Have you ever walked around your neighbourhood, alone, knocking on doors and talking to strangers for hours? I have. Welcome to a day in the life of a City Councillor hopeful.
I see a lot of bugs on my campaigning walks. Moths, grasshoppers, butterflies and bees drift and jump aimlessly around the bushes that line the pathways to homes of my neighbours. I’ve learned that people like figurines of owls, dogs and frogs. And that apparently “pedlars” knock on people’s doors too – and that that is frowned upon.
These experiences have offered me so many raw and real lessons. Vulnerability at its finest, I feel, is standing on a porch with dogs barking behind the door, sweating in the hot sun, fixing my hair in the door’s reflection, taking off my sunglasses, stepping back a bit after I ring the bell so that the person feels they have some personal space, smiling and preparing to talk about … anything. Absolutely anything.
I’ve gathered so many great ideas on how to improve my community from these amazing strangers. I have also learned that a welcome mat, a hockey net and a comfy chair on a porch put me at ease for some reason.
Have I skipped across a lawn or two, but told myself I wasn’t going to? Yes. I should really stop that.
So far this journey has been amazing.