About Me


My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, and I love new beginnings. I never know how to describe myself because I’m lots of things: survivor (you’ll see a list of things I survived below), writer, dog lover, Christ follower, wife, student, counselor, book worm, Big Sister, world traveler…

If I could live my life over, I’d be a gypsy. Like Johnny Depp in the movie Chocolat. I’d love to drift from one place to another, meeting people, living in different cultures, and learning new ways of life.

But alas, I have a mortgage, two dogs, and a husband. We live in Vancouver, Canada – where I was born. I’m also working on my Master’s of Social Work (MSW) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), so my gypsy days are temporarily stalled. And that’s okay.

Here are a few of the transitions I’ve gone through. I’d love to meet you – please feel free to comment at the end of this post! I won’t be long, I promise.

Life Transitions

  • Lived in three foster homes growing up
  • Spent my childhood wandering around British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario with a mother who suffers with schizophrenia
  • Became financially independent at 16 years old – lived in own apartment
  • Moved to Kenya, Africa for three years, to teach high school at an American school for ex-pats
  • Married my best friend, after meeting him 17 years earlier
  • Accepted the fact that my husband and I can’t have kids (infertility)

One of the reasons I am fine with all these changes is my spirituality. I believe in God, and my faith has been my foundation throughout my life.

School Transitions

  • Dropped out of high school to move to Edmonton, AB
  • Got my high school diploma
  • Went to the University of Alberta, for Psychology and Education undergraduate degrees
  • Am attending UBC, for a graduate level degree (the aforementioned MSW)

I love school! I thought I’d love teaching in a classroom, but it turns out Grade 8 and high school aren’t my thing.

Career Transitions

  • Employed in more than 60 jobs
  • Worked as a freelance writer (my favourite job!)
  • Currently employed as a professional blogger – created the Quips and Tips blog series in 2008

Phew! Enough for now.

If you’d like to connect with me, please leave a comment below. Feel free to ask me questions or make comments about anything, but remember that I can’t give you personal advice. I am, however, a great listener. 

In peace and passion,


Laurie in Peru

Bruce and me in Peru, with the local entertainment

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  11 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Thanks Hayley, but I can’t take on another project or job right now. But I sure appreciate your offer! :-)

  2. Hi,

    My name is Hayley Mathis, and I’m the editor-in-chief of DatingAdvice.com, an all-inclusive dating resource site.

    A bit about DatingAdvice.com: We launched more than a year and a half ago. We see 250K unique visitors and 500K page views per month. We offer advice from industry experts like Dr. Wendy Walsh, David Wygant, Julie Spira and more! We have been seen on CNN, FoxNews, HLN and others.

    With that said, I wanted to see if you would be interested in guest blogging for us!

    If so, let me know and I can send you the details. :)


  3. Hello Laurie,
    i am a student of Comparative Literature (doing Mphil) from Jadavpur University in India.though we are miles apart but let me tell u my area studies have been Canadian Literature ad that too Aboriginal Literature, so i can understand how it must have been living in foster homes (although my understanding comes from reading rather experience).
    i really admire the concept of spirituality in the Aboriginal community which somewhat similar to the Indian notion of spirituality.i am trying to do research about “Dream Quest” which is an essential part of Aboriginal culture.
    i would love to hear your opinion and if you can share your thoughts with me.
    will wait for your reply.
    with loads of smile :)

    • Hello Debaroti,

      Thank you for your comments; it’s great to hear from you!

      Unfortunately, I know nothing about Dream Quest or the Aboriginal culture. I wish you all the best as you research this interesting concept.


      • Hi Laurie,
        Thanks for all the great tips and ideas!

        With regards to Debaroti’s question re the Aboriginal culture and Dream Quest, there is a very interesting book she might want to have a look at called Mutent Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan.

        Thanks again


  4. Hi Laurie,

    You certainly have had a lot of transitions. I have, too. So many, in fact, that some people wondered why “I do it to myself!” I’m what Greg Madison calls an existential migrant. I lived in Europe for 30 years and am now back in L.A. I’ve known divorce, widowhood, raising bilingual kids…many of the same transitions you have experienced.

    I’d be happy to have you email me some questions and be featured on your blog with so many diverse topics.

    • Thanks for your comments, Deb – I’d love to feature your transitions here on New Beginnings! I emailed you directly.

  5. Wow, you’ve lived an interesting life! I grew up in Guatemala as a missionary kid, and later I found myself teaching in London. I’ve lived about half my life overseas. You say you taught at an American school for ex-pats, so you’re probably familiar with people like me.

    • Hi Susan,

      I’m definitely familiar with people like you :-) I wish I would’ve started this blog when I was teaching in Nairobi! I actually didn’t transition well then. Both the job and Africa were hard for me. I should write about it, shouldn’t I? But only in a way that helps others – not in a memoir-type of blog.


  6. I’m currently working on a career transition. Perhaps in your next blog, you could give tips on easing the stress of transitions. Some of us don’t cope quite as well with them. Can’t wait to read more.

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for being here! I’d be happy to write an article on career transitions, and easing the stress. My husband is facing his own transition, and isn’t as comfortable with change as I am.

      I’ll write it, and post here in the comments section.

      Stay true to you,

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