“There is a fountain of youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ~ Sohpia Loren
As I looked at myself through the mirror, the reflection I saw was no different than if I were standing in front of the Fun Mirror at the Carnaval, reinforcing my belief that I was ugly; a belief I carried inside of me at a very young age and through many years into my adult life. Through this belief, I discovered my purpose, my passion, and my Why~ to help women Mirror ‘Their’ Magnificence.
I was born in Montreal, Canada, the eldest of three siblings. They say a child’s life is developed by the time they reach seven years old. This explains how I became a selfless nurturer. My mother wasn’t happy being an at-home mom. She would stay up late and sleep in every morning. When I started school, I got myself ready, then woke her up to fix my hair.
I remember when I was just six years old my mother and father were going to the store and left me in charge of my two-year-old brother. My father instructed me that should there be a fire I was to get my brother and immediately get out of the house. After they left, I went to our rooms, got our toys and placed them next to the front door. When my parents came home, my father angrily asked why the toys were in front of the door. I explained that should there be a fire I could take them out. That made sense to me!
I was eight years old when my mother brought my newborn sister from the hospital. I asked to hold her and sitting in the chair I could feel the warmth of this bundle of joy. My heart swelled with love and I instantly knew I wanted to be a mom one day. My sister shared my bedroom and whenever she woke up in the middle of the night, I would get out of bed, change her diaper, and feed her a bottle. This went on throughout my third grade, which contributed to my repeating it.
When I was twelve years old, my family moved to Buffalo, NY. My sister was this beautiful four-year old little girl, who had big blue eyes, thick dark eyleashes, and cheeks you wanted to squeeze. Everyone who saw her would remark about how beautiful she was. I, on the other hand, was in the awkward stage, in need of braces and I would hear how ‘nice’ I was. It didn’t take long for me to understand the meaning of ‘beautiful’ and that I was not. I constantly compared myself with other girls, reinforcing my belief I was ugly. In addition with my father calling me stupid whenever he got angry with me, my self-esteem and confidence were waning.
I graduated from eighth grade and was excited to start high school. My excitement dwindled when a high school teacher humiliated me in front of the class saying ‘if you had a brain, you would be dangerous,’ reinforcing my lack of confidence. I withdrew even further into myself.
My mother would have been successful in the corporate world. My father, however, when he wasn’t traveling, loved relaxing at home with his family. Needless to say, it created problems which ended in divorce and my father as our care-giver. Because his job required him to travel a lot, he hired someone to come in to take care of us.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out, leaving my father with no one to care for us. It was Christmas Eve after the Christmas Pagent my father told me that he had to place us in temporary foster homes. I lived with our Youth Counselor and his family. It was fortunate to have the experience of living with a family like the one I wanted for myself one day. A few months later my father got another job where he didn’t have to travel and I helped him care for my siblings so we could live together as a family again. I did this throughout my high school years. After I graduated, I left home to start my own life’s journey.
When I was twenty-one, I got married. We had our son two years later. My dream of having a family of my own became a reality. It was my fairytale come true. Friday night was my husband’s night out with the guys. This one Friday night he came home at four in the morning. When he came to bed, I woke up, I lay in his arms and said to him ‘let’s always be this happy.’ The next morning my husband confessed to me that he had been unfaithful. My world fell apart, my heart shattered into pieces and it ended in a divorce. His explanation when I asked him why was I was too good for him. It took me three years of crying and feeling devastaded before I believed him. To be continued…