Soviet Union 1989
I was born in Russia (back then it was Soviet Union) but when I was 13 years old, the Soviet Union has dissolved which meant that we were free to leave the country and so among millions of others we decided to immigrate to the Holly Land.
I remember the excitement bubbling up inside me when my parents told me that our immigration papers have been approved, knowing that this was the first step towards my life as an adventurer. I always imagined that one day I will travel the world, and this was just the beginning.
I fell in love with Israel the moment the airplane touched the ground. Looking out of the window and seeing hundreds of people dressed in vibrant colours, dancing and singing made me feel like I was truly the chosen one (I later learned that the reason for such grandiose entrance as due to Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights; and not every airplane was met with such level of enthusiasm). As I walked down the aircraft steps, a girl wearing bright bangles handed me a bowl full of fruit saying something in the language I could not understand. Surrounded by thousands of other immigrants I had a sense of safety and belonging and was excited to be part of this new world.
When the time came to go to school, I figured that to integrate into the culture and learn Hebrew faster, I would be better off in a boarding school. As it happened, just outside our town, Akko, there was the only Navy boarding school in the country. At that time, it was a very academic school that required an applicant to write Maths & Hebrew exams. Miraculously, I passed. It was indeed a miracle because I spoke no Hebrew and so it must’ve been the Maths which was drilled into my brain by my Russian parents that made up for it.
Before I knew it, dressed in a fancy navy uniform I moved into a dormitory with three other girls. The first rule was ‘NO RUSSIAN’ to be spoke and it was hard. Although there were other Russian speaking kids, we had to speak to Hebrew to each other but just couple of months later I was almost fluent.
Our days were filled with countless chores, physical exercises, inspections and school lessons. I loved waking up early morning, running to the beach and rowing the boat into the sea. Doing never ending push-ups on the beach with sand getting stuck in my teeth followed by meticulous tidying of our rooms, ready to be inspected at any moment. I made great friends and was truly happy.
South Africa 1991
Unfortunately this did not last as on my fourteenth birthday as I woke up, my Mom had announced in a very excited voice that we are moving to South Africa. I was devastated, it felt like somebody ripped my heart out and tore it into thousands of tiny pieces. Crying and pleading did not help and before I had a chance to say goodbye to my friends, we were once again flying, this time to sunny South Africa, Johannesburg.
Integrating into school and making friends was a lot harder this time. I was the only Russian kid, and nobody could understand me. Luckily, the were few Israeli children through whom I learned English relatively fast, but I lost something really important in the process. I lost my voice and confidence. I also figured that pleasing others was way more important than pleasing myself as by making others like me, I could fit in, be part of their group and no longer be alone.
When I finished school, I followed someone else’s dream, someone else’s journey as I enrolled for Computer Science degree, knowing nothing about computers and not really wanting to know much. However, when I graduated in 2003 with cum laude, it opened a lot of opportunities and one of them led me to relocate to UK to work on a project for MOD (Ministry Of Defense) at Microsoft.
It felt like I was the luckiest person on earth, wondering how someone like myself could land such an amazing opportunity. Living in a beautiful hotel, working with people twice, three times my age, being able to afford a nice flat and having weekend breaks in Europe?
I remember waking up in the morning and pinching myself to see whether it was all a dream and at the same time being so scared that somebody will take a good look at me and tell me that I’m a fraud. That I wasn’t smart enough and I did not belong.
Of course, none of that happened and for the next 15 years, I had a very successful career in IT. But as I was growing older, the void and the emptiness within me only got more intense.
I tried to figure my life out by making time to exercise, eat right, make money and spend time with family and friends. But there was always one little stupid thing that kept tugging at my heart. I didn’t really know what it was and it drove me crazy. I was constantly trying to find things that I thought would make me happy. New houses, new schools for kids, exotic holidays, more money and a myriad of things that went along with that stuff. But that little tugging feeling in my heart would not go away.
It was 2018 as I was driving to the office, wondering how I could sink so low that I played one YouTube video which changed my perception towards the life completely. It shifted something inside and made me realise that if I could not change a situation, I had to change my mind. Thinking of it now, it was surprisingly, the most influential thing in shaping who I am as a spiritual and aware being has come from YouTube videos.
Slowly, step by step, I began to rebuild my confidence and finding that voice which has been buried for so long. I started meditating, reading self-development books and attending workshops. Going inwards enabled me to connect with the person I wanted to become and gave me strength to take actions towards rebuilding my life.
In 2019, I started my first business ‘Driving Miss Daisy’, where we provide companionship and transport services to people who can’t get out and about. It is a very rewarding business as what we do makes such an impact on people’s lives.
Winning social media marketing award of the year has given me a lot of confidence to know that I can achieve anything I set my heart to and I found enough courage to walk away from my six-figure job to pursue my dream as an entrepreneur.
As I always had an interest in mind & body connection, even managing to qualify as NLP & Reiki practitioner while drifting through life, I started my second company where work with energy wearable products helping people to achieve their optimal health energetically.
My life is very different now as I wake up each morning inspired, looking forward to the day ahead.
The other day as I was meditating, trying to find answers within, I received a very simple but yet clear message which said, ‘Fear Lives In Your Head’. This was a great reminder for me at that time as I really needed to hear that.
We spend too much time in our head where all our worries, fears and doubts reside. Once we realise this, sharpen our intuition and trust our gut, the outside clutter and noise goes away, and we become truly free.