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  • jolwajda


I've never done anything like this. I've never put my thoughts down on paper for other people to read, and I've certainly never created my own blog before, so it’s tough to know where to start. To try to explain why, now in my life, I feel confident to do so.

For the people who don’t know me, I’ll jump in with the Cliff’s Notes of my upbringing:

I grew up in a small mining town in northern Manitoba. My dad was a nickel miner. I spent my adolescence and most of my teenage years there, before I moved myself to northern Alberta at the age of sixteen. (To be honest, not much of an upgrade). I returned to my hometown after six months, and left for good when I was nineteen years old. The town where I grew up was very reserved and secluded, but also violent. I didn't know where I wanted to land growing up -all I knew was that I wanted to fly the hell outta there.

My dad always told me that our last name means "King of the Gypsies” … I blame some of my wanderlust on that.

I spent most of my twenties picking up and moving to different towns and different cities, always falling into other people's lives. Groups of people that have all known each other for years, that already have their friends and have their place of belonging sorted. It feels like I'm an army brat getting shuffled around constantly, but instead of my parents packing up our life to move, I chose to do so on my own. One of my talents is finding iridescent souls wherever I end up. Every time it happens, I think, “this… this right here. It doesn't get any better.” But then when it comes time to grab my things and start anew, it happens all over again.

The last few years have been tough, it goes without saying. For all of us.

Not knowing when we will be able to hug the ones that we cherish… The family and friends that make our lives brighter, more meaningful. Having the future look bleak. Not knowing what's next. It takes a toll on the psyche. It makes you really sit down and re-evaluate what's important to you.

I've also spent the last two years of my life confident that a stranger was going to take it from me. Ooph. Wasn't sure how to elegantly phrase that sentence. Mayswell dive right in. I wrote a post about it on social media when the first incident happened; the first time I had him put in jail. And I'm sure most people assumed that's where it ended. I wish that was the case, but it was merely the beginning. I will eventually, maybe, write a post down the line about what I went through, and I will at some point be a guest on my dear friend's podcast to talk about the flaws within our mental health and justice system, because I believe that is an incredibly important subject to shed some light on.

This blog is not about that though. It is, however, about the after math of going through something like that. Tt's rewired the way my brain works. There's nothing like the fear of dying to make you really start living, that's for sure. My mentality has changed to, “…Fuck it.” In the best way possible. I've grown tired of putting things on hold; on not knowing the what-ifs. I've started to say the things I want to say, do the things I want to do. I've put myself out there in so many ways in the last year, and nine times out of ten, I trip on the curb and fall flat on my face.

But fuck it. I believe now that knowing is always better then not knowing.

I've also started to do things that I've always felt afraid to do: telling people how I feel, doing things that make me happy, that make me feel hopeful. Like, for instance writing. I've put off facing demons for a very long time, and put off making peace with certain aspects of my life. In two days, I'll be packing up my car and doing the solo drive of 5,835.3 km from the tip of the east coast to the tip of the west. Stopping in my hometown after sixteen years to spread some of my father's ashes, and taking the rest with me on the journey until I find the little church my parents were married in forty-seven years ago in Vancouver, and spreading the remaining ashes there.

Which brings me back to all of these iridescent souls in my life.

To these people that I hold on to so tightly in my heart, that for a moment in the next few months I will get to hold on tightly to in person. I've always felt that the scale has been tipped in my favour with friendships - that I've never had a way to describe to them just how much they mean to me. How deeply I care for them. Most times I want to scream at the top of my lungs how much I fucking love these people. But that's a crazy person thing to do. So instead, I'll write to them. That seems a little less crazy, no?

There is a chorus from a song I can't get enough of lately, by the singer Matt Shultz.

I've been running for so long,

All that's left is skin and bones.

Close my eyes and fight to carry on.

Sometimes it makes no sense at all.

If I stumble, will I fall?

If I fall, I’ll tuck and roll,

Close my eyes and let the love light guide me home.

Let the love light guide me home.

Those lyrics resonant with me deeply. Someone dear to my heart said recently that at the end of the day, the only lasting legacy anyone has is the impact they have on others. I hope I can appropriately articulate the immense impact that all of these beautiful beings have had in my life. There are so many more that I'm not getting to write about in this moment in time as well. Which is just so goddamn lucky that I don't have enough time right now to talk about everyone that matters. What a wonderful problem to have. I couldn't have gotten through these last few years without you all. I really truly couldn't have done it. There will never be enough thank-yous that I am able to say. Holding onto these human buoys is what was able to keep me afloat. They never let me go under.

I don't know what the next chapter will bring for me. Hopefully finding some peace within myself. Hopefully the next few chapters will read like an adventure, because the last few have read like a goddamn suspense novel, and I've never been a fan of that genre. There are so many unknowns. So many what-ifs. But one thing I'm certain of is - if I stumble, I’ll tuck and roll...tuck and roll. Close my eyes, and let the love light guide me home.


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Oct 01, 2021

I feel so grateful to have such a solid friend as you my girl. I'm so happy I got to squeeze you this morning before you hit the road. Every time I think about your dad, I think about the story your mom told me about the smoke vending machine...

Love you guys 😘


Oct 01, 2021

Enjoy the road. A sweet way to say goodbye to your dad.


Oct 01, 2021

I feel the exact same way about being blessed with people in my life that I love so much I have to consciously take it down a notch as to not creep them out. All those new groups of friends that you’ve made were as lucky to have you as you were to have them.

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