My life has always been very eventful, dramatic and full of surprises. Some were great and some were… hmmmm… unexpected. That’s just life.
Today I am a photographer and creative, a mother to my wonderful children and a CAD technician at the luxury yacht building company. Thirteen years ago I had no idea I will be where I am today, but I always knew I wanted to achieve great things in life to ensure a better future for my children and give back to those who helped me along the way, especially my mum. She always emphasised the importance of education, respect towards parents and other people, responsibility, self-discipline, appreciation and many other great things.
PARENTS PLAY A HUGE ROLE IN OUR LIVES.
They and their parenting (or lack of it for that matter) shape us as individuals and determine what kind of people we become in future. Of course, there are also external factors, such as our friends and teachers who influence our lives, too. It also hugely depends on the type of person you are. Some people are more sensitive than others. I’m the sensitive type and my best friend, on the other hand, is totally different.
My parents divorced when I was only three and my brother was two. My dad’s main interests were drinking and women, so I’m not surprised my mum finally left him because she knew she can do better. Even though my dad was totally useless and couldn’t care less about his own children, it was a huge stress for me to live without him. I kept praying my parents get back together and we live happily after even when my mum remarried and was happier than ever. As for me, I hated my stepdad and kept making fun of him behind my mum’s back despite the fact that he was an excellent parent and was trying to do his best. But hey, children have a mind of their own…
Fast forward some 15 years and I ended up in the same situation as my mum once was – living with an alcoholic partner and a baby in a flat we couldn’t afford to pay for because we both were unemployed. Of course, there was some income coming in, but it was occasional and irregular. I couldn’t work because I had to look after our daughter (in Lithuania children could start nursery from 2 yrs old only, don’t know how it is now) and he refused to get a proper job. At that point my dream was to get a degree, so I could get a better job, however it seemed impossible due to my financial situation and childcare. Finally, I got accepted at the University of Vilnius to study Lithuanian language, but after 6 months of studying I had to drop out because of problems with childcare.
One day I returned home at 10 pm and realised that my 6 month baby had no food for the whole day! Her bottle was exactly where I left it, clearly untouched and her ‘loving’ dad was sleeping unconscious… I was horrified and promised myself to do whatever it takes to get out of this and build a much better future for me and my little girl. That became my mission, my obsession, my dream. I worked hard towards it and I am happy to be where me and my children are today. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
I know a lot of women experiencing the same, but I wanted to make a point that you are in control of your own life and destiny. If you’re not happy, you must do something about it. You deserve everything you can think of. Yes, it takes courage, strength and whatever else, but it will be worth it!
On the other hand, YOUR PAST HAS SHAPED YOU INTO WHO YOU ARE TODAY.
And it’s not a bad thing. All those unpleasant experiences only made you stronger, more courageous and determined to change your life. If I never got involved with my daughter’s dad, I wouldn’t be here. If I had a happy life with my mum and dad like I wanted, I wouldn’t be so determined to achieve something in life because my other drive was to prove my dad I was good enough (he was a singer and I wanted to follow in his footsteps). All the actions I’ve ever taken were a result of my past struggles. I wanted to prove that I was good enough, that I was better, that I wasn’t a loser. I wanted my dad to be proud of me. But as the time went by, I’ve learnt another lesson – he simply didn’t care. Just like when I was 3.
I’m a huge fan of TONY ROBBINS – the motivational speaker, life coach and author. It turns out he had a very tense relationship with his mother and because of this he is who he is today. Because of this he is so passionate about helping people change their lives. Without that experience he wouldn’t have the passion and the drive to do that. The same goes for making mistakes. I strongly believe that we need to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Not from other people’s mistakes. You need to experience the pain to know how it feels, how it affects you and what impact it has on your life. Without actually feeling it you won’t have the drive to make any changes. Why would you if you’re ok?
As a parent, I try to explain to my children how to do things, how to avoid consequences etc. And of course, they don’t want to listen because to them it seems silly and they start defending themselves by telling me that they know better. So all my efforts are pointless because they don’t feel the need – they are fine with how things are going right now. They don’t feel the pain. But I know that at some point in their life they will do something stupid, get into trouble for not knowing better and that’s when they will remember what I told them once. But this time they will be looking at things differently.
Of course, when that happens, I will go into ‘I told you so’ mode – that’s what parents do. But, as mentioned earlier, it’s OK to make mistakes and I would actually encourage that because it’s the best way to learn anything. Bad experience is nothing more than an opportunity to learn a lesson and discover something new about yourself, other people and how to deal with difficult situations.