Tuesday, 26 March 2013


For a long time, I have considered myself an experience junkie.

That means that I have been addicted to new experiences for as long as I can remember. So far in my life, I have had the cops called on me by the school for being a grade 8 bathroom graffiti artist, and I’ve graduated as valedictorian from high school.

I spent my nineteenth summer’s nights at a Montreal drag club befriending the 50-something queen of an owner, and my twentieth winter dancing in a cage wearing next to nothing for cash at a Winnipeg gay club, and accepting heartbreak when the woman who paid me to do it didn’t want to be my girlfriend. 

Shortly after, I sobbed before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem while asking for help in a letter to God.

I did yoga poses with girls from the East village, who I never met before that moment, on the roof of a Manhattan apartment building during tropical storm Irene. I watched Irene own the city, and I vowed to do the same one day.    

I wrote enough, and well enough, to secure an internship at an esteemed Canadian media outlet. When I got the call, I believed I might be able to create a life for myself. 

One fall, I smoked an entire pack of cigarettes sitting on pavement steps in the rain when a significantly older love interest left me at a martini bar.

I feel lucky for my life. No matter how shitty the day is, or the week, or the month, I still thank God in my prayers every night for letting me be me. This whole post relates to writing because for as long as I remember, I have been taught as a creative writer to write what I know, and I have been taught as a journalist, to know what I write.

The experiences I’ve had usually find me, but it’s because I have been open to them. Some of them are considered questionable and strange and even wrong, and sometimes I just want to be “good.” The thing that stops me from staying on a straightcut path, though, is that I often worry that without experiencing everything I can, I will not have as much to write about. And I will not be able to empathize as much with people I interview if I shut myself away from the expeirences that open themselves to me.

But I also don’t want to keep finding myself in trouble in one way or another. I wish I could just do everything right and follow some formula or rules on life or something and find myself where I want to be. But then again, I don’t think the place I want to be exists without a long history of experiences.

So I am just going to keep being a junkie.

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