Do you remember what the world look liked to you before the same world took your sparkle? As a little kid do you remember what made your earth move, what made your heart sing…I do. It’s not that I was told that I couldn’t do it, it was that my parents didn’t want to see my heart break over and over again. From as long as I could remember I have always loved animals. We always grew with cats around. The real value of growing up on a farm. Many a days were spent chasing those lil demons out of my dad’s wood pile. And I say demons because have you ever tried catching a lil wild ball of fluff…not so cute now are they? We were always covered in scratches because who could ever resist those lil mew’s and cute lil eyes staring back at you from their hiding spot. There were lots of days where we would take a log at a time out to try and force them out of their space. Oh did I mention how fast those lil ones were? What a blast! My parents were the ones who would leave food on the porch to feed the feral kitties, well I guess you could say supplement their diet there was ton of mice around for them to catch and eat. And the odd snake or two.
I still remember the parvo puppy dad brought home when I was a child. He didn’t know it had parvo at the time but within hours the pup had progressed to the point where the only option was to help this wee one not be in any more pain. My heart broke as my dad’s friend carried that lil ball of fluff into the woods and even more so when I heard that shot ring out in the middle of the night. Times were alot different then. Even now I know they did the right thing the pup never would have made it through the night. He wouldve suffered in agony. It wouldn’t be the first animal I witnessed losing first hand, that was the life of being on a farm and of course living on a highway.
We had a dog and her name was Cookie she was a border collie and really an absolute doll. Everyday she would meet us at the bus stop to walk us home (realistically it was at the top of our driveway). She had to cross the road to greet us but that was ok because the busdriver always had her stop sign on right? Well that day both me and my sister had to make up some ice time so we weren’t on the bus. My mom accidentally let Cookie out to meet us. Without us on the bus there was no stop sign to stop on coming traffic. She sadly did not make it. I guess this would also be my first time I remember being bullied. As we got on the school bus on of the kids made fun of me and my sister and said it was the highlight of the week watching out dog get smeared by the oncoming traffic. Yes that was said. I wonder what I person like that ended up doing with his life anyways.
My dad always tried to keep us happy and so a couple years later when we started asking we finally got our own dogs to care for until we both went off to school.
As I went on to University and then on to build my new life I grew farther away from my true self. I got self absorbed and petty and really couldn’t see past the end of my own nose. I guess that’s how the world wants you to be. The more my career grew, the farther I grew from my true north and the harder that life seemed to be. I originally wanted to be a vet but my dad knew the empath in me would make that almost impossible so what is more impersonal then being a banker. I didn’t have to use my heart. Just a series of questions, a financial plan and viola problems solved.
I was able to provide for myself with a roof, rsps, food, travel, entertainment!! I had it all I was a woman on fire! Or was I? Years of doing this my spirit dulled, my sparkle stopped shinning I was lost. Worse yet I felt like I was failing. I was the farthest I have ever been from my family. I found what I thought were the answers at the bottom of every bottle. My relationships were the outmost worse. Try dating in a world that doesn’t understand you and worse yet you don’t understand yourself. I felt like a shell of a woman that I was meant to be but not to sure how to get there.
Moving closer to my sister in Calgary helped. I knew no matter what I wanted to make her proud of me. I struggled to find myself in Calgary a place where not many knew me, a place where I was fine to explore and reconnect with my true self and at 35 maybe it was time to get to know me. I started slow I worked in similiar restaurants that were familiar to me, I continued to exercise and explore the possibility of once again competiting in the hopes that I would find like minded people who made my heart sing. But was I like minded in the sense that competing, dieting and exercising was still fulfilling to me? I spent a decade exploring this realm. The more I got to know myself the more I knew deep down that it wasn’t me. Maybe that’s why I was always destined to come in 2nd place and really not much more than that. If that were true who was I?
As I worked away at saving and trying to figure out who I was I would stare outside my gym window and look at all the beautiful dresses on display at a store called Unique Vintage and just admire all the beauty that was on display from a time that was long past. That’s when it hit me, I should go in and see what it’s all about. My friend found this gorgeous white and black tafetta 1950’s dress that looked stunning on. I needed to lose 10 pounds but I truly didn’t care I needed that dress. I didn’t care what the price tag said it needed to come home with me. When I asked to put it on hold the lady said of course and until when…tomorrow? that is when we are having the sale and the dress will be 30% off!!! Wait, What? This lady wanted to save me 30% on a dress I just promised to buy. Sold!!! I was sold on the dress, era, her the store I had to learn everything about this era and submerge myself in it because this was the most positive experience I had had in a long time. To say I found Pinup is an understatement, Pinup found me and a star was born. I was reading and researching everything I could to find out what a true pinup doll embodies. I was on my way to finding my true self and when that start to happens it’s like this huge door opens and this whole new world opens up.
I started to listen to what was in my heart, not what made sense but what I wanted my world to look like. I loved dressing up and going out and not just to bars but around town, to coffee shops, to stores just to get to know the people I was sharing these moments with. The truth is they would probably never remember me (or would they with my flaming red hair) but I wanted to remember myself and how just smiling and complimenting somebody could make their whole day. I started paying random compliments to anybody I would see and especially to the ones that I thought needed to hear something positive. The looks I got ranged from who the heck is she to wow ya I do feel good about my sock choice today. The bottom line was I felt happiest when I was trying to brighten up somebody else’s day.
Dressing in Pinup everyday made my mood lift but I needed more. I started volunteering for various events around the city. I was getting out meeting these new wonderful people but there was still that piece of me that was missing. That piece came into my life when I was not looking. I know everybody will tell you that the best things happen when you just stop looking and living your life and I am here to tell you that this is 1000% true. You can ask my husband. At the time he came into my life I was at a point where I just started school, I was volunteering alot and I really didn’t think I had much to share with a partner. He insisted on meeting because he told me that he didn’t want to waste time talking to somebody on the phone for months to meet in person and have them be nothing close to who they portray to be. Oddly enough I agreed to meet him right after my first shift at my dream job that aligned with my schooling. What can I say the rest you all know. We married 6 months after meeting had a baby just one year shy of that and bought a house (debt free I might add) in a great child friendly community. I found myself the closer I gravitated towards my true north. I found a man that reminded me of my dad when I was growing up. And isn’t that what we all want as little girls to marry somebody like our dad one day? The same can be said for wanting to be a princess. I am a princess in my little family. My husband, my son, all my foster pets and all my resident pets look to me to provide a clean space, food, love, companionship. I am adored by the people in my life that matter most. The look of love and the way these animals appreciate what I do is all the payment I need.
Another key in order to find true happiness and success is to stop doubting yourself. Somebody can make a difference just by making an effort and that is what I vowed to do. I am going to take the risks, ask those hard questions and make a difference. I know I was born to help, born to lead, born to make a difference. I know the closer I get to my true self the closer I get to living my truth. Every heartache, every hurdle, every fork in the road has lead me back to here. Because here is where my truth lies, close to home and close to my roots. You see loving animals has always been in my blood and of course home is where you can truly let yourself out and just be.