Lindsay Walker-ChiarelliExecutive Assistant - Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
Lindsay's Story :
I spent a lot of time during my younger years wishing I was someone else. Someone confident, who had it all together and knew who they were and who they were meant to be. Someone who could get top marks without having to study 24/7 and feel guilty for taking a break for fun. Someone free from all the worries, social awkwardness and self-doubt that I found myself struggling with. Someone who was perfect.
Now, many years later, when they asked me to pick the 3 words that best describe me, the first one I chose was “lucky”. Lucky because of the amazing people in my life who helped me figure out how to be me. Though there have been so many, I’ll focus here on two inspiring women.
At the top of my list is my mom and best friend, Linda Walker. Whenever the world and all my worries seems too much for me to bear, she was there. She always seemed to understand me better than I ever understood myself. In her calm and reassuring way she would explain why it really wasn’t the end of the world, that nobody’s perfect, and that no one but me expected me to be so.
Now, if anyone shares a worry or is beating themselves up, I try to think of what my mom might say and how she might say it.
When I was looking to start a career (in what, I had no idea), I began volunteering at the Canadian Cancer Society office. My supervisor was the Unit Assistant, Darlene Clark. I had never worked in an office before and Darlene was the perfect mentor. I immediately felt a strong connection to her work ethic, attention to detail and knowledge. If I ever had a question about anything, Darlene had the answer. She knew my tasks, her job, the office and the organization inside and out. But Darlene wasn’t the go-to person simply because of her knowledge and ability; it was because she was so patient, helpful and supportive.
Later, when I started my new job at the Chamber of Commerce, I knew that I wanted to become that same go-to person. I wanted to be the “Darlene of the Office”. 10 years later, that still inspires me every day.
I’ve been lucky to have known so many other inspiring women – my nannies and aunts, all with amazing strength of character and heart; my sister and my brother’s wife, who both work just as hard at discovering and nurturing their passions as they do their successful careers; and of course, my fabulously ridiculous adopted Nanna who squeezed ever drop of enjoyment out of life for 97 years.
Thanks to each and every one of you. I hope that one day I can write about how I became a little bit like you too.