Day 215 - Sarah (1st person approached)
August 03, 2014 - Today was the Vancouver Pride Parade. I was with a few friends and I left them to go off on my own and met today’s stranger. I wasn't sure how long it would take to find someone alone, in a crowd of thousands. Sarah was one of the few people I could see sitting by herself. When I approached her and asked her to chat she said yes right away. She was with some friends but they had gone off to get some food. Sarah was enjoying sitting in the shade.
“This is a prime people watching spot, my friends will be back when they’re done,” she said with a big smile. A kindred soul.
Sarah is a born and raised Vancouverite.
“I was born at Vancouver General Hospital, and I grew up in Marpole. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. They both used to beat me up a lot. Just because that's what brothers do. I was quite the tomboy and learned to fight back. My best friend lived next door and was a boy as well. I grew up in a neighbourhood where we went out and played with other kids. We played a police game which I’m still not sure what all the rules were. And I really liked the ever popular water balloon fights," she said.
"I started playing soccer when I was in Grade three. My parents were good about letting us kids decide what we wanted to do. They encouraged us to get involved in team sports, it was a good way to learn to get along with others. Both of my brothers played soccer as well. I played all through elementary school, high school and into university,” said Sarah.
After high school, Sarah went to the University of Victoria (UVic).
“I went there because of the campus. It’s like a park. I had been to visit a friend and fell in love with it. I mean come on, they play quidditch every week! Why wouldn’t you want to go there? Victoria is also a really good place to live, it's accepting of a young person trying to find their way to becoming an adult,” said Sarah. Quidditch is a game made popular by the Wizarding World of the Harry Potter universe.
“I did a double major in Anthropology and Psychology. But my most favourite class was Stone Tool Making. We learned how to make arrowheads and then used rabbit tendons to attach them to spears. We had a giant cardboard wooly mammoth that we had to knock over using the tools we made. It was an elective Anthropology class and was my most favourite one,” said Sarah. She spent five years at UVic to get her double major.
“When I finished school, I came back to Vancouver and started a two year course in Massage Therapy. In my second year of university, I had a bad injury and wasn’t able to play soccer anymore. A part of my soul died. But with all those years of playing sports, there had been a lot of people that helped me. I wanted to do something that would give back to the community,” she said. That was another two years in college.
“In my first year of massage therapy college, I had a lot to deal with. My parents separated, we had to get our dog put to sleep, my grandfather died and the boy I was dating dumped me. It was a tough year,” she said.
“In many ways, I’m glad I was were I was, surrounded my people who are caring and interested in helping others heal.”
Sarah became a Registered Massage Therapist just over a year ago, and has been working in a clinic on the west side of Vancouver.
“I feel so lucky to have gotten a chance to work there. I work with a man that many don’t know who he is, but he’s known worldwide for his work with fascia therapy and massage. I’m learning so much from him,” she said. I asked Sarah to describe fascia. She told me that if you imagined the human body without any skeleton or muscle, you’d be left with fascia. It’s the connective tissue that wraps most structures within the human body, including muscles.
"I’m really happy with the direction my life has taken and where I’m at,” she said.
I asked Sarah what the Pride event meant to her and why she attends Pride.
“It’s about the people. The celebration of diversity, the good nature of the people, the openness and acceptance. I've met a number of friends through school who are gay or lesbian and I wanted to celebrate Pride with them. Everyone is just here to enjoy themselves. And there’s so many people to watch!” #notastranger