My name is...Lucky. Very often I hear people say to me “You are lucky”. Yes, it is true, I have always been very lucky, from my very beginning. I was born in a
communistic country, where everything was a challenge and nothing was certain or granted. Even obtaining food was not a simple task as there was nothing in the shops.
And even if a few times in the month the shelf of the corner shop (supermarkets did not exit at all) were not empty, the deliveries were very limited and people had
to fight to take something home with them. Our family mostly relied on the food our 1-acre property could give us and what we could produce ourselves at home.
From my youngest age I had to help my parents in the garden and in the household. No, it was not child labour. It was learning and developing a very practical
skills for my future life. During my childhood my tasks were not limited to helping my parents at home. As every child I had to go to school, do my homework and
of course I wanted to have some time for myself and to play with other children. Therefore the skills which I gained were not only basic survival skills like
working on the field, cooking, baking, preserving, sawing and so on. No, this was more a side effect of the real life skills I learned as a child, skills like
organisation and planning, setting up priorities and time management skills, taking responsibility for my own actions, and much more. And in some respect even
negotiations skills - at the end I had a sister, it had to be negotiated who is doing what and when and why.
(The image above on the right shows me with my father during hiking in our local mountains. No, it was not our house.)
Chocolate... Who of us doesn't love chocolate? As a child I did not get much of this speciality, but if I got some I really appreciated it very much. Of course it was not possible to buy it at the shops. The only sweet we could buy, except of some sugar-lollies that from time to time decorated the shelf of a shop, every kid per month could get 200 grams of chocolate similar product. Luckily my grand parents had friends aboard who every Xmas and Easter sent us packages with some food supply including a real chocolate! This chocolate lasted us for months. We cherished it as a valuable treasure and only had a small piece than and again. This taught me to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.
Every child loves toys and playing. However, getting some toys in a communistic country again was not a simple task. My parents could not go to the shop and buy
us what we wished for. No, a lot of toys we had to develop ourselves. And our games and plays were also adjusted to the circumstances in which we were living.
One of my favourite games was playing theatre. I was not only one of the actors, but also the director, choreograph, wrote the scripts and much more. With other
children we created the costumes and props and after endless rehearsals we presented the plays in front of our families. This further developed my skills – added
creativity, imagination, delegation and management skills and more.
(Yes, it is me on the picture on the left with my big doll. OK, actually it is my little sister - I told you it was very difficult to get any toys when I was a child and we had to be creative. )
There are so many positive sides to communism. Our holidays was other wonderful time. My parents packed their backpacks with food supply for two weeks (it was not possible to buy anything at all in towns others than the one we lived in) and on the train we went to, at that time, wild parts of our home country. We set up our tent somewhere in a forest in the lake side or on the sea side, cooked on the stove build from stones and went for long walks to collect some berries and other fruits the nature spoiled us with. These were unforgeable survival camps, a dream of every child of my generation.
I learned so many useful things during my childhood, however I think the best of all I learned was to be happy, to enjoy and to appreciate all the little things in life, and to understand that nothing in life is granted. Do you know how much fun and happiness you can have because of a toilet paper? Most probably not, as if we need some we just go to the supermarket and buy it. Very boring... It was not like this when I was a child. No, getting a toilet paper was a great adventure. With my sister we had to get up early in the morning, at 5 am go to the shop and queue in the line. At 10 am the shop opened and people started pushing and shoving and everybody hoped to get a bit of the luxury article. Everything was rationed and one person could get maximum of 20 rolls. You never knew how many rolls were delivered and if there would be enough for you as well. Usually who came to late to the queue had to go home empty handed. I cannot describe the happiness and how proud we were with my sister when we arrived home each with 20 rolls of toilet paper. Supply for the entire family for a few weeks.
I think that the biggest luck of growing up in the communistic country was that my dreams were touching the sky, my expectations however were kept close to the ground. This gave me a good preparation and strong foundations for my adult life. I do not have big expectations in life, but a lot of hope and faith that tomorrow will be at least as good as today is. I cannot imagine any better place to grew up and to prepare for adult life than in a communistic country.
I was 15 years of age when the communism was over and I started my education at a local high school. And my good luck still stayed with me. I was not accepted at school.
Teachers and students laughed at me constantly. At home my parents were in very difficult situation, constantly stressed and had no time for me at all. My beloved grandfather
passed away. I was lonely. My world collapsed and I became victim of depression. At some point the only friend I had was... my dog. There was nobody to help me. On the contrary,
there were plenty of people pushing me even further down. I felt like I am laying on the ground and people are passing me by, kicking me and stepping on me and nobody hears my
screams for help. You have to know that in communistic or post-communistic country depression is not seen as an illness – no, it is just a bad habit, laziness. I came to a point
where I had two choices – either I commit suicide or I learn to live on my own, learn to be alone but not lonely, learn to ignore all the world around me and be happy on my own.
I chose the second options – at the end I had my dog who needed me. It is the time when I also created my imaginary friend who helped me come through every day.
In order to have some pocket money I had to work. It is how I came across a very wise elderly lady who was telling me stories from her life and through this always pointed me in right direction in life. She was one of the persons who had biggest influence on my life. I completed my educations at the high school as a stronger wiser and more independent person. I was lucky that all the loneliness and depression happened when I was very young, for as we all know the younger we are the quicker we learn, the quicker we adjust to changes in life, the quicker our wounds heal.
After I graduated from the nightmare high-school, I started visiting college and my life started to change. I was accepted and liked at school, I started meeting more and more people and my circle of friends extended quickly. The time at college was great. However, all what is good comes quickly to an end, and so two carefree years of college flew by and I was faced with the hard reality of finding a job. I struggled for some time to find any job, but after month of hunting I got a very good position in the best bank in my home country. I was over the moon! My good luck however stayed on my side and... few month later I got fired. I was devastated at that time, but not long after I started to realise that loosing the job was one of the best things which could happen to me. Less than a year after I lost the job I emigrated and this opened the Door to the World for me. I started as a baby sitter, year later I started studying at one of the best universities in Europe and few years later I graduated with master degree and good results. This gave me many options and choices in life.
During my study I continued gathering life experiences. For some time I was living in a mouldy cold cellar where I almost died because of sickness and lack of money for a
doctor. My body got so exhausted that it took me over 2 hours to walk a distance I usually made in less than 10 min. Another very valuable lesson as though I always had a
lot of respect to elderly people this experience thought me even more respect to all people disadvantaged by sickness or age. I would never ever rush or push or get annoyed
with an elderly or disadvantaged person as I know how it feels when you try to walk but your body does not have the strength, when you try to do something but your body will
not let you do it...
At some point I was also dying in an accident. This was actually double luck. Firstly as I survived and I am still alive enjoying life. And secondly I gained another experience – I know how it feels to be dying and I know that it actually is a wonderful feeling and I do not need to be scared of the end of my time on the earth.
The time at the university was also the time when I met the man of my dreams. My biggest dream was to love and to be loved, to have a relationship with a very strong connection between me and my partner, such a connection as my parents have between them. And I was lucky enough to live my dream for a few years. Nevertheless nothing last forever and at some point my relationship got on a shaky ground. My partner broke up and emigrated and I was left alone, heartbroken and devastated. However, what followed was a bit like in movies. Not long after my partner left, he called me crying that he missed me terribly and he wants to be with me. A few months later I joined him in the country of our dreams. Life was very hard but the love was there and I was the happiest person on the planet. I loved this man more than anything in life, he was the one I wanted to spend my life with and I was with him.
But even then my good luck did not abandoned me and reminded me that there are more lessons I have to learn in life to be really free and happy. One day, from day to day, my beloved partner thrown me out of our home... I was on the street on the other end of the world, without money family or friends. Completely on my own and with heart smashed into pieces. I did not want to live any more, I just wanted to stop to exist. I knew I will never love again as much as I love him and for me life without love is not worth living. The year which follow was... on one hand the most difficult and painful time I went through in my life and I do not wish to anybody to go through what I went through. But on the other hand... I remember that time as one of most beautiful periods in my life because of all the experiences and travels and learnings which I had in that time. I learned a lot about myself and I gained valuable skills which helped me to pursue my career. All my motorbike travels with hardly any money but with a lot of freedom and happiness were unforgeable magnificent adventures. From time perspective I have to admit that this was the best what could happen to me. I might never love again in the way I loved, but I gained freedom independence and true happiness. This experience gave me the real freedom, life without worry or fear or stress. Now I know that whatever happens to me in my life I will get through it.
Through the years that followed I learned to differentiate between my feelings and my emotions. I managed to get all my emotions under control and the feelings which I knew I will never have again hide deep inside me in a thick shell. I accepted that I will never love again in the special way I loved my partner, I accepted that I will not have the special kind of relationship which my parents have. I accepted the new life with all its restrictions and limitations. I opened myself to the world, got married and we bought a small farm – my second biggest dream. I love working with animals and being surrounded by nature, and though I have to go to the city on regular basis to be able to pay our bills and all the losses the farm is giving us, I have the place for myself, the place where I can escape from the world and hide in the nature with all the animals around me and be happy like a carefree child.
I thought I have my life perfectly under control when unexpected things happened, when the impossible happened and.... One thing which I learned recently is never say never because impossible is actually possible, does not matter how far away from the reality it seems to be.
I do not know what will happen in the future, my life is still going. I know that I will be happy and I will be sad, I will be excited and I will be down, I will be hurt but
the wounds will heal. And I am happy about all my experiences I gained in my life until now as it helps me to keep my ups and downs under control, it is not jumping from the
sky to the deep seabed and back to the sky the next day, no it is kept nicely between reasonable limits. As now I know that everything is possible as long as we accept our life
as it is and learn to be happy with what we have and in the situation we are in. Everything is possible when we stop complaining about our lives and start looking into the
future with hope and faith (I call it faith you might call it confidence) and love.
And I hope now you understand why my name is... Lucky.