Shelby ParkerPeterborough Chamber of Commerce
You never know where 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 sunglasses (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.