When I was a little girl, I had a great time. We lived near a forest. I played there a lot, running, making tree houses, etc. When I was not doing that, I enjoyed reading books, playing with my dolls, and making and listening to music, among other things. I was a happy kid! At school, I was a good student and had a couple of friends, whose company I really enjoyed. But the teachers always said: “Yvonne is so quiet. She doesn’t talk enough.”
It wasn’t until high school that I started to notice and be self‐conscious of this. During puberty, you are finding out who you really are. You don’t want to miss out on anything—you want to be a part of the group. You just want to fit in. I was very aware of myself and of how people reacted to what I said, how I said it, etc.
There was also this “problem”: I like hearing how somebody is really doing and what their plans and dreams are. I’m not that good at small talk. Although I don’t feel the need to be the center of attention, some attention is nice. But the girls who got all the attention were the ones who were very extroverted. I thought I had to be like them. So I tried it. Though it worked a little for me, I also lost myself in the process.
I was becoming increasingly unhappy with this new version of myself. It wasn’t good for my self‐esteem. And it became something I struggled with for years. I didn’t think I was good enough for anything or anyone. I didn’t know how to change that. So years went by. Wasted.
When my first child was born, I had no other choice but to get myself together. It was a beautiful baby girl, and I was scared that she would inherit my bad self‐esteem. I didn’t want that for her. I realized that the only way I could try to prevent that was to be the right role model for her: a mother who is happy with herself, doing the things she loves, and who takes good care of herself in every way.
So, I made the first steps. I started working on my dream of owning a company, one that would allow me to work and take care of my kids. A few months after my second child was born, I quit my job and started my own practice. But there was still the problem of me not really knowing who I was and what I enjoyed.
That first year as an entrepreneur was more about finding myself. I had the luck of meeting some people who really helped me with that. It took some time, but now I remember who I am. I am an introvert. I am highly sensitive. I am happy when I am outside. I love music, reading, exercise, spirituality, and social gatherings—but when I had enough of those, I choose to leave.
I love my life; I love myself; and I love my family. And I finally have the feeling that life is good and it will only get better. I sometimes have tears of joy, but I also have tears of pain from all those years. I know that having those tears is part of it. They have to come out, and that’s okay. I have found my way now.