The Page About Being Fine, Building the Wall, and Coming Back to the Real Me

Episode 73

Raise your hand if you consider yourself a strong and capable woman.

Now, let me ask you—what do you normally do when you face a challenge or a problem, or struggle with something? If you are anything like me, you probably just go ahead and solve this problem, or deal with this challenge, or handle this struggle – all on your own. 

And when someone asks you if everything is okay and if you need help, you probably tell them, “It’s fine, I am fine, everything is fine”. Because you are a strong and capable woman, right?

Well, let me just say that if you are doing this, you might be missing out on something very important…

In this episode, I share the story of how I spent years building a very tall and thick “I am fine” wall around myself, and why now I am bringing it down—brick by brick.

Tune in on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or continue reading.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were sitting outside in our backyard after work. It was the perfect evening – you know when it’s not too hot and not too cold, when the air is still, and you can hear birds chirping and chasing each other. 

I was looking at the tropical flowers surrounding our pool, they were almost in full bloom and were creating these beautiful splashes of yellow, orange, and red colors. 

And it was Friday, so the work week was over and the weekend was just around the corner. 

Everything looked so perfect. 

And yet, I felt completely down – like I could start crying any minute.

Earlier that week, on Wednesday, I hosted a masterclass. 

I had spent several weeks carefully preparing all the materials and structuring them in a smooth and easy to understand way (in hindsight, I probably prepared too many haha!). I had almost 50 sign ups for the masterclass and I really looked forward to it. I was very excited!

And when it was time to go live, only 3 people showed up. One of them being my virtual assistant.

It crushed me. I was expecting at least 20. 

I still did it – it was too late to change anything. For 90 minutes, I was as enthusiastic as possible, and I was giving it my best. 

I also tried to keep it engaging, and often I would ask a question and then wait for answers to show up in the zoom chat. But in response, there would be crickets. And maybe after an awkward 30-second pause, there would be one good comment – coming from my virtual assistant.

It felt weird. At times, I wasn’t even sure anyone was there anymore. The only reason I knew people could still see and hear me was because I had asked my assistant beforehand to slack me if I suddenly got disconnected or something. She wasn’t slacking me, so I knew I was still live.

Finally, the masterclass was over.

On one hand, I felt relieved – I had worked very hard in the last several weeks, so it was good to know that it was finally done. 

On the other hand, I was devastated.

I couldn’t even explain how I felt. Angry? Sad? Hopeless? Tired? I felt all of it and more, it was some sort of heavy feeling that I couldn’t even process.

But I pretended that it was alright. 

I kept smiling, kept working, kept doing all the usual stuff. Until that Friday evening, when my husband and I went to sit outside in our backyard as we normally do.

He knew that my masterclass didn’t go exactly as I had planned, and he asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I didn’t. 

So he started talking about how his day had been. 

Then he asked again – do I want to talk about my week or my day? No, I don’t

He was patiently waiting for me to start talking, but I really didn’t feel like it. 

I felt like sitting there quietly and staring at those tropical flowers in the distance. And maybe crying.

My husband made one more attempt.

“Olena, are you okay?”

“Yes, I am fine!”

“But I can see that you are not okay, it might help if you talk about how you feel…”

“I am fine! There is nothing to talk about”

“Alright, if you say so…”

He changed the subject and started talking about other things, and I knew that he was trying his best to cheer me up and to get me to talk about anything. 

But I didn’t want to say a word. I was really worried that the moment I start talking I will begin to cry.

10 minutes later, my husband must’ve lost his patience because he said,

“Look, I know you are not okay. Do you want me to beg you to talk? Or force you to do it?”

“No, I don’t want you to beg me.”

“So, tell me what is wrong.”

“Nothing. Usual. Life.”

“Can you please be a bit more specific?”

I am truly blessed to have such a patient husband. He knows me so well – sometimes I feel like he knows me better than I know myself. He knows that I do need to express my feelings, even though I might truly believe in the moment that I don’t.

“You know, that masterclass… did not exactly go as planned”

“Yes, I know. So, how are you feeling?”

Finally, he got me talking. He always does.

And as it always happens, at first I was very hesitant to talk, but the more I was talking the more open and emotional I was becoming. And yes, of course, I cried. 

But it helped. 

We ended up having a very good conversation. Not only wasn’t I feeling devastated anymore, but I even started planning my next steps – with excitement!

I went to bed feeling at peace. I didn’t have that heavy feeling anymore – for the first time since Wednesday. 

Listen to the full story on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Until next time,

Olena xx

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