A year of transition

A year of connecting, experimenting and growing.

A year of gratitude

I am grateful to,


Preeti, for getting me started on my immigration and settlement journey in Canada.

Hela, for listening and connecting me with resources.

Chandana, for being there when I needed it the most and helping me thrive.

Shieh-chi, for generously reaching out to extend her wisdom along my way.

Fatima, Carla, Saskia, for doing truly inspiring work and making me feel at ease at my first interview.

Arturo, for being so generous with time and being so humble in the way you carry yourself.

Kristen, for showing us to slow down and tune to Elly.

Maria, for reminding me to apply for child care centers early.

Jennifer, for being a helpful mentor about graduate school with kids.

Nigar, for being very kind and helpful while we are settling in our home.

Beste, for being very lively and fun to connect with.

Usra, for being very deep, open, and upfront about her truths.

Lily, for being very patient with us as we eased into the daycare setting again.

Zeynep, for being the most resourceful and kind person on this journey as I pivot.

Iris, for being so open & supportive to a total stranger, being a kind soul.

Diane, for believing me and helping me to prepare my pivot strategically.

Simone, for being so warm and kind about writing, science, parenting - even with the ocean in between...

Justyna, for being a godsend to us and helping us find our new home in Toronto so diligently.

Jordana, for listening and reflecting so deeply, being my sounding board at stormy times.

Susmita, always making sure we laugh and listen. I love the silences & the talks. I am so glad you are with me.

Yunus, for showing up and making it fun & light-hearted. I am so glad you are still with me after all these years.

Fikriye, teaching me what love and care are. I love carrying you with me, wherever I go. I miss you and love you.

Rosa*, believing in me and making me believe that I can heal. I carry you in my heart. I miss you and love you.

Arda, for always, no matter what, being there, being with me. You are Amazing. and I love you.

Elly, for being you, never stop growing and having fun. You make me a better person. I love you.

A year of learning new things

Skill Building Courses & long term workshops

  • Women of Wellness (WOW) Support Group, facilitated by Jordana G.Baker. Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre,  May 16- June 29, 2021.

    • Support group for newcomer women which covered topics such as being a woman, goal setting, financial literacy, holistic well-being.​

  • LivingWorks START Training, LivingWorks, Canada, June 1, 2021 ( sponsored by UofT Health Promotion )

    • 90min course to learn life-saving TSAC skills and identify suicidal behaviors and calmly offer support​

  • The Arts and Science of Relationships: Understanding Human Needs, May 2021

    • An online 6-week, non-credit course authorized by the University of Toronto and offered through Coursera

  • The Circle of Security Parenting Program, Every Mind, Canada, March 24-May 12, 2021

    • 8-week group for parents of children ages 0-8, to understand a child’s emotional world by learning to read their emotional cues.

  • Living Life to the Full, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canada, February 4-March 25, 2021

    • 8-week group for caregivers to manage mild symptoms of depression and anxiety and teach CBT-based skills to understand and manage feelings and behaviors.​

  • The Writer's Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit, Simon Van Booy. Skillshare.

  • Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact, Roxane Gay.Skillshare

  • Creative Writing: Using Your Mistakes to Power Your Personal Essays, Emily Gould.Skillshare.

  • Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style, Susan Orlean.Skillshare.

A year of building skills

Workshops & Webinars

  • Be a Leader: Leadership Hacks to Get You on the Right Track – Bhavini Patel. Organized by Access Employment. January 18, 2021

  • Your First Steps in Ontario. YMCA Newcomer Centre. February 23, 2021

  • A Conversation with College - Private practice – Christina Van Sickle. Organized by FIFSW. Jan 25, 2021

  • Balancing Joy and Sorrow: Fostering Healthy Grief in Those we Serve – Andrea Warnick. Organized by FIFSW.  January 25, 2021

  • Mindfulness Workshop – Narges Khazraei, Skills for Change. January 26, 2021

  • Creative expression of emotions and Art Therapy – Narges Khazraei, Skills for Change. February 10, 2021

  • Parenting Psychoeducation – Narges Khazraei, Skills for Change. February 25, 2021.

  • Building Resilience in Children – Dr. Mariko Estrada. Organized by EveryMind. February 25, 2021.

  • Parenting Through a Pandemic: Self Care for Caregivers – Kim Marshall. Organized by Bridgeway Family Centre – March 10, 2021.

  • Humor is good for the soul – Priyal Menon, Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre. May 3, 2021.

  • Communication for Partners: Managing Conflict & Staying Connected – Sara Marlowe. Organized by UofT Health and Wellness, June 16, 2021.

  • Normal vs Abnormal Behaviors - Jordana Baker, DBNC. June 24, 2021.

  • Positive Parenting Strategies (for parents of children ages 0-17)  EveryMind. July 7, 2021

A year of finding time to read

  • Daring Greatly - Brene Brown

  • The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown

  • Life is in Transitions - Bruce Feiler

  • Fault lines - Karl Pillemer

  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone - Lori Gottlieb

  • The Gift of Therapy - Irvin Yalom

  • Becoming Myself* - Irvin Yalom

  • The Mindsight - Daniel Siegel

  • Aware* - Daniel Siegel

  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen...And Listen So Kids Will Talk -Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish 

  • Hold Me Tight* - Sue Johnson

  • Range* -  David Epstein

  • When the Body says no - Gabor Mate

  • No-Drama Discipline* - Daniel Siegel


It is better to start reading, skimming, reading a little, and stopping for a while than not reading at all.