International Label Day 2015: Wanderer

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkein

If I ever got a tattoo, it might have to be this quote.

I am a wanderer. On my fourth grade report card my teacher wrote: “Janelle is smart but her mind tends to wander.”

She meant it as a weakness, but for me it’s always been a strength. My wandering mind is the source of my creativity, which is something I’ve always been told I have in abundance. Writing helps me channel my wandering thoughts into something tangible, something I can go back to, something I can share.

My feet are pretty adept at wandering as well. As a child I had one of those stretchy little kid wristband leashes, because if I saw something colourful or interesting I would just wander off. My husband sometimes jokes I still need one for this exact same reason. (He doesn’t actually make me wear one, just to be clear.)

My grandma has always called me her “little wanderer.” Staying in one place has never been a thing I’m good at. Since the age of two when my parents divorced I’ve gone back and forth between homes. After high school I lived in the Philippines, and after university I lived in Japan. Now I’m in Ottawa, and the distance between “homes” has never felt greater. The distance can be nigh unbearable at times, but the richness of the experiences and relationships I have along the way makes it worth every parting teardrop. 

I have a wandering mind and wandering feet, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

wanderer in leaves

It’s International Label Day! Check out Rarasaur’s post if you’re curious what it’s all about. Wary of labels? My first time joining Label Day I was as well, but cats in boxes helped me figure out that labels, when you own them, can be okay. What label(s) do you take pride in?  


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