*Content warning: post discusses divorce, touches on trauma/abuse (I promise it’s happy and positive too). This piece touches on some specific topics, and I’m sorry in advance if that makes anyone uncomfortable. But like I’ve mentioned, I owe it to myself to be honest and open in this space that I am creating. And you, as my reader, deserves to access that honesty and respond to my posts in any way that you need to (see my contact page). In my future posts, I will always post a content/trigger warning to disclose any sensitive subject matter to the reader, for both our sakes.
I didn’t think that I could spend another post talking about myself, but here we are. And what’s a personal blog without some more intimate details anyway? I can’t expect my readers (whoever you are) to be open and vulnerable if I don’t demonstrate that vulnerability first. So, this post will be written almost like a (intensely brief) chronological account of me up until today. I won’t include too many details, as there are some big concepts that I would rather save for their own specific posts, so don’t be alarmed or frustrated if I dance over some major points. All in due time, I promise.
I grew up in a tiny little town in Ontario, an hour north of Toronto. I know all the Haligonians reading this may be rolling their eyes, because everyone you know from Ontario is “outside Toronto,” but you seriously wouldn’t recognize the name of my town (Schomberg…?). Anyway, I grew up in a pretty stereotypical household of the times. Both my parents worked, household roles were pretty equally shared as far as my memory holds. As one may expect, there were typical gender roles assigned to myself and my younger brother (that I now spend every waking minute trying to demolish). I have always been fortunate to have two loving parents, who show their love in their own ways. Big topics like politics, sexuality, social justice issues, etc., were pretty taboo in my house and I wasn’t fully introduced to them until I started university. But more on that later.
When I was around 13, my parents got divorced. This is something that a lot of people understand and can relate to, but in different ways as no two divorce stories are the same. In this scenario my brother and I were very lucky, as my parents were both very conscious about keeping the nitty-gritty messiness of divorce away from our growing little heads, and in this they were largely successful. Since then, they have both found partners who I love and appreciate wholeheartedly. But the thing about trauma is that it can sit dormant for awhile. The effects of trauma seep through the cracks and imprint themselves in senses and memories. The human brain works in mysterious ways, and all types of memories will manifest themselves into something bigger at some point in a person’s life. Early events and traumas impacted me in ways that I didn’t recognize until very recently. But again, more on that later.
High school for me was a series of highs and lows. Like many of the topics in this post, I’m going to save high school for it’s own special piece. There’s too much to say and I don’t want this turning into an essay. Basically, high school in general can be a very toxic environment for many people. I don’t like to throw around the word hate because it’s a lazy word, but I really didn’t like high school. I didn’t find a comfortable space to exist in that world until my last few months of grade 12; every other day before that was spent in an anxiety-ridden, confused, superficial whirlwind. I was lucky to find some of my best friends in that place, and I was also very lucky to be introduced to slam poetry as I was nearing the end of my time there. I had never felt so connected with myself than I did when I began to write and perform poetry and short stories. It was this self-discovery that led me to the next period of my life, where I got the hell out of high school and went as far away as I could. But I wasn’t so much running away from something as I was chasing something. And as I have grown to know through years of experience, bumps in the road will pop up no matter which road you take. And sometimes those bumps feel more like mountains.
This part of the story is where I get nervous and apprehensive. The period of my life after I left high school up until this moment has been characterized by many events and many people, but there are some people and some events that stand out more than others. Those closest to me will know what I’m talking about here. Basically, somewhere along the road I found myself in an extremely toxic and abusive relationship that completely disconnected me from my sense of self. To put it bluntly, I lost myself and all my hopes of personal growth and progress became nonexistent. My relationships with those that I love suffered greatly, most of all my relationship with myself. I struggled with depression, anxiety, and the pain that comes along with unrecognized self-hatred. I hesitate here because I know this is a story that not many people are aware of, and the last thing that I want to do is hurt anyone that cares about me. So for now, this is where I will stop discussing this part of my story. But it’s important for me to say that I owe it to myself to be vulnerable in this space that I am creating, and that my pain has slowly grown into something beautiful. It took me a long time, but I am finally in a place where I can love myself and recognize the growth I have made. So, that’s all I’m going to say about that for now. It’s an important story to tell, but it must wait until the right time.
Last September I moved into a house with five other amazing people who I love dearly. I also changed my program in school and began to study International Development (IDS) along with continuing my minor in Journalism. To sum it up briefly, I chose IDS because of many reasons that you can read in my about me page. I care deeply about the world and all of the people in it. I naturally strive to heal and help people, and my heart aches when I hear of anyone in pain. I am very politically active and have strong opinions and values in social justice and human rights. Paired together, these qualities led me to discover IDS just when I needed it most. I have faith in humankind, and I strongly believe that we have the answers to almost all of the issues that we face as a global society (poverty, structural violence, war, inequality, etc.). The one thing that we lack is a collective sense of empathy and knowledge on what the real problems are behind all of the issues that we face. I could go on about this for days, which is why I intend to set aside a specific post (or 10) for this topic as well. I know I keep saying that, but you’ll just have to be patient and wait.
I’ve noticed while writing this post that it has become a little less about me as a person and a lot more about the outside events that have come to shape me. And there are so many things, and even more people, that I haven’t even mentioned yet. This post is barely even a percentage of what I want to discuss in this space. There’s so much more coming, and I hope you will still be here to experience it with me. In the meantime, I’ll keep filling in the gaps as best as I can.