Where's Allie?

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Christie – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

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Christie is another one of my bookseller friends, and another insta-friend. She is easily the kindest person I know, and she writes some beautiful, honest things on her blog. Like this. And this. She also co-founded a non-profit organization. I tell you, it doesn’t get cooler that this.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
I confess: I have always hated coming up with titles. I’m much better with subheadings. I wish Dave Eggers hadn’t already claimed “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”…

Where are you from? How has where you’re from shaped your life?
I am a from a small town in northeastern Saskatchewan, where I lived for my entire childhood. The biggest move I made pre-university was from one bedroom to another. Being from such a small town (aka: less then 1,500 people) certainly impacted my understanding of community. Fortunately and unfortunately, there were no secrets. I remember giving the toast to the community at my high school graduation, wherein I quoted the theme song from Cheers: you want to go where everybody knows your name. Having lived that reality for my first eighteen years, I really felt like I belonged–largely because I had such a long, shared history with a small group of people.

Where do you live? How has where you live shaped your life?

I live in Ottawa, Ontario, also known as the nation’s capital, or that somewhat-vague place that is always talked about on CBC. Living here for the past 2+ years has certainly made me more interested in and passionate about politics (something I never dreamed I’d care about for more than the sake of democracy). More specifically, I live in the heart of downtown–a short walk to the Parliament buildings–which has allowed me to work towards simpler living. My husband and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, and recently donated our car to a charitable organization because we just didn’t need it.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being a recovering workaholic. After always taking more than a full course load during my undergrad, and then subsequently working multiple (read: at times, seven) jobs to pay off loans/generally survive, work was my everything. After moving from lower mainland BC all the way to Ottawa, I realized that my personal well-being and my relationships were infinitely more valuable than how many things I could accomplish on how little sleep.

What is your greatest regret? Or what is your greatest fear?

Although I try my hardest to live without regret, I definitely give myself a mental kick in the pants every once and a while for not spending more quality time with my father. I imagine almost every person who loses a parent feels that way.

What would you tell a young girl who is struggling with something like her identity, bullying, not fitting in, etc.?

With the risk of sounding cliche/like your mother, it really does get better. Part of being young is figuring out who you are, and that sometimes (often) is a painful process. But goodness. The late twenties? They are AWESOME.

What’s next?

Putting on my big girl panties and finishing my applications for grad school while I work on fundraising for a non-profit organization I co-founded.


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