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Ashley and I had the most opposite lives growing up. Ash is from the charming town of Cobalt, Ontario with a population of 1,500 people. It’s so north, they call North Bay “Middle Bay” ahzinga zanga! …Ahem. Conversely, I grew up in the bustling metropolis of Dubai, UAE just an ocean and a continent away. Dubai has a population of 2,106,177 but that’s not the only difference. Where the north is cold all the time minus that brief window from June to August, Dubai is perpetually hot. Winter is 18 degrees Celsius and I miss it. EVERY DAY.

Dubai is a shopping capital of the world, it has an indoor ski hill, you can surf the sand dunes of the desert or take an elevator ride up the tallest building in the world. When you walk the streets of Dubai, you can hear ten conversations at once with each occurring in a different language. Cobalt has a restaurant, a convenience store, an awesome mural, and mines. I know it sounds like I’m picking on you Cobalt but it’s not on purpose! I’m just trying to illustrate the difference between you and Dubai.

Actually, I was lucky enough to visit Cobalt last summer for Biker’s Reunion and it definitely holds one key element over Dubai. It feels like home. In Dubai you go through the motions and live your life, but it’s a surreal one at best. I like to compare Dubai to a swinging door. People are constantly coming and going and you know from the beginning your time there has an expiration date. And they are always building. You can leave for six months and when you come back, it might has well be to a new city because the place has changed and there’s a new flock of people. In Cobalt on the other hand, the people there have known each other forever as have their parents and most likely, their grandparents. Where Dubai is a memory, Cobalt is a history.

The infamous handshake in Cobalt

The infamous handshake in Cobalt

Anyways, the long and short of it is that Ashley and I grew up in very different environments. And yet, on that fateful September day when I asked her about the weather, we just… clicked. The reason I wanted to take this trip down memory lane is due to a video I found of spoken word geniuses Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye.

These two grew up in opposing environments and met at freshman orientation. Sound familiar? And though I have neither the grace nor fluidity of Sarah and Phil, I do understand their friendship. Not only as friends, but as artists, they support and spur each other on. My favourite line is “[A friend] who knows not to lend just a hand, or an ear, when you need them to give you their spine.” You give them your all because you know that’s exactly what you will receive in return. Now that’s friendship.

I can’t even count the times Ashley has helped me come up with a thesis, plan a paper, edit said paper, perfect a conclusion, encourage me to write creatively, read the good, the bad, and the crap… and never dismiss any of it. She’s the reason I have a minor in creative writing! Ash emulates one of the best characteristics of the artistic community: support. All artists are hard on themselves. We’re our own worst critics. Thus, it’s stupendously superb to have a friend who openly supports your creative endeavours. (Hey Ash, you blushing yet?)

In our own writing, we balance each other out. Where Ashley sees in scenes, I need a time line with bullet point moments so I know where the story’s going. We collaborate well together because there is a mutual understanding and creative respect. Oh and we think we’re hilarious even though no one else does (except Mom).

So my beautiful artsy butterflies, I hope that you find a friend with whom you can share an “Origin Story” because let me tell ya, they’re just the greatest.

Have a great week!


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