Hi lovelies, Today I am sharing my very personal journey with all of you which is so scary but I think is very important to share my story in hopes you find this encouraging and get to know me a little bit better.
I have partnered up with Peace Collective, a Canadian clothing brand based out of Toronto, where I live.They truly represent Canadian pride and what it means to empower communities and individuals to succeed by realizing their true potential and taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented along their journey.
I wanted to share my story because I know there are so many people out there that have gone through similar experiences, perhaps you are reading this right now and you feel stuck or not sure of what the future holds, its scary but I want you to know that it is possible to get ahead and to follow your dreams no matter how far and scary they might seem. PLEASE KNOW THAT.
My story goes a little bit like this…
I moved to Toronto from El Salvador when I was 18 years old. I was 5 months pregnant and my mother who was living here was working as a nanny. I struggled for years as a single mom. When I first moved to Canada it felt like the world was so scary. The language, the weather, the culture, everything was so different and so overwhelming.
I know some of you out there have gone through similar situations or maybe your parents have so Im sure Im not alone when I express these feelings. Leaving it all behind is such a hard decision but sometimes its the only way out.
My mother was my rock for the first couple of years, she worked so hard to help me and Paula, my daughter. She taught me to be brave, to take chances, to pursue my dreams. We lived with my relatives for a couple of months until we finally put together enough money to get our own place. We were so happy to have this one bedroom apartment and things started to look up. I was able to get subsidized daycare for Paula and I got straight to work. I cleaned houses and worked as a babysitter and eventually as a receptionist.
There were also hard days…. I remember taking the bus, carrying that stroller in -20 temperatures and hurting my shoulders so bad I just wanted to cry. A lot of the times I did. I was terrified but I realized I had two choices: I could keep moving or become a victim of the circumstances and do nothing. I HAD TO KEEP MOVING.
My mother was the kindest soul and sweetest person I have met. She was so selfless and was always looking after other people. Everyone loved her and she was so strong and so patient with me. She got really sick one day and discovered a lump in her lung which turned our to be cancer. We lost her 2 years later. You cannot be prepared for such an overwhelming separation. My heart was broken into a million pieces but I had to stay strong because I had a little 4 year old to take care of.
My mother always told me to go to school so I could be a great example to my daughter. That is exactly what I did…I enrolled in Fashion school and about 6 months after my mom left this world I met my husband Gavin. I always like to think my mother had something to do with this. She always told me to look for someone who would be great to me but most importantly, great to Paula, a good example of what a responsible man should be and how a woman should be treated. A man that is kind, hard working and respectful. Gavin is someone who embodies all those characteristics. She described exactly who he is.
Right after school I started working in merchandising then buying, marketing and kept moving forward and going up the corporate ladder. Again, I was presented with opportunities and I went for it every single time. I worked on the client side and agency side for 10 years. Worked long hours proving myself, pitching ideas and gaining a lot of experience in the marketing industry.
I worked my ass off, made so many sacrifices. It was not easy but I always felt so lucky to have a chance to succeed. My dreams started to become bigger, I wanted more out of my life, I wanted to celebrate life and to explore its potential to the fullest not only for me but on behalf of my mother.
Nowadays I am 36 , work as Creative Director and just launched my own company Wishbone and Clover Media which is so scary but so exciting at the same time. I get to work with brands creating content and develop marketing strategy and branding. I am also a blogger and stylist which is how we ended up here!
I live with my beautiful family:
My daughter PAULA who is now 17, wants to study law and has a life that only existed in my dreams.
My husband Gavin who is caring, calm, collected, objective, devoted and my biggest fan.
My two dogs, Bailey, who is a wise and tough mentor to Carmen, who is a sweet and curious understudy.
I believe in the power of kindness and empowering and lifting others, I believe that dreams do come true if you work hard enough. Passion, tenacity, compassion and kindness are words I try to live by everyday.
I have accomplished so many things because of all the opportunities that were presented to me in this beautiful country and city. Where I gave birth to my daughter, where I met my husband, where I became a citizen, where I was given a chance to succeed. For all these reasons and many more, I am so proud to be Canadian and I am honoured to call it MY HOME.
See more of my story and feature on Peace Collective