That Itch You Can't Shake.

April 28 2016

For most of my life I wanted to live near the ocean. This was spurred on by the fact that I lived in Scotland for 3 years in a town right on the North Sea and had a brief stint living in Bermuda. I lived in both of these places before I was 12. After that I spent the next 24 living in Ontario.

For most of my life, I have had a love affair with creating and performing. Performing with bands, choirs, musical theatre etc. I wanted to pursue a career in the arts.

I pursued instead the ministry and for 18 plus years served in various positions caring for youth. In that career I saw all aspects of life, pain, misery, joy and success. I saw how when people believed in something bigger than themselves amazing things could be accomplished. I also witnessed how people can hide behind religion and do very dark things.

I got married to who was the love of my life, and when she was in a car accident 3 years after, it changed both of our lives. I lost her that day. Short term memory loss, Personality Change, Chronic Pain and PTSD. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. As we realized over the following 3 years that we could not make it work.

As a result of the divorce, I stepped down from ministry and began doing youth work in group homes eventually acting as a live in foster dad. Then one winter day four years ago I was tobogganing with the teens I worked with and broke my collarbone.

I was burnt out and broken, but I needed time to recuperate. So I did what any normal person does with a broken shoulder, I went to Cancun, Mexico. I went ziplining, kayaking, swam in a cenote (underground cave) and climbed up a temple. As I sat by the ocean I realized that I was not living my life for me, but for others and had just run out of steam to be good for anyone yet alone myself.

As I flew back I made a resolution to move to the ocean and start from there. It was a start and I had no idea what it was going to bring. I packed my car with everything I could fit in it and started the drive from Markham Ontario to Victoria, British Columbia. I drove through the states and saw amazing things, Mt. Rushmore, The Badlands and so much more. When I rode the ferry across to Victoria, BC which is a small city on Vancouver Island. I knew I was home. For the first time in a long time I was surrounded by the ocean.

Itch number one: satisfied... this brings us to itch number two: the arts.

I was fortunate to make a group of friends quickly, they encouraged me to go to an audition for a musical theatre company. I was sick and almost didn't go. I did go and I was successful and my first show back was Miss Saigon. A truly amazing experience. A friend I met through that connected me to Background Performing as there was a major series coming to be filmed on the Island called Gracepoint. My first day on set, I was standing next to Nick Nolte. I pinched myself and said this was fun. (For those who know, yes I met the Doctor)

Fast forward two years later, I am now working Full Time in the Film & Television Industry here in Vancouver and without my Itches that would not go away I would not be here.

There is so much more to this story, but alas I have run out of words, but I leave you with these questions.

What is your Itch? What is stopping you from scratching it? Will it take a broken bone to snap you out of it?

Andrew Suttar

be at peace, not in pieces
أن تعيش في سلام، لا في القطع

Andrew Suttar
[email protected]
Vancouver Canada

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