Confessions of a Confidante

Life. Analysed.

Category: Home

Robbed

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“The fear of burglars is not only the fear of being robbed, but also the fear of a sudden and unexpected clutch out of the darkness.” – Elias Canetti

Over the past few months I have shared advice with you on a variety of subjects I believe to affect us all- love, life, relationships, work… But today the advice I have to offer is slightly different. It’s inspired from a really hard lesson that I learned for the first time the other day.

This past Monday evening my house was robbed. I live with three other people and we all lost our computers, cameras, ipods, jewellery, cash, and pretty much everything else of value we owned. The costs we are to incur because of this are more than any of us can afford. Moreover the idea of having to go out and buy something we had already owned but were robbed of is an extremely frustrating one. But more than the loss of physical things, the act was an invasion of all of our privacy, and has left each of us feeling unsettled in our own home. Home is supposed to be the one place where we feel safe, and the knowledge that strangers- thieves- criminals were in there, rummaging through our belongings, makes it feel like anything but that.

I could use this post to remind you all to lock your doors, close your gates, and put bars on your windows, but that’s not the advice I am passing on today (although all good suggestions). No, the moral of this story is that we aren’t invisible. And that not all people are kind. When you choose to live in a big city, to run in the fast lane, you must be prepared for all that it comes with- the good and the bad. There are job opportunities to be had, life experiences to enjoy, and friendships to be made of course, but there are also new people to watch out for, new streets to learn, and new challenges to face. It is in these instances that we must take our heads out of the clouds and be aware of our surroundings. Because in the real world unfortunately, not everyone is looking out for us, not every area has a neighbourhood watch, and not every road and person on it, is paved with good intentions.

So be aware and be safe.

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All Roads Lead Home

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I was just talking to my best friend from home. We are currently both living abroad, in separate countries, doing separate things. We have our jobs, our friends, our apartments, our relationships, but still, it’s different from being home.

My best friend and I are an interesting pair. While we find each other to be the most hilarious, entertaining, and reliable people in the world, our opinions and outlooks on many things differ- which I suppose is what makes us so close.

I have lived away from home in different cities and countries since I was seventeen. It sounds cheesy, but I have always considered myself a citizen of the world. Not only do I want to visit every place, but I want to know them. I want to hold a bank account there, I want to have a local coffee shop, I want to know the person who sells me milk intimately, I want to walk the city streets as if I grew up on them.

My friend, loves adventure, she loves challenge, and if reasonable she will try anything. And a few years ago she took a major leap of faith, moving out of her comfort zone and into a very unknown world. And it she has found love, life, beliefs, confidence, and courage.

The ability to move away and really see the world is such a tremendous one. But we both come from a place that is also tremendous. A city that is large but feels small because we know everyone in it and occupy a real place there. We can walk into clubs, have been to every restaurant, and are treated like queens when we walk into the party of someone we haven’t seen since high school because we’ve known them our whole lives and are therefore their family. And I love that feeling. I love knowing something so well. I love seeing my childhood outside of the car window when I drive up to the cottage with my parents. I love being able to walk the streets with my eyes closed and not get lost.

There are so few people who are lucky enough to have friends that at age 100 with still be waiting in their living room when they get off the plane from six months abroad doing whatever, and we are two of them.

So how and when do you go home? The truth is, this isn’t something that you can plan. You set out on your adventure for a reason. To discover something new, to seek international job opportunities, whatever it may be, life happens every night between those amazing days, and in that time you make connections, you build new roots. And if those roots blossom into something that you don’t want to part from, then you shouldn’t. Travel is so easy now, there’s no reason why you would have to stay away from home for too long.

The tough part is accepting that by choosing one thing you aren’t choosing another. And when your worlds are straddled by the Pacific Ocean, it’s hard not to miss one when you’re in the other. But I truly believe that there is a time and a place for every age and every stage, and life will take you where you need to be.

I miss my best friend now, but I know that we will reside in the same city again at some point, and we can take those drives up to the cottage and walk the streets together with our eyes closed.


Moving Up? Can’t Say, but Definitely Moving On.

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It was this time last year, that a moving truck came to my family’s home to pack up our things. Twelve hours, two backaches, five headaches and a couple of trips later, we were out. Fourteen years of memories locked up in four walls I would probably never enter again.

Friends had asked me, in the weeks leading up to the move, if I was sad to go. My answer- “Of course, who wouldn’t be sad to leave a mansion and move into a shoebox!” In my efforts to always put a funny spin on everything, even the most tragic moments of my life, I planned to document the life of a twenty-seven year old deportee, living back at home with her parents in their tiny little apartment. The events of which would be recorded through hidden nanny-cams, which I would then translate into a blockbuster comedy or hit TV series that would earn me international acclaim as a writer as well as a quick million or two.

I returned from class the evening of our move and saw that my mother, with her royal eye, had not failed us, and that this little two bedroom was actually quite charming. After unpacking my own things, and managing to squeeze my eccentric wardrobe into about eight inches of closet space (my previous biggest concern), I felt pretty settled. And that’s when I realized, I didn’t care how small the flat was, or how little space my clothes had, hell I’d lived in tinier. What was missing was my home and my life in it. Walking through each empty room made me so nostalgic for the past. It made me want to hold on to the walls and hug the carpets. For the first time in my fast moving, constantly changing, adventure seeking life, I wanted to cement my feet on those floors and just enjoy standing still.

It is so much easier to embrace change when it is not being forced upon you but a decision you make yourself. You’re ready, you’re set and you go. But it’s the changes you didn’t ask for, those that you have no control over, that leave you standing in shock like a deer in headlights.

But like the deer, in order to survive, you must look away from what’s threatening you and proceed in the direction you were heading.