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This village I live in is called Natashquan. It's the birthplace of a very famous French Canadian singer called Gilles Vigneault. I call him the soul of Quebec. I came here after visiting the region last fall, after deciding I wanted to move far, far, far, after my best friend hung herself. I was here and it was the first anniversary of her death. While I was here, I met a priest. There was a group of us - we were on a paid trip for 18-to-35 job seekers. It was the day she had died last year. I'd been so caught up in everything new and beautiful that I completely forgot. I remembered around dinner time, when we were supposed to meet the priest. For some reason he focussed on me. He took me aside and I started to cry. I explained. He said something like "you'll find what you're looking at the end of the road..." Maybe he didn't say it exactly that way - maybe he said at the end of 'my' road. It doesn't matter. I hang on to imagery like a photographer does the subject. The next day, we were visiting Natashquan. Natashquan is literally at the end of route 138. I was at the end of the road. I said, this is where I was meant to live.
I got a job at the government agency in the meantime. I was a policy analyst and I was writing a piece that was an extension of my masters thesis. In the middle of it, I started wondering what was the point? My subject of study - Aboriginal peoples - well, a million reports had been written on them and mine surely wouldn't have any more impact than the other ones gathering dust in the governmental library I used to make my point. I'd always thought government was BS - I would never be a bureaucrat. I said that all during my studies, but at the end of it, finding a job was impossible. I caved in. I got in touch with my prof who got me in touch with a big gun at the department. The big gun got me interviews. I got the job, moved to Ottawa, shared an apartment with another girl who also worked in government but had only been able to get a level 5 position. I was a level 3. She wished she was in my position. I wished I could tell the world what BS my department was. 6000 employees. Millions of dollars down the drain. I calculated each floors: 1 million dollars in salaries. 29 floors. 29 million down the drain. Millions of Aboriginal children down the drain. I left one day. I just got up, and snuck out by the emergency stairwell, walked from the 28th down so I wouldn't meet anyone in the elevator. I packed my things. I called my friend. He told me to get my ass back over there tomorrow. I unpacked my things. I went back feeling like I was failing myself for not sticking to my guns. For saying to myself: stick it out, everyone sticks it out. For being a sell-out. Or as my dad likes to say, a whore. Lots of prostitutes don't work in the sex trade. Lots of people kiss ass and get paid for it. In government, I was right back where I started.
I got in touch with a woman in Natashquan. She was the coordinator of a community paper in the village. She had a job for me. 15$ an hour. Community. I just heard community. I finished my contract. Sold everything. Bought a station-wagon. Moved there. Because I just wanted to alienate myself.
Alienation. What does that mean to me? It means I give up. It means fuck the world. It means I need a break. It means time to clear my brain. It means testing myself. The test: can you survive all on your own?
I don't know what the goal of that test was. I've been surviving all on my own since I first ran away. When I didn't have money to pay my rent - because runaway teens don't have concepts like 'rent' and 'bills' and 'food' etc - I survived by prostituting myself. I didn't have a concept for that either. The ad just said they were looking for escorts.
I wanted to alienate myself from my dad.
p.s. thanks to Szivlia for the lightbult "I just wanted to alienate myself" moment.