“What do you want to be when you grow up?” was the question I always had a fast answer for. “A Mommy and a Teacher!”
I grew up seeing how amazing of a mother and father I had. My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old but they couldn’t resist and got back together when I was 8 years old. I saw my dad frequently but, during those 6 years they weren’t together, I was by my moms side for the majority of the time. I saw how hard she worked as a single mom and she NEVER put anything before me. She loved me with everything she had and I couldn’t wait to grow up to have my own and give them as much love as I got.
I also loved to teach! I would tutor my little cousins and played ‘classroom’ with my teddy bears and dolls every day. I always dreamed of having my own classroom and being called ‘Miss Kay’.
I graduated high school with honours and off to University I went. I was in my third year and boom! The worst of the worst happened.
It was a couple days before halloween in 2012. I was driving to class and noticed there was something in my eye – only to find out there was nothing in there. I got to my lecture hall, sat down and started taking down notes but it was so hard to see out of my right eye. I was going blind.
Turns out I had Optic Neuritis which is when the nerve in your eye becomes inflamed and blocks signals of sight going to your brain. After 3 long days of treatment, I got my vision back… but I ended up overdosing on the treatment and spent another week in the hospital. MRI’s, CT scans and spinal taps brought the words, “Kayla, you have MS”, said by my father. My whole world turned upside down.
Doctors and professors told me to take time for myself and drop out of school for the rest of the school year. What!? How!? I can’t drop out! And I WONT! I was en route to be a teacher and nothing was going to get in the way of that.
So that same year, I started Keep S’Myelin. I opened up an Instagram account, then a Facebook Page and then a Twitter account. I connected with AMAZING people and built a strong community. I loved it and had so much fun with it. I met a couple of the best of friends I have today because I did this and because I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. But that’s not all that MS brought me.
I ended up finishing that school year with the best grades I have ever got in my entire life. Straight A’s and when fourth year was complete, I was accepted to 3/4 Teacher’s Colleges.
I remember waking up one day and literally said, “Screw it!” Maybe I wasn’t supposed to become a teacher. I wasn’t as excited as I thought I would be. Maybe it’s because I LOVED building communities on Social Media. Maybe that’s why God had this planned all along. I was not born to be a teacher. I was born to be a Social Media Marketer – to connect with others, build relationships with them and help grow businesses and non-profits online.
I declined all my offers and applied to a Social Media Program at Seneca College in Toronto. This was the best decision I ever made in my entire life! I am now proud to say I have a BA in Geography and History, a Post-Grad Certificate in Digital Marketing and I am currently a Social Media Manager for an amazing agency, Click SEO Marketing.
I like to look at my diagnosis as bitter sweet – bitter, because it’s a pain in the butt – sweet, because not only did it lead me to find amazing friends, it also led me to find my true passion and calling in life. I am happy with every aspect of my life and I thank God everyday for this amazing journey.
Although I didn’t become a teacher, I still have plans of being a mommy when I grow up! For now, I’ll just have fun being a SM Manager!
What’s your story?