Monday, June 8, 2015

What Matters Most

When we lose something that matters to us a lot in life, it is the hardest experience to go through. And I don't know which is harder - to let go of what isn't working because of some external challenges that you have no control over, or to let go of something that you treasure, but which stopped working for you because of your own inner process of growth and change. You know that it is in your own power to push the stop button. You know that you need to start moving in a different direction, your destination point is not ahead of you any more, and you need to get off this train. You did not get on the train by mistake or by some willful life force - it was your own decision and even desire to take this ride, and for a while it was a wonderful ride. But then you started noticing the signs that it isn't going to get you where you ultimately want to be, and it gets harder and harder to ignore those signs. No matter how much you enjoyed the ride, no matter how much you invested in it, you know - it just isn't working for you any longer. It is an extremely difficult decision to make. It takes all your inner strength and courage. The weight of the fear of the unknown along with the sense of responsibility for your own life and for those lives which inevitably will be touched by this decision of yours, are simply overwhelming, and sometimes it freezes you for a few months, or maybe a few years even. It's hard to make this decision. It's hard to let go.

I faced such difficult decisions a few times in my life. And every single time, I push the stop button, despite the agony I go through inside of myself. Do you want to know why? Because to me, the agony of living a life that does not feel genuine, does not feel true to myself, is simply unimaginable. As some might say, better put me to sleep. At first I thought that it was all about honesty. But then I noticed that there are people who are honest enough with themselves (maybe not with others, maybe they put on a brave face, but that's another matter) - they do not pretend to themselves. And yet, they live a life that is not genuine, that is not built from within. And I realized that not lying to ourselves is simply not enough. We need to pack up all our courage and take a step forward. We need to break out of the mold, to take the heavy weight of expectations off of our shoulders. We need to break free and start living the life that we truly want for ourselves, it is as simple as that. Some will say, it's all just a pretty fairy tale. Oh well. If there is one thing nobody would argue with, it is our freedom to pick our beliefs. That freedom, surely is totally ours. Personally, I started dropping those beliefs that don't make me happy - that don't help me grow. They get way too heavy to carry around.

I definitely made certain choices that did not lead me to the inner happiness that I sought. I'm well aware that some of our choices are extremely difficult to undo, and others are impossible to undo. So here it is. What's done is done, and I have no regrets. I choose to move forward. Better later than never. Better to move than to be stuck. One of the hardest decisions in my life was to leave my first marriage. I did not marry to divorce. I never planned to divorce. My parents did not divorce. "Good people don't divorce". I had to overcome many, many difficult, internal rules on the way to finding what rang true to me. And you know, years later, despite all the difficulties and unhappiness caused by that relationship, I sometimes want to kiss my ex-husband. Not for all those good things that we had in our time together, but rather for all that went wrong. Because it formed me, it brought me to myself like nothing else did. It definitely taught me the extreme importance of being true to myself, and I was pretty good at that to begin with, but you know what they say - there is always room to grow. 

Take parenting as an example. If there is anything certain about it, it's that we are all uncertain, we constantly question ourselves, we can't just go to college to get a degree in parenting, nobody prepared us for it, so we just take one step at a time, and learn as we go. We make mistakes, and a lot of times we can't really undo them, it's all one big unknown, one huge life experiment, but we stick with it, trusting that everything will turn out well, and let go of our worries. Because if we don't, we just drive ourselves and others crazy.

Anya had her annual performance this past weekend. Technically speaking, she only had half of a year to study, because she took a break from dance. But she took her very first class when she barely turned three, and ever since then, she takes dance, art and acting classes, on and off, over and over again. It's an amazing experience to watch her grow as a person (and as a dancer), to watch her confidence grow, not just her skills, and to help and witness this incredible process of being Anya.

Anya's recital - June 2015.

But raising her also teaches me to be more patient with myself. Maybe the things that matter to me don't grow as fast as I'd like them to, and maybe in some important-to-me ways, I'm still a wobbly toddler, despite the silver temples on my head. But Anya was not born with the skills to speak, read, write or dance, and look at her now! So I put my best foot forward and take little steps, one at a time.

Anya's first recital - May 2006.

I'm happily joining Patti's Visible Monday - the last party before the Summer break, and this is certainly the party not to be missed! Over a year ago, beautiful Ann of Blue Hue Wonderland, like a good fairy, took my hand and introduced me to Patti's Visible Mondays where I found a lot of friends, just like Ann said I would. So if you are a new blogger who wonders off this wide land that I like to call Bloglandia, make sure to come back to Visible Mondays after the Summer break - the magical place where everyone is welcomed and greeted like a good old friend! 

And since we are here celebrating, here is a gift to you!
Please stop by a new version of the eShakti web site before June 21, 2015 to get $35 off your order! 

GC CODE: WRITERSCLOSET35  Valid till 06/21/2015
Enter this code in the 'Gift Coupon / Referral Code' box at checkout
Only one gift coupon can be used in an order
Not valid on previous purchases / purchase of gift cards.
This gift coupon cannot be transferred, re-issued or exchanged for cash.

If you remember my post Dream Dress and Dinner Theater from early May, I wrote about this wonderful company, founded here in Seattle, that offers you customized clothing sizes 0 to 36W. They are truly wonderful to work with, the whole experience was fun and easy, and now they updated the look of their site. The site was already very easy to use, but now it also looks fresh and modern.

 As you enter it, you'll see an intro which gives you clear info on all the different ways you can add your own character to the clothes eShakti designs for you: you can choose your own unique sizing by providing your measurements which will guarantee  better fit, or even alter the style by choosing your own neckline, sleeves and length. 

The home page offers you fresh style ideas and current offers and discounts, as well as new clothing categories, just recently added to the site: Jumpsuits, Shorts, Pants - all of which can be made for your unique measurements.

Finally, there are also theme lines added: Contemporary, Bohemian, Retro Modern... there is always something to everyone's taste!

I think the photos got larger which is a big plus. The site is very enjoyable to browse, and I spotted quite a few new styles that stole my heart. 
Enjoy this generous offer and please remember it is valid until June 21st. 

Please note that I will benefit from the purchases made with this unique gift code - WRITERSCLOSET35 - basically, I will get points in the form of a gift card from eShakti

Happy Summer to everyone!

My outfit:

Skirt and blouse - Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant
Shoes - Josef Seibel
Purse old
Jewelry - gifts and thrift finds



  1. What a thoughtful and helpful post, Natalia. I too have been through divorce, and it was painful. But on the other side was all the possibility of a different life. So happy for your daughter, in her dancing accomplishments! You're both lovely. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

    1. Thank you, Patti, for your kind words - they mean a lot to me! I so agree with you, on the other side of such a difficult decision is a possibility of a different life, a more happy and more fulfilling life.

  2. Major changes in life, whatever form they take, can be terrifying and upsetting. But ultimately, if we know we need to make that move, then it is right to do so, and afterwards, there is a new life beckoning. I think you have a big, brave heart, Natalia!
    And Anya is so gorgeous; having you as a role model will help her not to fear change and to be confident of her decisions in life. Brava! xxx

  3. congratulations to wonderful anya!!!!
    you know i´m like you in "pushing the stop button". better an end with horror then horror without end - is a german saying. it has´t to be actual horror - stagnation, hopelessness and such i will never tolerate too. leaving security for an unknown future seems scary. but mostly this future unwraps as bright and wonderful if we have the bravery to jump in the cold waters.....
    your isabel toledo flapper dress looks fabulous on you! great color to your own coloring!!!
    tons of hugses for you my brave friend!!!! xxxxxxxxx

  4. You always write with your heart. It is such a pleasure to read.

    Choices in life are scary but as you wrote, they formed the person we've become, no matter how challenging they were.

    Anya looks lovely. She is going to be a real gal of all talents.


  5. Dear Natalia, what a great post! Better to move than to be stuck.YES! !!! It' s the truth!
    You look amazing, and Anna, too.

  6. Its no surprise that Anya is such a wonder, she's got you as a mother.
    What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. It takes a brave person to admit things aren't working, to break up and to move on. No marriage for me but a career instead and divorcing myself from that was certainly the best thing I ever did.
    Love that fabulous lilac ruffled dress and the look of love on your face in the last photo. xxx

  7. I love the flowers Anya was presented with like a true artist. As a person who has performed all their life I can say she is embarking on a wonderful journey.
    Your look has certainly changed since her younger years!
    I agree with your sentiments in this post, but sometimes you feel stuck but struggle to identify the way forward. This is when patience is required to trust it will be revealed! As you can tell, I'm feeling this right now :-)
    I love your lilac must be fun to wear with the ruffles! Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. I know what you are talking about. I sure experienced it too, and more than once. It is painful even for patient people, and patience is not my strong feature at all... I think what helped me the last time when I felt it (at the same time struggling with lots of other overwhelming feelings) was the love and patience of Justin and Anya, their total acceptance of who I am, their total support of what I was going through. My parents visit was the last thing I needed to recover - someone who knows you all your life and loves you just the way you are. I was not rushed to make any moves, and it all healed me. From all of them, I was learning to be kind to myself, to be compassionate towards myself... Love heals, true love and true acceptance. And when you don't know where to move in a big way, just take pleasure in small things, do what feels good right now, in this moment. If it's sleep, then sleep. If it's reading or listening to music, then do it. If it's cooking, or walking, or writing - then do just that. That way, you stay true to who you are. And I think that's exactly what you do, my dear, and there is light at the end of this tunnel. You will see it, I promise. Much love xxxx

  8. What a wonderful tribute to life Natalia. I love your thoughts on making changes when we sense there's a need. So many do not even pick up on that prompt in their lives. I agree with Jazzy about needing patience when you know changes need to be made but the answer or direction has not yet revealed itself. I do get frustrated at that time and have a hard time containing myself to wait for the answers, though I do believe they will come. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom who is in touch with her feelings. This will cause her to believe in herself, because you believe in yourself and in her. I just love this post!

  9. Very nice post Natalia. I was thinking about many mistakes I did in my life. But there where my choices... and these mistakes made me grow like a woman. I don´t want to regret that I do not try something. Maybe it will be mistake, maybe not.
    Your daughter is very sweet girl. You should be so proud of her.o)
    I whish you lovely summer break.

  10. Your words could not be more true. We don't get do overs, so living someone elses life or a life of lies to our inner self, is like the start of a long death. How courageous of you. I agree, parenting scared me to death- no do overs there either, but hoping they too livr how they need to.

  11. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post. Honesty and staying true to ourselves is very important. Learning to live one day at a time without thinking about what others are expecting of us is sometimes very hard to deal with but hey we are learning, and that's the beauty of it all. xo

  12. Such a beautiful, honest post, sometimes it those very hard choices we have to make that opens us to a host of new experiences. Anya is a lucky girl to have such a wonderful mother. She is a talented young lady.
    You love so feminine in that floaty, mauve dress.

  13. Such a wonderful lovely post and a pleasure to read ! Anya is beautiful and to dance is so beautiful ,love your outfit ! Best wishes.

  14. Such an inspiring post! It is true that the right decisions we have to make are often difficult ones, but they teach us so much about life.

    You look perfect in that blue dress!!!!

  15. You are so right. Letting go is impotrant and what's done is done. I hate to stalk myself with things I could have done diffrently.

    Anya is a beautiful girl and I love the pic of the little Anya and you together:) Your violet outfit is very nice. I like how the skirt bottom is.


  16. What a wonderful post, Natalia. Thoughtful, wise and beautifully written! I kept nodding my head because I have had such a similar experience. You and your daughter are so radiant and I would love to see Anya dance. Your dress here looks like a dress to dance in and you yourself always look to me like a dancer, a butterfly. Love and Hugses to you! xoxoxo

  17. Beautiful post. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just take one step at a time, and even in the midst of our trials and tribulations our attitude about the situation makes a difference. Letting go and moving forward. I love your beautiful purple dress, and the photos of both of you are lovely. <3
    Summer Giveaway

  18. What a co-incidence! Dave and I were talking about something similar before, how some people can make a necessary break and others who don't change what is in their power to do so. Ultimately, I think it shows enormous strength to make changes especially when we are tied to what we think we 'should' do, we learn and grow so much when we give ourselves this power. I feel every mistake I ever made was very useful, it has given me enormous insight and I believe it makes me a better parent (and boy! have I made mistakes......and then some haha!)Yep parenting is tricky but you know you truly are an incredible woman, Anya is in the safest of hands! I love the pics of you two, the last one is just beautiful x x x

  19. Oh, what lovely photographs of you and Anya together! Happy mom and daughter. Brilliant post, Natalia! Your way with words always amazes me, it is a pleasure to read your flow of thoughts. You are right, is is so hard to make life-changing decisions and not everybody has the needed strength. Nice to hear that you did have that strength and courage to make those important decisions in your life. You look ravishing in this lilac ensemble!

  20. What a brave and lyrical post about growing into yourself, and letting the weighty expectations that you thought were yours to carry, just drop one by one as you move, every so slightly, in a different direction! I do love your writing. And your outfit lends a bit of hyacinth magic to it, something soft that belies the very hard process that you went through, and come out of;; better than ever!
    Thanks for sharing!
    xx, Elle

  21. Oh! Anya's recital! How wonderful! She is growing up to be such a graceful and lovely girl! Proud Mama! :)
    xx, Elle