The summer before University I caught the eye of my first boyfriend. An awkward time where I was just figuring out who I wanted to be and not sure what I wanted to do with my life. Sure enough, halfway through year one of my undergrad I found myself pregnant. The cautious, painfully geeky suburbanite disturbingly close to being a teenage mom at the age of 19. I was not this girl who makes a slip-up this massive! What had I done?
If you had told me then that I'd be working for a top advertising company on a number-one packaged-goods account, owning my own condo in Toronto, I'd smile politely and find an excuse to leave the conversation shaking my head. I didn't know that the moment I held my son in my arms for the first time my view of the world would change.
What amazes me most about having a child is how much I learned about myself. How much I can take without snapping. How focused I am at each stage of my son's life. Victories came from even the smallest of goals. How patient I grew, not just with my son but with the judgement that came with being a young single mom. How organized I suddenly was (though this came with a lot of help from my mother). I was determined to prove that no one else could take my place as his mom. Others know the best way to parent, but only I know best how to parent my son. This living being looks up to me. I am supermom in his eyes. I can do no wrong. When you see that in your child you don't ever want to lose it.
Back in the doctor's office when I learned I was pregnant, when I had decided to keep the new life growing inside of me, I had foolishly thought I'd caged myself... banished to a life of serving another (I was still an over-dramatic 19-year-old).
What I had really done was open up my heart to possibilities. I unknowingly found the courage in myself to become the person I wanted to be: kind, patient, driven, focused and tenacious!
All this gave me the courage to do more, and by the time my son was 16 months I had fallen in love for the second time. When my son was just over 2 years old I applied to college. My application was accepted the next day. My son is now 7 and in grade two! We bought a condo in Toronto (we, as in my partner and I) and I have been in the advertising field for almost four years working at 2013's Media Agency of The Year.
Without the building blocks that motherhood taught me I couldn't be as successful as I am today. I wouldn't have had the courage to take the chance in my career and love life. I can't imagine an alternate world where my son wasn't in it. He is my biggest cheerleader and my greatest teacher.
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