I can’t help but thinking about everything going on in the states, how happy I am to be Canadian and know that I can leave my apartment with little to no fear for my safety. It’s a scary time to be alive with horrible things happening on a daily basis.
On September 13th, 2006 a gunman opened fire at my school and it was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I was in class the whole time and got out of the building through a side-staircase without significant contact with the whole situation, but I saw enough to be traumatized, and ten years later I still have nightmares of people trying to harm me with weapons. I’m in therapy and talk about this a lot, and probably will for a long time, if not the rest of my life. I think about the one victim a lot, probably more than normal. Her name was Anastasia. I didn’t know her–the school is a college of approximately 10,000 day and night students so it was common to pass faces every day and never get to know the person. This put Montreal on the map for a lot of the wrong reasons, because there really is so much else to be newsworthy about this little island.
Montreal is in the province of Quebec, and Quebec has strict language laws that prevent a lot of companies with English names from opening up shop here. As much as this is sometimes a negative thing because we don’t get a lot of the big chains from the states that the rest of Canada gets, it means we have a lot of mom and pop shops and it makes for a quaint atmosphere, and it brings the city together in a way (like the cold!) and being bilingual is a huge privilege that most of us share that I take for granted everyday.
I’ve lived in Montreal my whole life and can hardly picture myself living anywhere else and getting to know the veins of any other city as well as I know this one. I realize how lucky I am to live in such a culture-rich place and just want to take this time for a moment of gratitude that I am able to live in a place like this. It’s also a great place to visit! Especially this time in the summer with all the festivals going on, so I cordially invite you all to take a tour of the city!
I have a friend who just moved to Paris this past weekend and he’s wanted to live in Europe as long as I’ve known him and I know it’s a big place but I worry about him there. I wasn’t raised religious, so I don’t really pray, but if I did I would pray for peace. For the goodness of humanity, I hope we can all be kind to one another. Let’s make the world a better place.