Soon, I'll be 38 years old. I now look back and realize how far I've come. It's been a wild ride, but worth every step. I studied Special Need Education and Criminology but ended up going back to school in Event Planning and Aromatherapy. One day I decided to move to BC, with no English. I found my way around, working odd jobs in Whistler with no idea of what life would bring. The only thing I knew is that one day I'd own a business and live in the mountains. Through all those years, I struggled with depression, abusive relationships, a miscarriage and a lack of self-worth. I undervalued my ability to realize my biggest dream. I got fired from a very prestigious restaurant in Whistler because my English wasn't good enough. I left the service industry to become a nanny and started my first business as a wedding and event planner. I failed, I learned a lot and met incredible people. I won my first business award in 2011. Meanwhile, I still struggled a lot. After 7 years, I was ready to find balance again in my life and opened a French daycare. In 2018, my living situation in Squamish was challenging and I was forced to move somewhere new. I took the risk and purchased my first home in Castlegar, BC. I had to close my daycare, sell all my wedding business goods and left with my belongings. I worked random jobs, while my partner was unemployed. Life was a mess. I was scared, I felt that life was falling apart and alone.
But one day the universe heard me. I received a grant that allowed me to build a daycare. In March 2020, I created the brand Love and Lemons and said yes to new opportunities. Finding balance while running two successful companies that I've built from scratch, is not easy. With going to school for Aromatherapy, taking care of my four dogs and my partner, exercising, eating well, spending time with my other half and managing employees, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But after burning myself out many times, I've learned that if I don't take care of my body and mind, there would be no way for me to continue to rise and grow. I give myself one day in the week to do the things I love most, one day for self-care, one day to plan. Without planning my days, I'd still be where I was years ago, feeling anxious, running in circles and never getting anything done.
I am very proud of what I've become and what I have accomplished. Although I received support, I've created all of this and made it possible myself. Success is embracing new paths and never doubting your ability to create the impossible. Stepping over my fears was the only way for me to accomplish anything. Along with my mental health struggles, I learned to let go of my own judgment and the need to prove my worth. English being my second language has been very challenging and there are still days where I struggle. I have learned to ask for help when I need it, to receive criticism well and I continue to learn daily.
But I couldn't have done it without the inspirational women who have believed in me and helped me along my path. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the strong female figures in my life who continue to inspire me to grow.
March 8th is all about celebrating women's voices, achievements, and stories. Girls and women today have been making great strides in driving change and progress around the world. International Women's Day highlights their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. On this global event, we're taking the time to remember and recognize some remarkable women.
Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796)
Sojourner Truth (1797 – 1883)
Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)
Malala Yousafzai (1997)
Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) was the first women to receive two Nobel prizes
Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852)
Edith Cowan (1861 – 1932)
Amelia Earhart (1897 - 1937) “Women must try to do things as men have tried."
Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb (1931 - 2019) was the first woman to pass astronaut testing in 1961.
Sally Ride (1951 - 2012) was the first woman in space
Kamala Harris (1964) is the first woman and woman of colour vice president.
However, there is so much more to be done. Let's make gender equality a reality for all women!
Wishing you all a meaningful International Women's Day! Women are a force of nature, and together we can move mountains.