Bi-Coastal Personality Disorder

2 thoughts on “Bi-Coastal Personality Disorder”

  1. Great piece, Marni.

    I have a similar issue only in reverse.

    I live in BC’s Peace River Valley and am from Nova Scotia. I left the East nearly fourteen years ago and never looked back, never returned, not even to visit. It’s only been in the last year or so that I have begun to feel actual homesickness. I Google images of Nova Scotia, watch people’s Go-Pro videos of driving through Halifax on YouTube and longingly search real-estate sites while daydreaming about resuming my former life as a Nova Scotian and showing my family all of my old haunts and places of memory (pretty pathetic, right?).

    I daydream a lot, get lost in my memories of a home so long ago. I miss the fall, I miss the colonial British architecture that makes a person feel as if they are walking through a live-action Dickons novel. I miss it all. To smell cold, salt air, to walk the busy streets of Halifax’s downtown core, to enjoy the stiff beauty of the Public Gardens, sit in a decent pub and enjoy a proper pint and not have people tell me I say pint funny. To drive through Cape Breton Island and introduce my children to the army of cousins, great aunts and great uncles they have inherited and show them where our family comes from…These are my dreams now. Sadly, I fear that’s all these wants will ever be. Dreams. Foolish fancies from a dreamer’s mind, idealising a place I no longer know, forgetting the reasons I left to begin with.

    I like BC. I love the Peace. The beauty here is breath-taking, overwhelming sometimes. Mountains, wild rivers, wildlife, skies like paintings and working as an Archaeologist in CRM puts me in the middle of it all nearly every day. I love this place, but I am not part of it. I never have been. This place has never fully accepted me, nor I it. It’s like going to a friends house for a holiday dinner and being immersed in their traditions and as much as you enjoy yourself and as friendly and hospitable are your hosts, you know that you are merely a guest there, that you don’t truly belong. That’s how Western Canada has been for me; a few chapters in the story of my life, but nothing drawing me to a conclusion, I hope. This is where I work and where I live, but I don’t beleive it will ever be home.

    Home is where the ocean is on the proper side of the horizon.


    1. Thanks for this John … your words are beautiful and haunting. Last year, I discovered Google Maps’ street view and spent hours on it ‘driving’ into and around Tofino. Partly, I did it for the novel – I wanted to get the order of sites and buildings right- but it was also great because I felt like I’d almost had a little Tofino visit and that filled me up somehow. I’ve been in your shoes and know how horrible it is to ache for home. I hope that you are able to get home with your family at some point – at least for a visit, and a good long one, at that. ‘Place’ is a funny thing, isn’t it? Thank you again for taking the time to write … and for reading my piece.

      The one thing I do know for sure is that this country is way too large.


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