We are living in a fast-paced, impersonal world with limited time to connect and share with others on a meaningful level. By nature, we are social creatures that have evolved through the social interactions that have literally mapped and developed our brains. Recently I have been feeling a deep disconnect from our roots. There’s a yearning feeling inside to reconnect and unite. If you are anything like me, then you are far removed from Mother Nature. We sit in front of a computer screen, a tablet screen or a phone screen most of the day. Do we have a choice? Seems like we either embrace technology to keep up or struggle to exist without it. Screens are the new windows to the world.
Knowing that we most likely will never meet up at the corner cafe to get to know each other, I felt the next best thing was to tell you a little bit about myself through a screen. In a workplace setting, sharing certain personal information is frowned upon to avoid creating conflicts that could jeopardize our work relationships. The least we expose ourselves, the safer, right? I disagree and believe that we should create a new paradigm shift. Let’s learn more about each other while learning about how to be more tolerant. Let’s be more open and genuine so we can connect on a higher conscious level.
I was born in Philadelphia and raised in its suburbs. My Mother, Tove, was born in Oslo, Norway of Thor Reidar Pedersen and Mimi Alvilde Hansen-Bodding. She later traveled to England as a young adult with her final destination America. Tove was a professional dancer that danced with the likes of Fred Astaire. It still amazes me when I think about her stories of winning amateur Latin dance contests in Miami in her late fifties as a Norwegian. I will never stop appreciating the dedication she gave to us; supporting and relentlessly protecting us. No matter my age, she never stopped reaching out to warn me that it was going to rain and to ask if I brought my umbrella. After everything she went through in her life, she never had a victim mentality. She raised me to be self-sufficient and to fight tooth and nail for what I believed in. Later in my life, I realized that I adopted the “ask for what I need or else I will not get it” mentality from her. My Mother was blunt and direct with her words and actions yet very sweet and affectionate. You did not want to rub this feisty Norwegian woman the wrong way though!
My Father Vincent was born here in the United States of Italian immigrants, Luigi Scarano and Anna Bonaddio, that arrived via Ellis Island, New York. They settled in North Philadelphia. He met my Mother at dance classes that she taught while he was serving in the military. My Father was definitely was not going to win any awards for being a communicator but he definitely took first prize for working, working and yes working some more. This must explain where I got my deep dedication and sense of responsibility for my work and customers. I am very thankful that hard work and discipline was instilled into me at a young age. Not sure how thankful I am that he made me de-weed the yard in the heat of the summer every year! My Father was obsessed with Frank Sinatra’s music. Growing up I heard Frank blasting from the speakers in the living room early every Sunday morning like clockwork. He even took us all to Carnegie Hall for a family road trip. Not the kind of music a child appreciates but I certainly love to hear his music now.
My mother was a very intuitive woman. Late in my teenage years, she knew that I needed to get away from the sheltered upbringing my Father fostered at home. She pushed for me to attend the University of Miami in 1988. In my Junior year, my Father passed away at 49 years young from a heart attack. He never forgave my Mother for sending me so far away to study even though it was exactly what I needed. Getting away played an integral role in shaping my future plans. My graduation gift was a plane ticket to Europe. I lived and worked there for about 6 months. This experience opened my eyes tremendously. It led to future trips around the world for more growing up and exploration. Living without fear and seizing opportunities was liberating.