How COVID-19 confirmed I would never have a career

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I started making my own money when I was ten years old. I created a pet sitting business and made flyers with Windows 2000, heavy on the Word Art, that I stuffed in mailboxes around my neighborhood. I babysat most of my teen years and became a city employee as a soccer referee at fifteen. By sixteen, I was a lifeguard, a swimming teacher and a swim team coach.

In my last year of high school, my parents had to sign a form stating my elected field of study for junior college. I was an overachiever. Top of my graduating…

Our Filmmaking Was Like Our Love: Toxic

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No matter how much of him I made myself forget, I can still remember the smell of his bedroom. The whir of the plastic fan and the sweat drying on our skins. We were staring at his ceiling, side by side on the mattress on the floor, not touching, paralyzed by the summer heat and all the touching we did before. He spoke from deep within his pillow, from deep insecurity, not turning his head towards me until the very end. …

How my self-isolation homework can inform my life’s work

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Two years ago, for Christmas, my mother gifted everyone near and far a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Everyone. Not just artists. Because the basic premise of the book is that to be human is to be a creator. Only most of us either ignore the fact or have completely forgotten about it. Cameron lists accountants, lawyers, teachers, social workers, chefs, potters, dancers, filmmakers, photographers, writers, actors, musicians, amateur and professional, as examples of potentially blocked artists.

Indeed, The Artist’s Way casts the widest possible net by being sold as a self-help book. Its target audience is everyone…

A glossary to understanding the Land Down Under

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They speak English. Or do they? They live on an island continent surrounded by the weirdest creatures on Earth, marsupials, cassowaries and emus, and the deadliest, great white sharks, inland taipans and box jellyfish. Steve Irwin shared them with the world. The world was blessed they shared Steve Irwin. They like a cold one with their mates more than anyone, kicking it back in boardies and thongs with something grilling on the barbecue. Maybe kangaroo.

Australians. No, they don’t all look like the Hemsworths. Yes, they live in a world of their own. …

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I’ve scattered love letters across the world

It started with a book in a mailbox. A book that came around the world with me. That I picked up in a hostel and scribbled in with blue ink. Sketches and words and anecdotes I’d thought you’d find beautiful or funny. It felt sacrilegious. Disfiguring a book like that. Upstaging the author with my own stories. Spilling my bumbling infatuation all over the margins.

There were early morning notes in flowing script, in French, pinned to teenage-bedroom cork boards. There were postcards galore with saturated colours and foreign stamps. There were notes passed in class, passed at work, left…

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I loved the ones who got away

I sat up in bed one morning and I knew it was me.

It’s not you, it’s me.

It was me.

I wanted this. I was attracting this somehow. The pattern was too obvious. I deserved better, but I was so used to being hurt that, by now, I had found the best way to get hurt was on my own terms.

When I was a teenager, I was good at things. I was the best at things. Dating was not to become one of those things. Around the time I was sitting up in bed, fairly hungover, having groggy…

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The shadows over the life of every expat

We confirm that your application for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) has been successful and that you now hold a valid ETA for Australia.

I was boarding in 6 hours.

This was visa number 5 for Australia.

I was going back home. But just for a visit. I didn’t live there anymore.

In 2018, I met with an immigration officer for the first time. It’s not something I dreamt of when I was a little girl. It’s not something I ever considered would happen in my life. I was making a choice I realize some people don’t have. I wanted…

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Wasn’t dating complicated enough?

It was the middle of a snowstorm. I left work late to avoid rush hour. The streets were weighed down with snow and the flurries showed no sign of relenting. I was grateful for the metro. My short walk to the restaurant was laborious. I wanted to grab a bite somewhere warm and cheerful before a later meeting. I had an inkling it would be cancelled and ordered a glass of wine even before I ordered a meal. I was nursing it when my phone rang. Everything was cancelled tonight. The city had snowed to a stop.

I was sitting…

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And vice versa

I had an uncanny skill for meeting the perfect man three days before I left a country. He was perfect because he lived there. And because I was leaving. I was young. It felt tragically romantic. I clearly had work to do in the relationship department.

I traveled to five continents by the time I was twenty-one and fell in love repeatedly. With African skies, Australian beaches so long they had no end in sight, Shoreditch street art and the gooseberries in my great aunt’s garden outside of Paris. …

Stéphanie Ouimet

Hopelessly bilingual. I look English, but I feel French. 30, Vancouver, film industry.

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