm looking at discovering a lot.  And then I get to come home and have a fantastic (albeit shortened) summer with my fantastic female room mates and with the boys hopefully nearby.  And then I get to finish of Bachelor's Degree Number Two.

Plus, I have had a list sitting on this computer for three years called "Stuff I will do with my best friends" and I've never felt the desire to crack it out... until now.  So hold onto your socks, because in 5 months we are about to have so so many fun times.

There are no life updates, really, so I just wrote what was on my mind.  I spent my weekend shut up in Kathy's apartment with her and Jemima while we hit the books.  I spent my day memorizing the History of the French Society from the Middle Ages until today (only to arrive in class and discover the exam is a week from now. Fail!).  I've spent my evening memorizing details about every painting we studied in Art for the exam tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will memorize everything in my Philosophy course.  Thursday is Rhythm Exam: The Sequel.  Saturday is Grammar.  Monday is History.  Sometime soon thereafter I will write my exam to get into my program for next semester.  And then Italy!  (Also perhaps Germany, and maybe even the Netherlands?)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Only Wanted To Begin

Our gift exchange this year.
My estimated total amount travel this holiday was 13840 km.

There are too many awesome things about being home for me to even begin to write them

I had a fantastic time.  It's a Christmas holiday that I will never, ever forget.  There are a million highlights,  but a few of them involved knocking things off of my life list:  Watching a lunar eclipse (Dec. 20-21 with Amanda and Meredeth) and watching a sunset and subsequent sunrise (Dec 31-Jan 1 with Adrian).
The moon, fully eclipsed.
But there was more than just an awesome Christmas!

Ringing in the New Year has always been my favourite part of the year.  I love the way it feels when the buzz about resolutions start, and then when party invites get sent out... all the way up to that countdown to which no one can ever sync up properly, I love New Years.  This one was my best one yet.

Toasting in 2011 with Champagne
3...2...1...Happy New Year!
Having started the year as well as I could have ever hoped, I then had to hop on the plane and come back here to France.  Even still, I am looking forward to this year a lot.  I think it's going to be pretty good. 

As always, here are my resolutions this time around:
1.  The name of my year is the Year of Discovery.  (If this makes no sense to you, email me and ask).
2. I will maintain a flexitarian diet, maintain a healthy sleeping schedule and be able to run 5k non-stop by the end of the year.
3. As I am discovering 'myself', I will work on expressing 'myself' by means of art, music, writing, photography and meditation.
4.  I will make a conscious effort to develop a healthy self-esteem and self-image.
5.  I am committed to 10 specific friendships with my whole being and will work on them all year. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!