The Zoey Blog: It Feels Good To Let Your Heart Show... FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It Feels Good To Let Your Heart Show...

It feels good to let your heart show.

I heard the phrase on an Olympic review on CTV. It's from an essay by Globe and Mail columnist, Stephen Brunt, and I love it. As these 21st Winter Olympic Games close I'll remember them as the 17 days that made me more proud to be a Canadian than I've ever been. The overwhelming pride and the sudden sense of nationalism comes not from a record number of Gold Medals, from hosting these games, or from hockey Gold, but rather from feeling this country that I call home swell with the kind of overt pride that we have been so reluctant to wear on our sleeves for so long.

Nationalism here in Canada has always manifested itself in a muted, hesitant way, that is until now. This country has been transformed, and there's now a new definition of who we are. I feel it. I think a lot of Canadians feel it. I've never been so proud.

It's difficult to describe for someone who grew up on the U.S. border, who has had so many transformative experiences south of that invisible line, and who had always believed his identity was so closely tied to that singular geographical division. I suppose 90% of Canada could say something similar, as that's the percentage of our population of 34 million that live within 100 miles of the American border. I suppose every square mile of this country offers a truly unique experience. I'm now hell bent on distancing myself from this imaginary line a lot more than I ever have been.

I'd saved traveling throughout Canada as something I wanted to do as I grew older, and instead I have climbed aboard airplanes for all kinds of different destinations save the Canadian longer. After these 17 days I want to see it all. I want to live closer to the very experiences and ideals that make us all so proud to be Canadian tonight. I want to express my affection for this place I've been so lucky to call home in a much more obvious and unabashed way than I ever have. I've embraced a kind of quiet pride my entire life but no more. It feels good to let your heart show.

I am Canadian.


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