I grew up in a small country of Slovakia (Czechoslovakia) and overall, I had pretty happy childhood but a few things I remember is having tropical fruit such as bananas or mandarin oranges only at Christmas time… until this day, an orange smells like Christmas to me. I also remember having boots that would leak water in (walking in snow to school) and I would bring an extra pair of socks to school just to keep my feet dry… my hands were bleeding from being chapped from cold weather not having gloves… and even though this story may seems as if I was born during a great depression… the truth is I am only 42.
I didn’t think much about life until when in High School and I participated in Velvet Revolution against my father’s approval who is member of Communist Party until this day… this was the beginning of the end of censorship and control that the Communist Party had over the country. I remember different commercials popping up on TV… Milky Way chocolate bar and such…movies… books… teachers talked to us about different things… We learnt about countries previously taken off the maps… This was a moment I realized there is more out there… much more… and that I can have a different life and that my children can have a different life too. I didn’t have a clear plan… how this would all happen… but I clearly remember a shift… a will to do and become more.
So… my firend and I, we decided to go to school in Banska Stiavnica for our senior year of High School… which even though you had to be accepted and tested in, prior to Velvet Revolution this would not even be an option for “regular” people like us… it was only for “chosen” ones… protégés who would become future diplomats, politicians and leaders of the country. We did get accepted… we’ve made it in… While there, I remember having 12 hours of English per week and how lost I was… we had teachers from the U.S who only spoke English. Being lost was a new normal.
Being around these “different” people, students and teachers… I started to get “new” ideas… and against my parents’ wishes, after I graduated, instead of going to University in Slovakia and follow the “normal” path, I’ve decided to go to London… Staying and studying in Slovakia was not going to give me that different life I was striving for… and for whatever reason, I thought, being fluent in English was going to do that.
So here I came to London, one-way bus ticked and a bag of cloths… I studied English, I worked as au pair for two years… and then I took similar journey to the U.S. but this time I flew… I was 19 years old and it was a first time I’ve ever flown on the airplane. I remember stewardesses kept making sure I had permission, a stamp in my passport, to enter the country… since people from Slovakia were still not allowed to travel without a special permission.
So I got here, first to New York and then I “settled” in Chicago… I travelled, having a lot of fun, making new friends, getting new ideas but it became very clear that if I wanted to stay here and to have the life I imagined, it required a college degree… so I went to school, and three and one half years later I received an undergraduate degree in Finance and few years after that, my MBA…
Got on the “regular” track… got married, got a job, gave a birth to two awesome kids… got a next job and a next promotion… until one day a little message popped on my phone during a meeting with my employees… working on something “super” important that at the time was a matter of life and death… that message was a reminder for me to be at my older son’s college prep class starting in an hour. This was pretty much impossible… to make it from downtown Chicago to suburbs in an hour… it would take me 1 hour and 50 minutes to get there and that’s if train was leaving right away.
At that moment, I’ve realized that my drive for a better life blinded me at somewhere… at some point… I’ve forgotten what the point really is… I no longer had balance and I’ve lost … I’ve forgotten why I was doing what I was doing… what my purpose and mission in life was and that I was no longer living. My priorities were messed up…
This was another defining moment in my life… all that drove me to become successful… now was taking my happiness away. This was a moment I realized that something needed to change… needed to shift.
So… I’ve left all that I worked so hard for, all that I’ve known and lived for last 15+ years.
I didn’t know what I would do… other than I knew I wanted so desperately get closer to my kids and get some time back…learn who they are. I felt I’ve missed their whole lives and I wanted to get some of that back. To truly be present… not really knowing what that even meant at the time. This was two years and a few months ago…
Many times as you scroll down the pages of Facebook, or any other social media… there is that pressure of you’re not doing enough, you’re not being enough… not being as far in your life as influencers you’re following… comparing yourself to others not realizing that’s not your path. It a trap! It took me a while, and it was definitely a process to understand, that we are all on our own path… that we are all at different point in life and most importantly to understand and trust that we all came here… we all came back… to experience something different. And accepting that… helped me get back to being authentic and allowing me to live MY LIFE. Because even the phrase so famously being quoted by so many “you will die”… it’s not even true. But that’s a story for another day.
Another important learning I’ve discovered is that all the answers I was searching for, I already had. All of that… all the answers and solutions…. are inside of us… not outside… there is no guru or one hundred of them that can solve my problems for me, only I can. I am not saying not to learn and grow and have mentors… what I am saying is that no one knows you better than you do and what’s best for you at that particular junction you may struggle at that particular time in your life. The Universe, the Infinite Intelligence, the God… whatever your belief system is… our Creator is super awesome… giving me… giving us all the tools we need to live our authentic lives aligned with our personal missions, but our creator, however, forgot to include instructions as to how to access those answers. And that’s what became my mission, at least for now, to help others… coach my clients and help them get the answers within and break through any obstacles that may stand in their way to live their authentic lives and do it with ease and grace. And yes, it requires us to take action… but life is meant to be effortless!
And also accepting that it’s ok to change my mind… to have a job, to work, to be a mom, to be entrepreneur and then switch it around and maybe get a job again… accepting that and not worrying what people may think or worry about being judged… so I choose to be O.K. with whatever path… wherever road takes me… being happy with whatever we’re doing… and to be truly O.K. with it… And it’s not easy! It’s actually pretty hard… I found it hard and I was worried what others might think… am I getting back to my job because I failed as entrepreneur or as a mother and going back to what I know and am good at… What if the simple answer is…I fell in love with the outcome but don’t like the journey getting there? Accepting and being O.K with it. Being flexible and true to myself was hard and it still is… almost as if I continue needing permission to do what feels right at that specific moment in my life. So journey continues…