My dad was always someone I wish I had known. Someone to play ball with or get advice from. My dad, struggled with addiction to drugs. This stemmed from the family career of producing and selling drugs. Everyone in the Therrien family seemed to be destined for this life. Even myself, as I was born into the struggle. Just a year and a half years old, I lost the opportunity to ever know my dad. Heroin took over his body and he was gone. My mother didn’t take it very well and fell in to alcoholism and drugs. Statistics were against me as a child. I’ll never forget some of the memories my little mind captured growing up. Thankfully, life’s course changed.
With my mother struggling to overcome the past, I ended up growing up with my aunt and uncle at 9 years old, who I consider my parents. This was the best thing that happened to me. I felt rescued from a burning house. With my parents, I learned how to live by faith, which changed my mindset and would effect all the choices I would make later in life. My Uncle Bruce filled that void of fatherlessness. We would play baseball in the back yard or at the field. Baseball, became my passion, which I still love to this day. My aunt Karen became my mother figure, and homeschooled me through high school, setting me up for success far greater than they could have imagined.
Right after I finished high school, I went to Fitchburg State University. My first 2 years in college I consider my nightmare. I couldn’t play baseball my freshman year because I had to start supporting myself. Then, as I learned to balance everything I was able to join the squad in my sophomore year. This was great, but the week before tryouts, I received the worst news of my life. My mother couldn’t break the cycle of addiction and overdosed in the basement of my sister’s home. The first words out of my mouth were “God, please don’t allow this to be true, and if it is, please let me use it to change people’s lives.” I was 19, planning a funeral for my mother, and trying to play baseball. A few months later I moved on my own, really changing my life. As I played baseball in my junior year, I had to quit half way through as I had $40 in my bank account and I had fallen in love. I had marriage on my mind. Throughout the rest of my college years I worked 80 hours a week, all while becoming the first person in my family with a Bachelors degree and graduating with high honors. No matter how uncomfortable this was, I would never change the way I lived my life during these years…I was getting ahead in life.
I got married, six months after finishing college. I was marrying the love of my life, Emily. She was 19 years old. Three months before we were going to be married, our life changed. Two beautiful girls suddenly needed our help. I didn’t know how we were going to make it work, I just knew we were going to. After weeks of stressful arguments that would normally have broken relationships, we finally found a way for us to make the choice to change these kids lives. Two months before marriage we organized a way for us to get in an apartment as soon as possible, thanks to the incredible help of friends and family. The kids then moved in with us, offering them stability, just as my parents did for me. I would go to work and Emily would watch the kids. The craziness began. We were told not to get married at such a young age or take on two kids to start off a marriage. Yet we did. It didn’t matter how hard something would be, we were committed to making it work. Commitment is the key to succeeding at anything. Shortly after we bought our first 4-unit home, (something else we were told not to do), which triggered my passion for real estate investing. Now, we are still happily married, and now have a third child, an amazing little boy.
No matter how many curveballs are thrown your way, you can adjust and learn to hit it out of the park. It takes commitment, determination, and flexibility to make the choice that no one else is willing to make. Making the right choices will always come back to bless you in one way or another. This story was an extremely abbreviated version of my life story and the struggle I have overcome (book me for an event to give my story to your group). The mountains and valleys I had to take to get where I am now, were all meant for good as I look back at the many obstacles I’ve had to overcome. I met my wife and my best friends as I walked this path of life. Everyone of these people were met during a point in my life where I could have been dragged down by what was weighing on my shoulders. Instead I was given the strength to persevere and create long lasting relationships with them. Now I am in a real estate investing company with them called TNL Homes LLC, a consulting company here at JoshTherrien.com and I’m the president of Make-A-Change Inc. What once was a little scared boy who had no direction in life and was destined to become a statistic, is now creating a life of freedom and joy to help others. Why? It’s simple, I made the choice to be uncomfortable, and get ahead in life and make good out of the bad things in life. Now I’m illuminating my life for all to see!