I was driving into Canada last week. Just for a day, to visit a friend. I handed the border guard my passport and vax card and he asked, “Did you upload your vaccination record to the ArriveCAN app?” And I said, “What’s that?”

His eyes narrowed. “You drove all the way to a foreign country without bothering to look up the entry requirements? You really need to educate yourself on immigration law; you clearly have no business traveling internationally.”

It was jarring for a second, until I realized he must be joking. I mean, I was literally just a fully vaccinated lady in a sundress, crossing a bridge. So, I laughed.

Reader, he was not joking. He told me that by failing to use this app, he could fine me seven thousand dollars, have me deported (was I even in Canada yet??), and BAN me from worldwide travel for the rest of my life! He said no other country would let me in after seeing that another country had thrown me out.

Because I hadn’t known about an app!

“Umm,” I said. “Can I just… download it now?”

“No!” he barked. “Once I’ve scanned your passport, it’s already too late. You’ve already violated the law.”

I blinked at him. He blinked at me.

“I’ll let you in, this time,” he said. “Next time you will be fined seven thousand dollars, deported, and banned from worldwide travel.”

I nodded. “Deal.”

So, yeah, Canada was lovely.

(Remember when I accidentally smuggled an apple into Chile and they wanted to send me to prison? Maybe I really don’t have any business traveling internationally.)

Anyway. I opened my own private therapy practice a little over two years ago, and not to brag, but I’m the best boss I’ve ever had.

I’m very lenient and understanding with myself. I never speak harshly to me or send myself short, cryptic emails. I give myself three day weekends every week, and random weeks off to drive to Canada. I never scold myself for late paperwork. I don’t make myself sit through pointless meetings.

I made the decision to do this in October 2019, at which point I looked deep within my soul and asked myself, “Soul? When should I make this leap?” And my soul reflected for a moment and then whispered back, “March 2020. Trust me. Nothing could go wrong.” And I replied, “Thank you, wise one. I will sign a binding office lease, accordingly.”

For a while, as I was getting everything set up, I was planning to write a blog post about all the things that went wrong. Like my new chair being delivered without a leg, and my desk being delivered to Walmart rather than to my office—in a box that didn’t fit inside my car. But then the pandemic hit and suddenly that list of minor inconveniences looked really stupid. Who knew the whole world could shut down?? Anyway, I can’t complain. It worked out. But for the first year and a half, I worked out of my basement.

Weird that I abandoned this blog for over a year. It’s not because I stopped writing; it’s because I’ve been writing more than ever. I wrote two novels over the last few years. But that type of writing has become somewhat of a dark cloud in my life, in ways I can’t talk about yet, whereas blogging always made me happy. And I’m trying to return to things that make me happy. So thanks for still being here, if you are.