"Treat others how you want to be treated. I believe in kindness and doing good things. I am for equality in all its senses." 

Meet Inna. A girl from a small town with BIG dreams! 

Tell us little bit about yourself and what do you do?
Hi there! My name is Inna. I am from a tiny little town in the middle of Russian nowhere, that's close to China, North Korea and Japan. At a pretty young age I realized Russia was not for me, it was not where I saw myself, so right after I graduated from university I moved to the south of China to be an English teacher. Okay, I know, sounds extremely weird. Just a little backstory, I majored in North American Studies for five years and worked summer jobs in the US while being a student. As I was getting closer to getting my degree and had no plan whatsoever, a friend of mine who was learning Chinese at the time, told me it would be a great idea if we both moved to China since it was so close, 1,5 h flight close!  Somehow, one flight, one shady contract, and one 23h train ride later I found myself in the southern city of Guangzhou!  Living in China for 6 years was a great experience, different, but a very valuable one. I met lots of people, some of them became my good friends. I got to travel to a few countries in Asia. I had a great job at an international school, amazing students who I still keep in touch with. And most importantly, I was blessed to meet my partner there, with whom I moved to Vancouver, Canada, just over 1,5 years ago. For the time being, I work as an office manager at a mortgage firm, and I'm the happiest I've been in a very long time and loving it! 

What’s your favourite part about your job?
What I love about my job is hands down being able to help. I love helping people no matter big or small. If I can make someone's day better by helping them out, I will definitely do just that. Another thing that I love about my job is the human interaction aspect. I used to think that I worked best in a totally different setting, i.e. either with kids (I was a teacher for 6 years) or around as less adults as possible, I had even considered going solo ;) but the more I work with my colleagues the more I realize it is not that bad! So my faith in grown-ups is more or less restored! :)

What has been the biggest challenge for you in 2020?
2020 was a challenging year to say the least. As difficult as it was, I learned a few valuable lessons. The hardest part and a blessing at the same time was acknowledging my feelings and teaching myself how to be happy. I tend to set the bar way too high and get disappointed when things don't work out. I was trying to figure out what direction I should go jobwise, which having just moved to Canada wasn't easy. I felt like I was in limbo which was giving me the worst anxiety. Then the pandemic hit and it just all added up. It felt like I was in this constant state of fear for my family, my partner, myself. My GAD relapsed, I couldn't sleep, I was just unhappy. I had to go on certain medication and I knew I didn't want to be on it for the rest of my life. That's when I realized that I had to start taking better care of myself and most importantly, my mental health, and learn how to deal with things that I had no control over. I started changing my entire approach to life, and instead of dwelling on the bad stuff, I learned to be grateful for everything I had. I figured out a few things that I personally found useful and tried being as consistent with them as possible. 

I started my day by listening to a podcast called Happiness Lab, that I ended up loving because it put me in such good mood! Check it out! It is so worth it! 
Then, everyday I would write in my journal. As cheesy as it sounds, it works miracles! And I am not even joking! 

I also wrote down 5 things I was grateful for each day. Big and small. Helped me appreciate what I had as opposed to complaining about something that I didn't.
And little by little, with a couple sessions with a psychologist, lots of self-care and a ton of 10 minute long voice messages aka "TED talks" with my girlfriends on WhatsApp, I started feeling better and most importantly happier. It is a work in progress still, but it is happening!

What do you do when you need to “recharge” mentally and physically after long hours at work?
I am sure there are better ways to unwind like meditating and reading books, but mine is watching a good show or a comedy. 

What's your favorite place you've been to and where is your dream place to go?
My most favorite city in the world is Hong Kong. Would looooove to visit Santorini someday!

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue
I don't know if you can call it a hobby, it is more something that I would do with my money if I had a ton. I'd love to sponsor LGBTQ organizations in Russia, just literally help people financially to move to countries where they are welcome. I know it doesn't solve the problem, but would definitely make one's life better. 
What are you most looking forward to in the next 5 years?
I got engaged just a month ago and I am so looking forward to my wedding of course, and most importantly having my parents here with me. Well, that's in just a few months. In the next five years I would love to start a family. Working on a new career path (that I am yet to find) is something that I will need to do, as I am a bit clueless as of now, but that's okay. I am in no rush. I have time to figure it out, as they say one step at a time :)
Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become? and Who inspires you the most?
Definitely my mom, she has taught me so much. She is my mom, my best friend, someone I call when I am happy or sad. I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. I owe it to my parents for all the good they have invested in me. 
Name 5 things that most people don’t know about you? 
- I started speaking English when I was 19, most people think I grew up speaking it. 
- I can read and write in Korean and speak basic Chinese.
- I love durian! 
- I was a lifeguard in my late teens. 
- Since I was a kid I was terrified to speak on the phone. Absolutely hated it, well not anymore :)
      What essentials are going into your Biscayne Backpack?
      My laptop, wallet, hand sanitizer+hand cream, water and snacks, I aaaaalways have snacks! and dog treats :) My Biscayne keeps me organized! 

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments must be approved before they are published