Happy International Women’s Day, ladies!
Before I share my 5 valuable life lessons,, I’d like to preface with this. I’m a white, Caucasian 20-something girl who grew up in Europe, and moved to America for a chance at a better life. Now, that doesn’t mean my life in Poland was ever difficult. It just didn’t seem to fit my beliefs or expectations. See, all I ever wanted was to live comfortably, without being judged by either my looks or status. And I think compared to America, it’s safe to say Polish people are not as tolerant.
Whenever Americans ask me why I wanted to live in California, my answer is always the same. I just never felt like I belonged in my home country. Thankfully, I happened to find my happiness in Napa Valley (read the full story here).
Granted, any country has its challenges. No exception for the States. It’s true what they say that American Dream is not what is used to be. In fact, these days I’m truly petrified about everything and anything produced under the new presidency. Especially, being an immigrant. Nonetheless, I’ll always be grateful for all the opportunities that came my way in the country that I call home now.
Not to go off topic though. I brought up this subject because whenever I think of my life in America, it always brings me back to one person, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to achieve everything I have so far. Of course, I’m talking about my sweet mama and all of the valuable life lessons she taught me over the years (consciously or not). Below you’ll find my top 5.
1. What Unconditional Love Really Means?
People always say that once you become a parent, you’ll know what unconditional love really means. Apparently, having kids instantly changes your views and it’s when you realize that life will never be the same. Truth be told, I can’t wait to feel it myself!
Now back to my mom. She’s been raising her kids (me, my older brother and younger sister) most of her adult life. In fact, she never really got a chance to find out what adult life would be like without kids. Knowing that, I always feel very grateful for all the sacrifices, effort and love she put into raising us. Because I know her love has no limits.
There was a time when I finally broke the news to my mom that I’m making a big move to America. Actually, I was scared to tell her. I was 22 years old, living in another city, about to graduate college AND so excited about my decision, yet scared to tell my own mom. Why? Because I knew she loved me so much and that she won’t be able to see me often, if ever. And what did my mom do when I finally shared the news with her? She started crying tears of joy, because she knew I’m about to follow my dreams. I was stunned, because there it was right in front of me – a proof of the unconditional, selfless love.
2. Visualize the life you want and you’ll have it.
My mom is a big believer in the power of creating your own destiny. Ever heard of the law of attraction? Think positive thoughts, keep daily reminders of what you really want (better job, new house, etc.) and before you realize it, it’s all yours. If you work hard at it, of course!
Ever since I left Poland, my mom always talked about wanting to see me in person (as opposed to our Skype calls). We managed to go 4 years apart living in different time zones and continents. We both had enough of that feeling. A few months before my mom’s 50th birthday, I asked what gift should I get her, and all she said was that she wanted to see me. Be careful what you wish for, right? Little did she know, I was about to deliver! I was tired of thinking it’s impossible, and instead I focused on the result. Long story short, three months later she was in my arms – as pictured below. 🙂
3. It’s never too late to learn something new.
Continuing our American story. When my mom came to visit, her biggest fear was the language barrier. Actually, we were both scared how the whole traveling across the globe without knowing any English will go down.
When the time finally arrived to pick my mama at the airport in San Francisco, I could tell she was so relieved. Finally a familiar face and the language she knew! But it wasn’t after she came to America, when my mom realized how not having me by her side all the time would make her life that much harder. So what did she do? As soon as she got back home in Poland, she signed up for English classes! Goes to show that it’s never too late to learn something knew.
4. Don’t live in the past.
Me and my mom tend to have these mother-daughter (heart to heart) talks every now and then, when we discuss our past and all the “what if” possibilities. We recently got into talking about her life choices and struggles, what she could have done better, and you know what? I tend to tell her what she could have done differently, but there’s always one thing that wouldn’t be the same if she did. If she didn’t have her kids at a young age, I wouldn’t be here today. My sister and brother wouldn’t either. And it always makes me cry just to think about it.
The bottom line is, everything happens for a reason. Living in the past won’t change anything! So embrace the people in your life and focus on the present time. <3
5. Follow Your Dreams.
This one doesn’t need much explanation. I will add, however, that sometimes the path to achieving your dreams may be a lot different than expected. That’s the beauty of it all though… Because it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!
Thank you for reading along!
What valuable life lessons did you learn from the women in your life?