Herstory #7… Emilie! Emilie and I met last year at training for Katimavik, and we became instant friends. We haven’t seen each other since training, but I think that our friendship is going strong, and I know that when we eventually manage to meet up again, it’ll be awesome. Read on for some amazing insight… I promise she’ll get you thinking!
Emilie is posting for the HERstory blogging carnival on kickaction.ca on March 4th – be sure to check her out!
1. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
I don’t see why someone would do that… I mean, I’m not saying I’m dull, but I’m no hero! Sure, sometimes I’d like to be one. Sometimes I’d like to have my 15 minutes of fame. Of glory. I’d like people to remember me. But I guess what I really want is to live a life that is worth while. So anyway… Here are some ideas:
She was a crazy one… But boy did she care
The fire within
Of mistakes, love, hard work, and finding yourself
2. Where are you from? How has where you’re from shaped your life?
I was born in Sherbrooke, Québec. Raised in Saint-Lambert, a cosy town on the South shore of Montréal. In the last 10 years, I’ve lived in Sherbrooke, Québec city, Ottawa, New York, Montréal, Amqui and Chandler. How could this have NOT shaped my life?! You are the sum of your experiences. And experiences depend a lot on where you live. And who you live with, of course…
I consider myself very lucky to have been born and raised in Québec. No, I won’t say Canada… I’m sorry! I’m not from Canada, I’m from Québec. And yes, French is my first language. Why I answer these questions in English? I don’t know! I’m completely bilingual. And proud to be. But if I had to teach one language to my children, and one only, it would be French. Because it is the language of my ancestors. Of my culture. Of my nation. I won’t say country, though! Ha! Ha! You see, being born in Québec has shaped the way I look at my country, its history, its conflicts, its culture. I am proud to be part of this beautiful minority of French-speakers in North America. I am proud to spell my name Emilie, with an IE, not a Y!
Yet I wouldn’t be complete if I spoke only French. Part of me is English. Always has been. I was raised across the bridge from Montréal, where lots of people spoke/speak English. It was part of my childhood and my adolescence. I have friends with whom I speak solely English… even if French is our first language! I like to say I have 2 personalities… And that they speak different languages! No wonder they don’t always get along! Ha! Ha!
So all that to say, that yes, where I’ve lived has shaped who I am. And I believe it’s the same for everyone. I mean, I wore a lot of makeup and I could walk for miles with tiny skirts and high heels when I lived in NYC! Don’t ask me to do the same in Chandler, Gaspésie! I’d much rather take out my Sorel boots and torn jeans! The beauty with moving so often is that you get the chance to live in so many different places. And, in a way, to be someone a little different every time. Then again, sometimes it’s confusing. You feel a little lost. And no matter where you go, your issues will follow you. That, I can guarantee! So moving from one place to another should not be to flee or to run away from yourself. It should be an occasion to discover the many facets of yourself!
3. Where do you live? How has where you live shaped your life?
Well… I think I answered that in question 2…
4. What is your greatest achievement?
I’m 28! Give me a break! I’m only starting to figure out life… And you’re asking me what my greatest achievement is? I don’t like this question! Living in itself is an achievement. Putting one foot in front of the other. Not giving up. Fighting. Being out there. Trying to figure out what to do with one’s life. I guess that’s what I’ve achieved so far! I wish I could say I’ve climbed the Kilimanjaro. Or that I’ve saved a little boy from a fire. Or that I’ve raised 10,000$ for cancer. That I’ve given my kidney to my sick sister. That I’ve raised triplets. But I haven’t done any of this. I think I’ve done a lot of good/nice things. But it’s hard to pinpoint one and say “yep, that’s it, that’s my greatest achievement”.
But if really you need one, I guess it would be my relationship with my husband. We’ve been together for almost 10 years now. I mean it’s amazing to think that we’re still together after all this time. It wasn’t always easy. He is one patient man! Don’t ask me how he does it… Perhaps he needs me just as much as I need him. Perhaps we’re both crazy and so we’re perfect for each other. All I know is that he is the most precious thing I have. And there’s not much I wouldn’t do for him. So I think that this relationship that we have is my greatest achievement.
5. What is your greatest regret? Or what is your greatest fear?
I try not to have regrets. I have some. But I don’t like to be specific. I guess I’m trying to forget my regrets. Or at least to make them less painful. I guess I wasn’t always who I wanted to be. I wasn’t always true to my values, to my friends, to my family, to my partner. I made a lot of mistakes. And sometimes I’ve had to make the same mistake 3-4 times before learning from it. But I try not to regret so much. I’m a human being. I can make mistakes.
So I guess my greatest fear would be not being good enough. Not being lovable. I’m working on it… But let’s just say it’s a fear I’ve been carrying for a long time.
6. What would you tell a young girl who is struggling with something like her identity, bullying, not fitting in, etc.?
Boy, do we all want to fit it. We all want to be normal. Skinny. Beautiful. Smart. Lovable. Perfect. Truth is, we’re all flawed. Because we’re all human. And I could lie and say that, as you grow older, you don’t care as much about not fitting in. We all want to belong. To a family, a group, a place. Yet, with time, you learn to choose where you want to fit in. What you are willing to compromise to fit in. You choose your friends more wisely. And you slowly learn to accept that you can’t please everyone. And that the first person you should please is yourself. Because at the end of the day, you, and you only, will have to live with what you’ve done/said.
Also, you can’t win every fight… So go for the ones you really care about. I’m still working on this one…
7. What’s next?
Good question… Any suggestions? A trip to Europe this fall. That’s for sure. Two months of backpacking with my man. Then, who knows, perhaps babies. I’m terrified of them. But I can’t seem to imagine my life with them.
To be honest, the future is just this big blur… I have a life insurance, but I don’t have savings… I don’t believe in retirement. Birthdays are scary. I’ll be 30 in less than 2 years. And, frankly, it scares the shit out of me. Because I’m afraid of wasting time. And there was a time where I had it all figured out. I was going to have a great career, babies, a house, a dog, and a car. Now, I’m not too sure… I have a partner. I guess we have to figure out where we want to go. But, I feel the destination doesn’t matter that much. It’s the road we take that matters.