An ease and fascination with numbers has always been with me. Arithmetic was my best grade school subject, though writing was my favorite subject: one I had to work harder at, though the spelling of words came as easily as working with numbers.
As my grades and enthusiasm deteriorated from A’s to B’s, C’s and slipped to a D in grade nine, no one asked what was really wrong. The standard testing of the time revealed a mind contrary to what was happening with my marks and attendance and my ability with numbers motivated them to put me on a course for business and science. University-bound they said I should be, but I could not grasp why I had to learn stuff that was so far removed from what I needed at the time, and in fact, was making life worse for me, though I did not fully understand why till many years later.
When I left high school in the middle of grade ten, it was not simply to marry just after I turned sixteen, but to leave behind problems I did not know how to address in a healthy, positive way and naively thought would be resolved by leaving school and marrying, which, of course, they did not.
A few years after marrying found me on my own, with no husband, no support, and no education, but back then, not having a high school diploma was not crucial to the factory and retail jobs I was hired for easily. Inherent leadership, organizational, and a strong esthetic sense for merchandising quickly landed me into merchandising, administrative and supervisor roles by age nineteen, when I became a department head for a chain store, then assistant manager by age twenty-one.
After organizing a staff walk-out because of an area supervisor’s sexual comments and advances to many of the staff, I quit and accepted a part-time job at a local grocery store. A new owner arrived and within weeks, I became head cashier, and then the owner’s office assistant by age twenty-two.
After what had happened in school, I was surprised by all this because I had become convinced by that experience and others that I was not too bright.
Defiant, yes, but not bright.
That is, until the years rolled by and I began working with the chartered accountant to help prepare for the compilation and preparation of the year end financial statements. Encouraged by the accountant, I prepared and successfully completed the grade twelve equivalency exam and applied to a business school with the intent to become an accountant.
So, at age twenty-nine, I joined a group of mostly high school graduated, and with honors, graduated from Westervelt College with the other distinction of being the Chi-Eta scholarship recipient for Outstanding Student Cooperation. While attending, I was also elected as the school newspaper editor and treasurer.
And yes, my best marks were in my business mathematics, bookkeeping, and accounting courses, while my worst was English.
A move to Toronto resulted in a job in the accounting department at Howard Johnson’s head office, but quickly I discovered that the repetitive structure of accounting bored me and the location was a long commute from the other side of Toronto.
Recruited next by Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) Inc., seven years not only provided a wealth of opportunity working in business planning, operations, and human resources, but also the opportunity to observe big business in action.
Disenchanted, which as it turns out, not because of the company, but because of still unresolved problems, plus motivated by a corporate culture that encouraged continuing education, I applied for, and still shockingly was accepted into York University’s Bachelor of Science program with the intent to acquire a Ph.D. in psychology.
But what happened totally took me by surprise!
Though the psychology and biology courses were interesting, what captured my heart most were philosophy and humanities. Reading the wonderful books, some of which I had missed by not attending high school, blew my mind wide open. No longer did I want to help people by only becoming a psychologist, listening to people in counselling sessions, I wanted to help them by becoming a great writer.
Having to write the essays for these courses revealed what my earlier English marks had not. As my university marks revealed, I truly did have an inherent ability to write, even well, though admittedly, it was the technical skills I needed to develop.
Stunned by this revelation, I left university with the goal to write for a living, though there was much I needed to learn. Nonetheless, in those few years after leaving almost seven hundred poems, forty short stories and essays, plus my first stream-of-consciousness book literally poured out of a very deep well.
Some works sold, though many were young in voice, unpolished, unsophisticated, and even childlike.
But the little confidence, deflated by a lack of encouragement from families and friends, motivated me to abandon writing and turn to studying design, communication and visual arts, while I worked with numbers again to live.
The desire to write though finally burst forth again. I wrote and recorded the children’s story, Charles’ Choice, that a few years later I sold as a workshop to a school board. A year later, I entered a local writing contest and was awarded Honorable Mention, Literature, selected by a York University professor.
Finally, I knew what I was to do.
Now, several years later, with several books written and more in research and development, the time has come to also return to incorporating my inherent numerical and leadership skills, along with the dream of helping people with my writing … which is why I am refreshing my accounting principles knowledge and am excited again to be working with numbers and formulas in preparation to reach out globally with my company. In fact, one of my goals is to also explore the world of abstract mathematics … for fun!
Anyway, the upcoming local Hawk’s Nest angel investors competition was just the catalyst I needed to embrace the whole me as The Respect Specialist, social entrepreneur, creative, and writer. The experience of feeling put back together … all of me … is one I highly recommend to anyone who, for whatever reason(s), buried parts of who they truly are.
Like me, respect yourself enough to set yourself free of the limitations placed on you … and SOAR!
February 26, 2016
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier … The Respect Specialist, Humanitarian, Social Entrepreneur, Creative, and Writer. The company creates, publishes, and produces books, products, and services to free potential based on the concept and global initiative “Connecting the Dots … with The Respect Principle.” I look forward to discovering how I can help you and others unleash more potential for greater success, enhanced quality of life, more joy and peace!
Ebooks available at www.smashwords.com and other Ebook retailers.
© www.therespectprinciple.com All Rights Reserved