Since last spring, huge changes and shifts began to take place, and I was resisting in every way I could. It has been a massive year for me, and let me tell you this: It isn't over yet!
At the beginning of November, we are starting a new phase in our family life. My husband accepted a job in Finland and will be living there during the weeks and flying back to the Netherlands for the weekends. It is the first time in our marriage (we did this as teenagers when we spent a year apart as exchange students) we are deliberately setting ourselves in the situation where we are apart every week - a whole week.
I remember once sitting across the table in the restaurant with a close friend. She told me she was pursuing her career and moved to another city, away from her husband. And I remember being genuinely happy for her, celebrating her and this brave and new phase in her life. She looked at me, raising her brows and asked with a bit of a surprise in her voice: What? No judgement?
I remembered that moment when I found myself at the other end of the conversation. So this is what I have to say about that:
The news has been received by the people in our life with many reactions, and we love you all and appreciate your concerns and yes we love each other and are happy as a couple and a family, and we are not separating, and nothing is wrong, and no we are not returning to Finland. We will spend time there for sure, but we are not moving back. I say that with the level of certainty, anyone can say that. Being aware that we have made new decisions every time we have felt a need for a change.
I believe the confidence to do this comes from our ability to make changes - even quick ones - when needed. I also feel proud to have a marriage where there is room for both of us to pursue our dreams and ambitions, even when they don't appear to be poised in the same direction - except that they are.
I cannot preach about our right to have a meaningful career and purpose-filled life and then say except for my husband. That would not make much sense, would it? So as we both took our time to come to terms with this decision, in the end, we both agree it is a wonderful opportunity and a new adventure. And the only thing to say to that is a firm yes. Bring it on. <3
Here is my learning and maybe your takeaway from this: Any need you have to hold someone else back from something in their life is solely based on your own fears and needs for others to be a certain way. So as I let go of my need to control his decisions - it so happened, I freed myself to allow new things in my work as well. I have finally said yes to a collaboration waiting to happen for years now. It allows me to bring much-needed support for Finnish companies operating outside Finland or looking to expand to the European market. Also, it will enable me to gather the Finnish Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and support their businesses forward. Something that I feel passionately about.
After the first yes, more yeses began to appear: Past five years I have worked intensely towards becoming the best business coach I can become and now I have also said yes to two coaching trainings that are both already ongoing to help me move the needle towards that. They both require a lot of work. They demand some training sessions, so if you have wanted to work with me, now is the time to do that under the training agreement. I am offering ten pro bono sessions too (?!) so if you know someone (or yourself) who is in dire need of some business coaching, now would be the perfect time to raise your hand. Drop me a note, and I will take it from there. <3
After writing this post, this dropped in my inbox:
Honour them, love them, help them, heal them, but above all else, Mari, free them.
Everyone, of course -