Shelby Parker

      Peterborough Chamber of Commerce

      Shelby’s  Words :          Friend         Passionate       Quirky

      Shelby’s Story :

      You never know where your life will lead you.

      It’s hard to put into words how different my life is now compared to how I always dreamed it would be.
      Even as a child, the only thing I dreamed of being is a journalist. In the fifth grade on career day I came
      with my pad of paper, my camera (that came in my McDonalds happy meal) and my red rimmed sun
      glasses (with the lenses poked out). I was going to tell the world’s stories.

      Fast-forward twenty years. I had achieved my dream. Graduated a photojournalism (and print
      journalism) program, I had worked at newspapers all over Ontario and Saskatchewan, interviewed Prime
      Ministers, sky-dived with the Canadian Military, photographed some rock stars and even flew a jet. I was
      living my dream. And then it all fell apart.

      The newspaper industry was hit on a dark Tuesday with 600 journalists laid off. I knew that my life as a
      reporter was over. I felt devastated. I felt that I had failed. I felt lost. I defined myself as a reporter and it
      felt as if my entire identify had been ripped from me.

      Then an unexpected opportunity came along. A training position in communications. It taught me I still
      had skills to offer. I wasn’t a reporter any longer but I was still a communicator. A story teller.
      Now I work at the Chamber of Commerce. I help tell the stories of the businesses in our city. I work with
      wonderful people in a city I love.

      The road in life is never smooth and without obstacles, and mine has been no exception.

      I had to come to terms with my depression and anxiety.

      I had to trust myself as a mother.

      I had to let go of things I could not control.

      I learned a valuable lesson.

      Life might not lead you down the road you wanted to take, but you might like where you end up