Beauty, Lifestyle, Outfits

A year away

July 15, 2019

How much a year away can change you? A lot! I didn’t plan on it, I didn’t know what will happen with me or to me but a year ago I took off to see my family in Croatia and due to my very fragile and at that point “incurable” health situation I was sure that I was about to see only few more days and that’s it…

Yes, it was that bad and I was in shock when the doctors told me that I was fighting for my life or that my life was hanging on the threads. Thanks to the love of my siblings, I have managed to fight through, I have managed to leave the hospital, start getting better and also for the first time in forever – just be.

My beautiful daughter came over for her Summer holidays and I was happy that us two got more time to be together, to put a “restart” on life as we knew it and make new rules and memories.

It happened to be that my health was getting better all the time, I was enjoying my Summer days by the beach with an ice cream in one hand and a great book to read in another. I was indulging in seasonal, local fruits like a crazy hungry monkey, I was inhaling the breeze of the fresh seaside air as if it was the first time I’ve ever experienced that.

But the Summer was coming to it’s end and I wasn’t ready to leave the place in which I have just started to feel so good, to finally relax and let go of all of the chains I’ve put on myself in all the previous years. I knew that I got a new chance on life and I was not going to play it out… I had to make a decision at cost of the life I knew for the past 11 years and at cost of my daughter’s life to stay in Croatia for a while.

We didn’t put any date on anything… We just started to live day by day as it comes. I’m a person who’s always thinking about the past and how I could have done this or that better. I’m also a person who’s living in the future, all the time questioning myself what’s going to be, I even visually picture something which haven’t and most possibly won’t happen at all, but of course that kind of thinking just lead me to an enormous amount of anxiety.

That was when I have told myself that I just need to slow down, let go of any rules, let go of any stupid thoughts which were choking me in now – the present.

That is when I started to completely break down the girl which I thought I was – a creation of tens of other people, living and functioning according to what I thought certain person wanted me to be, what I thought they were thinking about me and trying to please everybody so that I would be liked and approved by everybody because for a long time I thought that THAT is where my worth is. If everybody likes me, it means that I’m a good person, I am doing things right and I will be always understood.

Yea, my *ss! First of all, nobody cares about you that much, esp. if you don’t care about yourself and secondly, what anybody else thinks of you is none of your business. YOU NEED TO BE GOOD TO YOURSELF and that’s all that matters. See… I was brought up thinking that for TRUE LOVE you need to work hard.

I thought that in order for my mom, my dad, my siblings, friends, etc. to TRULY LOVE me I need to work really hard to have their love, acceptance and to be worthy of their time and love.

THAT IS SO WRONG! For the true, unconditional love, you don’t need to work. Love is NOT work, love is the true emotion which comes just by you being you, without hiding anything, without overthinking everything, without trying hard to impress somebody in order for them to love you back. Yes! I always am advocating to give and expect nothing in return, to love endlessly and to be kind to one other but there is a limit to all of that and also a realisation point when you figure out that not everybody is worthy of your time and love and that the more you’re beating the horse who doesn’t respond the more you’re hurting while they’re still indifferent towards you.

People who really love you will always be there for you! Even after you had fights, even after you have not agreed on things, even when you haven’t spoken in a while… People who really love you will always be ready to hear you out, to give you a second chance or will be very well aware of how much you’re worthy, how much you’ve done for them and how much you love them too.

Sometimes, your closest people stab you in the back the hardest. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept that some people you have spent so much time giving and loving couldn’t care less about you, about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling or perhaps, if they could somehow help you out.

What this year away has thought me is that I’m bendable! I was torn apart, practically faced the death bed and have risen up like a phoenix. I have for the first time truly looked at myself in the mirror, seen myself for who I really am and have decided to love myself… To fully embrace myself and give myself a hug when I needed it the most.

It was only then, when I started to accept myself that I have started to change the way I see others, how I respond in certain situations and what I really want from life at all.

I found it “funny” how things which had so much importance to me before, now I couldn’t care less about those. I have discovered that my connection to the nature and being in tune with myself spiritually was what made me find that silver lining. I have realised now more than ever how much the power of some things had over me and how I was slave to everything which I’m completely unbothered by right now!

I have realised how much more aware I am of my thoughts, my actions, my finances, my plans for the future. I have realised how much I DO accomplish when I set my mind onto it and how many things do fall into place when I don’t desperately push them to fall there.

A year away can change you and teach you so much! I don’t advise you to take a year away from everything you know or have been living a certain way for over a decade but I have always been an exhibitionist and only doing drastic moves could open my eyes, smash me but also build me up in a very short time.

What’s one year of living, learning and changing? Not much really, I had 11 years of living by the same rules and patterns, so I thought that I owe it to myself to give this one year away a try…. A try to do everything differently and see what happens!

While none of your problems will just disappear by snapping with your fingers, they will be looked at from a whole different perspective! You will gain the strength and a new outlook on them and how to solve them.

Right now, a year later, I can say that I didn’t have it easy going through this transformation but this year has brought me some new amazing people in my life and have also make me see people who have always been there and loved me differently (in a positive way). It also made me realise which relationships needed to be broken off and to stop over romanticising some of them for what they’re not and have never been.

A year away has also thought me that sometimes, all you have is yourself! You are the only person who’s with you there at the end of the day. Sometimes you will be the only person which you can rely and trust on but that’s not tragical, that’s exactly where you’ll find what you’re made of and how much strength you have which you weren’t even aware of.

So thank you life for everything you’ve put on my path, I now see and understand things and people differently! I have learned not to take everything too close to heart but I have also learned to listen because I’m not always right and sometimes the answers you’re looking for are exactly in what you’re running away from or not wanting to hear.

All photos by Valerio Baranovic, make up by Katarina Maglov, session for YSL beauty

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  • Reply Divisionbelle89 July 15, 2019 at 1:01 PM


    You are such a strong and inspiring person and I’m so, so glad that your health has improved so much. I think it says so much that after all that you’ve gone through you are still sharing, and helping others through your experiences… I hope that whatever comes your way now, that it’s positive and helps you continue in rebuilding as well as continuing good health of course.

    Rachel ❤

    • Reply Natali July 15, 2019 at 4:01 PM

      You have always been so kind to me! Thank you so much, I’m grateful for every word and encouragement you ever said to me.
      I also am hoping to have a good and positive days ahead of me. I will always thrive to inspire and support as much as I can.

  • Reply ik July 15, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    anorexia? was that a health issue? of course none of our business, but you might help many by sharing your experience. all good to you!

    • Reply Divisionbelle89 July 15, 2019 at 2:02 PM

      1. Very presumptuous of you to ask that.
      2. Pretty impolite when someone is sharing deeply personal experiences to ask for more.

      • Reply ik July 15, 2019 at 3:14 PM

        well, once you put yourself and your life, your feelings on the spot, be prepared that questions will be asked and judgments will be thrown your way.

        • Reply Divisionbelle89 July 15, 2019 at 8:18 PM

          I will only reply to say that I personally dont think that a willingness to share aspects of your life and work with others is an open door to judgement or further probing. For example in my life I am happy to share experiences but wouldn’t expect someone to demand to know my monthly salary.

          That said, it is my opinion and maybe not everyone has been raised that way.

    • Reply Natali July 15, 2019 at 3:57 PM

      Thank you for leaving a comment and hopefully reading through the whole post because the main thing and point of the story wasn’t what made me unwell, it was what I have concluded and how the whole journey made me realize so much.
      If somebody got lung cancer, you don’t go immediately concluding it must be because a person is a junkie.
      Just because something might look like something/ the first thought , doesn’t mean that it is it.

  • Reply Jerry / Escape the Mundane July 15, 2019 at 2:11 PM

    This is a great post, Natali!

    And even though I knew of your health issues, I had no idea it was actually that bad :O! I’m so glad to know that you are feeling much better now and you managed to fight through to the other side.

    I’m exactly the same as you when it comes to living in the past, present and future. I think I spend more time in the future than in the present, which makes it very difficult to enjoy the moment. This is something I’ve struggled for a long time and probably will continue struggling, but I’m trying to get better at it.

    It’s great to have you back :)!

    • Reply Natali July 15, 2019 at 3:59 PM

      Thank you my friend, I value your words so much. I think that we are all learning constantly and while sometimes we are winning at it , other times we are not as much but as long as we have will and arevaware of what we need to change is what matters.

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog July 15, 2019 at 6:55 PM

    I think… we’re on the same boat. I know what it feels like. I went through the same things for over six years and only now am I starting to see the light. Stay strong. ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • Reply natali karppinen July 15, 2019 at 8:35 PM

      Sorry to read that you had to go through something similar but coming out on the other, stronger side is worth all of the pain.
      Stay positive! 🙂

  • Reply Minah Lynn July 18, 2019 at 9:27 PM

    I have been reading your posts, present and the previous ones. I agree with them. You are truly inspiring. I can see how stronger you have become. Your well-being has improved. Stay strong! Thanks for sharing this post!

  • Reply Angelina July 22, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Thanks for the post

    Best regards


  • Reply Blondie August 1, 2019 at 1:08 AM

    Nice to find another Slavic girl living abroad.

  • Reply Ivana August 5, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    I’m so happy you’re okay now💕

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