When starting my FEARLESS blog series, I immediately thought of some of the people that I already have the privilege of calling my friends. I am so grateful to know so many phenomenal women and Diriana is one of them. She is a light and just a beautiful person all around. I am beyond excited to share her inspiring story on the blog today and I hope her interview inspires you. She is joined by her gorgeous mother and sister in her FEARLESS photo session with me in Toronto. The three of them embody what it means to be FEARLESS – and not to mention fabulous! Read about what inspires Diriana and a few ways she overcomes fear as she pursues a career in law!
Tell us about what you do?
I am a law student. I can envision the outstanding international lawyer I am capable of becoming: one who thrives in the face of challenges, stimulates those around her and never overestimates adversity nor underestimates the power of perseverance.
How did you get started doing it – what inspired you?
Ten years ago, no one including myself would ever have imagined where I would be today. After all I was the daughter of a single immigrant mother being raised in a rough Toronto ghetto, within a cultural community statistically known to be the lowest proportion to pursue higher education in this country.
My mother, sister and I often found ourselves exasperated by financial poverty, scratching pennies to get by. But all the while we lived in the midst of emotional and spiritual richness which manifested in the way we loved each other.
We knew that each trying moment endured was a blessing in disguise, a chisel shaping our characters in anticipation of great challenges and even greater rewards to follow.
What are some ways you overcome adversity or fear?
My Faith: My bastion in moments of adversity and fear has without a doubt been my faith in God.
I know that I am not alone in the midst of my battles and that if nothing more is my greatest strength. Daily, this faith gives me the strength to stand up when I am at my lowest, face life’s obstacles with full force when I feel like I have no more to give, and to see the light at the end of the tunnel even before it is in sight.
My matriarchs: I was blessed to have been raised by and around a range of strong women who have served as my pillars in times of trial.
The most important of these ladies is my mother, protector, and caregiver. My mother’s character is a canvas that features all of the shades of woman. She is a powerful warrior, hard working provider and courageous soul. However, the bold aspects of her person have never tempered her soft hues.
Her patient speech, warm touch and humble kindness have gotten me through the most difficult of times.
My grandmother, was a mother of 12 and a fighter like no other. Among many things, she taught me to look fear straight in the eye and not to retreat. Problems are often not as big as they seem. You must face them in order to see that for yourself.
Lastly, my 4 beautiful aunts, all unique in their own ways have exemplified wisdom, perseverance and generosity and have always been there in times of need.
Any advice for others that want to follow on a similar path?
Never stop trying: Everyone faces obstacles at some point. It is not the obstacle but how a person reacts to it which reflects her character. So don’t let your mistakes or failures define you, because you are more than that. Instead, learn from your shortfalls and get back up. That fall will only make you stronger and wiser than before. Never count yourself out before the race has begun, look fear in the eye and try.
Name your 3 key sources of inspiration and how they help you create or stay positive.
Words of life: Positive and uplifting words, whether it be from my favorite gospel album or a close friend, can stay with you and resonate at the time when you need it most.
Great role models: The ladies that have conquered before me give me the power to believe that if they can, I can too.
Nature: Looking at the stars, at a blooming bud fills me with joy and reminds me that I have purpose. If God has taken the time to concern himself with the details of a growing petal, then how could he not be concerned with my needs.