Meet the TRTeam: Andra!

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Meet Andra,

pictured here with her dog Pudge. I loved chatting with her first thing in the morning and starting off the day with a soulful conversation! 

1. What book had the biggest influence on you?

Atlas shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book changed my life because it made me be more independent and have the courage to stand on my own two feet instead of relying on other people.

It empowered me to take more ownership of my own decisions. It’s easy to be comfortable in the same situation. Reading this book made me realize that I wasn’t happy at the time and that I couldn’t blame other people for my unhappiness. I got out of a crappy relationship and did a whole makeover of my life after reading this book.

For awhile, I had this fear of upgrading myself but after reading this book I was motivated to take responsibility for my actions and words.

2. What person do you admire most and why?

Not to be cliche, but that person is my mom.

I wasn’t born in Canada, I moved here when I was 18 with my parents, and my mother  was the driving force behind that decision. My dad was a little scared of that choice, but she has always been the glue of the family, determined, not getting discouraged, and so unafraid. My parents moved here when they were in their 40s yet mom was ok with completely restarting her life. She had to go through school again and find a new job.

Watching her do that, with such energy and commitment, especially in her forties, was inspiring. I saw my mom do the opposite of what I grew up thinking I should do (follow a straight path, etc) and I learned from her that I shouldn’t be afraid of change.

3. What's the one piece of advice you would share with anyone?

Something I’m noticing a lot lately, with the internet and in society in general, people seem to have become more judgemental and less forgiving towards their peers.

It’s so easy to cast judgement and I find it discouraging that people don’t seem to want to make the effort to learn more about the other person. It’s so easy to be dismissive and hurtful so my advice would be to be kind. If more people would be kinder to each other, the world would be a more understanding place. I find that keeping an open mind is crucial for a rewarding life and for personal growth.

4. What motivates you to get up every morning?

Personal growth! Just to learn something new everyday, spend time with my family, have valuable interactions, to read something new. The newness of everyday and the chance to start anew every morning!

5. What's the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?

This happened to me when I was really young, maybe around 8 or 9. I was at the seaside with my parents. We were coming back from the beach and cleaning up to get ready for dinner. When we left and were finally at the restaurant I finally realized that I forgot to put on underwear! How could I forget to do that? I think i had this new dress that I was really excited about so I think that’s why I forgot.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

You know what? The answer I am going to share isn’t based in reality… but I really like the movie image of what you see of New York.

I know it’s not the best city to live in, but the way they portray it in romantic comedies, I love how cosmopolitan and fun it is. I know I wouldn’t be able to survive there, but I would really love to live in the movie version of New York :)

7. What’s the most challenging experience you had to live through?

Coming to Canada. I was lucky enough to have my parents, so I wasn’t alone, but still it wasn’t an easy time in my life.

When I was 18, I went through a teenage depression. I was just scared. I was having nightmares, it was honestly the most horrible period of my life. I would not want to live through it again. If I went through it now, I like to think I’d handle it better.

I was lucky enough to find a friend who took me out of my bubble and out of my comfort zone and with his friendship I was able to learn how to use the subway, explore my new city and the neighbourhoods, and pretty much navigate things better. I had no idea how to use a bus, or get around. I owe a lot to this friend who got me out to concerts, shows, adventures around the city. He gave me the courage to go out on my own to explore.

8. What are you most thankful for?

Having good health and a supportive family. My biggest nightmare is being unemployed and ill, and by ill I’m thinking cancer or tumours. So the fact that I have a job, I have a supportive family who is in good health, and I’m in good health as well, all this makes me thankful.

I don’t know what I would’ve done if I didn’t have my mom, father and my now husband. They are my backbone. If I didn’t have their support and advice, I think it would be really hard to wake up every morning. Having a support system helps me get through life and face head on whatever life has in store for me..



Note from the editor: This post was written by our contributor, Andrea, who is based in L.A.! She recently started a new job, so she may be joining us in the future. Thank you for conducting this interview, Andrea!!