The Page About the First Time I Put Myself First, Really

Episode 61

Sometimes you spend years building your perfect life, or what you think is your perfect life. And then something happens, it all falls apart and it feels like your life is over now – because everything you’ve been working towards is not there anymore. But in fact, it might be not the end, but the beginning of your unique life.

In this episode, I share with you the first time in my life when I ever really put myself first. It’s the story of the decision I made eight years ago to file for divorce.

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


I thought I had it all sorted out.

I had a professional degree and a successful career. I was married, my husband and I were coming up on our 9 year wedding anniversary, and 13 years together – we started dating in college and got married when we were 21.

Our family was making good money for a living, and a few years prior we bought an apartment. And we had a wonderful 3-year-old daughter.

Perfect life, isn’t it?

It was March of 2015. I was working on this big project at work, and we were getting ready for the launch. In preparation for it, two of my colleagues and I went on a 2-week business trip to Canada.

We were working from the client’s office. There was this huge desk – big enough to accommodate several people. One of my colleagues, a guy who had been working with me on this project from day one, was sitting across the table from me. We were in the final stage of preparation for the launch – it was supposed to happen in a few days.

I was performing some final checks to make sure it was all ready to go, when I suddenly discovered a BIG issue.

“Oh crap, this is NOT good. It will require way more time to fix than what we have. We are screwed.”

I was sitting there not knowing what to do.

I guess my face was clearly showing all these emotions, because this colleague who was sitting across the table from me, called my name, “Olena, are you okay? What happened?”

I explained the situation to him. He immediately understood the scale of the problem.

“Don’t worry! We will find a way to fix it – together.”

That phrase, that simple phrase, struck me like lightning.

I don’t even know why, but the following thought hit my mind:

“In my 9 years of my marriage, I have never heard my husband say something like this.”

I had never really thought about whether my marriage was a happy one.

I remember my mom would come visit us after my daughter was born – we lived in a different city, so I would ask her to come out and help from time to time. And she would sometimes mention something along the lines of, “Olena, something is not right, you guys don’t seem to be close, you don’t seem to be spending enough time together, and connection is missing between the two of you.”

And I would always tell her, “Oh mom, we are fine, we are doing fine.”

That evening, I came to the hotel where I was staying, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how NOT fine we had been doing throughout all these 9 years.

It’s like the floodgate of memories suddenly opened.


Listen to the full story on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Until next time,

Olena xx

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