For as long as I recall, I have felt as though I don’t belong anywhere. I felt I didn’t belong in Saguenay, where I was born. I felt I didn’t belong in Montreal, where I studied. Nor did I feel I belonged in England or the United States, where I moved on temporarily. Today I look for this sense of home in the city of Toronto, Canada, but I don’t know if I will ever find it.
At some point or another, we all feel we don’t fit in and long to move far, far away. But this feeling, for me, never disappeared. I’d like to say that no place or nation can have a claim on my heart, but some days I long for a place to call home.
This curse also turned out to be a blessing. During my childhood, I discovered the English language, which gave me the key to unlocking the world. I dedicated my life to speaking fluently and writing in Shakespeare’s tongue. Come what may, I thought, I would live my life in English. I would master the language, understand the culture, and contribute to the world. I have been on this journey since.
During this journey, I’ve understood that all we really need is a goal—however small it might be. Mine was learning English, and it made my wildest dreams come true. I studied English literature and professional writing in university, worked as a writing assistant, and moved to the United Kingdom and the United States, where I was a Fulbright fellow. I traveled to 10 different countries and connected with people from various backgrounds.
I strive to create bridges between people and contribute to a writing Renaissance. Since the 1990s, the world has expanded due to information technology and globalization. At the same time, the world has shrunk because of technology and ideology. These two phenomena push us to take narrow views and look inward. Politically, culturally, and intellectually, we live in testing times.
I believe the key to the problems of our times lies in writing and cultural understanding. More than ever, we need to write well and think well to understand one another. More than ever, we need to be open to different cultures. To make a genuine effort to listen to others. My work as an author and writing coach focuses on these themes. My goal is to help individuals, families, communities, and societies improve through writing and cultural understanding.
If you would like me to speak at your next event, click here.