How did we get here?

We hear it almost daily: there is no better time to be alive than right now. Whether it’s Macleans magazine, or the smooth-talking Leader of the Free World, we are being told that regardless of our race, gender or sexual orientation, it’s far better to be alive right now than at any other time in history. That being born a millennial in the West is a choice we would make again and again, if we could choose. I’m not so sure.

From the rise of Donald Trump, to Islamophobia, to Brexit, we see insurmountable racist rhetoric sweeping through Europe and North America. I find myself asking: how did we get here?

So much bloodshed, so much pain – but still – so much progress. At any other time, I might try to conjure up the hope that things are getting better, but today, we are being killed in these streets. Today, the murder of black men by police has become as commonplace and mundane as Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi hearings.

Enough is enough. Stop killing us. Black lives matter.

BLM

** Update: I have since read about the shootings of several policemen in Dallas. Violence is never the answer. Hate begets hate. Love conquers all.

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Take a walk on the west side

Oh, hey! It’s been a while. A quick rundown on what’s changed and what has remained the same:

                          Changes

Constants

  • Relocating to Vancouver
  • Moving in with my wonderfully charming boyfriend
  • Turning 25
  • Navigating the tech scene affectionately dubbed as “Silicon Valley North”

 

  • Racial politics
  • Real estate woes
  • Hairdresser issues
  • Grappling with what it means to be a socialist black, twentysomething in a largely white, socially-liberal-fiscally-conservative environment

 

It’s been said time and again, but perhaps it bears repeating: Vancouver is breathtakingly beautiful. The tranquil mountains, lush forests and serene beaches are hauntingly picturesque.

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Vancouver is comfortable. The queues are shorter, the trains and buses run without delay, the streets are quieter and for the most part things just work. I’ve discovered charming side street cafes and delectable eateries, but most astonishingly – a subtle, yet ever-present innate desire for physical activity.

You never really know where life will take you. I certainly never pictured myself living in Montreal, Manchester, London or Vancouver, but I’m starting to see that each new opportunity is a chance to add to your assortment of experiences. These experiences make up who we are and help us determine where we are going.

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A Letter To My Mother

To the ones who wiped snot and cleaned vomit. Who nursed the chicken pox, braided hair and punished a thousand colds. You are the ones who fearlessly fought for more, for better, for the best. You’re the ones who selflessly decided our dreams were more important than yours: our hopes more vital, our goals more essential.

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You are women who were once young girls gloriously adorned with youth and favour. You were courted majestically and men showered you with praise. You had hopes and expectations for the future, but you never quite knew how they would all turn out. You married, you bore children, you created and held families together.

When push came to shove, you gave for your family. You are the women who moved to barren lands, raised teenage girls and worked thankless customer service jobs to see your children thrive. You did it with dignity, honour and relentless dedication. You celebrated their joys and you cried when they cried. When the time came,  you moved on, knowing you’d done your best.

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You are a woman who has raised three women. You are the woman who made me who I am: a morsel of who you are. You are the woman to whom I owe it all.

Happy International Women’s Day, Mom!

x

niagara falls mom