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Resilient • Geniune • Forthcoming

Her Story

Charlina Westbye

Consultant - IG Wealth Management

Charlina's Story :

Being born and raised in Peterborough, I have been asked, more times than I can count, “Are you related to…?”

When I graduated college and sought a career, it helped to have a Father who worked at GE for 42 years, and a Mother who was well connected in the local business community. My Mother helped me get my 1 st full-time job, and she also undertook the task of introducing me to everyone she knew. Thankfully, I was smart enough to watch how she networked, and to notice how her vibrant personality affected those around her. However, as proud as I was of my Mother, I secretly felt that I was always in her shadow. I wanted, more than anything, to make a name for myself. I wanted to be known as Charlina, not necessarily as my Mother’s daughter. Don’t get me wrong! I am fiercely proud to have the Mother I did and I wish she was still here to mentor me – unfortunately, she passed away in 2013.

This is where my journey of self-discovery began.

In July 2013 when my Mother passed away, a bit of me died, as it does for every person who loses someone dear to them. As the condolences poured in, I felt that I had lost my identity. Suffering from depression and severe anxiety, my doctor had me take time off work – for 2 months. In hind sight, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. After 2 months, it became clear that it was time to become Charlina; to move on, to make my mark, to become my own person.

As a testament to the women in our community, so many of my Mothers friends reached out and took me under their wing. They took me into their homes, made me lunch, served me wine. They mothered me. They mentored me. They helped me realize who I wanted to be and how to do it.

As a result, I am not the person I was in 2013. I’m better, I’m stronger, I’m more confident and most importantly, I’m much more honest; with myself and with others. This confidence set me free; free to push boundaries, free to say what I want, and free to start a business that allows me to take care of me first, without apology.

Like everyone else, I have my faults, but they make me who I am, and I like being me. In the face of self- discovery, I’ve come to accept what I’ve always know: I am Charlina and I am my Mother’s daughter.