true story

There's Something About the Number 26...

What's your favourite number?

Mine's 3. And 7.

Yes, I have two. But after tomorrow, I might change it.

When I was 12, my sixth grade teacher challenged us to predict our futures. I fully expected to be a crown prosecutor and have a blue convertible VW Beetle and a blond-haired, blue-eyed 6' 1" surfer husband—who, by the way, I would marry at 26.

It wasn't an arbitrary number. My 12-year-old brain figured that, four years past a four-year university degree, my inevitably successful and adventurous self would be ready to settle down. 26 seemed like the magic number: old enough to do anything, and yet young enough, too.

Even though I foresaw my future husband with surprising accuracy, life rarely follows one's childhood predictions. I met him when I was 19, and within a year he proposed. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if I wanted to settle down so quickly. Twenty-Six, that estimable milestone, was still SIX years away. But, he was ideal, even if the timing wasn't. I took him off the market.

26 weeks, or about six months, into my first real job (salaried employee), I began noticing spots where the shine had begun to wear off. It takes a while at any company before you can distinguish between personal opinions and the truth. No organization is perfect, but my awareness was sharpened enough that I made note of concerns in my journal. I vowed to stick it out at least a year—another 26 weeks.

That job taught me a lot, and I'm grateful for its flaws, which led me to 3.5 years with a phenomenal team at Trinity Western University. It was during that time that I turned Twenty-Six. 

I stood up (figuratively); I looked around. "26 is where it's at," I remember thinking. I was advancing my problem-solving and creative skills, working with people I liked, making friends I loved, and had a home, patio garden, and budding manuscript which gave me rest and restoration.

In The Year of Twenty-Six, I...

  • managed a team of 6 while holding 2 titles (2 - 6, get it?)
  • spent a weekend in La Connor on my first solo retreat, writing a record 7,500 words/day
  • adventured a glorious 3 weeks in Italy, fulfilling a lifelong dream
  • got rear-ended and upgraded my 21-year old clunker to a 2010 Matrix
  • attended my first writer's conference, fuelling the start of my writing career
It was a very good year.
— Frank Sinatra

When I transitioned June 2015 into full-time freelance writing and design, I knew it would be a short-lived season, since we planned to start a family soon. So it was important to make the most of it. Sure enough, 26 months later (Aug 2017), we conceived. 

Tomorrow, I'll be 26 weeks. It seemed like an apt time for reflection, since my fractured mind always seems to converge around the number. I'm past halfway through this pregnancy, and while this window seems to be the most productive and the least painful, I'm fully aware that the home stretch will be the hardest. 

And what comes next? Will she sleep? Will I? How will I feel, 26 days in? 26 weeks? 26 months?

Her due date, no word of a lie, is April 26, 2018. 

If the pattern holds true, I wouldn't be surprised if she came 26 days early—on Easter weekend.

I'm not superstitious. But I feel a certain peace with the chaotic maths of fate. The sum of digits that make up 26— 2 + 6— equals 8. The number of infinity. 

If the mind behind infinity's got my back, I'm cool with that.

All In Perspective

All In Perspective

It was the first European cathedral I had ever seen.

In Venice, the floors in St. Mark's Basilica are a riotous tapestry of mosaics. Each individual piece is a unique slice of marble, carted long ago on wagons and barges from every marble quarry imaginable. 

From the moment you walk in, it's impossible not to follow your feet, tracing the floral, geometric and heavenly designs splayed across the floors of the cathedral. Those poor masons. It dizzied me, thinking of how many hours of labour, aching shoulders, and strained eyes in this dark, cavernous work space it took to produce such artistry.