94

Careful perseverance
in pursuit of more
and more.

I once was comfortable
in the everyday monotony of
succeeding
but lately there’s a flame in me
to burn brighter than I’m used to
to fall asleep because of exhaustion
not inertia

These dreams of becoming
all I can be
sometimes keep me up at night.

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93

these snapshots in time
of being a child but swearing
that you’re not one.

I can feel the gravel under my feet
as we snuck out of the cottage
and ran to the beach, barefoot
the air was heavy, humid
I was young, wild

I can’t imagine the fear the adults felt
when they checked on our beds and we
weren’t there
but I can imagine the way the summer
breezed through my hair
like pages of a book in the wind
the moon parallel to the crown of my head
the ocean crashing at my feet
and the cellphone I didn’t own yet.

I swear I can still smell the salt on my skin some nights
just before I fall asleep
until a notification buzzes
and it’s back to work.

92

There’s a carousel of people I know
nestled into my phone feed
that are having kids, buying homes
doing everything right and
looking good doing it

There are nights I stay up late
and imagine all the things I’ve done wrong
and how I could’ve grasped perfection
plucked it off the tree
if I had tried hard enough.

By morning, I’m forgiving myself
heading to the market and seeking
only the best fruit
I’m digging my fingernails into the flesh
making sure the peach is sweet
I’m poking and prodding and
making sure there’s not a single bruise
that I end up creating one anyway.

Gen Z: The New Globetrotters

With the summer in full swing, I wanted to share a piece with you about following your own pace and doing what works for you. I’m honing my blogging skills and will be sharing more articles like these in the future!

As the youngest sibling, I’ve seen generations of youth grow into their cohort-stereotypes. My oldest brother, classified within the “older millennial” range of 1988 or earlier, always wanted the best tech there was. He was one of the first in town to have a PalmPilot or iPhone 3G because, just like his friends, he wanted to stay connected to this new innovation—the internet. My middle brother, classified as the classic millennial age range of early 1990s, loves to go to the best restaurants and most artisan breweries. He’s willing to pay anything as long as there’s great quality ingredients, no matter the price.

And me? I’m Generation Z, born in the mid 1990s to early 2000s. Even though we’re frugal, we’re obsessed with travelling. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat at a dinner table with friends and shared stories of countries we’ve been to. We flip through our passport stamps like prized photo albums as 79% of Gen Zs got their first passport stamp before they even applied for their driver’s license.

Why is this? First, Gen Z is one of the most ethnically diverse cohorts anyone has ever seen, with 48% identifying as nonwhite. Generation Z have roots that span further than the country we reside, and we are itching to find out more of our heritage and ultimately, how we got here. I got my first passport stamp when I was 9 to visit Vietnam and meet my aging grandmother. We saw my mom’s childhood home, my dad’s surviving family and on top of that, tasted authentic Vietnamese food my parents desperately tried to incorporate into our daily meals back in Canada. I learned at the age of 9 that my story didn’t begin in Canada, and instead covered the stories of my parents in Vietnam, uncles in France, cousins in Australia and grandmothers in Hong Kong. It was a humbling experience and grew a love of learning new histories wherever I visit.

Second, Gen Z can’t afford the traditional purchases that millennials saw as ‘milestones’ in their lives like a down payment. I can’t even realistically dream of homeownership, because I had to have started saving up when I was 4 years old to afford one today. Older millennials and baby boomers lecture us again and again that they purchased their first condo when they were in their early 20s, and why can’t we? Well, tuition costs are higher than ever, wages have stagnated, and in general, things are harder for Gen Zs than our predecessors. I opened my first GIC when I was 15. I had $20,000 in liquid assets by 21. When I realized that I could never afford a home in Toronto, I invested some money into retirement and then invested in myself: a bachelor’s degree and travelling the world. I’m not financially illiterate, I’m just a realist. If I can’t purchase the big-ticket items that mean I’m ‘adulting’ correctly, then I’m spending my money on plane tickets and hauling outta here.

As peak travelling season is upon us, if you have the privilege and financial freedom to take an adventure, go for it! Where are some places you’ve been? What about where you want to go next? Sound off below and let’s share stories! And for all you fellow Canadian bloggers, have a great long weekend ahead 🙂

Love,
ELLE

91

I was taught in youth that my body
was designed for a man’s eye
the frill of my skirt, the flick of my hair
the very weight I carried
in my thighs that touch
in my chin that appears
only when I’m smiling
much too wide

I’ve grown in recent years to
shy away from these expectations
and do what I feel is right for me
because if my body is truly my own
I will be having the last laugh
and he has no right to tell me otherwise.

 

I’m participating in #OursToOwn, an activation for you to write, sing or draw what “my body, my choice” means to you. For a chance to win $10,000 to a charity of your choice, click here to take part!

Love,
ELLE

90

I think of myself as a collection of versions
an orchestra of variation
scribbled in the margins
revisions to a song
I’ve always known the lyrics to.

I envision all these lives I’ve lived
and all these stories I’ve told
(even the ones I haven’t yet)
and wonder if I’m proud.

Progress is not a straight arrow
and success isn’t always the goal
but if acceptance was a tune I knew
I’d sing it off rooftops.

I spent my early adulthood always in flight:
exploring new neighbourhoods
drinking to get drunk
being reckless for the sake of it
I’m landing, I think, on solid ground
airplane’s strip
final stop

The air is clean and the money is good
maybe I’ve been home all along.

88

the sun never hid its light
because someone else
feared its brilliance

never dim your success
for the sake
of another person’s insecurity;
it’s not your responsibility
to make them feel
bigger than you.