Like any other girl, I dreamed about having a great story to tell one day, with meaningful accomplishments and a handsome prince by my side. But that girl with so many dreams and plans lost herself in the middle of the way. I grew up and got caught up in responsible and reckless actions, a sudden marriage, and a loved but unplanned child at the age of 20.

There, my girlish dreams got suppressed by bills, worries, and a divorce. So little did I know, but overcoming these events would be the beginning of the great story I wanted to tell. Unable to cope with a life I hadn’t chosen, I walked out of that marriage and rebuilt my life with my son. There was pain; there was fear. But I was willing to write my own story, and that would be the first chapter. Of course, I didn’t know how much that would change me, and despite all my doubts, I felt strong enough to raise my son, go back to school, and start a career. After all, I had a story to tell.

I was a single mother. Dad, mom, and responsible for all housework. I raised and educated my son, built my house, our home. I went to school and graduated. I went to Grad school and started a career. I had some men, but I can’t say they were partners. I got involved with them, but they didn’t really love me. Maybe I didn’t love myself. There was heartache. I kept on going because nobody told me I should quit. And if someone dared to say that to me, I wouldn’t even consider it. I was committed to writing that story. There was no stopping me.

Until the day that somebody stopped me. My 14-year-old son, who I least expected. He decided he was going to live with his dad against my will. I was everything in his life until that moment; in fact, he was everything to me. I couldn’t go on; I lingered in bed. My life had no meaning without him. It took me months to understand what life was trying to show me once more. Though I was angry at that occurrence, I realized that I didn’t know who I was anymore, I didn’t know what I desired. I had only been a mother until that moment. I was lost. Without any expectation, the moment had come once again for me to claim what was mine – my own life. It had taken my son from me so I could go and find myself.

What a gift! Little by little, I realized that pain was my redemption. So I went looking for the forgotten Juliana, taking responsibility for the situation I found myself in. I decided to go on a trip and rescue my dreams. And there she was, that woman I had left behind. She was beautiful and eager to move on. Throughout those 40 days of traveling through Malta and Italy, I started reconnecting with my body. I felt free, pretty, and recharged. I got to know different people, places, cultures, and the most important of all – I got to know myself. I was reborn. My son, like a maestro, allowed me to find myself on a trip that brought me back to life.

Respecting myself and my son’s choice, my return to Brazil was another beginning. Again, I left behind people I knew, the city I grew up in, and I went to live something new. In São Paulo, I had the opportunity to take care of myself, to put myself first, for a whole year. There, I was embraced by transforming energy. I lived for myself exclusively. I tried unsuccessfully to work for coorporations, where I had learned so much in the past. But it was too late for me, my dreams wouldn’t fit in any company anymore. They were just too big to be contained. And when I least expected, my son was back, and a wish to fly even higher consumed me.

Courage overcame me, and after 15 years of working in a company, with a career in the construction business, I made a choice that would again transform my life. I chose myself and allowed my dreams to take me wherever they wanted. Juliana was present now, and nobody could stop her. I resigned and embarked on an adventure with my prince, at last. And I could taste another chapter of that story, as we went on to explore the world…

And you, are you ready to tell your story?

Juh Faria
Founder|CEO  @nossos.olhares