My story

People have called me brave, bold and crazy – all at once, more than once! – in the last 3 or 4 months when hearing about quitting my corporate job. I worked for DLA Piper for 15 years, most of it as team leader and then manager of the Anti-Money Laundering Team. I started this job the month before I got married in 2008. I was very young and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life in this new country that I moved to following my heart. I knew I had a really strong academic background with a good degree as an economist and spoke three languages and hoped I would find a good job. But this was a new world, where English was my second language. It always made me feel a little bit like an outsider. It meant I put extra effort, work and time into everything to prove my worth and taking up space here, where most Europeans come for a better life and to earn more money. For me it was love, and I felt really strongly about not to be put in the same “box” as the other “Eastern Europeans”.

In the first couple of years the job excited me, the corporate events, meeting new people and using my languages seemed like a dream. It just wasn’t a dream I dreamt, but it was fine. I was newly married and enjoyed being able to travel and see the world with the money I earnt. Then I had Annabel and Mia and the priorities changed when becoming a mum. Things also changed at work and I no longer found it as fulfilling as before. I loved building my team and enjoyed the people management side, but I stopped growing. The corporate atmosphere and toxic people – that you cannot escape in this environment – didn’t help. I also developed a few health issues that were getting worse and got to the point where I knew I had to do something to change this. I didn’t want to live a life where I am in pain, medicated and feel hollow. I signed up to a women’s coaching programme where I dived deep into self development. I also connected with my feminine side that was supressed for a decade by working for a law firm. If you are in compliance – you know what I am talking about.

In 2017, I found a lump near my shoulder blade that turned into an absolute nightmare. One MRI after the other and CT scans that scared the hell out of me. I was told it could be melanoma but luckily it was just a lipoma (a fatty tissue) that I had removed. I developed tinnitus, was diagnosed with IBS and also was told I had spondylosis in my spine, all within that one year. Then my father in law died in cancer very suddenly. It was a very traumatic experience but it was also a very loud wake up call I could no longer ignore.

I decided that taking time for myself and getting to know me had to come to the top of my priorities. I cannot be a good mum, wife, daughter or boss if I am broken. I realised that moving to another country at the age of 20, then getting married and raising a family soon after was a shock to the system that I never acknowledged. I never took the time to be there for me, to rest or do things just for me. I was always there for the girls, my husband, my team and travelled to Hungary as often as I could to be there for my family. I would jump on a plane when my grandpa was poorly even when I was going through the MRIs and health scare, trying to keep it all to myself so I wouldn’t put more stress on my parents. I did the best I could but it was time I did the best I could, for me.

I refused to medicate and numb the IBS. I wanted to understand why I had all these health issues coming up and what they were telling me. I knew there was a connection that I would figure out if I had tuned in. I started reading lots of self help books, signed up to nutrition newsletters, listened to audio books and podcasts. I also signed up to Dale Pinnock’s Culinary Medicine College to study nutrition as I figured that doctors would not be able to properly heal me. They don’t have the capacity to look at the person holistically in the 5-10 minutes appointments they have for a patient. I also didn’t want to feel ill or be labelled with a condition and use that as an excuse for feeling stuck.

Studying nutrition helped to put many of the puzzle pieces together and it also fitted in well with my new side business, Twiddle that I launched in the spring of 2019. (Which also has it’s story but saving that for another time!) As I dived deeper into nutrition, my health massively improved and I finally understood the triggers for my tinnitus and IBS. I no longer need the medication I was first prescribed as I know how to look after myself better to prevent the symptoms and also know how to ease them without popping a pill. It made me realise that it was possible to treat and sometimes reverse certain conditions with the right lifestyle, stress management and nutrition. So the reason I have taken that bold move earlier this year is because I believe I can help others like myself feel better and become healthier too. I know this won’t be an easy journey but I whole-heartedly trust that this is the path and career that I want to take. Helping people live a better life is more fulfilling for me than any other jobs, no matter how prestigious or high paid these could be.

I don’t often share this with people as I don’t want anyone’s pity or feeling sorry for me. But this is a massive part of my story and why I have embarked on this journey. I am also telling you because people often wait and only take actions or change their lives when they have experienced some kind of trauma. This is my message for you today, do not wait for something awful to happen to finally start living the life you want. It starts with a little niggle, a thought that keeps coming back and getting louder and louder if you don’t acknowledge it. Don’t live in a “squirrel wheel” as us, Hungarians would say. Numbing your pain and discomfort with overworking, drinking or over-exercising, the list goes on… you are only loosing time that will never come back. Don’t think it doesn’t matter anymore as you are “too old” or whatever story you keep telling yourself. You only have one life and it is your decision how you want to live it.

If you are stuck and need help getting started, I am here to help!