Hey there! Thanks for visiting Sonderlust.

I’m Nicole, and I’m very happy that you (for whatever reason) found your way here.

The truth is that without a project to pour myself into, I will watch Netflix until my eyes bleed and eat cupcakes until my teeth fall out. So, on behalf of my retinas and heart, thank you for taking even the slightest interest in this.

I remember when I was a kid, sitting in the passenger seat while my dad drove to Home Depot, or Canadian Tire or some other hardware store to buy something for his latest project. My dad was and still always is working on something. After a 12 hour shift at Toyota, he’s not happy unless he’s coming home to the cutting board he’s designed for my mom, or the bookshelf he’s cut for my sister or the deck he’s planned to demo even though it’s in perfect condition. Building things is my dad’s version of writing, or painting or dancing. It’s how he’s creative. And the words my mom uses when she gets home from work to find no doors on any of their hinges is how she’s creative.

Trips to the hardware store with dad to help him pick out the right wood, or the perfect colour or the coolest tile are among my fondest childhood memories.

One day, when we were driving home, we’d stopped at a stop light and I looked out the window. Beside me was a very normal looking woman. I remember that she was blonde, her hair was in a ponytail and she was looking straight ahead. And all of a sudden, I don’t know what spurred it, I had this epiphany. While my dad belted whatever song was on the radio, I thought that this inquistive looking lady might be thinking about her dad. Or her mom. Because OMG, she had those. Holy shitake mushrooms. She had a family— a family that I didn’t know. She had a whole life that I didn’t know. And so did the man stopped at the light beside her. And the old lady behind us! Was she born in Cambridge? Did she hate onions like me? Did she ever fight with her sister? Did she even HAVE a sister? Maybe she had a brother. What was that like?

It’s a weird realization to have — that you are not the only one in the world. Or that your world is not the only one. Either way, ever since that moment, whenever dad brought us with him to the hardware store, I took to staring at people at stop lights and making up their lives. Some will find this endearing. Others will think that maybe I’m a serial killer, but there you have it.

The end of this story is that at some point over the last year, I came across this definition on a list of obscure words:

SONDER: n. the sudden realization that every passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own

I immediately loved it because it reminded me of my dad singing to the radio and that woman with the ponytail — the first time I really understood that people had stories and that I wanted to hear them.

My hope for Sonderlust is that becomes a space for people with something to say, a way for theatre artists to get inspired to create and a community full of all kinds of humans who want to learn.

If all else fails though, there’s always Netflix and cupcakes.


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