Jocelyn Hastie is a force to be reckoned with. Her life has taken many turns, and as she nears 60, she is unbridling her brilliance through telling the stories of pain and healing.
She is ambitious and driven, and seldom takes the easy route. She began clerical and administrative work in the energy industry in Calgary when she was 19 and completed an accounting designation nights and weekends over the next ten years while working full-time. She was a supervisor at 23, and an accounting manager at 28.
At 26, she married an engineer, the son of a rancher, and she found her heart and soul in the rural lifestyle and in her horses. The horses became the children her husband was never quite ready for. They also became her teachers and she learned to like herself as she developed the skills to be a leader that the horses trusted and felt safe with. She especially loved working with the foals and young horses, watching them grow and learn. She left the marriage when she was 40 as she realized that her marriage had become an empty shell and it would never be the right time for her dreams to become a priority.
After the divorce, she purchased 20 acres, and a run-down house. At 42, she landed a job as accounting manager at a nearby natural gas processing facility. Her herd of horses grew and she began to have some success in the show ring. She hired a trainer and looked to expand the business. She bought 120 acres of raw land and set about making her dream of a horse breeding, training and sales operation come true.
At 53, Jocelyn was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer of the right tongue base. Treatment was physically devastating and included 5 weeks of daily radiation (33 treatments), chemotherapy and surgeries to remove lymph nodes. Recovery was long and hard. After two years, she was finished the gradual return to work plan, was declared “fit to work” and removed from long-term disability benefits on June 30, 2016. That same day, her employer shuttered the natural gas processing facility where she had worked since 2003 without notice.
Jocelyn became interested in Toastmasters International and assisted in creating the High River Toastmasters Club, becoming the President of the club at charter. During her rookie year, she finished third in District 42’s International Speech Contest where 120 clubs throughout southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan competed. Three years later, Jocelyn was elected as District 42 Director, supporting those clubs at Toastmasters International World Headquarters.
Jocelyn then turned her attention to writing, and this novel is the result. She found that many of her brilliant friends had encountered manipulative men, and were ashamed of themselves for trusting. She believes that by sharing our stories, we can raise awareness and support one another in maintaining self-respect.
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