Day 137 - After posting yesterday's story, I got a message this morning asking to take it down, for personal reasons. So, as happens with organic processes and development, I'm reposting Day 137 with an unidentified 'stranger'. Learning is growth!
Stranger (1st person I approached) May 17, 2014 - Stranger had just finished having dinner by herself when I asked her to chat with me. When I explained what I’m doing, she didn’t hesitate to say yes. Born in Penticton, British Columbia (BC), Stranger’s family moved to Kelowna BC, when she was a toddler.
“I don’t remember anything about living in Penticton,” she said. She has one older brother. Stranger attended one elementary school and one high school.
“I still know friends from school. My best friend from early elementary school and I are still good friends. Living in the Okanagan, (an area of BC known for a drier, hotter climate, fruit growing, vineyards and stunning scenery), a lot of my friends left to move to Vancouver. And now as they are getting married, starting families or because of work, they're leaving Vancouver. I’m still in contact with my best friend from elementary school,” said Stranger.
As a teenager, Stranger was interested in art.
“I didn’t like sciences. I did the dissecting thing in biology and it just wasn’t for me. I switched to earth sciences because I needed a science class. I liked drawing, painting and photography. And of course hanging out with my friends,” she said. When Stranger was in her early twenties she moved to Vancouver.
“I was dating a guy who I had been seeing in Kelowna. Things weren’t going so well and he moved to Vancouver. I came here trying to make things work between us, but it didn’t work out.” Stranger had mentioned her husband in our conversation and I asked where she had met him.
“Oh. That’s kind of a funny story. The guy I had been dating from Kelowna introduced me to a friend of his. They weren’t like best buddies or anything, they just knew one another. We starting dating and I’ve been with him ever since,” she says, laughing.
Stranger had started working right after school.
“I didn’t go to college until a few years after high school. I took a number of courses in fashion at Vancouver Community College. Now I’m going to school at Langara College studying copywriting. The plan is to become a copywriter for a fashion house once I’m done school,” she says. Stranger has another full-time job as a mother to her two year old son.
"My husband travels frequently for business, so I spend a lot of time with our son. I have some help for when I’m at school, otherwise, it’s a sometimes very tough and full-time job. But I also realize how fortunate I am to be able to look after my son, and go to school. I try to remember to enjoy it while I'm doing it. I'm lucky to be in this situation,” she said.
When Stranger was a little girl, she didn’t like eating meat. Her mother wanted to make sure she was getting a source of protein and ensured that Stranger did eat small amounts. At the age of 14, Stranger became a vegetarian and has remained so ever since. I asked Stranger if it was about not liking meat, or related to how animals are raised to produce meat.
“It’s both really,” says Stranger. “I love animals and I don’t believe that we should be eating them. I also like pigs, they're so cute and very intelligent, social animals. It’s how I’ve felt for a long time," she says. Hence her dislike for dissecting animals in biology back in high school.
Her mother says it’s payback time. Stranger’s two year old son refuses to eat any meat.
”I’ve done nothing whatsoever to discourage him from eating meat. He needs it really to ensure he’s getting solid protein. But he will not. I think it’s about control. It’s the only thing in his life that he has control over. I push him around in his buggy, I decide what he wears, and where we go, what we do. Food is the only thing he can really say no to,” says Stranger. I ask if she’s talked with her mother about what she used to do when Stranger wouldn’t eat meat. "No, I haven't asked her. I’m stubborn and strong willed and know what I want. My son is just like me. Children are like a mirror image of us.”
Stranger is pregnant with her second child now.
“I like being pregnant, especially now that I’m past the first three months. I’m not sick every day. I’m usually a very task-driven busy person, but I find that when I’m pregnant, my mind switches into a more relaxed mode. I slow down and am okay with that. That’s why I’m here eating by myself. My son wouldn’t eat tonight. I told my husband that he could feed our son, and they could hang out together. I needed to just get out and spend some quiet time by myself,” says Stranger. She tells me that her and her husband wanted to have another child close in age to our son.
Stranger is due one day after my birthday. I naturally got excited that she’s possibly going to have a fellow astrology chart Scorpion child.
“I’ve been meaning to look that up. Another of the many things to discover. The baby’s sex, thinking about names. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl with our first child, and we wanted to see him first before deciding on a name. That’s cool. At least now I know it’s a Scorpion or maybe Sagittarian,” says Stranger. #notastranger