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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Empowering positive thinking - Teaching My Children to Dream BIG

Many of you who know me may know my story, but some may not know what shaped me into the person I am today.

Rolling back several years, I grew up in Cloverdale with my two sisters, Mom and Dad. My parents ran a trucking company and had the ability to provide a very comfortable life for me and my sisters and we essentially never had to go without anything.

Moving ahead a bit, my Dad cheated on my Mom and effectively ended their relationship overnight. Was their relationship perfect? No...Should they have tried to work things out? When I was a kid, I would have said yes, but as an adult I am happy they went their separate ways.  My parent’s divorce ended up being the most valuable life experience I could ever have and it essentially molding me into the man I am today.

When my Dad left, my Mom was a full time stay-at-home Mom. Her sole job was to take care of her children which was no small task with 3 active kids. This however left her untrained in the workplace to acquire a job that would be able to support us moving forward.

So just as quick as my parent’s marriage crumbled, so did my sense of reality of what I thought my life would be. I went very quickly from the kid that had “it all” and never questioned a meal to eat, to living in a one-bedroom suite with my mom, my sister Jennifer and with me sleeping on a mattress on the ground. It was a reality that I did not understand but now appreciate.

My Dad chose not to pay a dime in child support and essentially left my Mom to fend for herself and his children while he enjoyed his new life. I remember very soon after my Dad left, standing in line at the foodbank with my Mom and not really realizing what was going on. Wait, this is not Safeway… What?? Where do we pay?? With my Dad not paying any sort of support, my Mom had to rely on this to ensure we had food on the table.

Soon after my Dad left my Mom decided to make some changes and went back to school (College).  She wanted to get educated to get a better job so she would no longer have to rely on things like the food bank, etc.

Unfortunately, it got worse before it got better. I would hear my Mom crying at night so stressed about paying bills and being able to provide for us. She may not even remember as much, but the heartache and pain is still so real for me as she’s always been my pillar of strength.

After seeing the amount of stress my Mom was going through trying to make ends meet while also trying to go to school became too much for me to sit back and do nothing.

At the age of 10 I pitched the idea to my Mom to let me get a paper route. I wanted to try and take off some of the pressure from my Mom and help contribute as the “Man of the House”. My Mom was reluctant but I pushed forward and did it anyways. Not only did I take one route but I took on two separate routes and delivered for two different papers. I was earning over 300 per month at the age of 10!

I funneled much of my money to my mom to help provide for her, my younger sister and I. Every time I handed any money over to my mom she looked at me with teary sad eyes and said she would pay me back every single penny, which in fact she later did. I wrapped my arms around her at the tender age of ten and said not to worry everything will be ok.

This continued for a couple years until things became more stable with work for my Mom. I continued the paper routes till I was 13 and on the eve of my 14th birthday I got a job in a restaurant as a busboy. The managers were very reluctant to hire someone so young but found my drive intriguing and took a chance...That drive pushed me through the ranks and I ended up becoming the youngest Assistant Manager at 18 in the history of the large chain I worked for (Moxies). My drive did not stop there, I successfully pushed my way through multiple promotions through the various company's I have worked for and now have a final resting spot as a Business Development Manager in Chilliwack.

I look back and many could have chosen the wrong road with the cards I was dealt. I could have gone down a very dark path but I choose not too, I choose to support the one that always did her best to support me and my sisters and soon later younger brother..

With all good stories there is always a happy ending. My Mom has started an incredibly successful Driving School (The Art of Driving School) with Brett and I and she is now able to do the things she wants. She has the ability to no longer worry about money, owns a couple properties and is able to travel and road trip abroad.  With my Moms successes over the years she’s been able to support her kids and assist us all in reaching certain milestones in our lives we would not have been able to do without her.

Her hardwork, drive and dedication to her children is what I aspire to be with my own children. My Mom has always taught me to be a dreamer. She would tell me to close my eyes and visualize what I want my life to be. Her optimistic approach empowered me to do just that… Close my eyes…. Envision a family, my own children, a beautiful home, supportive friends and family and the means to be able to live my life the way I want to.

Many years later, I open my eyes and look around… I have an incredible Husband who loves and supports me, Amazing friends, A beautiful home, a great job that allows me to provide a comfortable lifestyle and two beautiful children on the way…Oh and we cant forget our amazing, loving, nurturing puppy Nikayla. This is exactly what I envisioned in my darkest days with my Mom, and staying true, positive and following my dreams has allowed me to create this incredible life we now share together.

So in closing, thank you Mom for teaching me to Dream BIG and showing me nothing is out of reach if you want it bad enough. I will instil these same values with our children and your forward thinking and positive approach will forever change the future generations of our family.

Love you..