Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter! Here's to celebrating (a) new life!

Things you might not have known about me, part 1: When I was a child I used to hoard my Easter eggs, whereas my brother had usually inhaled his by Easter Sunday evening. I would then slowly savour my stash over the following weeks, generally right in front of him to his great distress and my great amusement. I used to imagine that I was such a good girl, but really I was just as much of a little shit as the best of them!

I love Easter. It has always been my favourite of the seasonal holidays. It's much calmer and less loaded with expectation than the Christmas/New Year period. It's a good time to rest and recharge: for getting lost in a good book with a little pile of Easter eggs or buttered hot cross bun nearby; for going camping; or for doing what I'm up to this time around – pottering around the house doing some fix-its. Also, Charles and I started seeing each other over Easter three years ago, almost to the day, so that has further added to its charm.

Easter's metaphor of resurrection/rebirth/the-renewal-of-the-cycle-of-life gets a little confused here in the Southern Hemisphere, but I'm very happy to run with it this year because my Canadian permanent residency was approved this week.


It certainly feels very good to finally be able to put long-held plans into action. It's a little daunting, too, I'll admit. For the next few months I'll be sprucing up the house for a hopeful sale (yes, I made up my mind, here's hoping the market agrees with me), auditing all my possessions into keepers, sellers and those to be filed in the bin, squirreling cash, spending as much time as possible with friends, and winding up work, hopefully by the beginning of June. Phew!

I'm not much good at drawn out goodbyes, I prefer the Band-Aid method – walking out the gate and not looking back with absolutely no fuss or ceremony. But that's not necessarily fair on others, nor would it do justice to the incredibly curious time I have had in Cairns and all of the amazing things it has given me over the last nine years. This has been the most stable period of my life. I've worked for the same company for nearly eight years, worked in the same building for the entire nine years in fact, and I've only lived in two houses if you don't count the early months with the then-boyf's parents. Previously, I could look back every few years and the whole landscape had changed: different job, study, house, area, boyfriend, all completely changed every two to three years. Reminding myself that this kind of change used to be my norm is certainly helping in psyching myself up for the next few months. Before I go I'll find ways to honour all that has been and the natural beauty that is here, but I'll stave off sadness with the thought of all the potential lying in wait in Montréal, not to mention one rather dashing Québécois librarian.

P.S. For those of you who are curious about such things, I applied for Canadian permanent residency under the spouse category. My residency has been approved, but I still have to wait another couple of weeks to get the visa in my hot little hand. Canadian Immigration estimates that for Australians applying for this category from outside of Canada, processing should take nine months, but once my visa arrives it would have been about five months since we put in the application. Much faster than expected, but then, we are a very straightforward case ...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A little shameless bragging

Today, please allow me a little shameless bragging. A couple of things have happened lately that were the direct result of some good ole', old-fashioned hard work and I think they are worth noting here because they are a part of all the change. As soon as they'd happened too, as I was basking in my glory, life came roaring up the beach and dumped cold water on me again, so it is nice to revisit and acknowledge them.

Some of you (hi, Mum!) might have noticed that I was a little quiet here over the Christmas/New Year period, and maybe I haven't regained my momentum yet. There were two reasons for that, one of which was that I was head down, bum up trying to finish my Diploma of Editing (Publishing). After nearly three years of self-paced learning, the pace of which would have made a sloth scoff, I did three months' work in ten days, and I finished it! My Diploma arrived while I was in Montreal last month.

Last year I edited the biggest publication my organisation has published to date—a 96-page, hardcover book, part catalogue, part biography, about an artist with whom we have worked very closely. It is in my top three professional experiences in my nearly-eight years on the job. It just got reviewed in Imprint magazine, as did the exhibition it supported. The review was glowing. The reviewer even commented on how well-edited the catalogue was. I mean, when does that happen? No one ever notes the editing, it's always about the writing, as it should be, but still that was nice to read.

When I move to Canada I will be setting up my own freelance editing and proofreading business. I am really looking forward to a shift in focus. I've already got one client lined up; and armed with my qualification and buoyed by a good review, I am feeling pretty good about that right now.