I was tagged on Instagram to share 20 things about me. I’m following cinback’s example on her blog Serious Play – http://seriousplay.typepad.com/ – and writing this post to elaborate on a few of the elements.

1. I’m french canadian, born in Montreal
I love that I’ve been bilingual since birth.

2. I moved to Hong Kong in 2010 and will leave HK next summer for an unknown destination
My husband is a diplomat so we were posted to HK. Next summer we will leave, either to go back to Canada for two years or to go to another posting.

3. I got my first smart phone in 2010 and have never looked back
I used to be anti cellphone, hubby’s BlackBerry was forever intruding in our lives. I even made an anti cellphone lipdub for my wedding! Then we moved to HK where EVERYONE has a least one phone. When the bus company dropped my daughter in a completely strange neighborhood on her first day of school and I had to run around HK to find her…I realised I needed a phone asap.

4. Being a full time mom that first year in HK was really hard for me
I went from working woman to stay-at-home mom in a completely new part of the world. It was really hard especially not having something to call my own and adjusting to having zero independence. I started teaching french in the second year and that made it a lot easier to adapt. I also got back in touch with my creativity.

5. I’m a bio-archaeologist i.e. I’m into cemetery studies, I spent most of my summers digging up human remains
I have a masters in funerary archaeology. I studied 8 years toward a doctorate but I never wrote out my thesis. Life (and having children) simply caught up with me. What I love is to see how much you can learn about someone by how they were buried and how much their bones can tell you about their life. There is nothing like being on a dig and knowing that you are uncovering someone’s remains. You are responsible for them. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with interesting people and in interesting areas. I miss this thrill every single day.

6. I’m fascinated by grief, mourning, the human body, death iconography and family relationships and how you can see all of this in old cemeteries 💀
My masters is an analysis of women’s burials in the Moche culture of Peru. My doctorate was to be a comparison of the socio-economic status and the health status of the remains found in a protestant cemetery in Quebec, Canada. I love seeing with what mementos people were buried, I love the atmosphere in cemeteries, I love the combination of hard biological science and of cosial sciences, humanities and art.

7. I had myself un-baptised because I could no longer reconcile the church’s actions with its teachings especially pertaining to women
I got so mad when the catholic church excommunicated a 9 year-old girl because she had an abortion because she was pregnant with twins after being abused by her father-in-law in Brasil. The church had her, her mother and the doctors excommunicated, but the father-in-law got nothing. This floored me. I am still seething when I think of this. So I had my baptism cancelled and left the fold officially. I’m also mad that the two female examples are a virgin whom we are supposed to think of as a mother and a whore (who most probably wasn’t). Also the whole ‘original sin’ thing.

8. This doesn’t mean I’m not spiritual
I just want nothing to do with the institution. I don’t believe in God but I do believe in some form of connectedness, bigger than humanity and incorporating the world we live in. When I look at the sea or at mountains, I feel this. When my children were born, I felt this. With my husband, I feel this.

9. That said, I love religious art & iconography and published a book about wayward crosses in Quebec
I love anything religious: icons, crosses, little amulets, scapularies…I think they are aesthetically beautiful. And for all religions, not just catholic. My book is on wayward crosses that rae abundant in Quebec. These crosses were put up by people on their land or near intersections (but are different than the crosses put up when there is an accident). They were part of a ‘church with no roof’, a church for everyone. Here is the link to see some images of my book :

10. I respect other people’s religious beliefs but get miffed when they try to impose them on me
I’m doing just fine and don’t need to be saved. I do think it is commendable that people strive to be better and I know that for some, religion is a way for them to do that.

11. I love humans and their potential
I think we can do so much better collectively. But to do so we need to elevate ourselves and not fight about petty things. Like whose god is the real one.

12. I’m a feminist and an optimist
I believe in equality. Men and women are not the same, but we are equal. I also get very mad when I see some of the ways women are treated around the world and even close to home. It is unacceptable to me and I take it personally. That said, I’m an optimist and I know that, given time, things will get better.

13. I hate to hear people chew
Can’t stand it! I sometimes have to leave the table, especially when the kids are eating their crunchy cereal!

14. I’m an emotional eater
I eat my emotions, I live to eat. So my self confidence and my weight always fluctuates. This is something I work really hard on and then put aside and the whole cycle begins again.

15. I wish exercising came easily to me
When I’m in the beat, I love it. But just thinking about how much work it takes to get myself back into shape discourages me. My brain knows I should just start.

16. I’m the family documenter and archivist
This goes for my immediate family and for the family clan. I have old photos dating back two generations and our family’s genealogy at home. I’m really into Project Life, a project that I adore doing.

17. I love paper and collage
Aside from archaeology, there is nothing that soothes me like cutting paper. I like to cut and paste. I would cover everyone’s daily planner in high school with my collages. I have an art journal, a scrap journal, a sketchbook and various projects going on at all times. But my favorite thing to do is cut and paste in my journal (preferable while watching a vampire series and drinking some wine while the kids are asleep).

18. Photography is my go-to medium of expression
I love taking pictures. I have my grandfather’s old Nikormat, but didn’t bring it to HK, which is something I regret terribly. I love the power that a photo can have. This is also why I prefer Instagram to anything else.

19. I will do anything for my family
Even give up my carreer, my passion, my home to move halfway accross the world – more than once.

20. My time in HK has changed me and given me much, but I’m not sure yet of the impact of these elements on my person -I’m glad I did it though.
One of the impacts is the rediscovery of my artistic or creative side. I’ll forever be grateful to have had the time to explore that neglected side of my person. I’ve also learned to be more flexible and to roll with the punches…or maybe becoming a mother taught me that!