Birthday Girl

I turned 27 today and I’m really happy.

26 was a tough age. A lot of growing pains, and just plain pains. It was the year I didn’t get on an airplane once. Not once.

I worked an office job that I didn’t like, 9-5 five days a week of dulling down my personality, of doing things in which I didn’t believe. It wasn’t all bad, I made tons of great friends, but I’m the type of person that needs fulfillment in her work – otherwise I feel a bit empty; like a drone. 

When I took initiative, it was labeled demanding and pushy by upper management. I knew then that the company and I were a bad fit. I was so drained every day after work that I would just put up my feet and do nothing. My blog took a back seat, and I felt super guilty. When they didn’t renew my contract, I swear a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt so much lighter and happier!

I was studying to become a Realtor, following in my mother’s footsteps. I saw how much joy she was getting out of her job, and the relationships she was making with her clients and I thought that I wanted that for myself.

After completing two out of the four courses on my way to becoming a Realtor I realized that I was copying a life that wasn’t my own. Being a Realtor looked great on my mother, but the problem was that I wasn’t her – I was me.

This was a hard pill to swallow. I thought I finally had a plan for my future, and it turned out once again that I still didn’t know what to do.

Being me raised more questions than I had answers.

What did it mean to be Olena? Who is Olena? Who does Olena want to be? What does Olena want to do? What makes Olena happy?

I spent sleepless nights mulling these questions over this winter. Hence the pains I mentioned earlier.


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These questions hurt. I needed to find an answer, I needed to take some of my walls down and figure myself out through my own eyes – not the eyes of others.

Years of conditioning and opinions made getting through the clutter difficult, but I was determined. My life depended on it.

By asking the questions I was starting to get answers. Answers in the form of people, articles, and books that were coming into my life as though by magic. I guess I was ready to receive them.

I found a mentor, someone whose life made absolute sense to me. I saw that what I wanted was possible, achievable, and wonderful!

Suddenly the possibilities were endless. At first I was scared. I was so scared that I could actually do what I want, be happy, and succeed!  It was too good to be true!

But it is true. There was no point in living with any other view – because it wouldn’t serve me.

I had to confront myself at 26. I had to finally just say no to what I didn’t want, and yes to what I did want. It was time to take matters into my own hands instead of living on autopilot.

So I learned a lot.

I learned that I’m not as smart as I think I am.

I learned that it’s okay to fail.

I learned that nothing happens without action.

I learned that my expectations for my life were too low (and I thought they were high!).

I learned to aim higher.

I learned that my only limitation was me.

I learned that love is the most important thing in every aspect of life – work too.

I learned to be unapologetically myself.

I learned that my path may be different from what’s expected.

I learned to detach from outcome and expectations and opinions.

I learned to enjoy spending time with myself.

I learned that I’m happiest when creating.

I learned to depend on myself even more.

I learned that Olena is more complex than I thought (I thought I was simple, and tried to be).

I learned that I am too rigid sometimes.

I learned to listen to myself better.

I learned to accept and love imperfections.

I learned that it’s okay to share more of myself with others (way too many awesome feels).

I learned that everything is gonna be ok.

I learned that people who use ‘I’ too much are crazy…joking!

I’m really excited to put everything I learned into practice and I’m getting on an plane today!

With Love,


PS. You can follow along on Instagram! 🙂


  • Kimchi
    Hey beautiful, I only got to read this today. I wanted to check out your blog really bad for some reason. I'm glad I did it. I could totally feel you in every sentence of this article. This is beautifully written, so authentic, so Olena. Sorry, I didn't know being 26 was a tough year for you. Looking back, I think maybe 25 was like that for me. Or maybe now. It's scary to make a change, and even more scary to accept the change you made, may not be the best option for you. But I think you bravely faced it and won the battle at the end. Look how happy you are now. I love you, just want to say thank you for sharing this. xx Your Kimchi
    • Dearest Kimchi, Thank you so much for reading. It always gets better, doesn't it? Like Ayn Rand wrote in her awesome book Atlas Shrugged, "Every living thing must grow - grow or perish." I was just growing...:) Love you, Olena

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