I never know what's good for me.
A couple of year ago, when I was still living in Vancouver, I wrote a stupid little story for a stupid little magazine called Vancouver View (advertorial CITY) about Vancouver's Identity (or rather, lackthereof). It was a chatty little piece called Vancouver (Un)Defined, largely opinion based, and if I remember correctly, after the most cursory research imaginable, I pounded it out in less than an hour. (I was fast, man.) Anyway, I just reread it (you can read by clicking the link above) and it occurred to me that I was completely wrong. I said Vancouver was changeable, that it had a little of everything. And even though I think that was/is sort of true, my perspective on what that amounts to is totally different now. Vancouver isn't changeable, Vancouver is still. Not stagnant, but calm. Unchanging. Steady.
Despite the proliferating glass towers, the impending Olympics, the seeming diversity of the landscape, Vancouver never changes. It's comforting, this sameness. This mild weather that rides an undulating low wave season to season, this endless construction, this city of evergreens, ever green.
I'm here again and it's like I never left, which makes me all the more relieved that I did when I did. I might have been hypnotized here forever.
My friends MJ and Kathryn are getting married tomorrow up at UBC. I'm technically a bridesmaid, but they're not pretentious people and the wedding party doesn't have to match. I plan to wear my prom dress. My (more than) ten year old prom dress. This may or may not be the best/worst decision ever. I'm just so excited that it fits me again.
And I'm a cheapskate.
Being in Vancouver is making me think about a lot of things - like what home means, and who I am now in relation to who I was then and what it means to "be yourself." In 2004 when I was living in Vancouver and still relatively happy here, I saw the movie Garden State and heard the following in regards to home (and I know, I know, it's sort of overrated, but still):
"...When you move out it just sort of happens ... you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist ... You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start. It's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place." - Large
Ten years before I saw Garden State I was in love with the TV show My So-Called Life, and I remember hearing the following in regards to the second thing (the thing about self):
"People always say you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster or something. Like you can know what it is, even." - Angela
So that's what I'm thinking about. It's oppressively overcast and wet here, which is what strangers expect from Vancouver, but which I wasn't prepared for. I never felt it rained as much as people said it did. I'm foolish, I guess. I didn't pack the right sort of clothes and I'm cold pretty much all the time. I miss my new home, actually. As much as I wanted to come.
Oh well. The wedding will be fun, I'm sure. MJ & Kathryn are great, and that will make it great. That's how these things work.
Prom Fashions Barbie, Alias: Jen