Actually, yes I can: I hated my experience in Vancouver.
Okay to be completely fair, I lived in New Westminster which isn't Vancouver at all but if someone from Nova Scotia asks you "so, where are you living?" when you're living in New Westminster, it's just easier to say "Vancouver" especially considering I only really went to New Westminster to eat, sleep, and pack my lunches for the day.
& also, to say that I hated that experience is not to say that I hate Vancouver... it's a city. Maybe I just don't like cities, right?
& it also must be noted that has nothing to do with some of the wonderful people I was able to get to know while I was there. I consider each one a blessing. But when I wasn't in NewWest eating, sleeping, and packing my lunches for the day, I was studying, and in class, and on the rare occasion, you may have found me enjoying myself at church or getting together with my sister, or a handful of other great people, for coffee. Life went from being people-centered to people-absent. Tragic. Despite having met good people, when I reflect back on the past semester, most of my memories are flooded with sadness. I either couldn't make time for them or I could but I just didn't want to because I was so tired of trying to impress; I was exhausted of feeling like I needed to be somebody... like being myself is no longer good enough. And I'm not going to lie, having moved only a 1.5h drive North of Vancouver to the much smaller community of Whistler, I realize that Kelly was right when she said "from what I've heard, Vancouver is a bit pretentious. I heard you have to have like 7 incredible and unique hobbies for people to be impressed with you."
I hate to say that was the vibe I was getting.
I have to disagree with the people who think I didn't give it enough of a chance. Considering I made it my mission almost every day I was there to just adapt, as Sarah suggested I start doing, I don't think I didn't give it enough of a chance. I think it's that "Vancouver," used as a general term to include the people, the surroundings, the activity, the public transportation, the scenery, the livelihood, etc., really just didn't love me enough. Not that some particular people didn't show me love. Maybe just that I didn't feel like that real me needs freedom to just be... without expectation. I don't like performing for people. I don't like "showy." I like when people bare their emotions and dependance and quest for companionship. Not many people that I encountered in Vancouver did that and I'm living with one of the few right now so it kinda goes to show how important it is to me. I'm sure if I had spent more time with some people, more could have happened in that sense. Hence why I decided to apply to UBC and give it another shot - perhaps a better one. One equiped with the knowledge of what kind of world the city is.
There, I said it. I'm a spoiled brat that wants to be loved wherever she goes. So forgive me for my high expectations, and for being a complete emo, but I'm simply tired of being in a world where expectation is present but love is absent.
I wrote this in a poem my first month back to school for my Senior year at X and it speaks volumes into why this Rena didn't feel great in that Vancouver:
i feel i lose a piece of me
when acknowledgment is absent
i can't explore the inner being
and i end up feeling resentment
i try to change the shape i am
so i can fit into the hole that's been cut for me
but nothing about this hole
truly lets me see
the deeper version of me
begging to be free
begging to be seen
eye to eye
nose to nose
toe to toe
heart to heart
Love is the air I breathe, and moving to Vancouver & feeling deprived of it made me realize how vital it is in my life.
Take it as you will. I know there are people who read my blog and understand me and there are people who don't and the latter are probably so annoyed that I think I have the right to boast about this secret inside of me. It's like when I tried reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and he started his book with all these things that make you feel as though understanding his philosophy is your express pass to this exclusive group. Well... I didn't understand his philosophy at all so it just annoyed me that he thought he was better than me.
I don't think I have some sort of secret that everyone deep-down desires. I know some people are quite content where they are. I know that my deep emotional side can also be detrimental in my life (hence my bad experience with living in a big city of nameless faces deprived of potential love). I just needed to publicly acknowledge the probable explanations for my negative experience with a city that is reportedly one of the top 10 best cities in the world to live in. It's either that or sit here in confusion like I have been: "What am I missing here?"