Live in a half-hour comedy, not an hour-long drama

I made the mistake of going to law school at age 20. What can I say? I was an intelligent, overachiever who wanted another degree to prove it. I got a job at a fancy downtown Vancouver firm, in part because of a white lie I told on my resume. I was a super serious lawyer, who never tried to turn our office building into a giant Tic Tac Toe game (not!).

Fueled by delusion and boredom, I ended up on Season One of the Bachelor Canada, only to drink too much wine and get booted off night one. I fled to my hometown to hide out in the bush of Northwestern Ontario for a few months, then I bravely returned to Vancouver to give practising law another try, this time at a high-stakes personal injury boutique.

It didn’t last long. Dealing in the business of other people’s injuries wasn’t doing anything positive for my health. I literally felt my clients’ pain. Constantly sore, I developed widespread chronic pain. I tried physiotherapy, counselling, massage, chiropractor — even crystals. Nothing worked. The last thing I could try was quitting law. Worst case scenario, I could waitress right?

A succession of odd jobs — from bar wench at a craft distillery, waitressing at a popular tourist spot, General Counsel for a “botanical beverage” company, clearance manager for a dumb TV show about aliens — circuitously led me to Kelowna, B.C. where I found a job as a business development manager at a digital development and design firm. I fell in love with one of our products, a location-based app that kids played in parks to learn about the natural world around them. I hustled hard, invented an idea to scale the product, and we incorporated a new ed tech startup to exclusively develop and grow our app!

I moved to Calgary, Alberta, to open our head office, becoming the company’s Vice President and General Counsel. Moving from British Columbia to Alberta was a major culture shock. Whereas I was once fluttering my eyelashes, preaching Naomi Klein over kombucha at an East Vancouver juice bar, I was then trying not to choke on my beer in a Calgary pub when a date told me climate change wasn’t real.

But whatever. Shit happens for a reason, and I met my husband in Calgary- a sexy, smart man with a Labrador retriever and a boat on the West Coast. I was smitten.

What am I up to now? I work for my husband’s tech company, write, and travel the world by the sea on our Nordhavn 40 along with our persian cat, Onion, and our yellow lab, Cadence.

I’m grateful to share my stories, even the difficult ones, with humor and honesty. Thanks for reading!

Contact: tinapetrick@gmail.com