My name is Penny Loker, I hail from Canada and I’m 31 years young!
I have been given this amazing opportunity to produce a column that express my own unique views. It came about in the most unusual way. I was recently featured on a CNN article and from there bloomed new friendships and for me a new way to relate to the world.
Let me tell you about myself. I was born with a facial difference a combination of 2 birth defects one called Goldenhar syndrome and the other called left hemifacial microsomia and although I don’t see that this solely defines who I am it most defiantly colours my view of the world. A lot of what I write will have this as a theme may not be forefront but I always wright with this filter on.
I grew up in the city of Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario Canada. We are most known for having the second largest Oktoberfest celebration in the world. Second only to the original, Munich Germany. I am part German so I’m very proud of this fact! The other awesome part of where I live is the fact that I live currently very close to a small town called St. Jacobs which boast a thriving menonite community with amazing maple syrup, food, crafts and a wicked farmer’s market. You may wonder why I have started to sound like a tourist magazine and that’s because I think who we are as people, is because of where we grew up. I LOVE where I live I am very proud to be Canadian but also proud to have grown up in KW (this is how we locals refer to our cities).
I have 2 older sisters who both bugged me and protected me growing up. Anyone with siblings (older or younger) can relate to this. They took the role of protector at times literally When I got picked on in school they would be the first ones to my defense. The age difference is somewhat unique in our case. There is 18 years difference between me and my oldest sister and only 2 years difference between me and Crystal (the “middle” child). We lost our dad to a heart attack in 1983 when he was 42 years old so since then my mom was a single parent. She is an amazing person who has struggled with her own hardships in life but NEVER failed to provide for us kids even if it meant working 3 jobs.
My hobbies include watching TV, playing games of any kind, reading, knitting, social media, volunteering, spending time with family & friends. I want to get in to gardening but don’t seem to be gifted with a green thumb. I am a proud home owner who never dreamed of being one. I work for a telecommunications company as an escalation advisor so my main job is to talk to the really upset customers. This is something I’m good at, I like the challenge of trying to diffuse tense situations and when I can exceed a customer’s expectations.
I am a really open and honest person who doesn’t offend easily if ever there is a question feel free to ask me!
My hope for this column is that my unique perspective on life, world events, anything really, will enhances people’s lives. I hope that as you read my column you learn something not only about the world around you but of yourselves. I have been told by my sister Crystal that I have no filter and you would think that this would have gotten me in to trouble (and sometimes it has) but for the most part it has worked out in my favour and people have responded amazingly well, I hope you do as well.