Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy. 

What do you do when it’s all going down? In times when it seems as if nothing’s ever gonna get better. When it appears that whatever you do is taking you deeper into the dungeon of despair? 

I’ve been there. Trust me. I tried and used different methods to get myself out of the darkness, and many of them helped me tremendously in getting back to normal, functional daily life. From simple everyday walks in early mornings through therapy and intensive physical training with a personal trainer to expanding my knowledge with new hobbies, then a new career and yoga. There was one constant that was part of all the methods that I used and the one that I enjoyed the most, reading. 

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

Reading for me is a go-to activity through thick and thin. If I’m down, I will look for an escape in books, either by exploring a new subject to give my mind a different focus or just by diving into a new world opposite of mine. If I’m happy, I’ll expand my TBR list with new purchases and pick a new read in excitement. 

I used to read fiction exclusively in my spare time, but in the past few years, I discovered a whole new world of non-fiction and developed a tremendous love for memoirs and autobiographies in particular. Many of them picked me rather than the other way around, I dare to say. Somehow, the timing appeared to be just right to come across a book that described what I was going through but also showed me that there is that famous light at the end of a tunnel. A book that soothes the scars and lifts up in times of blues. 

I picked out my favourite 10 that inspired me, carried me into the next day and pushed me to take another step. Here they are in no particular order. 

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. A mind-blowing account of facing death and becoming a father at the same time. It’s a beautifully written memoir that combines science, language and literature. Inspirational and heartbreaking.

I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell. The subtitle of the memoir is Seventeen Brushes with Death, and it’s a collection of seventeen near-death experiences in an extraordinary life of the author. 

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Before he had a stroke, Bauby was editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine and a father of two children. After the stoke, he ended up in a 20-day long coma and woke up with a lock-in syndrome able to blink his left eye only. That is how he dictated this book.  

Living With the Dead Language by Ann Patty. If you are like me, a lover of Latin language and literature and memoirs then this is a perfect book for you. The story of self-discovering and redefining life purpose combined with good humour, honesty and beautiful writing will teach and entertain you. 

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. A memoir in books of a teacher and her seven dedicated students that tells a story of the power of literature and resilience in the times of revolution, censorship and denying freedom in Iran. 

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Together with Reading Lolita in Tehran, this memoir is on my list not only because I am fascinated with that part of the world but because, although different, both are testimonies to resilience, wisdom and strength in difficult times. Persepolis is a graphic memoir with a tremendous amount of humour and heartbreak. 

Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill. Published in 1954, this story of Douglas Bader is an inspirational account about an RAF pilot who had it all in 1931. Then, one December morning after an air crash, Bader lost both of his legs but and had to learn to walk again. He served as a fighter pilot in the Second World War.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. A memoir that is trying to make sense of a time when one faces an unexplained illness of a child and a sudden death of partner after 40 years of life together, all at the same time. Honest and powerful. 

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. A multilayered and innovative memoir about taming Mabel, a goshawk and liberating self in the times of grief after the author lost her father. 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. Insightful and hilarious, this is a collection of essays about moving to France, learning the language, eating in restaurants and many more. 

So, there! I gave you some ideas and added more to your to-be-read list. If you’re anything like me, it’s probably a neverending one.

Have you read any of the books on my list? If not, what one would you pick?

What do you do in the times of blues? What is the one thing that makes you feel better instantly? 

Let me know in the comments box or get in touch with me.

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment
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Letter To Women Of My Life

Letter To Women of My Life, Honouring the ladies that have influenced me. Humbled to know them and proud of them. #InternationalWomensDay2018 #women #girlpower #womenrock

 

Today is March 8, International Women’s Day. The first time this Day was observed was not that long ago, 1909 in New York on February 28, but it was not until 1914 that March 8 was set as International Women’s Day. Throughout the past century or so there has been many controversies, marches, political arrests, scandals, bans, strikes and protests starting on or around this day but I will not go through the history and discuss them.

Instead, Dear Women, I would like to celebrate all of you I have been fortunate enough to have in my life. You took part in my life at various times and occasions, some only once, some more than once and some of you came in and became a regular ingredient of my days. You are spread all around the world, living and working in some of the most dangerous places on the planet. Places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, Uganda, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Bolivia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Jordan, Nepal, Japan, Serbia but also in places like Germany, UK, Ireland, Australia, France, US, Greece…

Many of you went through hell and back in your lives. You were political prisoners, victims of domestic violence. You were subjected to intimidation, gender, ethnic and racial discrimination and violence. You survived attacks, rape, miscarriages, exile and displacement, loss of your dearest ones to senseless crimes… but you won all the battles.

 

Letter To Women of My Life, Honouring the ladies that have influenced me. Humbled to know them and proud of them. #InternationalWomensDay2018 #women #girlpower #womenrock

 

Each and every one of you goes through your everyday lives with admirable endurance, bravery and strength and you are committed to making the world a better and safer place through your personal actions, immensely difficult jobs and immeasurable love and dedication. And you always, always do it with a smile.

Every one of you is my inspiration, and I consider myself exceptionally fortunate for being given an opportunity to cross paths with you, to work and learn from you and enjoy your company. I am tremendously grateful for that.

May every day of your life be your day.

Love,
B.

 

Photo credits: Alice/Unsplash and Nicole/Unsplash

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity

Working from home is excellent, but it requires a lot of focus, self-discipline and organisation. A couple of years ago, when I decided to go back to work again, I knew that I’m not really up for a regular 9-5 working day. I liked the comfort of my home, and I thought that it would be just peachy if I could add ‘work from home’ to the ‘stay at home mum’ description.

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

If you work from home, you know that this is way easier said than done. I struggled at the beginning for many reasons. I’m an early morning and a late night person as I don’t sleep much. That didn’t work out well for me because I’d spend the day with the kids and then be exhausted in the evening plus not be able to get up early in the morning either.

I also got easily distracted because my focus required for work, performing and delivering tasks was practically nonexistent only because I didn’t have to focus on anything else apart from the kids for quite a while (about four years). A little project here and there but nothing regular and steady. And the focus is like a muscle, if you don’t practice it, it atrophies.

With a four-year-old and a six-year-old, there was always laundry to do, food to prepare, a small or big pile of toys lying on my desk or in my comfy sofa where I’d like to sit and read or plan. Then, there were things to be done in the town like shopping, volunteer work in school, and so on.

I was busy, but somehow I was also all over the place because there was no real structure to my days. I knew I could use the time when the kids are in school in a much more productive way. There was also that feeling, and I’m sure you have it too when you know that you can do better and that there is much more to you than what you’ve already done.

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

It was time for some tough love. Okay, Biljana, I said to myself, your time and mind needs some restructuring because your focus is crap. If you want to achieve some serious results, like create additional income or finish that bloody book that you’ve been working on for years now, get a grip. What’s missing?

The focus was missing, and I had to find the ways to exercise it again. Like muscles, remember? So, I did. Now, this may not make sense at first but hear me out.

First, I found a part-time job. Well, it was the other way around, the job found me. It’s an industrial automation company, and my friend who works there came to me one day and said that they need software testers. It was my a-ha moment. I knew exactly how that job would help me. I do it two days a week, flexible hours and it’s not as exciting as I thought it would be, BUT it serves the purpose. It shortens my week and forces me to focus and be more productive.

Although adding a part-time job to my schedule may seem counterintuitive and just for a moment it felt that way, this brings me to the second thing I did that may be more important. I eliminated everything that genuinely wasted my time and blunted my focus and replaced it with activities that only contributed to my productivity and growing myself and my business.

So, here’s a list of things that proved to be essential for my focus and productivity. They are numbered but have no particular order. I find all of them to be equally important and I make sure that I do them every day.

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

1. Make a Daily plan

I make mine at the end of my working day, which is usually in the evening. It’s a kind of a daily wrap up like I finished one day and I’m ready to lay out the next one. For two important reasons:

a) My mental state – keeps me sane.  It helps me sleep as I’m not lying in bed thinking about tomorrow and possibly panicking if I’m going to have enough time for everything that needs doing or I think needs doing. When you set out a plan and make one for the day, it helps with prioritising too. What needs to be done first, how much time you may need, and all that goes with it.

b) Daily dynamic. Again, you’ll know exactly what will you do or where will you go first, and it helps to plan out routes or group tasks. Also, it helps set the tone for the day. You start your day calm and collected because you know precisely what will you do when instead of running around like a headless chicken.

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

2. Practice Yoga

Wow! Yoga was such a revelation for me, and I cannot believe that it took me so long to try it.

It changed me. I’m not exaggerating. Yoga has been an immense help on a mental and physical level. It improved my flexibility and stopped my back pain, and it helped my digestion and to lose weight (10kg!). One of the best things that happened was that it has eliminated my snappiness and mood swings, improved my communication, built my confidence and recovered my focus. Mindblowing!

I do it five times a week for about 30 – 45 minutes. When I do it on the weekends, my son treats me like a live climbing frame, so I end up practising weightlifting yoga if that’s a thing… If you haven’t started yet, do it now. Stop reading this article, (you can finish it later), go and do yoga. See you later!

3. Set time slots for emails and social media updates

Are you back? Right on time for the big one. It is hard to distance yourself from social media, especially if social media are your job or your job relies on them. BUT, it is crucial to separate your work from your private time.

We all know situations where you just want to check something or quickly read that message when, half an hour or 45 minutes later, you find yourself still scrolling down your Twitter or Facebook feed. Does that make you feel like you wasted your time? It felt like that to me.

A couple of years ago, I made reducing the time on social media one of my resolutions. I’ve stuck with it, and it feels great. I spend more quality time with the kids and hubby, but I also use the time to do more work, read, learn and research more.

Since it wasn’t easy to stay away from social media, I had to resort to different tricks. As the case may be, the trick that gave the best results is also the simplest one. Ready? Every time you reach for your phone to check your social media feeds – grab a book instead. Whaaat?! It’s that simple!

Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

4. Switch notifications off

All of them. This one goes hand in hand with allocating the time slots for email and social media, and it may be a slightly harder one. I switched off notifications on my phone for all social media and my emails only a couple of months ago and let me tell you something – it is liberating. Liberating.

It reduces stress, interruptions are down to a minimum, and it saves time. All these three together contribute to improving your focus. I find it even more important and more to the point than the time slots allocation. It also puts you back in the position of control, which is where you want to be when you run a household, business or a project.

I get that it could be too much to take both on at the same time but try it. You will not regret it. It’s one of the best things I did for myself last year.

Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

5. Say No

Many people struggle with saying ‘no’ and this was a hard one for me too. It took me years of active practice to get it right. I got there in the end. You will, too. And I’m not talking about ‘no, but…’ or ‘no because of…’. No. I’m talking about a simple, short ‘no’.

The ‘no’ to what people expect you to do, think or feel. For example, your family has a gathering that you don’t feel like attending, but they expect you to attend. Say ‘no’ to it. If it makes you feel better, say that you’re busy because the deadline is approaching, or whatever else you think will work best but say ‘no’. Treat giving the explanation moment as your transition time and then slowly progress to the simple, pure ‘no’.

The fact is that you don’t want to go there, and as the event is approaching, you’re getting anxious asking yourself what excuse could you use that will be accepted. Or, how you don’t want to go there because you’ll meet X, Y, Z and you don’t want to. Or, well, (fill in the blank).

I’m sure you can think of at least three similar scenarios that happened to you with your friends or partner or even kids. We do things that we don’t want to or when we don’t want to, only because they are expected from us, or it’s a social norm. Then, we get caught up in thinking that if we don’t do them, we’d feel bad.

When you think about what you DON’T want to do, then you’re not thinking about what you DO want to do. Thinking about what you don’t want to do gets you preoccupied, and further wastes your time and dilutes your focus.

Your goal is to say ‘no’ without explaining yourself, and that is hard, I agree. But, it’s also crucial for reducing stress, saving time and preserving your focus. You need all these three. Right?

Start practising today. Say ‘no’ to a phone call that you can make when it suits your schedule. Or to uninvited guests that popped in just when you were getting ready to read/sleep/work, you get the picture. Say No. You can do it.

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

6. Eliminate negativities

Every and any negativity. News, people around you who always complain, unsupportive friends, anyone and anything that causes negative feeling in you.

It may be hard if you live with someone who is a perfect example of negativity, but then you could try to find a space that they cannot invade. Go to a café or library to work or close the office door, or stick earphones on in an open plan working space.

Try to find a way to guard your space, because that’s what you need to do – protect your physical and mental space from negative influence especially if you’re a sensitive soul or an introvert, like me.

I eliminated two (now, former) friends from my life early last year and it felt, again, liberating. I realised how good it felt after I cut them out of my life and let them know about my decision. Looking back afterwards, I remembered the feelings of irritation and anxiety they caused in me before they came for a visit or before I was about to see them. I wondered how did I not relate these emotions with them.

Please don’t get me wrong, cutting these people out of my life was not easy one bit. I thought about it for days, cried the night before; talked to my husband about it, I never slept that night, it was a real agony for me. I remember, being on the phone with my husband and saying through the tears ‘I think, I lost a friend’. As we talked, it became clear to me what I needed to do, but I wasn’t sure what should I say to her and how and I’ve never done this before, what am I going to do?! I was in a state of panic. Then, I decided to sleep over it and give it a few days to make sure that I’m making the right decision. No matter how hard I thought about it, everything led to the same conclusion – to end the friendship. And, so I did.

I never regretted the decisions. Also, I know now that I can do it. I’m not saying cut everyone who upsets you out, of course, but there comes a time when we can’t repair things anymore, and when it appears that their only role is to cause us grief. Like the appendix, for example.  That’s when we need to remove them.

Doing all these things caused a chain reaction for me. Not only did I improve my focus and productivity but I also felt better about myself and I gained more confidence and clarity about what I can and will achieve.

6 Things That Will Improve Your Focus and Productivity, Tips on how to build and maintain focus and improve productivity. This is particularly important if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur working from home. Read on to find out how to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity. Biljana Hutchinson #WorkFromHome #HomeBasedBusiness #business #entrepreneur #PersonalDevelopment #productivity #focus

So there! My current list of magic tricks and superpowers to use to make your world a better place. I’m still testing a few options and will be updating you if they prove to be successful at the end of the trial period. In the meantime, do tell what tricks you have up your sleeve?

 

5 Nonfiction Must Reads for Self-Improvement

Five Nonfiction Must-Reads for Self-Development Biljana Hutchinson #personaldevelopment #entrepreneur #nonfiction #selflove #business

This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure Policy

If you have been in a bookstore lately, then you probably saw how big the self-improvement section is. There are more self-help related titles than we could ever read and counting. Although reading is easy, simple and cheap, it can still pose a challenge in a busy world such as ours. Nevertheless, with the recent popularisation of audiobooks reading became even easier.

Books have helped me on many occasions in my life. I love books in all shapes and forms. I love reading them, collecting them, giving books as gifts, reading and writing about them. To share some of my book love, I will give you five titles that are my favourite must-reads in self-improvement department. The ones that have had an everlasting impact on my personal life, professional or both.

A small part of 'What to Read for Self-Improvement' Biljana Hutchinson #personaldevelopment #nonfiction #entrepreneur #business

Here we go.

  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. If you struggle with procrastination, then this book is for you to procrastinate a little longer until you read it. It is a humorous and insightful read about why we procrastinate and how to stop doing it.
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tole. If you are willing to learn how to live your life in the present moment and control your own happiness, this book is perfect for you.
  • The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson. A beautiful story that reveals 3 one-minute secrets on how to lead and manage. These secrets helped me not only in the way I run my business but in the way I parent too.
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. A life-changing read on effective personal management. It had a significant impact on my life when I first read it, and I keep it as one of my favourite reminders.
  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin. How to use creative marketing to avoid being invisible and transform your business by being remarkable. The principles can be translated into our private life too.

What are your favourite titles? Have you read any of the books on my list? If not, what will be the first one you will reach for? Share your thoughts, comments or just love in the comments box below. Sharing is caring.

Don’t forget, Be kind to yourself.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

 

 

How I Gave up Hate to Recreate Myself

alt="Biljana Hutchinson recreation"

 

A friend of mine asked me once, ‘Don’t you hate?’ and I said, ‘No.’ I gave up hate. I had to. It was the only reasonable thing for me to do to raise my children as decent human beings. The only sensible thing for me to do to be able to raise my children as decent human beings.

I hated. I did, with passion everything that was connected in any sense with the place where the attack happened. The country, its people, its food, mementoes, the memories, I hated it all. Dozens of scarves that I bought there, rugs, books, I gave away almost all of them. I believed that I’d never wear or use them again and I hadn’t, for a long while.

 

Initially, I was busy with grief, guilt and rage.

 

The time stopped. My little universe was shattered into thousands of pieces, and I was in a complete dark. Dungeon. Pitch-black all over and all I could do was feel my way around searching for something. A light, a twinkle of hope that somehow I was just stuck in a terrible nightmare and that I needed to wake up. Somebody had to wake me up. I WILL wake up! There is no other way!

Then, I went through the surgery. It gave me the initial push to start moving again and reach out of the dungeon. I went through the physical recovery, physiotherapy and I despised it because I had to be among other people, speak to them, answer their questions, pretend that I cared about what they said when I didn’t.

I hated it all, and I hated myself.

 

The time passed. Life started happening again.

 

alt= Biljana Hutchinson Embryo
Farewell gift from a family friend before we moved back to the UK. ‘Embryo’ to me.

 

I travelled, started a relationship and joined my efforts in recovery with my soon to be husband. We were there for each other in every way. Able to understand and support one another, to leave each other in peace and silence when we needed it. I’m the silent type while my husband is a talker. It was a bit of an awkward match at the beginning, mainly because I had the notorious passive-aggressive approach to personal relationship matters for most of my life. It took me a terrorist attack to break that cycle too. (Yup, you got it, I learn the hard way).

Anyway, my soon to be husband and I had a lot more going for us, so the differences between silent vs talkative type were not a dealbreaker. Our relationship was the front line against the cycles of misery, rage and hate that both of us created for ourselves respectively.

 

‘I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.’ – Booker T. Washington

 

I am not a hater. My parents didn’t raise me that way. Hate is unnatural and uncomfortable feeling for me.  Yet, I felt it and wore it without thinking of it too much. What burst the hate bubble was a week of another emotional earthquake that shook me only eight months after the attack.

We set a date for our wedding, and although I hadn’t had a great relationship with my dad, I was still excited to share the news with him. I knew the news would make him happy and it did. Dad started making plans straight away. Two days later, he called me back, but I missed his call. Another two days and my soon to be husband and I found out I was pregnant with our first child. The following morning my dad passed away. I never returned his call.

Although the relationship I had with my dad was weak and shaky as we rarely saw each other and we didn’t really talk much, certainly it was far from hate. The news I received was sudden, unexpected and devastating and one thing that it did was deepen my feeling of guilt.

All I could think of were good memories I had with my dad growing up. The thick snow on the ground, big beautiful snowflakes quietly falling while my dad is pulling the sledge explaining the nature to me. How we collected conkers together for my school assignment while dad talked about chestnut trees and answered my questions about anything and everything. How we chose books to buy and talked about them after reading them together…

As a contrast, a memory of us sitting on the roof during the attack became a constant. We were sweating, sitting on the tiled floor in the blood puddle, listening to the noise of bullets and RPGs. A helicopter that was sent to extract us had to pull out because the shooting in and around the house intensified. We could only wait as we had in the previous few hours. My husband now sat next to me with tourniquet high up on his arm but still bleeding. We were all quiet when he put his hand on mine,

– We gonna get out of here, you know.

– I know – I said, thinking – No, we won’t…

We went quiet again and just sat there. I felt as if I were detached from my body sitting on top of the water tower, watching us in pain and fear but calm, tired and waiting. The day was bright and hot. Mum… Would I see her again, have coffee with her or laugh with her again? When was the last time I told her I loved her?

Going through all these files of memories when my dad passed away unlocked the door that I shut tight and chained after the attack. Plus, pregnant?! I’m going to have a baby! We’re going to have a baby! It felt as if the missing piece were put in the right place in the puzzle and the whole puzzle illuminated, revived me. I felt ready to get up, brush my teeth and start the day.

 

‘A baby is not the answer.’

 

Broken relationships cannot be patched-up with babies, we know that, but this was different (how many times have you heard that?). I never thought I’d say this, but the baby was an answer. It patched-up broken relationship between myself and I. At the time, I was nervous, worried, insecure and although I said after the attack that I’d never have children, the knowledge of the new life that we created rekindled me. It was the best surprise ever – there is a new life within me that bears my new self.

As if I pulled the curtains and opened the window, the light was back in, and I took a deep breath of fresh air. I could see my life in a perspective again. The road opened up ahead of me, and I could stop going in circles now. It was the time for me to focus my energy on creating and nourishing my new life instead of hating the old one.

The only reasonable thing for me to do was to give up hate. I had no energy or time for it anymore, and it was not an option. ‘New’ was the word of the day, and we decided to live it. Nothing represents the New better than the change of environment, so we changed countries and distanced ourselves from our triggers.

 

I gave up hate to recreate myself and build a new life for us.

 

We closed the first book in a series and opened the second one. The clean sheet before us, quill in hand.

 

Photo: ‘Embryo’ by Bisa Jelisavac. Farewell gift from a family friend before we moved back to the UK.