Thursday, May 04, 2006

Story of My Life

I was born on a September morning – Mom went into labour while eating breakfast at a café close to the apartment. I was ready to come into the world earlier than expected, so Mom was actually still expected at work that morning.

My earliest memories consist of the bunk bed in my room, and the admiration I had for my brother, who would brazenly jump from the top bunk down into a heap of blankets below.

I remember visiting my uncle, aunt, and cousins when I was two, and I remember reaching into those large jars of sweets in the shop they owned.

When I was five, we moved into an old building with a seemingly ancient elevator. I was sure that the frayed cables would break and we would plunge four stories down into our deaths, and yet, did not see this potential danger as reason enough to avoid those creaky rides up and down.

My life then consisted of ballet classes twice a week, piano once a week, and singing lessons every Saturday afternoon. I had yearned for painting classes too, but that would have been too much for a kid to handle.

School had always been easy and fun. My best friend in those early primary grades is now married, living in Seoul with her husband and their beautiful son.

In high school, I graduated with a Governor General’s academic medal in hand, and thought that I was capable of being anything. Teachers and classmates all promised to read my novels.

Somewhere in those years at university, I lost my artistic drive and vision. I fell in love with literary critique and devoured the lectures of several brilliant professors.

Then, I chose to grow up. I took a teaching degree, and moved up to Inuvik. Three years later, I’m still here.

Those are the facts, the skeleton of my life. Here is the flesh:

I was a happy child. I was kind, shy, and loving. As a result, I was well-liked by peers and adults alike. Sometime in childhood, I developed a sense of inadequacy against which I still fight every day of my life. I had gone from wanting to be the centre of attention to wanting to be invisible.

In my heart, I know that my parents did the best that they could, and am overcome by such guilt with each ounce of bitterness that I still have.

All I know about my extended family is that my father grew up with a step-mother and four siblings, now scattered all over the globe. My mother’s issues lay with being an unwanted and unloved girl. She carries the hurt to this day.

My trek up north is not only a sign of my growing up, but also a conscious decision to leave and forge my own history, to have an unmarked page.

In this isolated place, I’ve found some true friends. I’ve had my heart broken by a man, by the town, by both the harshness and the beauty that abound, and by my students.

In my flesh and blood, there is still largely uncertainty; but here, I feel alive and free. I am able to bring out the happy child within me and let her be the artist once again. Here, I am a friend, a cynic, a teacher, an admirer, a photographer, a writer. I am still not completely myself, but that will come.

Blogs are funny pseudo-places, where I remove some masks that I normally don, but cannot lay bare everything. Thus, the story of my life still has huge gaps unfilled, questions unanswered, but it’s the best I can do under this thin veil of anonymity.


  1. Megan, if you or Ray put anything embarrassing about me on this blog, I'll get you (after I go and erase your comments of course!)!!!