L’Itinéraire vendor Maxime to his 25-year-old self: “You are empathetic because you’ve been there and back”

INSP has been asking vendors from across the street paper network to write letters to their 25-year-old self to mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year. L’Itinéraire vendor Maxime turned 25 in the late 80s, and while times seemed good, his health took a turn for the worst. Now 57, he encourages his past self to keep on working hard to get through it. He now sells the magazine in Montréal’s theatre district.

Maxime Valcourt

I turned 25 in 1987. It was a happier time back then. People were having fun. I was listening to Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Pink Floyd and some great Québécois bands like Offenbach, Harmonium, and Cano. I would go dancing in clubs. Seems the 80s were the good times. Plenty of parties, disco too. The fun lasted till the year 2000. Then everything went downhill. Drugs and alcohol took their toll.

To my 25-year-old self: It’s true, you’re having fun. You’re young, you’re healthy. But it’s not going to last. You will get sick. There will be hospitalisations, detox, therapies. The fun will be gone. If you stop doing stupid things and hanging out with the wrong people, you can find a good job. You might even get to travel and lead a good life.

L'Itinéraire vendor Maxime Valcourt

Hey! You’re an honest guy! You’re a hard worker. You did ok compared to others not as lucky as you. Thank God you are now clean and sober! You are empathetic because you’ve been there and back. You’ve got a mini-van, you’re L’Itinéraire’s top seller. You did good! I’m happy for you.

To all 25-year-olds: You can do it! Work hard, look ahead. If you need help, there are a lot of resources out there for you.

Check back in every day over the festive period for more #VendorLetters.

INSP members can download the #VendorLetters feature on the INSP News Service.