I have always loved working with children. At some point I even thought of opening my own private multilingual kindergarten, back in Slovakia. Since I studied languages it all made sense. It was my first business idea. Brilliant. But life kept me abroad and I never managed to follow up on this project.

When I first moved to Reykjavík, I already had a part-time job as a travel writer and was looking for an extra job, ideally with children. Obviously, it was a dream. As usual, that didn’t happen and I became a travel designer instead. Full-time.

Most of my life I put myself as a priority. I left people behind, moved to foreign countries, and did what I liked the most. But then, last year, I was desperately trying to hold on to something. My job. The idea of losing it was stressful. I did not want to lose a job, but more importantly, I did not want to lose this job. It was not a corporate office job, as I thought in the beginning. It was a small Icelandic family-run business. I planned vacations. I made people’s dreams come true.

At some point I realised I was no longer stressed of losing this job for myself, I was stressed of what other people might think. Being judged is the biggest fear of our generation.

When I was a child, my mom used to say I cared too much about other people’s opinion. People who did not matter, people who did not care about me. On the other hand, I was extremely difficult on people who loved me the most. If my mom brushed my hair I would complain so much, say it hurts, it’s uncomfortable and not the way I wanted it. While if a stranger brushed my hair, I would quietly sit and wait for the result, which I would simply adore.

I thought I have always been taking care of myself, both of my soul and body. Only now I am realising what self love really means. It is not only about cherishing yourself; it is about putting yourself as a priority. Always. Not only when you’re surrounded by your closed ones. Not only when you’re in your comfort zone. Be hard on strangers. Accept those who love you. The most difficult lesson in my life.

I consider myself a minimalist. Thin lines, light colours, a lot of white. White has always been my favourite colour. It is the only colour that never bores me. It’s perfect. And I always seek perfection, flawlessness.

Only lately I discovered another meaning of minimalism. Minimalist mind. Instead of overthinking, clear thoughts. The moment I lost my job, my mind focused on one thing. The one domain in which I wanted to work when I came to Reykjavík, the one domain in which I needed to work now.

It’s been a month since I started working as a kindergarten teacher. It is exhausting but once again, it all makes sense. I needed to accomplish this dream to realise it was never mine. What I thought that was a destination, is simply a journey. Before I thought I needed to live a truly fulfilled life to be happy. Now I know it all comes in pieces. There are good parts and bad parts. Yin and yang. White and black too.

My journey is not finished. My dreams are changing. My first business idea has developed, reshaped, transformed. Maybe I kept it too tight, imprisoned in my mind for too long. Anyway, now I know life is not mistake-free. When you’re tired learn to rest, not to quit. The journey’s been long; I’ve learned and I’ve lost on the way. When I’m wiser and grown taller, I will see your ways.