Welcome friends! It is hard to believe that the end of 2016 is right around the corner. Before we know it, it will be 2K17 – a beautiful new year filled to the brim with incredible adventures.
As I reflect upon 2016, I cannot say it went anything like I thought it would. In January, Andy and I wound up backpacking through Israel for a month. We planned so little in preparation for that trip, but we learned so much. Even now, we look back and cannot believe the things we got to experience.
By February we were back in Canada. We signed the lease on our first apartment together and made it our home. It was nice to have a place to call our own and it was utterly refreshing to no longer live out of a suitcase (like I had been doing for the nine months prior to then).
In March both of us began working again. Andy jumped back into flying King Airs for a charter company here in the north. I worked for the same company as an admin assistant. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. My coworkers and colleagues made the long days not seem as long as we worked together to get things done.
Then came the kicker.
At the end of June, I received notice that my application to extend my work permit here in Canada was denied. I was informed that I had 90 days to either restore my status in Canada or leave the country. Not wanting to be separated from my husband, I looked into just about every way to stay and sent in paperwork to restore my status as a visitor. Thankfully that application was approved and I could stay. But it meant that I still could not work.
It has been exactly six months since I received the fateful notice that my application for a work permit had been denied. These six months, though, have been a blessing in disguise as I have had the opportunity (and the time… A LOT OF TIME) to pursue things I would not have otherwise been able to. I have cultivated my creativity and expression as an artist. I have been able to refine my gluten-free culinary and baking skills (Andy can attest to that one). I have taken boatloads of business courses online and explored much of the strategic side of how to do business well. I have taken up yoga and stuck to a regimented fitness routine that has laid the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. I have gotten to travel a bit more with my husband and explore the north through lots of camping and fishing. And I have started this blog, which has in turn helped me to develop my voice as a writer and led me to meet some pretty incredible people from all around the world. The last six months have been an amazing journey of growing mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. They have been seasoned with new perspectives and new possibilities – unexpected gifts in the midst of otherwise trying circumstances.
And now, here we are.
We have arrived at the end of another calendar year and I just received notice that my application for a new work permit has been approved! This means that I can work here in Canada now. It is the notice that I have been waiting (what seems like) an eternity for and it is now in my hands. But where do I go from here?
I have never been good at answering the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” In fact, I have wanted to be a lot of things: a photographer, a dance teacher, an astronaut, an attorney, a missionary, an interior designer, a writer, and even a trucker. The list grows longer and longer as I learn more about the world around me and see others who share in the same passion for life and are doing some pretty incredible things. The truth is I think I would be happy and excited to do just about anything so long as I could contribute something meaningful to the lives of others and create beauty in a world that is starving for hope, authenticity, and life. My goal in life is to change the world, but however that may happen, in whatever capacity I may have the opportunity to work in, you will find me working towards just that and thriving.
This may be hard for some people to grasp. There are many individuals who have known exactly what they wanted to do since the age of five. I applaud you for that, I really do! But that is not me. And for those of you who are like me – who are 23, a university graduate, married, living in an isolated town in a foreign country without the slightest clue what to do with your life, and/or a combination of all the above – it is okay. There are others out there just like you (in their own special way). You are not alone. So then, as we begin a new year, let’s be the “odd balls” out there. Let’s be the ones who stand tall in light of our quirkiness and shine brightly. The world needs people like us because we too are the creators, the innovators, the thinkers, and the world-changers. We are the people who dream outside the box because there are no boxes for people like us. Throw away the mold you have been trying to fit yourself into and cast a new one this year. Embrace the beauty that is you and join with me on this darling adventure as we go change the world together in 2017.
Thanks for reading! Questions? Comments? Anecdotes? Feel free to respond below. 🙂