Everybody has some major turning points in their lives. You know, some decisions you make, some experiences you have, some influencing people you meet along the way.
In our recent adult life, we also had 3 major stepping stones that made us who we are and where we are now.
At 28 leaving our small bedroom in my parents' flat to see London which meant the world to me. Tough decision, I loved my hometown, I was leading a youth organisation and had lots of friends. But there were no perspectives. I said yes to leave everything behind. I was crying. Really. Worst case scenario: We would be back in a small town hoping for a good mediocre life with loans and unfulfilled dreams...waiting for another chance.
I remember being scared when we decided to move to London. But somehow I had a feeling that we don’t have anything to lose, nothing kept us in Hungary and we knew we could go back anytime to continue that simple life we had. This gave us a push to try it.
In London I realised early that moving abroad and working in a sh*t job or even for Hungarians and live as an immigrant was the easier part. But there is no achievement or challenge. What's the point of living in a great and diverse city, full of opportunities where you can be more and live a better, more enjoyable life if you don't go for it? I didn't want to be only an immigrant, I didn't want only to save up some money and I didn't want to be isolated with my "own" people. I wanted to be part of London. With this, came the even bigger realisation: I was struggling with getting married, starting a family, owning a home and a car and a mortgage (usual stuff in your 30s) and the reason was that I didn’t want to. Following the same path didn't make me happy. I had to find my ways to be happy: My life philosophy was born: Happiness, Freedom, Courage, Family, Brotherhood, Love, all tattooed on my torso.
Let's step up a level, get a job where we're more appreciated, where we have higher salaries and more importantly, much more time. Yes, we worked for it, learnt English, worked on ourselves, kept trying and made it. Boom! More time and freedom equal: better life, more opportunities. As one of my friends says: "Comfort kills ambition."
Getting my first job was easy, after 2 years I felt it’s time to move on and work with English from now. A few more years passed and another decision was made: “I’m going to work in an office, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, this is what I want!” I was so proud of myself, despite all the negative comments, step-by-step I became one of the most recognised PAs at a multinational company. I proved all of them wrong and I’ve got what I worked for. It wasn’t easy, no , I had many stressful days, but I learned quickly that “I don’t know this” doesn’t exist, only “ I’ll find out!” The confidence I gained in the last few years is priceless, and I’m still learning, but when I look back I surprise myself how much I changed for good and I think why I didn’t do this earlier.
It's impossible not mentioning the Under One Sky where I volunteered a few times to look after the homeless. The people I met during organising the Homeless Nights and out on the street changed me. Even bigger impact on me the Yestribe, the Yes Stories and the Yestival had. I met inspirational people, extraordinary life stories, taught me thinking outside the box. I even ran a marathon in Uganda where we also volunteered 2 consecutive years. Man, that's a true game-changer. Preparing for a marathon changes you. Doing it and spending some time in Africa puts you in a different dimension. That experience what I can talk about for hours. You can read previous posts.
Choose your friends, yes, surround yourself with positive people to motivate you, and their success will inspire you, not feeling left behind. Going to the first YesStories was a milestone, something extraordinary started within us. Finally, we found our path – or at least felt that we are on a wrong one. Trying new things , like running on the Uganda marathon, then next year being the first point of contact for the runners – Head of runner happiness- is something I will always be grateful to be part of.
My turning points are more like realizations through questioning myself and facing my inner truth. Then acting upon them was always something that led me to new challenges, adventures and realizations, again. Just open up, try new things, read more, travel more, challenge yourself more, you might find the life you meant to live is just a joke. That happened to me.
I can’t even count how many things I tried since I moved to London, new jobs, new hobbies, new food, new sports and so on. I’m more open to the world and that’s what matters the most.
Szilvi and Levi