As my first blog post I thought it would be best to give you a glimpse of my life’s history so far. I was born and raised in a small town in northern British Columbia by two Italian parents. My dad immigrated to Canada in the 70’s and well my mom might as well be considered an immigrant as she was the unofficial “translator” for my grandparents since birth and lived a very traditional Italian childhood here in Canada. My heritage has always inspired me, I still cannot believe the hardship that my grandparents faced moving to a completely different country, not knowing anyone, not speaking the language, eating foreign food, finding hard labor to make ends meet to name a few. Often, I reflect on this and wonder why we complain so much, when really this is the kind of struggle and strength our blood is made of.
I knew I didn’t belong in a small town from a very early age, I just didn’t fit in, I made friends easily but found I really didn’t have much in common and always dreamed of moving. One of my oldest memories as a kid was being called “weird” I think it’s because I always attempted to make everyone laugh and I really didn’t follow a trend or the crowd and I had cured meat sandwiches on homemade bread in my lunch kit. Around 7 years old I actually had a dream of our family moving to Vancouver. Less than 6 years later, it actually happened. Call it my first premonition.
Even at that age, with lifelong friends that I saw every day I didn’t hesitate packing and anticipating a new life, new adventure and most of all, opportunity. Most of our family was in the Vancouver or surrounding areas so that also made it very exciting.
It wasn’t easy moving from a small city, there was more than one traffic light here (ha ha ha but no, seriously). My parents had to learn how to deal with traffic, to commute from one city to another while finding me and my brother schools. At one point, all four of us were in different cities on a regular weekday. I recall my parents looking for a house for several months and wondering which city to call home. During this time, we lived with my grandparents.
Lucky for me, I was always a bit of a chatterbox and was could adjust quickly to a new environment, within our first 2 years in Vancouver I had changed 4 schools. Going from public school to a private uniformed school on a campus was a bit of an adjustment which I did not make easy for my parents. This is when I was in my “tom boy” phase where I had cut my hair short like Drew Barrymore’s, I wore all my dad’s 1970’s vintage (which he still has handy today) and I never took off my baby blue Chuck Taylor high tops.
The education I received at that school benefited me more than I thought. I got accepted to my first college pick and began my stint in Journalism for Radio Broadcasting immediately after graduation.
In the years that followed, I made friends in the Italian community by participating in Miss Calabria (the region my family is from in Italy) which was followed by Miss Italia. These pageants opened so many more opportunities for me in broadcasting, public relations and fundraising. I should mention that by this time I had grown my hair, shaved my legs and looked a little more like a young lady, but I never did get rid of my chucks…and while all the other contestants sang and danced their hearts out, I played the loudest, most intense 4-minute drum solo that terrified the daylights out of the audience and left their ears ringing for days. I have never been afraid of being myself or being different.
College, working, and participating in the duties of being a “Miss” was tough to balance, I truly believe that this was the point in my life when I realized that I love a good side hustle (or 3). I like being busy and I crave the challenge of new opportunity.
Around the same time, I also decided I wanted to see how hard it was to be an entrepreneur and I started an event planning company from home. I had taken several business classes at the college and thought it might be a great way to earn extra cash on weekends. For 17 years, I planned over 300 social and corporate events and had a team of talent to help me.
These days I work for a multi-national corporation responsible for Quality Management. Organizing an event is similar to organizing a corporation…you need to have a plan, you need to execute it and you need to be realistic learning from mistakes.
I’ve been married to one hell of a guy for 12 years and finally, after 8 long years of trying…we are pregnant with our first little angel. My 36 years of life so far have been a journey. I’m excited to share more stories with you, some are good, bad, and ugly but they are true and transparent to who I really am, and I never forget where I came from.