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Showing posts from 2018

When I Was a Writer

I distinctly remember sitting in my counsellor’s dimly-lit office, my thighs sticking to the faux-leather chair in the damp heat of late-July. I was still completing coursework for my first MA, but I had long quit the program in my mind. I was experiencing the classic early-twenties, post-graduate struggle of finding direction outside of a semester-based schedule.
“I have no idea what to do with my life. I don’t even know what I like to do, or what I’m good at,” I admitted, cringing at how cliche I sounded and, indeed, was.
My counsellor — my third one that summer — was observant and direct: “Well, when you talk about writing, your whole body shifts. You take on a different posture. You become more animated. You are clearly very passionate about it, and it obviously brings you joy. Why don’t you focus on that?”
She was right, of course. I had spent the previous nine months living in Vancouver and blogging regularly about my adventures and challenges adapting to living and studying in…

I Turned 31 and Let My Dream Die

When I was 10 years old, my dad went to England on a business trip. He was to spend the majority of his time driving in and around a village in Cornwall called Gweek. I thought he was, as my father is wont to do, joking. It turned out Gweek was indeed a very real place, and I was about to embark on the longest love affair of my life. My dad came home laden with pictures of rolling green countryside and roads framed with low rock walls. He told us about Cornish pasties and navigating the narrow and ancient streets, playing cornet with the local brass band in an old stone church, and the perils of driving on the opposite side of the road. He brought back Cadbury Flake chocolate bars for me and my sister. I was smitten. I spent my teen years periodically begging my parents to move us to England; or, at the very least, take us on a grand tour of London and beyond. But my mother didn’t fly, and a trip across the pond in the mid-1990s was unimaginable for my family. So I did the best I could w…

How to Cope When Your Confidence is Shot

I am, generally, fairly confident. Like any human person, I have my normal ebbs and flows - sometimes I feel like I could win over the world with a single glance; other times I feel like hiding under my desk and waiting for the apocalypse.

But I've recently experienced a real Confidence High, and now I'm sitting deep in the Confidence Low.

My team at work has just finished delivering our annual conference. It was a massive undertaking and we delivered a complex and engaging conference experience to 500 people in a very short period of time. The lead-up to the conference was a full pendulum of emotions, as successes and failures came daily - even hourly. Still, as I checked more and more items off my to-do list and looked back at the growing pile of accomplishments, my confidence level remained pretty steady.

The two-day conference was a roaring success - both for my colleagues, but also for me personally. I've never felt so proud of what I had produced. I made great connec…