“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.” – Yann Martel.
This is my inch of insanity; my car-length of crazy; my light-year of lunacy. My measure of madness. This, my desire to drive across the country from Nova Scotia to the Yukon and see for myself the mountains and rivers, the cities and roads and people. And this blog, where I’ll try and record it all.
Before it starts in earnest, however, I would like to take a moment and dedicate this journey’s beginning to the end of something else: my last four years in Montreal. There aren’t enough words to describe what an experience it’s been living here in this beautiful, hectic city, among so many others who have been similarly touched in the head with madness.
From that one sunrise after St. Vic’s pool, to the many afternoons along the South Shore; from the markets of Jean Talon down to the dancing in Place-des-Arts, this city has set the perfect stage for memories that’ll last me a lifetime. It’s been so hectic, and messy, and crazy, but more than all of that, it’s been so much fun.
But a house isn’t a home, and none of it would have been as good without the people. The people here are all kinds of outstanding, it’s stupefying. They are equal parts hilarious and fun as they are talented and witty. In truth, it’s been so very humbling, meeting and drinking and studying with everyone here. And so inspiring, how passionate everyone is about life. Yet, they’re all so very approachable and friendly that it’s hard not to fall in love with all of them. Indeed, it’s making it very hard to leave.
I want to thank everyone I met at Molson Hall that first year, especially my fellow floor mates and a couple others scattered throughout. I’m not sure how much good meeting you guys did for my liver or my brain, but from the blurry pictures and the shameful videos, it definitely seems worth it. Just know I’ll never touch vodka gummies ever again.
I am also very grateful for everyone I met in my classes and labs, with whom I had shared the great honor of not really knowing what to do, and bumbling through it all anyway. As they say, nothing brings people together like adversity.
All of you wonderful and capable people I’ve met in and through SACS council – I wish you all the best of luck, and thank you deeply for having me. It was great fun working with all of you.
A similar thank you to everyone I worked with at the Douglas. It was an amazing experience, and I feel privileged for having been there.
Lastly, for every roommate or honorary roommate I’ve had share an apartment, crash on my couch or pass out on the floor with remnants of pizza splattered on their face, just know that wherever I go, you’ll always have a place to crash, and that you guys are what made Montreal a second home for me. My deepest and most sincerest gratitude to you all.
There are so many others that I met through friends of friends, at OAP, during Carnival, in bizarre and awkward scenarios who have since become so close. I will miss you all.
I’ve never been one to believe that our lives have been planned out, that we have a pre-ordained path ahead of us, or that an omniscient being gave us part and parcel at birth everything that happened or will happen to us. But looking back on these last four years with everything and everyone that I’ve come to meet, it certainly feels like I was part of something bigger than myself.
They say that when things come to an end, you tend to look back to their beginnings. But my beginnings here at McGill always seemed somewhat vague and arbitrary, spurred by that same sort of madness as this road trip. McGill seemed just as good as any other university. I picked Molson Hall and the Faculty of Arts and Science purely on a whim. My floor and room were assigned to me. I emailed 80 profs for a research position, and ended up in the Brain Bank at the Douglas. I found my first roommates in the classifieds.
All of it seems so random, so chaotic, so arbitrary. It’s weird to think how much of our lives hinge on chance and happenstance, especially when things turn out so well. My time here will always serve as a reminder that you don’t need extraordinary circumstance to be a part of something extraordinarily beautiful. Life is random, chaotic, arbitrary, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sacred, that it isn’t so very touching, that it isn’t meaningful.
It may not have been fate or destiny that brought me to Montreal, but that only makes me feel all the more blessed, and I’ll always remain grateful that I did end up here. Thank you all so very much. For your kindness, for your generosity, for your kinship, and above all else, for your madness.