My name is Nadika, I was born in Italy to Sri Lankan born parents. I don’t have much memory of my first two years of life in Italy, but I have been told by many that I was a very easy-going baby, always smiling, happy and extremely social with everyone.
Most of my memories are from my time living in Vancouver, we came here when I was two. Both of my parents, together, chose to leave Italy and migrate to Vancouver, Canada to educate me in English. My mom is a pre-school teacher and I attended the same school that she taught at from the age of 2.5years old until bout 8 years of age. It is a private school, smaller in size, in comparison to public schools. I vividly remember my experiences there as being very loving, united, and safe. The school only taught up to grade 3 at the time and I was then placed into the public school system in an area that was very far away from where my family lived. The school was in a very affluent part of the city and if it wasn’t for my moms work address being close to that school district, they would have denied me entry. It was a rule that you had to live in the area to attend that school.
My experiences at this school are some of the most traumatic and memorable of my life, to date. It was the first time that I remember feeling alone, scared and different. I was bullied by the children at my school for the color of my skin, and the way that I dressed. I had no idea that I had to look a certain way to fit in. I remember wanting soooo badly for my name to be Sara, along with the other 6 Saras in my class. I have vivid memories of wanting to be different than I was. I was embarrassed to be me, and I wanted different skin, hair and even wanted a different family.
My parents and I were “immigrants” and “they” just did not know how to fit in. I have memories of waiting after school for hours, all by myself, sometimes in the cold, for my mom to come and pick me up from school. Of course, it had to be after she finished work. School got out at 3pm and she finished work at 4:30pm. It was the longest 1.5 hours of my life, every day, 5 days a week. Some days it would be close to 5pm before I got picked up. I would hear stories of what other children were up to, taking classes, playing, having play dates, sleepovers etc. I was never a part of any of it. To me, that was just a fantasy life, a dream. I played on the monkey bars outside and mastered them on my own, and when it was cold I would curl up under the staircase and just hang out. I remember wishing so desperately for a different life. On the weekends my social life consisted of hanging out with my parent’s friends and sometimes their friend’s kids if they had any.
My parents would always share their stories of their struggle and how they had very little money and had to sell their belongings and work very hard to get to where they were in their life. Every day was a grind and the stresses of money were no secret in our household. I could see my parent’s exhaustion, frustration, and desperation to provide for me and give me “everything”. It just never seemed enough and I sensed a feeling of drowning while keeping up the facade of making ends meet. My dad spent countless dollars, time and energy in a business that just didn’t make it. I heard a dialogue of frustration, taking buses and commuting over 3 hours in a day back and forth, to and from work, in the dark. Hitching rides with co-workers, packing lunches, getting home in the dark, cooking dinner, helping with homework, waking up early, and only to do it all again the next day. It was busy, and at times, a chaotic household. In the evenings while we ate dinner, it was a habit for all of us to sit in front of the tv to unwind. I think this was more of an opportunity for my parents to unwind.
I have fond memories of us snuggled on the couch….that was our family time. Another fond memory was being a 6- year- old cashier at my dad’s convenient store, in the evenings. Everyone seemed amazed at my ability to work the register, count cash and bag their groceries at such a young age. I felt the connection to each customer and sometimes I would even get a couple of pennies as a tip. It was a feeling of connection, a feeling of acknowledgment and one of validation. Everyone left with a big smile, and I helped to put it there.
I still don’t think my parents have any idea of the challenges I experienced, being in the public school system, and being faced with bullies. I found it very foreign that most all of the children that attended my elementary school was so focused on the designer labels on their clothing and coordinating outfits with each other, for school the next day. Of course, I was not invited to be a part of any of this. My parents couldn’t afford designer clothing. I wore hand-me-downs and I remember specifically being told that I had to wear the same outfit two days in a row before it went into the wash because we couldn’t afford to do laundry that often. My parents just didn’t seem to understand what I needed in order to fit in. When I got to high-school, I insisted on going to a school closer to my home. I put up a fight, and my parents finally agreed. I remember walking into that school not knowing anybody….not even 1 person. No one to sit beside for comfort, I didn’t even know a single childs name in my neighbourhood. I was not home enough to get to know my neighbours.
This was my fresh start, my blank slate. I wouldn’t call myself the most popular kid in high-school, but my experiences seemed to be a lot more bearable, and eventually I started to grow into my own skin. I think it was in high-school when I realized for myself that I can choose my own experiences. I wanted so badly to just be given an opportunity, a moment to shine, express myself and just be me. I wanted to express kindness and connect because I knew how much it hurt to feel the opposite. It has been a long and grueling journey of healing the pain of feeling victimized over and over again. I let that old story define me for many years. I found myself feeling the same emotion over and over again with several people that were around me, including my first romantic love and my second romantic love, both of them “taking advantage of me” emotionally, and financially…..a constant feeling of being victimized and taken advantage of. Both relationships were exactly the same, no difference…..I was the common denominator. I own my part in this journey and attracting these experiences.
I attracted life partners who bullied me and kept me in that familiar place. I have the skill set now, to no longer play a victim to my circumstances. Those are old stories that created limiting beliefs as a child and they no longer serve me. This is merely my journey and every part of it has gotten me to where I am today. Today I embrace uniquenesses in myself and others…..it is my gift.
I was put here on earth, during my human experience to encourage others to embrace their uniquenesses, talents, passions and to live them daily, while they are alive, living this human experience. I can see the light in others because I choose to see the light in me. In order to teach this, I commit to living and modelling it myself. I commit to living my life openly, presently, and abundantly!
Today as I write this I KNOW with conviction that I am strong, powerful, whole and complete. Nothing was ever wrong with me, and nothing ever will be wrong with me. In the past, I have over-compensated my kindness by giving to others before I gave to myself and that left me feeling empty. This is something I grew up hearing my mother say “We gave up everything to give you this life”, “everything I do is for you guys”, I watched her model this belief, over and over again. I now know that it is healthier for me to give love to myself first and extend the overflow outwards.
Today I can proudly know that I am whole, I am healthy and I am abundantly wealthy. I can say with absolute certainty that I am made of abundant love. I love my name and can say it with pride. I love my skin color, and I am perfect just the way that I am, and nothing needs to change….ever.
Today I know that I have a choice; a choice to remember that I am here on this earth on purpose, for a purpose.
I wish to empower parents to take the time to educate themselves on the impact that their words and their actions have on their children’s development. Parents, your time and your undivided attention are more powerful than anything you could ever buy for your child.
We are living in a time where it is imperative to create an entrepreneurial mindset in ourselves and our children. It is no longer feasible to trade in our time for money, the world is rapidly changing and developing in a format that I need to be able to think outside of the box to make it. It is the time to embrace my uniquenesses and share them with the world. There is no one in this world that shares my exact story and my exact experiences. These are unique to me, therefore, what I have to offer is unique.
I know with all of my heart that my parents had the best intentions at heart and they did the best that they knew how at the time. I had created beliefs around financial lack, growing up hearing the dialogue around it. I also observed the attitude of arrogance, competitiveness, and disconnect with people that I perceived as financially wealthy. It has taken some work to unlearn old beliefs and find the balance of being kind, being humble and being financially abundant. I now have a genuine belief in abundance and know that there is enough in this world for all of us to live our dream life.
In my dream life, I see unity and working together, having fun and just BEING…..being open, being expressive, being love.
I now have a blog, encouraging parents to take things back to the basics, clearing old limiting beliefs and replacing them with beliefs of abundance. You will be modeling this for your children.
My “why” is to leave a legacy of empowerment with each and every person that comes into my life. I wish for people to see their own potential and to push past their barriers and live a life of abundance! This legacy can live far longer than my existence….that is my wish, that we all keep paying it forward.
I hold you in the light!