Mother Nature is in constant change and evolution. And we as humans are part of that change. Some of it happens to us, and we need to chose how we react to it. But also, in many instances, we have the power to create change for ourselves.
Looking back at my life, I can identify 5 pivotal moments, decisions that others took, or I took myself. These moments changed my life for the better and led me to where I am today.
Even though stories behind those decisions could fill in a few books, I decided to condense them to a blog and share it with you. Why?
Because I want to help you make the decision you’ve been trying to make for a while. That decision you know deep down is the best thing for you, but it seems too big or scary to go after. I hope my story will inspire you to change that.
From Communist to Free Poland
This was not my decision. But without it, the others wouldn’t have happened.
I was born in Communist Poland, in a small town, where freedom of thought, speech, or travel didn’t exist. What existed were many absurdities that are funny now, fear, and numbness at best.
Many historical books describe these times, so if you’d like to discover that era for eastern and central European countries, “Europe” by Normal Davis is fantastic.
In 1989, when I was 11, an unimaginable thing happened, even after the years of protests and the Polish people showing their disapproval of the regime. The leaders of the freedom movement and governing regime came to an agreement. Poland was becoming a free real democracy in a peaceful way. Although not easy for many people, these times opened the portal for many opportunities for the entire nation. I happened to be young enough to take full benefit of this historical moment.
Talking About a Goal in Mind
I was always a good student. Actually, one of the best in my primary school and high school. So not getting into the University program I wanted was a blow. I chose an elite program in one of the best Polish Universities. There were over 5 candidates for each spot, and young people were applying from all over the country. I passed the exams but not well enough to get a spot. At least not the first time around. I was disappointed, discouraged, and without plan B.
What did I do? I decided to double down on prep, wait a year, and try again. It’s because I felt that this program at this University was the right one for me. Not everyone in my family immediately supported my decision, but I stood my ground. In the end, my parents supported me in investing in my learning and prep for the year.
The following year, not only did I get into THE program, but my plan B was also an option (Law School). As luring as the Law School was, I went to graduate from the original program.
Welcome to Canada
You know, I never planned to immigrate from Poland. However, life tends to open different doors in front of us, and it’s up to us to decide if it’s the opportunity we want to grab. This one came through a friend as a side conversation.
I was in the middle of an additional undergrad program trying to make ends meet working a low paying job and tutoring kids. During a break conversation between classes, my university friend told me about the Canadian Immigration program.
At that time, the labor market for young people in Poland was tough. 20% unemployment. I was lucky to have a job that paid the bills and left enough money for food. You know that the Communist Regime collapse I described in point 1? These were times when Poland was trying to get the economy back on track.
Long story short, I decided to look into the program as an option for a better life. Because I spoke English and French and my first husband at a time had family in Canada willing to help, we figured this could work and decided to apply. After 1.5 years of the application process, we were sitting on a plane to Toronto. We had 4 pieces of luggage and a bit of saving. Before that, I’d never set foot in North America or even flew a plane.
But moving to Canada was one of the best decisions I made in my life.
As hard as it was to leave the entire family and all friends behind, Canada turned out to be a fantastic country to live in. Not only because of economic opportunities but also values of respect, tolerance, and overall mindset of the people.
Nothing of Value Comes Easy
… And without moving here, I would have never met the love of my life, my soul mate, my current husband. And without him, our precious family wouldn’t have been started either.
Getting there wasn’t easy.
I decided to leave my first marriage (this is the first time I’m writing about it ever). It wasn’t a bad marriage at all, my first husband is a great man. Which made it so much more difficult to leave. To be the “bad and selfish person,” hurt others around me for an unknown future.
Why would you leave something “safe” and “comfortable”, create pain around you when you had no idea what the other side would look like.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We never know how the other side looks like until we get there. We’ll never find out if we don’t go after it and give it a chance to materialize.
Mid-Life Crisis or Ultimate Wisdom?
Because of life pivots above, I had my kids past 30. My daughter was born when I was 33, and my son at 35. As I was getting closer to 40, the kids grew enough to move out of the baby diaper stage.
That’s when a thought hit me: at 40, I really have more than 2/3 of my independent adult life still to live. Let’s not kid ourselves up until 20, or so we are very dependant on others. And given that the life expectancy will soon be 80, I have another 40 years to live!
That very thought got me thinking about how I wanted to live going forward? What impact do I want to make on the world?
I was again living in my comfort zone, making 6 figures in a good corporate job, working with great people, and being very good at what I do.
So were these thoughts a women’s mid-life crisis or ultimate wisdom coming down on me?
Whatever you call it, for me, it meant starting my business coaching practice. Why? Because my passion is to empower people and help them reach their full potential. And my skills are is business.
I decided to focus on and help women. Because, as women, we have A LOT going on. We also need to overcome many things for the world to see us and appreciate us for who we are. I believe that finally, the 21st century is our time; that’s why I want to help women to rise up.
Here they are, 5 decisions, 5 pivotal moments in my life. We all have them.
The moments that push us out of our comfort zones. The doors that open opportunities in front of us to create our dream life. But also require us to make scary decisions. The decisions that might have an end goal in mind, but we don’t always know how to get there or what the end result will really look like.
Do you have a door of opportunity opening in front of you now? Are you scared to make the decision? I’d love to connect with you and have a human to a human conversation about ditching our comfort zones and going for the life we want.
Your journey is inspiring, Maggie. You’re a living example of how the strategies you share work. When applied with integrity, consistency and persistence. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you every scontinued success.
Thank you, Gwen. And likewise. Your story is sooo inspiring, I wish your success grows exponentially with every novel and piece of writing you publish :).