Day 85 - Kirsten (5th person I approached)
March 26, 2014 - Kirsten was born in Calgary, Alberta. She went to one elementary school, one junior and one senior high school. She is the middle child of three.
“My sister is just eleven months younger than I am, and so every year, for just over a month, we are the same age!” Kirsten said, adding that it was her birthday yesterday.
After completing high school, Kirsten came to Vancouver with her friend Rachel.
“We came here for a vacation and fell in love with the city. It was bigger than Calgary, and it must have been sunny during our trip! A few months later, we moved out here. Rachel suggested it and I thought it was a great idea. So we packed our bags and made the move,” she said. Kirsten got a job working in a florist. Her friend Rachel starting working at the newly opened Earl’s On Top on Robson Street, and soon Kirsten started working there as well.
About a year later, Kirsten decided to go to art school.
“My mother really influenced that decision, and I knew I wanted to do something in the arts,” Kirsten told me. “I chose a school in Barrie, Ontario because it had a co-op program, which meant working as well as going to school. I remember driving there with my father, and having some idea it would be just outside Toronto. When we drove past Toronto and kept going, I wasn’t really sure where we were heading to. Barrie is a very small town, but I ended up loving it there. I really like small towns!” In Kirsten’s first year of college, or foundation year as it’s called in the arts, she studied a broad range of subjects, including art history, industrial design and jewellery design.
“I had never thought about jewellery design before, but I feel in love. I spent the next five years studying that, and living in Barrie. I moved into a house that was all guys except for me. Oh, the parties we had! It was so much fun!” recalls Kirsten, telling me that this was bringing back “so many great memories!”
After completing her degree, she moved to Toronto.
“I was dating a guy, and he said he thought Toronto would be a good place to live, and so we moved there. I didn’t really like Toronto though. It was too big and too spread out for me. I stayed in Toronto in for about a year. I had a friend that had moved to Vancouver, and I wrote to her saying I was considering moving back to the west coast. She told me I could stay with her, and so I ended the relationship and moved back to Vancouver,” said Kirsten.
Kirsten didn’t pursue a job in jewellery design. The first summer back in Vancouver was spent having fun, and going to the beach. She then she landed a job as a nanny.
“It was a great job, and it paid really well. I was looking after three young Polish kids. They lived in Kitsilano, near the beach, and we spent a lot of time either at the beach, or in the park,” said Kirsten.
It was during this time that Kirsten met a man and started a relationship.
“I got pregnant and soon after realized that the relationship wasn’t working out. So I had my daughter and raised her myself. She’s eighteen now, and the love of my life,” said Kirsten, clearly gushing with pride and joy.
“We have a really wonderful relationship. Of course, there were a few tough times during the early teenage years, but we’re really good friends and she’s a wonderful young woman.”
Kirsten now works as an office Manager within the health care community.
“I started out as a contract worker and then a vacancy opened up for Office Manager, and they told me I should apply, so I did. We run a 24 hour helpline that offers advice to anyone with emergency medical issues or in need of information. Anyone who may have overdosed on medication, or recreational drugs, or parents whose child may have ingested something and they need advice. We even get people calling when their pets have eaten something they shouldn’t have. If you have a question, give us a call, and we’ll find an answer for you!” #notastranger