Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My mind's in suburbia

Both a recent day trip to the city (with my mama, just like old times) and a recent registration at my previous home-away-from-home (U of T) has had me falling in love all over again with T.O. My daily routine of gym-work-home-sleep has kept me confined to the two major intersections that make up Woodbridge (Weston/Langstaff, Weston/Hwy 7) and it was refreshing to get back into the city for a full day, to walk the same walk I did for four years, to take it all in again. Travelling through the area of Castle Loma got me thinking of Paris, both of the grandeur of Versailles and the chic simplicity of the Parisian-styled town homes that line the neighbouring streets. International delicacies made me realize that European adventures, although cherished and constantly craved, can be made locally if you just open your mind and do some online research.

But after a tiring day, yes, downtowning coupled with a lengthy pit stop at Yorkdale (standard) does get me sleepy, I must say it was nice to come back home. My parents have always had a knack for picking just the right streets to move to--despite moving twice in the past few years, I have never felt uncomfortable and have always felt at home even on moving day, even in the chaos. (I guess it helps that we have stayed in a 5km basis for each move, but that's besides the point). My first home is where I lived the dream childhood--I met my two soul mates, we created our fantasy world and grew up in that bubble. I think a lot of my time is still spent living in it now, even though I'm gone, even though I've grown. My second home was the ideal drop-in spot--all my friends were always welcome on my front porch at anytime, my backyard was the perfect setting for keg parties and flip cup games on rainy nights (thanks to our roofed patio). My current home welcomed me from the start--small and cozy, with neighbours so typical of picture perfect suburban life it makes me tingle with warmth at the very thought. An image of my daily witnesses pops in my head: grandparents taking their kids to school, young guys washing their cars and dirt bikes, everyone gathering at the white plastic table and chairs on warm summer, spring and fall evenings, placed strategically on their front yard, paved just for that reason, to welcome any and all of their neighbouring home owners.

I am naturally a home body, my horoscope even says so, so alot of sentiment is held in my home life for me. And that is all-encompassing--from the actual structure, to the lot surrounding it, to the neighbours, to the landscaping on the yard, to the trees that line the curbs, to the feeling I get when I round the corner, turn on my street and unlock my door. For my whole life, home always been a suburb. My childhood memories are comprised of annual block parties, bike riding adventures, street sports, convenience store runs, gossiping owners of corner pizza joints, walking to school and home without a guardian. My current days are full of comforting familiarity--seeing the same people at the gym everyday, the regulars at work, cashing out with the same person daily at Fortino's, having that instant camaraderie whenever you meet a fellow life has always been in suburbia, and I don't think I could ever leave.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Looking for a bridge over flooded waters...

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a world where I am constantly standing in flooded waters. Why is it that everything always seems so over done, so many times repeated?

Maybe it is the universe that I'm choosing to immerse myself in right now, but it seems to me like the creative arts job market is becoming more and more popular with each passing day.  There is no such thing as being arts-minded or inclined anymore. Both print and online resources make any skill accesible to anyone willing to put in the research time and work effort. With a promotion of expressing your personality so evident--from blogging, to Facebook profiles, to Twitter and all the way down to personalized desktop backgrounds and cell phone skins--the pressure is on for everyone to stand out, in their own unique creative way. What does this mean? For one thing, a world with a lot less black and white (which, for a colour junkie like me, seems like not such a bad thing). But on the other hand, it also makes jumping into the world of writing seem beyond daunting....making me feel too old while also making me feel too a naiive little girl with too many questions to ask and not enough answers to give.

Learning the ropes of a new field is both exciting, for a curious mind, yet exhausting, for the mind of a self-diagnosed sufferer of ADD. So much information is available at our finger tips...but what do we do with it? What is important enough for us to absorb, and what should we let trickle out our opposite ear? What may be new and exciting and world changing for me, may be old news to the rest of the world. How do I make myself interesting to read while supplying information that is both knowledgable and relevant for both educated and uneducated minds in my particular field of interest?

By the same token, this is not the case for arts careers only. I think about professional fields like law, medicine and teaching especially, where the extra schooling replaces the unpaid internships but still does not gaurentee you a secure job position once you've been handed your diploma. Gone are the days when education put you a step ahead. Here are the days of doubled student loans courtesy of unemployment and brutal interest rates.

So as I begin my journey, I look for inspiration in everything and everyone. Recent advice from several people has always been the same: write, write write and do some reading and write some more. I am particularly reminded of my good friends LC and EC, and my mom, who have given up so much of their time in devotion to the passion for their future. LC, with her countless volunteer hours spent in classrooms, with high school teams, in the basements of churches teaching catecism classes, and so much more I'm sure I'm unaware of. And EC with her absurdly impressive writing resume which I am both envious and so very proud of. And of course, my mom, who miraculously managed to work full time, go back to get her BA, go to teacher's college, and still always manage to have lunches made, dinner ready and clothes ironed for us on a daily basis. What has this landed them, you ask? An acceptance letter from every teacher's college school of choice, a brand new career as editorial assistant at a Rogers magazine, and a career title change from underappreciated office manager to many student's (at many different schools) supply teacher of choice. And so I will try to emulate their success with their same persistance and perservance.  And despite my recent lack of effort on the blogging part, I will write until my fingers bleed and my laptop battery dies.