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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finding joy in uncertainty

It has been a little while since I last wrote, and I have been missing writing and hearing your responses by email, in the comments section, or on my Facebook page. Thank you for being such faithful readers, and for all the encouragement to keep up my blog despite having limited time to devote to it during this period. I will be getting more regular again within the next month, so you can expect to see more from me soon!

It is Wednesday evening. I have spent the last week and a half visiting every media business I know in Charlottetown looking for marketing work. As those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now know, there are two things I am most passionate about: writing and islands. So the idea of using my writing skills to help island businesses market themselves is my idea of heaven. I have been doing social media work for two companies now since December, so I am heading into my third month of my first official exploration of the social media world for clients, and I am absolutely loving it! Being a poet, I love finding creative ways to say a lot with as few words possible. It is a challenge, and one I thoroughly enjoy. Social media is therefore perfect for me as ideally the shorter the post, the better.

Being an American citizen, I am an immigrant here on Prince Edward Island. I am, as they say, "from away." I am perfectly comfortable with that tag -- I lived with it for the six years that I lived here full time, and am happy to re-embrace the "from away" title if it means I can stay. The only part of being from away that I do not appreciate is the inability to work unless I can find an employer willing to jump through the loops required to get me a work visa. It is hard to know that I have the skills and the drive to be able to make a difference in this community, yet be prevented from offering my services to islanders because I do not have a full-time work visa, and thus far have been unable to find anyone willing to hire me full time and help me get a work visa. It is an issue I have been confronting my whole life, having grown up in Cyprus, and one I am truly tired banging up against. I have decided that if I can find a full time position here I will stay put and get residency, putting this legal "from awayness" to an end.

I have been on Prince Edward Island now since the end of December, and every day has been an adventure. Last night for example I attended a gathering at the Culinary Institute here on the subject of newcomers and farmers. The purpose of the event was to connect farmers with ethnic restaurant owners looking for locally grown vegetables, fruits and meat/fish. The presentations were interesting, and the dialogue between audience and speakers/panelists was engaging. It is encouraging to see this important dialogue starting, and to be able to see the implications of it for the future of the food industry on Prince Edward Island. As more immigrants come to the island, and its population becomes more culturally diverse, its tastes also change and diversify, creating a far more interesting culinary landscape to sample for visitors and islanders alike. The more the island has to offer, the more attractive it becomes, and the more linkages that can be made between those from the island and those "from away," the more successful this (and other) initiatives will become.

It is hard to believe that I have only been back for six weeks, and at the same time amazing that six weeks have already gone by. It feels--to me and my friends alike--like I never left, and at the same time I am finding myself having a very hard time imagining what will happen in the months and weeks ahead if I do not find work and a means of staying. When i first arrived on Prince Edward Island, it was a foreign landscape and culture--one isolated from everything and everyone I knew. But being back here and noticing my body relax and reinhabit this landscape, I am realizing that while I will never be considered an islander, this island has become home. I have roots here, and they are deep--not easily pulled up from the bright red soil.

I am back at my dear friend Louise's home this evening. I decided to stay in for a change and write a blog entry and speak with my parents on the phone. There is a plane flying overhead. I can hear its engines roaring as it climbs up into the sky. I wonder if I will be on one of those soon, or if I will still be here next week and the week after -- sipping hot tea, taking in the brilliance of sun reflected on snow crystals, and enjoying being a part of a community that has become like family to me. Life is a mystery. Why one door opens and many others do not will undoubtedly make sense some day, looking back on this period of my life. Now, in the midst of this period of uncertainty, I am just staying present, enjoying the company of my friends and colleagues, enjoying snowfall and the full moon and thousands of stars in the crisp, clear sky, the smell of wood burning in fireplaces, and the raw call of hundreds of crows that migrate in dark clouds from the treetops to the blueish surface of the frozen harbour at dusk. I am, in short, immersing myself in home and in winter for as long as I am able to remain on the island.

Wherever you are on this winter day, I hope you are enjoying the details of the moment: the sensation of the air against your face, the feeling of winter sunshine on your cheeks, the sound of the wind rattling through bare branches, and hopefully the sound of laughter as you share stories with good friends over steaming hot cups of tea!

1 comment:

  1. Joy in the present, facing uncertainty with all of you wrapped in the beauty of now. How exquisite Ariana! Pure poetry:)