Monday, June 30, 2008

the last great adventure (that i missed)

five and a half years ago the western world was in a tizzy. bush was certain that iraq harboured weapons of mass destruction and was pushing as hard as he could for war. many people were equally certain that no such weapons existed and bush really just wanted some cheap oil. many, many people didn't really know what to think. it was fun times. remember?

my life was all in a tizzy, too. i had just started working at a homeless shelter (which i loved) and gotten engaged to a heavily tattooed man (whom i love) and was about to start jewellery school (which i loved). thins generally rocked. but this war thing - it bugged the hell out of me. and i didn't want to sit around and talk about it over a bottle of cheap wine. rather, i wanted to do more than that. my partner and i were considering joining cpt and going to iraq as human sheilds. yes, that's the group that included the people that got kidnapped a few years back. they're evangelical christians, but so were we at the time. the idea was that we'd document human rights violations committed by both sides during the conflict. when bombs fell from the sky we would be in hospitals and schools, hoping to protect the brown people with our whiteness. i was so noble and so naive.

it was actually pretty complicated. on the one hand, we could stay in canada and make out and plan a wedding and i could go to school and we could make out and things would be good. on the other hand, we could get married in a hurry and go to iraq and possibly make a difference and make out and have experiences that we could never replicate elsewhere and make out. so what did we want, to make out in the safety and boredom of canada, or the danger and adventure of iraq?

obviously we chose to stay here. we wanted to have a chance to be married and stuff before going into such a stressful, dangerous situation. at the time it felt like the impulsive, wild part of me was being squelched.

but it's good that we didn't go.

  • the foreign aid workers were given an ultimatum right before the war began: get out or do what you're told. mostly they were told to go to weapons factories and power plants when the bombs dropped instead of the more humanitarian-type places. but hussein used foreign aid workers as pawns, the same way he used every other resource at his disposal. can you blame him? the dude ended up in a hole in the ground eating doritos, it's no wonder he did all he could to avoid that fate.
  • 4 cpt team members were kidnapped. one was killed. that would have sucked. especially for our families back in canada.
  • our families would have freaked right out the whole time we were gone. that's actually one of the main reasons we didn't go.
  • our first year of being married was brutally hard. my birth control made me incredibly depressed. i was too young to be married. i was 20, for crying out loud! i'm glad that we got through that year here, with all the people who love us, instead of in a dusty war zone.

but there's a little part of me that looks back at that choice with melancholy. it's the last chance i had to go do something wild and extravagant and inadvisable. now i have kids and so i can't throw myself in harm's way. and i've gotten soft. i like having showers and a bed. running water, people who speak english pretty much everywhere... i'm used to this. it would be really hard for me to go back to being as flexible as i was. i was made of rubber back then.
anyways, i can't really blame the utter dullness of my life on anyone but me. i chose not to go to iraq.


  1. That's some I think about a lot, the choices I can no longer make because I have a child. He's worth it, but it changes things more than I expected, and not the things I'd have predicted.

  2. I used to travel around the world. Now I don't. But I have a child. It's funny and sad and noble. I can really relate to this blog post....

  3. I never got to go anywhere. Ever. I've been a "responsible adult" for the last 12 years, and before that I was under my parent's roof.
    I have regrets.
    But I also have 4 kids.
    I love you, lady.