Day 25 - Ray (1st person I approached)
January 25, 2014 - Ray was born in Jamaica and lived there until she was seven years old, before coming to Canada. Her family settled in Richmond, where Ray attended school, until the age of eight. “My mother decided that home schooling would be better for me as I was being subjected to racism, even from other kids who claimed to be my friends.” After a period of adjustment, Ray once again integrated back into the public school system, and flourished. I wondered if she felt that experiencing racism at such an early age had a long term effect on her. “No, not at all, it’s made me the person I am today. Sure it was tough, but I don’t really think I was fully aware of it,” Ray said.
Ray has a younger sister and while they weren’t that close growing up (“she’ll be 20 and I’m 24. Oh my god, I’m going to be twenty-FIVE this year. WOW!”), they’re much closer now. Sibling rivalry passes and the two women are growing into their friendship. Ray enjoys wine, but not yet to the level where she can knows specific vineyards. “I’d like to do a wine tour of the Okanagan this summer. It’s becoming more of an appreciation for the wine I’m drinking, instead of drinking to get drunk. Those days are behind me. I know I like a nice red with, say a good steak, and if I’m going out with the girls, a bottle of white is nice to enjoy with while catching up.” Ray is single, and happy to be so. “Relationships are fine, but I enjoy who I am, I like my time, to figure out where I’m going, and what I want to do. If I meet a great guy, then sure, I’d be into it. I don’t need to be in a relationship though.”
We talked a little about tattoos as well, and I can see Ray has a tree of life on her left forearm. Another tattoo along the outside of her left arm is a script form and Ray tells me it’s Elvish. Created by author J.R Tolkien, Elvish languages are constructed languages used by Elves in a fantasy setting. I’m so mesmerized that I don’t ask her what it says or means. “Do you have any more?” I ask. “Yeah, I do.” Ray rolls up her right sleeve to reveal one more that goes from the top of her right arm, at the shoulder, down to just above her elbow. She smiles proudly as she shows me this skillfully executed, side profile, character headshot. “I love Darth Vader!” #notastranger