Vanessa Ferlaino has done many things – she’s an award-winning corporate innovator at a national telecommunications company; was an executive at a gene therapy company at the age of 23; and has also done investment and portfolio strategy for medtech companies – but in all of it, “I lost touch with myself and who I was.” Following the loss of her father and a string of unhealthy relationships, she turned to acting training to help her explore herself, while piano and singing kept her busy (as she’s self-taught) but more importantly, in touch with expressing her emotions.
“Much of my exploration brought me back to my roots,” she says. “I was born and raised in smalltown Sault Ste Marie, in a multicultural family with a Mexican mother and Italian father.” As she reflected, she could see all of these pieces of herself that had been lost, covered, and tucked away in the expectations and framework of society. “I had to bury much of who I was based on assumptions about my gender, ethnicity, and cultural roots,” she says. “I could see the pieces of those around me who were also stuck behind this same system but can’t see it, thus burying our sense of what it means to be human.”
This revelation inspired her to write “Human”, the small book with a big mission. By weaving in her experiences of loss, trauma, and abusive relationships, she reflects on the human condition in an individualistic society. Deconstructing the world around her through her interactions with others, she is reminded how to open her heart to herself and others, and ultimately, what it means to be human.
Human is making its way from the shelves of the Atlantic Coast, where it shares shelf space next to Glennon Doyle and Brene Brown to Coles Station Mall, Coles Timmins, Chapters Thunder Bay, and Coles North Bay.
With the confusion and chaos of COVID still moving among us, Vanessa hopes “Human” will inspire people to take a moment to explore ourselves and what it means to be human.”