The Journey Begins Again
Welcome back to my blog! If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I’ve been offline for many months. If you’re new here, welcome! I’m grateful to everyone who stops by and reads my words.
On the surface, I’ve spent the last couple of months figure out what the focus of this blog should be — journal writing, travel writing or even communications/marketing writing, which is how I make a living. In reality, my struggle over the last couple of months has been much deeper.
I have been seeking the answers to questions like these:
What do I want to write?
How do I want to spend my time?
How do I want to live?
As a teenager, I spent a year and a half living aboard a sailboat. My family left everything behind and sailed from Nova Scotia to Florida and the Bahamas before returning to Canada. There were many beautiful moments during the voyage, but also a great deal of danger, anger and frustration, during which I grew from a child to a young adult.
After having a childhood uprooted by the sailing trip and my parents’ divorce, I needed to create stability and security in my own life. I’ve spent most of my adult life being practical. I chose to study political science in university instead of English because I thought I would be more likely to get a job. I studied journalism instead of creative writing — again, more likely to get a job. I’ve worked mostly in communications and marketing because it is a practical way to use my writing skills and make money. It is nice to not have to worry about covering the rent, but the work isn’t fulfilling.
Now I’m yearning for more. In my current job, some of my colleagues joke about “putting in pensionable time” - implying that having an enjoyable life will have to wait until retirement. I just don’t buy the idea and I’m not going to wait until I’m in my 60s to do what I enjoy.
Underneath all of this, I have felt a burning desire to start writing again. All these years later, I’ve come to realize that the trip was a defining chapter in my life. I’ve written three drafts of a memoir about this voyage, but I realize that everything I’ve written so far is the family’s version of the story. It never felt authentic. Now, finally I’m ready to start again and tell my story.
In my reading and writing, I’m starting to explore myths and fairy tales that feature strong, vibrant women and girls. I recently read Sharon Blackie’s When Women Rise Rooted that explores the heroine’s journey towards leading an authentic life. I’m excited about blending my writing and photography that will help myself and others reconnect to our inherent power. In addition to the memoir, I’ve started writing fiction as a way to tell a deeper truth. I will be sharing more of my writing here.
I’ve also been finding my way back to embracing nature and living a slower lifestyle. After living in Toronto for more than 25 years, I’m slowly finding myself turning away from the busy streets and seeking the slivers of nature that exist along the city’s waterfront and deep ravines. Throughout the summer months, I’ve been riding my bike down to Tommy Thompson Park, a rough and mostly wild landscape, to sit on the beach. My shoulders drop and I breathe slow and deep. At first, I would go to the park once a week. Lately I’ve been going three times a week. On weeknights, I race to the park right after work. I sit on the beach as the moon rises and then ride home in the dark.
Welcome to the journey! I hope you find it interesting, thought provoking and enjoyable.