Day 237 - Dana

Day 237 - Dana (2nd person I approached)
August 25, 2014 - I was chatting this afternoon with one of my friend's that had been visiting here a couple of weeks ago. We were chatting via text message and he asked me how I was doing. I mentioned that I was feeling a little withdrawn today. I told my friend that I knew getting out and meeting a stranger ‘would pick me up.’ He replied

“I love that you say meeting a stranger will pick you up... I can't think of anything more stressful.” I got ready, went out and chatted with Dana, and sure enough, felt much better afterwards.

 

Dana was waiting to go to a yoga class. She was willing to chat, saying yes immediately, but hesitated about getting her picture taken.

“I was out kind of late last night and I’m a little tired today,” she said, smiling shyly. I told her I thought she was beautiful, and that she had an incredible smile. I also told her I wasn't hitting on her! Once I showed her my Facebook page, Dana agreed to chat, and let me take her picture.

 

“I was born in New Westminster, and when I was about three, we moved to Chilliwack (British Columbia - BC). My father was in housing construction, and we moved there for his business. He and a couple of friends had always wanted to build a golf course. My Dad and his friends got a group of people together and they built The Falls Golf Club (Chilliwack). My father built the clubhouse and all the other buildings on the course,” she said proudly. Dana is an only child.

“I think I got more attention as an only child. Not attention as in extra toys and material things. But I spent more time with my parents, did more things with them. We were very close and my parents have always been extraordinarily supportive of me. I’m lucky to have them as my parents,” she said.

 

In school, Dana did very well.

“I was a good student. I was raised to be polite and well mannered. I was given the opportunity to study and work hard, which I wanted to do. I wanted to be sure my parents were proud of me. I liked school and I enjoyed being able to see my friends every day. In high school, I took the classes that were difficult for others. I wasn’t so keen on classes that involved memorization, like physics or chemistry. I did better in English, drama and theatre. I was active in sports as well. I played field hockey throughout high school and I also played volleyball,” said Dana.

 

After graduating from high-school, Dana went to the University of the Fraser Valley ('UFV,' in BC).

“I wanted to be an actress. I was interested in Psychology and Sociology, so along with acting, that’s what I studied. During the first two years, I was getting cast in very dark and disturbing roles, that were very far removed from who I am as a person. That didn’t sit well with me and I realized that perhaps acting wasn't what I wanted to do,” she said.

“I considered going into Psychology, but my mother advised against it. She felt it took too many years of schooling to complete. I changed direction all together and started studying to become a Dental Hygienist,” said Dana. She stayed at UFV for another year to complete the prerequisites she needed before going to the Vancouver College of Dental Hygiene.

“That was the first time I had moved away from home. The transition wasn’t easy. I didn’t know how to cook, had to do my own laundry, all the chores. The things that I were done for me, at home. The down side to being an only child, I guess. I was studying hard and it was a real change for me. When I lived at home, I was able to spend so much time studying and to do well in school. My mother did so much for me!” said Dana. Shortly after she moved out, her parents hit a financial black hole. The family friend that her father had gone into business with, building the golf course, had run up millions of dollars in debt and they lost everything.

“My parents worked so hard all those years to build everything they have. Sure my father has the achievement of physically building everything, but they have to buy their own house back from the new owners of the golf course. I feel so dreadful about it all. It was a very stressful time for all of us,” she said.

 

Once she had completed dental hygiene school, Dana started working.

“Hygienist jobs are scarce and hard to come by. I did everything I could to find work. I ended up working one day a week in five different offices in order to be working full-time,” she said. Dana is now working in two offices. She does four days a week in one office and then one day a week in another. 

 

She's considering going back to school to become a dentist at some point.

“I had broken my ankle in a snowboarding accident. It didn’t hurt too bad and I was sure I had just sprained it. It turns out I had an unusual break and had to have surgery to put four screws in my ankle to stabilize it. That was the most painful part. It was six weeks of recovery. I spent a lot of time doing research into jobs that my skills and qualifications would transfer into. Of course dentistry is the most obvious progression. I compared statistics, looking at women going into dentistry in recent years and the numbers have improved significantly. Women are in the higher percentage in some cases nowadays, whereas as traditionally it was a male dominated career. It's also a good way to utilize the studying and experience that I already have. Applying it towards continued study. I’d need to to do some training and write an exam to qualify, and then apply to get accepted to Dentistry school. But I already have most of the prerequisites,” said Dana, with a bright beautiful smile. #notastranger