Now, this is the story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down… Oh, man! I’ve always wanted to say that and have it be about MY OWN LIFE. Talk about life goals! Truthfully, though, this has been one hell of a year. Life has completely changed and there’s a lot to tell you… so let’s crack on with the 2019 review!
I suppose I can’t really avoid talking about the one biggest event of my 2019 – the big move to Canada – can I? This one aspect of the year has been the most influential part of everything that’s happened throughout the year, both personally and professionally, so let’s get it out of the way first of all!
I moved to Canada on the 17th of January after 3 weeks of stressful house sorting and saying goodbye to friends. And so began the next great life adventure with my husband, Stu, and our two cats, Lewie and Lola. We moved to British Columbia and now live in the city of Chilliwack (a name of immense pleasure to all my English friends!), around an hour outside of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley. I won’t go on because I’ve said a lot of this multiple times over during the last 12 months. Instead, this blog post about my first 100 days covers a good amount of it!
Another big change this year has been with my job. Until the end of 2018, I had been working part-time as a paramedic and running a photography business from home the rest of the time.
12 months later, I now call myself a writer and photographer when I introduce myself to new people and I have left my paramedic life behind me. I first alighted on the thought of having a writing career, of sorts, before I left the UK. That was partly why I decided to embark on a Creative Writing degree. I thought it might help!
But, given that most of my experience was in wedding photography, I wholly expected to be a photographer who did a bit of writing. But that’s not quite what has happened. Instead, my focus has flipped and there’s now a 70-30 split with writing and photography. I’ve also taken a step back from wedding photography, preferring to concentrate my efforts on lifestyle and branding photography, which fits in better with my writing business. That’s not to say I won’t shoot weddings ever again. But I’m leaning more towards smaller, more intimate weddings and elopements these days.
So now I am a creative copywriter. I write copy for small creative businesses much like my own. The majority of my clients are, funnily enough, wedding photographers, but I’ve also written for coaches, a pet sitting business and a coffee stand business, amongst others! I also write articles about my life in the ambulance service and emigrating to Canada, which I publish on Medium. And I am a lifestyle and branding photographer the rest of the time!
A shake and a slide
As well as migrating halfway across the world to a place where I don’t know anybody and setting up a new business and learning to work for myself on a full-time basis, I’ve had to figure out what it’s like to live a life outside of the ambulance service.
It probably doesn’t sound like much, but when you’ve spent half your life working for a service, working shifts, dealing with people when they are at their most stressed, and for a service that’s under heavy demands itself, suddenly being outside of that is quite the culture shock. The thing is a job like that conditions you. It institutionalises you. And, somehow, it makes you scared to leave, to even believe that there’s a life outside of the ambulance service. I’ve had to spend the last 12 months learning what that life is like again.
And then, before the end of the year was out, I packed up again to move once more. This time into our own home, just half a kilometre from our first Canadian house.
All this moving and shaking is exhausting! I’ve needed the Christmas break to actually get some well-earned rest!
Because, on top of all that, I somehow have managed 20 of my own shoots as well as 10 shoots as an associate photographer, I’ve written for 11 copywriting clients all over the world, been interviewed for an awesome article on Shootproof, finished two uni modules with a distinction grade and started my first level 3 module. I made new friends, started a podcast, have set myself goals for the new year (something almost unheard of with me!) and applied for my Maltese citizenship at long last! Oh, and we got our Permanent Residency granted 3 months earlier than expected.
We’ve already hosted two lots of visitors, taken 4 trips and a multitude of day trips around this beautiful province and country (as well as just over the border into America-land!). I’ve read 15 books, seen Professor Brian Cox life on his Universal world tour in Vancouver and I quit smoking!
It really has been almighty dance move of a year. And I just know 2020, the one where I turn fucking 40 you guys, is going to be a doozie as well. Woohoo! Bring it on!