If destiny is predetermined, then perhaps I have always been a writer, with skills and passion lying in wait, building on personal experiences that would define that destiny. Although, it is equally possible that I might never have been a writer. Last night, I was reminded that there are a few chance occasions that have accidentally led me to this place.
Photo Credit: My 4-year-old son
The first was an event of outrage, which I was compelled to place squarely on the shoulders of a Letter-to-the-Editor. As I say in my bio, engineers are not expected to be able to write, and I are an engineer, as the saying goes. I never thought about writing, despite my way with words being my most valued asset while I was practising.
That letter started a habit and that habit grew into writing opinion pieces for the Hamilton Spectator. Most of these are now in archives, but one still lingers to remind me of my roots: The Balancing Acts of Motherhood.
The second was an event of irony. I tried to negotiate my way out of a Computer Science course, which is required for my program of study (CultureNet at Capilano University), but the Registrar refused so I had to “suffer” through. The irony: That course provided me with a set of invaluable skills in a number of unexpected ways. It was also the impetus for this blog.
Way back in May of 2011, when I posted my introductory “Hello world!” as is the tradition in the World Wide Web, I expected just to let the blog die along with the close of the course. I wrote about what I knew, namely parenthood, about what I was learning, mostly topics in sociology, and eventually about what I love, always concepts in social and environmental sustainability. It would seem that my blog didn’t die, and it won’t anytime soon.
The third was an event of luck, when I answered a call for volunteers to help with the We Canada campaign.
A year after relocating to Metro Vancouver, I was coming down from that initial high of moving to a new city (and frankly not looking forward to returning to classes in September). At the time, I was still juggling “littles” and school was my only prospect “outside of the home.”
When the ad for writers to craft online content for a national campaign appeared, a door opened, angels sang, my heart stopped, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, in short, every promising cliché nodded smugly and said: See? Told you.
The We Canada Team, Partners, Sponsors, and Champions, are a stunning aggregation of Canada’s most passionate, dedicated, and focussed citizens and experts. They are the reason I continued to write, and I am forever indebted to them all for the opportunity and motivation.
I have only been calling myself a writer in recent months. The persona still fits more like a cardigan than a second skin and it has a long way to go before I’ll claim it with confidence, but like any labour of love, it is 110% worth the sacrifice.
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