Thank you to all entrants. Please visit the semifinalist page to view the top ten essays as determined by our panel and the public voting. Click here to view the top ten
I am not much for essays. I never really was. Even after taking three English courses during my last year at Handsworth Secondary I just never really understood why a person would enjoy writing an essay and how there were no other options available. I was always one for poetry. For creative writing. Who cared about sentence structure? Who cared about any of it anymore?
After growing up in North Vancouver I was always day dreaming about somewhere else. Somewhere more exciting, more elaborate. Paris, Rome, England, California. Anywhere was better than where I was now. There was too much heartache here. Too many rules. Too much rain. It was only until I grew up and grew out of this city that I learned to appreciate how beautiful it truly was, down to its very core.
I always wanted to be a writer. I never truly believed that I was good enough or that I would write anything at any point in my life that others would actually enjoy reading. You see, I am a boring person. I finished high school, I went to University, I studied Art. However there was always something intriguing to me the way my life seemed to fit together in this perfect way. Like a fragmented glass that no matter how hard you tried, would not shatter and instead held strong. Vancouver will always be that rock to me, it is a haven. A happy place.
For you can walk for hours yet never be lost. The city breathes both creativity and madness that seem to come together in an instant to give you something that you could not even fathom. One singular moment of clarity.
I am a lucky person. I was blessed with this lovely life in this beautiful place that I now adore to call my own. Call home. Even though I never felt that way before. Your experiences may shape you but the environment in which you survive changes you into the person you were always meant to be. That is the nature of this place.
I continue to live in North Vancouver and now I don’t ever want to leave. I hate the rain, but I love making out like crazy in it. I love the water but I hate how cold it is. This will always be a love / hate relationship but that is what makes it so interesting. So exciting. I wish more people could see this place. Go to the mountains and then in the same day swim in the ocean. Get lost in the rich history, the architecture, the forests. It is natural and will always be precious, no matter how many buildings they put up. The heart of the city can never be changed. Can never be poisoned. Not while we remain in them and a huge part of them. I will fight for this city. Because it is beautiful and so are all the people in it.