I adored the ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ book and film as a child and vowed that one day, when I was rich (and famous, in my mind those two things always went hand in hand) enough, I would make that infinite candy land a reality.

I think like most kids, the magic of the chocolate river and surrounding candy trees stemmed from the vastness of that land, the endless delicious potential and the way the children were encouraged to partake of the scrumptious surroundings (well…except when they went and took things they were told not too…like poor old Augustus Gloop – but that’s ruining the metaphor that I’m about to get to).

Even though I don’t have daffodil candy cups to drink out of and then devour, I’d say that life has pretty much become the candy field of my dreams. Every day presents a new delicious possibility. The world is that Candy field.

As I subway-ed with my roomie Jem this morning, we looked up at the Toronto train line and compared where we had been on the that multi-coloured bisected squiggely “U”. Jem went to Uni here for four years but is a PEI native, and I’ve been here 8 months (nearly 9! wow!) and between us we haven’t been to all that many stops on the Subway line.

As we train surfed and bumped into our fellow subwayer’s (actually quite a nice experience as everyone is padded up in the winter jackets) we talked about how we need to randomly jump on the train and get off at a new stop to see what there is to see.

It’s hard not to get bogged down in the routine of every day life. I’ve only really been living in Toronto six months (because the first two I was up in Haliburton at Camp) and yet I’m already pretty routined up. Work is a routine, you get up, wash your face, brush your hair, put on your clothes, eat some breakfast, grab your bag and head for the subway. You get to work, do your thing, then you go home, make dinner, have a shower, watch something on your laptop and then go to bed. All to be repeated the following day. Sure there are mid-week variations, you might see a movie or grab some dinner, but usually there are cinemas or restaurants you always go to. It seems varied but it isn’t.

Hence the Jem and Paris plan to shake things up a bit and randomly go somewhere in Toronto. Variety is the spice of life – it’s something my mum always says but it truly is true.

Another thing my Mum loves to say is:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

Ain’t that hard-edge-of-the-hammer-that-smashes-you-in-the-head truth?

Basically, if there is something crappy in your life, it isn’t going to change itself. If you always plant corn in the spring, you’re going to harvest corn in the fall (I am totally making shit up now…I know nothing about farming). But do you get what I’m saying?

I’m not sure if it is fear or laziness that keeps us trapped as prisoners in our own lives. For me it can be both of varying scales. On a smaller scale, eating at different restaurants is a laziness thing. I know what food I like and I know places to get it. I know the movie theatres that are nearby and so I go there.

The fear thing comes in more when people talk about big changes. A friend of mine that I met in an awful amdram play I am doing, tells me she wants to move to Australia. Yes there may or may not be a guy involved. My advice is DO IT! She tells me how she doesn’t love her job and she’s not always so happy. I told her the quote above and she sighs and tells me it’s not that easy.

No. It’s not easy to change things. Most people (including myself) fear change.

But it’s the struggles and the big leaps which often yield the most fabulous rewards.

-Getting Married
-Moving Countries
-Having a baby
-Changing Jobs
-Writing that novel
-Committing to that creative project.

If Charlie had never bought that chocolate bar, if he’d gone on as he had, then what would have happened? His two sets of grandparents would still be sharing that one double bed.

And he never would have got to try that floating lemonade.