34: “I’m Going on a Date With a Country!” – From War Torn Lebanon to Life in The Netherlands

CW: Roula talks about her experiences growing up in Lebanon during the war.



Roula Abou Haidar is a beautiful storyteller. She grew up in war torn Lebanon and if unashamedly grateful for her experiences during that time because they have given her strengths that she otherwise wouldn’t have.

Roula started a new life in The Netherlands in her 20s and has never looked back. She recently transitioned from Finance Manager to Podcaster and is here to share her story with us.

Join us for a powerful conversation as we unpack:

  • going against tradition
  • the power of story
  • how music got Roula through growing up during a war
  • fighting fiercely for happiness
  • being a normal person in an abnormal society
  • being an equal in your marriage

Check out Roula’s The Life Affair’s Podcast here.

Follow Roula on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Transcript

00:00:02:13 – 00:00:24:07

Rosie

G’day and welcome to the Pursuit of Freedom podcast. I’m your host, Rosie Burrows, and I’m on a journey to find my freedom so that I can help you do exactly the same. Join me each week as I share the stories of everyday people have found their own path to freedom. I’m not going to focus on job titles and accolades because I don’t care about that stuff, and neither should you.

00:00:24:09 – 00:00:51:16

Rosie

I want to uncover what truly makes you tick. Who are you? When you step away from society’s expectations and follow your heart, I still haven’t figured it out yet, have you? Either way, buckle up, because it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Welcome back to the Pursuit of Freedom podcast. This is Rosie. I’m so excited to have you here and I am so excited to share this episode with you.

00:00:51:18 – 00:01:15:07

Rosie

Again, it’s one I recorded quite a while ago and one of the first episodes I recorded with the wonderful Roula. She’s actually part of my online community, the free Spirited Sisterhood, but I met her through Pat Flynn’s community when he was putting on a free podcasting challenge, and that’s actually how I started my podcast. Roula and I have been connected ever since.

00:01:15:08 – 00:01:37:20

Rosie

She’s a wonderful human being. She’s fierce, she’s amazing, she’s inspiring. But she keeps it real. And I love that so much. I’m going to stop talking and roll the episode. Enjoy. Ruler Thank you so much for joining me today. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for weeks. Thank you so much for being here.

00:01:38:00 – 00:01:42:15

Roula

I’m very glad to be here. Really excited to dive into this conversation.

00:01:42:19 – 00:02:11:03

Rosie

I wanted to start off talking about your day job because you are a finance manager and you’ve been in the finance space for over ten years. That would be fair to say, right? Long time. But you’ve recently discovered your creativity, and I’d love for you to walk us through what that journey has looked like for you.

00:02:11:05 – 00:02:38:23

Roula

Very good question. Forced me to think about where I was and what I want to be, because presently I’m nowhere. I’m still trying to figure it out. Finance came my way as an obligation because it wasn’t really what I wanted to do growing up in the war. I still wanted to be interior designers, right? But I remember my father said to me, Are you crazy?

00:02:39:00 – 00:03:05:15

Roula

Who want their house decorated in times of war? Go and do something where you can have a job and earn a living. Something decent. Well, he expressed that a much more harsh way, which I cannot repeat. It was all in Arabic, but it was just when I cried my eyes out thinking I cannot be who I want to be and I have to go and study something.

00:03:05:17 – 00:03:36:13

Roula

So I chose accounting because my brother was studying it and I cannot say I liked it. I cannot say I was good at it. I just did what I have to do to just pass the years, get my certification and start living. But I never worked in accounting. I was I started working when I was 18 and I worked as a paralegal assistant in a very fancy law firm in Lebanon.

00:03:36:15 – 00:04:02:08

Roula

One day while working there, after maybe six years, we had a client. This client asked me to travel with them to the Netherlands so that I can help them with the French and the English language because I speak both languages. I came here, met my ex after we got married in Lebanon. I moved to live in the Netherlands.

00:04:02:10 – 00:04:32:21

Roula

It was 23 or 23 years ago. The Netherlands was just become an international law of shared service centers, finance shared service centers starting open up here because the country was given. Now things are changing. But back then, big financial benefits for big, large companies. And with my accounting degree and the French language, it was easy for me to find a job first.

00:04:32:21 – 00:05:01:18

Roula

When people looked at my CV and they didn’t really read it, they just saw I’m from Lebanon and then they offered me job like cleaning in hotels or working at a restaurant. Rarely looked at my CV until I went to the right job agency, which is specialized in international expats expats. They helped me, and my first job was actually at Reader’s Digest.

00:05:01:19 – 00:05:26:22

Roula

Wow. And I knew the Reader’s Digest from when I was growing up. My father had the subscription and we always received it in Arabic. It was called Mukhtar, so I was kind of proud to work at the company that I already knew something about it. I started with a very young team, the account payable department, pay invoices, resolving issues.

00:05:26:22 – 00:05:55:20

Roula

We were working 60, 70 hours a week. It was a mess. But from there I grew and this job I became in my character. I like to take initiative. I want to solve problems. I want to help people. And I started learning more in my area, learning more in finance to grow and become more of leading people in this area, helping them excel in their job to move to something better.

00:05:56:01 – 00:05:56:14

Rosie

Right.

00:05:56:17 – 00:06:20:23

Roula

Because that was the area I started to in was really the area that everyone was starting to grow from there by helping people. I grew myself and being a manager and being a person. I made a lot of mistakes. I was a horrible manager at some times and this was my first, my passion, managing a team that happened to be in the finance department, right?

00:06:21:01 – 00:06:56:03

Roula

And of course I grew my knowledge to guide them. I relied also on their knowledge and from there I specialized in offshoring, cutting down costs, moving departments, firing people. And one day sort of I was in my thirties and this sounded brutal, but I was good at it. They needed me to do it and I did it at the same time.

00:06:56:05 – 00:07:32:08

Roula

I realized this is not what I want to continue doing. Yeah, I do want to help people grow. I don’t find finance. It’s my passion. I will stay in this area because this is where my expertise is, help people grow. But I don’t want to be involved anymore in offshoring and firing. I had a couple of years of break because when I was 41 I gave birth to my youngest son to a couple of years of went back and became area finance.

00:07:32:10 – 00:07:33:07

Roula

Not like in it.

00:07:33:09 – 00:07:34:03

Rosie

Yeah.

00:07:34:05 – 00:08:11:23

Roula

I go to work every day. I’m like, I’m not supposed to be here, but I don’t know what I want to become. I have children that are small. They need me building my life. In the Netherlands. I was going through a divorce. The job was important. I had to perform and continue growing my income so that I can support my kids as a single mom and then, of course, afterwards, this wasn’t an issue because my partner and I worked together and I had the privilege to be able to stay at home a little bit before I searched for another job.

00:08:12:00 – 00:08:48:08

Roula

Plus, for two years later, I decided I don’t want to manage people. I want to work a 9 to 5 job, not be bothered, focus on myself, have the time to think where I want to be managing people did not give me time to look after myself. This is how after having really difficult years in raising teenagers, having a full time job, COVID hit us and I stopped doing what I was doing and started learning from the difficulties I was facing at home with my teenage kids.

00:08:48:08 – 00:09:16:17

Roula

And then I remembered something when I was growing up. My mom struggled a lot with us as teenagers. She didn’t have psychologists to help her. She didn’t have anyone to help her. She only had her the neighbors around her and her friend helping her started remembering their stories about us children. But of course, they’re complaining about their husbands.

00:09:16:18 – 00:09:57:01

Roula

The household and all the stuff. This brought me back to the essential of what I want to be. I thought, That’s it. I want to hear people’s stories. But because of the difficulties I’m having at home, I didn’t have time to focus on that. Fortunately, I could stop working, focus on my kids, on my home. And thanks to therapy, I learned how to focus on myself and discover my passion and where I want to be so powerful.

00:09:57:03 – 00:10:11:02

Rosie

What was that process like, discovering your passion? Because I think this is something a lot of people struggle with, and I’m still on this journey myself. It’s a constantly changing, but how? How did you figure out your passion?

00:10:11:04 – 00:10:51:22

Roula

That’s a very difficult question. If I haven’t hit rock bottom and this is so cliche, a lot of people say it, but it’s not because I hit rock bottom. I discovered my passion. It was because I asked for help and I started taking the time to really look after myself and think what I like most. Of course, I again have the privilege to not worry too much about finances because if that was the case, I cannot go after my passion unless my passion which earned you money.

00:10:51:24 – 00:11:30:19

Roula

You know, you’re doing a podcast just like me. We have costs. We don’t have revenue, we don’t have income. It’s a long term. It’s going to take us years, but it’s worth trying. Yeah. So to go back to your question, with the help of the psychologist who was actually not helping me, only he she was helping me deal with my difficult teenage daughters and kind of fix our family dynamic because it’s not my daughter’s fault.

00:11:30:21 – 00:12:05:20

Roula

It’s not my fault. But we had to learn how to navigate these challenging times. During this therapy, I took the time to stop worrying about my life, worrying about my kids, stay awake at night until they got home. I replaced it with a little by little time for myself. Go for a walk, try to heal myself. I started listening to podcasts that encouraged me and give me the power of wanting what I want without feeling guilty.

00:12:05:22 – 00:12:40:23

Roula

Accepting that I’m almost 50, and only now I’m discovering what I want to do. Not not have regrets of what I should have been. Again, I went back to my childhood, to my teenage times, when I listened to all these stories from my mom and her neighbors, and it hit me. It hit me hard about how lonely I was as a mother of teenagers, because on the outside, people only show that perfect life.

00:12:41:00 – 00:13:05:19

Roula

I couldn’t have a deep conversation with another mother struggling with her teenage kid or another father because their life is perfect. I know it’s not true, but people don’t want to tell the truth. Despite that, talking only about the things that annoy us and negativity. People don’t like to share how they really feel and what’s really going on in their lives.

00:13:05:24 – 00:13:07:06

Rosie

Yeah.

00:13:07:08 – 00:13:35:15

Roula

And I needed that. I needed to learn from other people experiences. I wanted to know as a mother and my exaggerating and my overthinking what’s my behavior that is not compatible with other mothers who are successful. I couldn’t find answers, so I went after them. I became bold and I got all my courage and I started telling my story.

00:13:35:17 – 00:13:36:22

Rosie

And.

00:13:36:24 – 00:13:45:08

Roula

Did not ask questions. When people asked me, How are you doing? I say, I vomited everything out.

00:13:45:10 – 00:13:46:03

Rosie

Yeah.

00:13:46:05 – 00:14:06:10

Roula

I told them everything. The ugly, the challenging, the true thing. I didn’t go telling them negative stories. I told them I struggle. I shared what I’m doing to get better, and I gave them an update on where we are at this point of our lives. This opened the doors for others to talk to me.

00:14:06:14 – 00:14:08:08

Rosie

Yeah.

00:14:08:10 – 00:14:13:00

Roula

This is how I became very confident of my courage.

00:14:13:02 – 00:14:13:16

Rosie

Yeah.

00:14:13:18 – 00:14:40:21

Roula

I’m proud of it because every time I have to talk about things, I’m feeling the tension. I’m going to be judged and my giving away too much information. Are people interested in hearing what I have to say? All these things. I tried to make them disappear by trying to focus on the outcome. And if the people don’t want to interact, it’s fine.

00:14:40:23 – 00:15:14:07

Roula

It’s not a problem. I also learned from that day every day, the more I talked about my story, the more other people opened up about their stories before I knew already. I want to start a podcast and I knew it’s going to be about life stories. Just when I started to open up hearing other people’s stories, I was able to shape it into the fact that no matter who we are, we have a story.

00:15:14:08 – 00:15:35:22

Roula

Yeah, maybe someone went to the grocery shop and had a bad interaction with with a stranger. This is a story it doesn’t have about life drama. It doesn’t have to be about hitting rock bottom and finding the dream. Every person have a story.

00:15:35:22 – 00:15:36:18

Rosie

Yeah.

00:15:36:20 – 00:15:49:09

Roula

And I wanted to document it in my podcast because it want to make a book of their story, but it will lift someone else’s spirits. It became my passion.

00:15:49:11 – 00:16:13:15

Rosie

It’s beautiful. Your podcast. It gives not only the person being interviewed a voice, but it gives the listeners a voice, because I think a lot of the stories you showcase on there, when you listen, you can relate to a lot of it and you feel less alone, which I think is such a powerful way to create connection. You know, you can’t see the other person.

00:16:13:15 – 00:16:39:20

Rosie

If I’m listening to your podcast, I’m not interacting with them, but I’ve formed a connection with you as the host and whoever you’re interviewing. And I think it’s it’s beautiful. And something I want to hear more about from you is you’ve mentioned a couple of times how stories or memories from your childhood really helped you realize the importance of story in your creativity as a child.

00:16:39:20 – 00:17:05:15

Rosie

You grew up in a war zone, and for someone like me that is so far removed from my exposure events. But I was listening to one of your episodes where you spoke a bit about that and what really stood out to me, which probably seems ridiculous to you and obvious, but you were still having all those normal childhood teenage experiences.

00:17:05:17 – 00:17:20:19

Rosie

You know, you were talking about dancing to Rick Astley and going on your first date. It was beautiful and it reminded me how human we are. Can you share with us what are your memories growing up in Lebanon?

00:17:20:24 – 00:17:30:12

Roula

It has a lot to do with stories. Indeed, especially when my kids were teenagers. I had like in full control eruption of memories.

00:17:30:13 – 00:17:32:05

Rosie

Yeah.

00:17:32:07 – 00:18:01:07

Roula

Of my childhood and teenage years. They triggered all of this in me. The thing is, growing up in Lebanon and the war, I was born in the war, so I saw my parents fear and worry and they were terrified for our lives and well-being and safety. I’ve seen stuff that made me so scared. I almost pissed in my pants.

00:18:01:09 – 00:18:28:20

Roula

I remember very vividly. I remember my father running, taking me in his arms and running to the shelter. I was I was maybe ten years old. What I took from this memory, his love to me, I didn’t take from it the trauma of the war. I was like, how much he loves me to carry me in this speed and take me away.

00:18:28:22 – 00:18:52:19

Roula

Of course, the war in the Ukraine brought a lot of these memories, and I’m thinking of the people in the Ukraine and the teenagers. Teenagers that life goes on. War or no war. It’s sad and traumatic just to have to grow, just like our teenager grow in the time of COVID, this memories of the war and the stories we were I was a lot at home.

00:18:52:23 – 00:19:30:03

Roula

We couldn’t go anywhere or in the bomb shelter or in a safe house where families gather because their house is safe, is underground. People sitting there, my father, the neighbors, their friends, we used to be in a house with 50 persons just hiding there, watching TV, cooking and telling stories. A lot of stories about the war, about people who died or who was fleeing, about massacres and bloodshed, but also about I do remember how the mothers back then, they felt we children did that.

00:19:30:03 – 00:19:32:11

Roula

Understand? Maybe I understood it later.

00:19:32:13 – 00:19:33:13

Rosie

Yeah.

00:19:33:15 – 00:19:49:21

Roula

Talk about having sex when so many people are in the same room sleeping or, you know, their husbands flirting with the neighbors, the neighbors flirting back. Even bottles of whiskey were getting open sometimes.

00:19:49:23 – 00:19:50:12

Rosie

A.

00:19:50:14 – 00:20:15:10

Roula

Lot of life during the war. This is the bright side. Luckily, I have a lot of memories of it. Of course, there are also moments where we had to buy bread. Bread was very scarce and we decided we cannot stand in the line, separate, pretend that we’re not family, so that each one of us would get a bag of bread.

00:20:15:12 – 00:20:36:12

Roula

And that was like at five in the morning because we have to stand there very early. We didn’t have water, so we all had to shower and one bucket of water. We didn’t have electricity. We spent nights just with a candle like melting the candle and we melted it again and playing with it, making forms with our fingers.

00:20:36:14 – 00:21:06:05

Roula

This is how I grew up. I came to the Netherlands, didn’t know that I still had war trauma. I came here and I pretend I was pretending. I had the normal life. I knew I’m different because at the time I was here in the year 2000, my ex was very young, so all his friends were traveling the world, spending years in Australia, going every weekend to visit the ship.

00:21:06:05 – 00:21:32:17

Roula

The trip. This was all their conversation. I couldn’t have a conversation with them. I don’t have their experience. I could talk about music because I think I dissected every rock band and pop band throughout the 15 years of war. I can talk about books. This is what we did. And Dating Life continued. More than that, I didn’t have anything to tell.

00:21:32:22 – 00:22:00:14

Roula

I saw people going on vacation. What’s an American movie or European movie? You see them like filling in the car and with a dog and having this camping chairs and go in camping, vacation. I longed for that. I longed for it silently because I was also different in Lebanon. I wanted to go to a country where people stop at the traffic light.

00:22:00:20 – 00:22:20:23

Roula

They have don’t have to worry about water. They go on vacation. But I didn’t see it because the hell am I going to tell this in Lebanon? Who’s going there will think I’m just a daydreamer. They want me better to focus on my studies. That’s also come in here and I’ve been able to share some experiences with people for so many years.

00:22:21:00 – 00:22:50:14

Roula

Made me also lonely, could hear stories. I was continuously pretending that I’m fine and I know what people are talking about. I haven’t had all these experiences at all. When I started traveling, I thought I when I was back in Lebanon, sitting at the window watching the airplane flying and thinking, This airplane is taking all my hopes and all my dreams because I want to be there.

00:22:50:16 – 00:23:16:14

Roula

When I flew here to the Netherlands for the first time, I was very excited. I couldn’t believe myself. I’m on the airplane now that I live here. I feel so safe and content. I don’t want to travel anymore. I feel homesick if I go further than any place in Europe, I feel safe. I’m in my home where people respect the traffic lives and don’t.

00:23:16:20 – 00:23:46:15

Roula

They are no pushovers. And this is what I was looking for. This brings me to a small remark, but this is also a story that I hope one day we kind of captured in our podcast. I wasn’t an immigrant, I got married and my ex brought me to the Netherlands. A lot of people thought I came here for the Dutch passport, especially when we after 13 years after our divorce, his family.

00:23:46:17 – 00:24:12:21

Roula

I don’t know who else thought he she has her passport now she left you? What is not easy to understand is not only the passport a reason for someone to look for a better life. I wanted to marry my equal. I couldn’t find my equal in the Arabic culture. My ex was my equal. This is what I was looking for.

00:24:12:23 – 00:24:40:00

Roula

I was looking for safety, not of immigrant. Look for safety, but not only this. I wasn’t looking for safety. I wanted to become European because I think since the World War ended, Europe is growing and getting better. While the Middle East is not. My longing is to grow and get better. I can’t do it in the middle East.

00:24:40:02 – 00:25:04:04

Roula

I’m on the side. I want rule or regulations. I want people to respect the law. Don’t get angry if they have to pay a fine because eventually the fine will be invested in the country because of corruption. There’s always an excuse. Why not to do that? I wanted to leave. Yes, but firstly I wanted to leave for my equal.

00:25:04:06 – 00:25:37:12

Roula

Someone who would be my equal. I found him. He was my equals and all kind of possible ways. And this is why I feel very much comfortable in my life building my life despite all the time and telling the stories my story, listening to other people’s stories, reassured me, Give me some kind of reassurance that no matter where we are in the world, it’s not the grass is not greener on the other side.

00:25:37:14 – 00:26:08:20

Roula

It but we make the choices to find a place where we are willing to give and take. Not everyone has the opportunity to give this because my family in Lebanon, they have a very poor economical life. No future, no like not one even light at the end of the tunnel. But I also know they’re happy they’re there, right?

00:26:09:00 – 00:26:09:19

Rosie

Yeah.

00:26:09:21 – 00:26:25:08

Roula

They like it. It fits them. That’s their story. My story? I’m an atheist, feminist and want to live in a growing place. I don’t fit in the Middle East.

00:26:25:08 – 00:26:32:01

Rosie

I was going to say, you must have been seen as quite outrageous.

00:26:32:03 – 00:26:36:03

Roula

Outrageous. I was a good girlfriend, but not a good wife.

00:26:36:05 – 00:26:37:08

Rosie

okay. Yeah.

00:26:37:08 – 00:27:04:02

Roula

My mom, we had my mom and die. We had tough conversations. She used to be very sad. From what I say, I tell her, Mom, don’t ever think that I will marry an Arabic guy. I don’t want a guy who would come home from work with his feet up on the table. I want a guy who will come home, help me with the kids, cook, clean with me hand in hand.

00:27:04:04 – 00:27:39:19

Roula

And she cries because back then in Lebanon or the Middle East in general, if a girl does a marriage, she’s she’s lost and doesn’t marry and live her life. She’s a sinner. That worries her, worried her very much. And ironically, there are many other stuff to worry about. Then my, my, my preferences in a man. Yeah, this all is a reason why I am the person who I am and why I like to hear stories from people.

00:27:39:19 – 00:28:02:05

Roula

Let them tell their story. Because when I came here and I thought I had the story, well, I grew up in the war and I didn’t have any privilege, blah, blah, blah. This is bullshit. Because in Europe where I’m living the hearing, so many heartbreaking stories, so we’re all united on that point. Actually.

00:28:02:07 – 00:28:17:01

Rosie

That’s an important point, I think. How did you stay true to who you were when you were surrounded by, I guess, a very traditional culture and society music?

00:28:17:03 – 00:28:22:08

Roula

I lived in my headphones and shut my mouth.

00:28:22:10 – 00:28:23:08

Rosie

Wow.

00:28:23:10 – 00:28:52:13

Roula

I did not say what my preferences are. In a way, in a country within in war, civil war or religious war, you have to belong to somewhere. Otherwise you’re totally lost. I refused to belong to somewhere, so I did not say my opinion. And I let people just be who they are. Only when I left I felt free.

00:28:52:15 – 00:28:56:20

Roula

Finally, I can be who I am.

00:28:56:22 – 00:29:00:17

Roula

Now that my kids are older, they have questions.

00:29:00:18 – 00:29:02:04

Rosie

Yeah.

00:29:02:06 – 00:29:17:17

Roula

As they’re 2018. So they’re trying to find their own clan and they confront me with a lot of questions that I don’t have an answer for because they just sound that important to me.

00:29:17:19 – 00:29:19:23

Rosie

00:29:20:00 – 00:29:45:13

Roula

Know that they are important to them. I have to go and dig further. But back home, when I was in Lebanon, yes, I listen to music all the time. I did not stop listening to music because that was my only connection to the world and all my dreams where are recorded in these albums or even on the video clips?

00:29:45:15 – 00:30:10:04

Roula

I remember watching on Top of The Pops, Cyndi Lauper singing time after Time. Yeah, I was looking at her and her hair, the colors, how it was shaved on the sides, her clothes and everything. And I was thinking what her parents things, but obviously she doesn’t give a damn about it. She is who she is and I love that.

00:30:10:04 – 00:30:42:08

Roula

Yeah, I wanted to be like that. Maybe not adopt the same style, but I wanted to be free just to be myself. And in a way I was free because I did a lot of things that made me happy and I didn’t care about what others thought, but I felt like I’m living two lives, one life that makes me happy and another life that is conformed to the society.

00:30:42:10 – 00:31:16:06

Roula

For a very long time I felt I’m doing something wrong for doing the things I like to do without having the permission or the acceptance. Then I realized others are doing the same and lying about it and pretending it’s not important to them. Years after I left, probably 20 years after, or maybe a little less, I stopped feeling bad about the things that I’ve done because they were normal.

00:31:16:11 – 00:31:49:04

Roula

I was a teenager, I smoked joints and I had sex and I had boyfriends and I was partying and going out and not being embarrassed about it. But because of the culture, I had to. But this is living I cannot be a goody two shoes just to find a husband. My parents felt like somehow starting to worry about not thinking of settling, but I was having too much fun.

00:31:49:04 – 00:32:13:11

Roula

Why would I want to settle when I came here and I start living again, my freedom without having any guilt feeling and my kids who are teenager and I’m encouraging them to live their life now because later they will be busy with other stuff in life. I realized goodness all the time that I thought I’m doing the wrong things.

00:32:13:13 – 00:32:26:02

Roula

I was just being a normal person in an abnormal society, right? Ironically, one of my daughters is very conservative, mom, so I’m even too much for her.

00:32:26:02 – 00:32:31:06

Rosie

Wow. Yeah. That must be a challenge for medical.

00:32:31:08 – 00:32:32:23

Roula

Very confronting.

00:32:33:00 – 00:32:36:08

Rosie

Was the Netherlands, Netherlands everything you thought it would be?

00:32:36:10 – 00:32:43:23

Roula

I did it like I haven’t heard of anyone in Lebanon who went to live in the Netherlands. I knew Netherlands from the football team. Wow.

00:32:43:23 – 00:32:44:17

Rosie

Yeah.

00:32:44:19 – 00:32:52:13

Roula

And we used to laugh because. Okay, Netherlands, tall white people, blue eyes. But the football team were all dark.

00:32:52:13 – 00:32:54:00

Rosie

00:32:54:02 – 00:33:24:01

Roula

I couldn’t, like, make sense out of that. I never heard of Surinam or Curacao or the Caribbean, which where back then, long time ago. Colonized until I came here. And I realized that this country is small and beautiful. It’s clean, it’s organized. It’s like weird. And my ever going to learn the language.

00:33:24:03 – 00:33:25:20

Rosie

00:33:25:22 – 00:33:42:10

Roula

What am I going to do, speak Dutch? Never heard of that. What is this? With the help with my of my ex, I integrated and learned the language. Well, help or twisting my arm? I don’t know. Actually.

00:33:42:12 – 00:33:45:02

Rosie

I want to say it.

00:33:45:04 – 00:34:01:03

Roula

But I’m glad we did it because at the end of the day I support speaking the language of the country we live in because we owe this country our happiness. I mean, given that everybody’s feeling happy, of course I’m speaking to myself.

00:34:01:03 – 00:34:02:07

Rosie

Yeah, yeah.

00:34:02:09 – 00:34:07:11

Roula

I know that other people’s experiences are different, but this is my story today.

00:34:07:13 – 00:34:23:16

Rosie

It it definitely is. And something I want to say, you know, you say you owe your happiness to the country, but I also want to say it sounds like you have fought fiercely for your happiness. It didn’t happen by mistake. Would you agree with that?

00:34:23:18 – 00:34:47:01

Roula

I do, actually. What you said just now, like kind of brings tears to my eyes because I underestimate how hard how much I went after things. I had a goal, I had a dream, and I wanted to go for it. When I first was asked to come to the Netherlands for work before I met my ex, I was like 21 or 22.

00:34:47:01 – 00:34:50:22

Roula

I felt I won like the lottery.

00:34:50:22 – 00:34:51:20

Rosie

Yeah.

00:34:51:22 – 00:35:06:17

Roula

Finally I’m going on a plane, finally getting out to Europe to see all the stuff that I only saw on TV, movies and on Euronews That was the only European channel.

00:35:06:17 – 00:35:07:20

Rosie

I could watch.

00:35:07:22 – 00:35:24:08

Roula

On Euronews. Finally, I’m going to see that I put on my best clothes for when I went on the airplane. My travel, I went and I shopped for the nicest jeans, the best t shirt. I wanted to look at my best for this.

00:35:24:08 – 00:35:31:23

Rosie

Every trip I’m going on a date with a country.

00:35:32:00 – 00:35:33:16

Roula

It was. It was really good.

00:35:33:22 – 00:35:35:08

Rosie

Yeah.

00:35:35:10 – 00:35:59:11

Roula

I fought for it and I’m still fighting because I want my daughters to be happy where they are. I have not done fighting. It’s a trade now. I have different kind of things raised in my head because of the war in Ukraine. What is our future? What’s going to happen? Where do I see myself if something happens? Can I handle another war again?

00:35:59:13 – 00:36:22:06

Roula

I worry about this stuff. At this moment. I feel like my personal safety is being shaken because of the war in the Ukraine. Other people don’t have this experience because they haven’t seen a war. I can’t say this anymore because a lot of people in the Ukraine and a lot of Ukrainian in the Netherlands, the world is so close to us and I live the war.

00:36:22:08 – 00:36:25:23

Roula

It makes me think, what’s the next safe country to go to?

00:36:26:03 – 00:36:39:01

Rosie

Right. And I what is it like talking to other people who haven’t experienced war? Like, is it hard to convey to them your concerns? Do they take it seriously?

00:36:39:03 – 00:37:02:07

Roula

That’s a very nice question. The closest person to me is my husband. He’s continuously looking on Reddit, Ukrainian movies of war movies, analysis, and he comes to me to show me so excited, like he wants me to see. And I’m like, I’ve seen this firsthand.

00:37:02:07 – 00:37:02:21

Rosie

Yeah.

00:37:02:23 – 00:37:34:05

Roula

What you what you’re telling me is nothing new. I even know the sound of the bomb when it flies before it hits. It’s like there is nothing that I haven’t seen for him. It’s so weird and exciting and he can’t believe what he’s seeing. But then he reflected on that actually when he listened to my first episodes on the podcast, he didn’t know the story at all.

00:37:34:05 – 00:37:35:16

Roula

My kids also didn’t know this.

00:37:35:20 – 00:37:37:18

Rosie

So I didn’t know that.

00:37:37:20 – 00:38:00:06

Roula

They didn’t when they listened to it. My husband was silent because he knew I grew up in the war, but I have never described to him what it was or if I do, it’s in a joking way, right? And now he feels that my fears are true.

00:38:00:11 – 00:38:01:17

Rosie

00:38:01:19 – 00:38:30:06

Roula

He, he just do not take them seriously because he thinks he knows better of how to survive. Yes. And a camping site. Yes. But in a war, I feel like I know better how to survive. But I don’t want to think of that. I don’t for other people. I have a Ukrainian friend who is really struggling of seeing her country, suffering her friends and everything.

00:38:30:12 – 00:38:52:02

Roula

So she’s the first person I know who’s seen in its firsthand. But for the rest, no. I listen to podcast about the Ukraine war from army retired army percent. I like what they talk about because everything they say, it resonates to me. I understand their language.

00:38:52:03 – 00:38:54:09

Rosie

00:38:54:11 – 00:39:02:14

Roula

This is the closest, I guess. And war is like an abusive partner. You hate it, but you miss it.

00:39:02:16 – 00:39:03:21

Rosie

00:39:03:23 – 00:39:22:03

Roula

It does something to the person, especially when it’s a very long 15 years of war I’ve been through with other people in Lebanon. When the war was over, I was lost. What am I going to do now? I don’t know how to live normal.

00:39:22:05 – 00:39:22:24

Rosie

Yeah.

00:39:23:01 – 00:39:41:23

Roula

And there are a lot of moments. I miss it because we were so close friends, family, neighbors, and suddenly life is normal and everyone goes their way and you lose this friendship, this camaraderie, this good, strong bond. I still miss that.

00:39:42:00 – 00:39:42:17

Rosie

Yeah.

00:39:42:23 – 00:39:44:12

Roula

Nostalgic feeling.

00:39:44:14 – 00:40:09:09

Rosie

Yeah. And that that’s such a juxtaposition, you know, the atrocities of war. But then there was something so beautiful in there, the friendships and the community. And I never would have even thought of it that way. And it must be there must be such an inner turmoil sort of dealing with all those feelings and not having many people to talk to about it who have actually been through it and understand.

00:40:09:11 – 00:40:22:17

Rosie

Because as much as I can listen to you, I can’t relate because I’ve never been through it. How can someone who doesn’t not possibly relate? So I really I empathize with that and.

00:40:22:19 – 00:40:53:08

Roula

But I’m glad you can’t relate. Right? Right. I don’t wish it to people. It’s just it’s like, you know, like any soldier who goes fighting overseas. And unfortunately, we had a lot of wars overseas in the past two decades. They come back and they I think they have the same feeling of loneliness. People don’t understand what they’ve seen, what they’ve been through, and then they get closer together as soldiers when they return.

00:40:53:10 – 00:40:55:16

Roula

Sometimes I’m like, I want to reach out to them.

00:40:55:20 – 00:40:56:12

Rosie

Yeah.

00:40:56:14 – 00:41:14:19

Roula

Talk to them. Mostly they have traumatic experiences. I don’t want to bring this up again. So. Yeah, yeah, that’s true. It’s people listen and feel it in a way, but it’s hard to imagine what it is.

00:41:14:21 – 00:41:36:12

Rosie

Yeah, but I think you sharing, you know, that short episode, I can’t remember how long it is. Maybe 20 minutes or something of you talking through your experience. It really took me on a journey listening to that, and I feel like I better understand a tiny bit of what it might have been like growing up in a war.

00:41:36:12 – 00:42:05:08

Rosie

And, you know, I think there was a sentence you said in that, you know, as a 13 year old, you were essentially living underground most of the time, and that the visual that painted for me was just, Wow. And the night before you went on your first date, there was a car bomb like, whoa, So, you know, anyone listening to this episode now, I highly recommend going and listening to Rolls podcast, especially that I think, Is it the first episode that you talk through that?

00:42:05:10 – 00:42:06:06

Rosie

It’s one of the first.

00:42:06:06 – 00:42:07:05

Roula

One, yes.

00:42:07:07 – 00:42:24:04

Rosie

It’s just it was absolutely eye opening, but, you know, I’ll say it again, I mentioned earlier one of the beautiful things that stood out was just you’re still having those typical teenage experiences. You’re still telling stories to your dad to get out and meet Tony. You know, I mean.

00:42:24:06 – 00:42:26:22

Rosie

These stories are lies.

00:42:26:24 – 00:42:46:14

Rosie

And it just it made me smile like it was a small bit of light in. And what was such a, I’m sure, a difficult situation. And something else that stood out for me is that, you know, you said you’re really proud of what you’ve been through. And I was wondering, can you share and explain that a bit more for me?

00:42:46:19 – 00:43:25:05

Roula

What I’ve been through taught me to be compassionate, work hard and truly appreciate the people around me, even if they look strong or if they are even if they are rude or mean because there is something going on in their life that made them like this. Growing up, a lot of people had depression, trauma issues. They couldn’t really deal with stuff and they overreacted or they blew up on others.

00:43:25:07 – 00:44:02:17

Roula

And this is not who they are going through. The war really taught me what we see is not the reality. There is something if we try to go further in the conversation or saying the right things for that person, of course, I mean, we have to learn what are the right things. If a person different. This is what it taught me and it taught me hard work because I remember we did not the Lebanese generation, my generation did not miss a day at school during the war.

00:44:02:17 – 00:44:04:03

Rosie

Wow.

00:44:04:05 – 00:44:31:03

Roula

Because the schools did their program, let’s say six months and three months summer. We went to school every day. If there was no bombing, we went to school every day, even on Saturdays, sometimes on a Sunday, as they did everything possible to make sure the young generation is not missing out. That and on school. The school system is not the government school system.

00:44:31:09 – 00:44:58:20

Roula

I went to Christian schools, so also we had to pay a lot of money for the tuition, which also I remember the struggle my parents had to pay for our school and to because it was private school, most of the schools were private for a lot of people. They made sure that we all get the right education. And despite the war, there is this pride in Lebanese person.

00:44:58:22 – 00:45:01:18

Roula

I don’t know if I appreciate that or not. This is a different.

00:45:01:18 – 00:45:02:04

Rosie

Topic.

00:45:02:07 – 00:45:27:00

Roula

Cultural topic, but there is this pride in the Lebanese person that they want to strive and be the best they can to compete with others. This brought us to the fact that we had the good education, but we worked very hard. We didn’t have the time to to relax. We had to do our homework. We had to finish.

00:45:27:02 – 00:45:52:06

Roula

And also because my parents didn’t have a lot of money and I had to pay for my own schools later, I started working early. Of course, a lot of people work early at 18. It’s fine. I mean, I appreciate every person. It just make us realize every person who stopped working as a teenager is working hard to build something for the future.

00:45:52:08 – 00:46:15:19

Roula

Something that I see with my kids. They have everything. Even though they work, they don’t feel they have to work. They’re doing it because they want this extra money for themselves. And that makes me wonder, did I do a good job? Or I should have been showing them less privilege and giving them more responsibly.

00:46:15:21 – 00:46:31:15

Rosie

That must be such a dilemma as a parent trying to figure out the right approach. And I’m I’m wondering, how much do you think growing up in the war has influenced the way you parent.

00:46:31:17 – 00:46:44:14

Roula

Is influenced a lot in the wrong way in the beginning, okay, because I wanted to give them everything I didn’t have, so I started compensating for things they don’t really need.

00:46:44:17 – 00:46:46:01

Rosie

Yeah.

00:46:46:03 – 00:47:15:13

Roula

Then when I started having struggles with with them, when they became in puberty and then teenagers, I started realizing maybe I gave them too much. I was so worried for their feelings and their happiness, their future, whatever. I mean, every mom has this. I think it’s normal. It depends what background a person has. It can be magnified or stabilized.

00:47:15:15 – 00:47:42:07

Roula

So for me, yeah, I wanted to give them. I wanted also to for them to be themselves, not to be restrict by a religion, by social culture or specific norms that they have to meet. No, I wanted them to be themselves and realized teenager is a teenager in the entire world no matter what the situation is.

00:47:42:11 – 00:47:43:03

Rosie

Yeah.

00:47:43:05 – 00:48:00:22

Roula

They will behave the same. They will think the same. They’re going to be teenagers if it’s war, if it’s poverty, if it’s, I don’t know, living in the desert or in or in Bolivia, where people have really little and a lot of crimes, it’s going to be the same.

00:48:00:24 – 00:48:06:15

Rosie

Yeah. I mean, do you do your kids ask you much about what life was like when you were growing up in Lebanon?

00:48:06:17 – 00:48:09:16

Roula

No, they’re not interested.

00:48:09:18 – 00:48:11:07

Rosie

Maybe one day,

00:48:11:09 – 00:48:13:19

Roula

Yes. When they have their own kids, probably.

00:48:13:19 – 00:48:16:20

Rosie

That’s true. Yeah. Yeah.

00:48:17:00 – 00:48:18:04

Roula

I hope I would live this long.

00:48:18:04 – 00:48:39:04

Rosie

The beautiful thing is your stories will live on in your podcast as well for generations, which I think is is amazing. And if we could talk some more about this podcast, because I know you want this podcast to be more than just a little thing on the side. So tell me, tell me about your ambitions in the podcasting space.

00:48:39:06 – 00:48:40:19

Rosie

What are your dreams there?

00:48:40:21 – 00:49:01:06

Roula

My dreams, yes. I don’t think I want to go back to be a finance manager ever again. If I if I don’t have to, I see my podcast, even though I only have five episodes. I’ve spent a lot of time learning. And I want to ask myself from the top ten.

00:49:01:08 – 00:49:03:03

Rosie

I’m.

00:49:03:05 – 00:49:40:04

Roula

Working to maintain this level, which means for me, I’m already put in high standards for myself because podcasting is a competitive world. It is new, but it’s difficult and maybe, you know, just like me, sometimes you feel like, why am I doing this? Or find the motivation? Because it is hard work. But I just know for myself, I have to be strong and keep doing this because I want this podcast to grow so that more people feel encouraged to tell their stories.

00:49:40:06 – 00:50:01:18

Roula

Hopefully going to become more of a storytelling thing that hoping that I will go on tour and have some of my guests who like to sell their story. I do work with the storytellers. She’s gotten me to to to be a better interviewer and to be a better storyteller because I’m learning on the job. Yeah.

00:50:01:20 – 00:50:03:00

Rosie

I can relate to that.

00:50:03:03 – 00:50:23:08

Roula

And I like to write. I write a lot of my episodes. I write them only, wow, I’m learning to do that. Also, I want to advance and hopefully one day my podcast will have enough listeners that I can also live from it to give it more attention, more time and keep growing. That’s my goal.

00:50:23:08 – 00:50:45:03

Rosie

I love it and I’m proud of you for voicing that. You know, I think it’s so important for us to to have these dreams, who know, who knows what the path is going to be like for you getting there. I know for me, things rarely go to plan, but it’s always it always feels better to chase after a goal than to just not even dream of it in the first place.

00:50:45:03 – 00:50:45:22

Rosie

So I think.

00:50:45:24 – 00:50:48:00

Roula

And take it little step at a time.

00:50:48:00 – 00:50:49:11

Rosie

Yeah.

00:50:49:13 – 00:51:17:07

Roula

Even if I make mistakes and sometimes I’m embarrassed and I sound ridiculous or whatever, it’s okay. I’m learning from it. Maybe of my age. I think aging is very important and a matter that you care less how people will think. And I’ve never been someone who want to be perfect on social media. Yeah, except for my hair. Because I have seen her.

00:51:17:09 – 00:51:20:13

Rosie

Your hair’s beautiful.

00:51:20:15 – 00:51:41:20

Roula

So, yes, I make mistakes. I let myself be human and vulnerable. It’s okay if people want to criticize me, it’s fine. This is their opinion. But I continue to have the courage to keep what I’m doing because my courage will encourage others. Yes. To come on board and join me.

00:51:41:22 – 00:52:05:08

Rosie

I certainly find it encouraging. And I wonder, can you share any words of wisdom for people who perhaps are letting fear get in the way and they’re worried about what other people are going to think if they choose to do something different and chase their dream? What wisdom can you share with them to help move through that fear and stop caring so much?

00:52:05:10 – 00:52:39:19

Roula

I don’t have a wisdom. I have a life experience. Yeah, that I can share is that we can never please everybody and it’s not important what I say to myself when I’m recording an episode. The world has billions of people. I cannot please them all, but I am sure there is someone who wants to listen to me and that’s someone matters.

00:52:39:21 – 00:53:00:19

Roula

The rest don’t really matter. Yesterday, give you an example about this wisdom experience. I went with my son to jump in a jumping place. I have my cards and on the cards of my podcast I put a QR scan so that people immediately can log into my podcast. It’s something technologically.

00:53:00:21 – 00:53:03:02

Rosie

For me, it’s very cool.

00:53:03:04 – 00:53:26:24

Roula

I was sitting there and I saw the mothers and fathers sitting waiting for their kids, scrolling on their phone, turning pages of a magazine, not reading, No. You know what? I’m going now to get the courage and give them my card. Yeah. So I stood I went to the first mother. I told her, I’m not trying to sell you anything.

00:53:27:01 – 00:53:52:19

Roula

I just to tell you I make a podcast. This is the title of my podcast, The Life, our first podcast after leaving for Apollo. And this is the right moment, I think, for you to listen because it’s boring to wait till your children finishing their game. If you’re like, Please, here’s my card, try it. I cannot grow it on social media because it’s a whole other business, but I can grow it with word of mouth.

00:53:52:21 – 00:54:20:05

Roula

So please. She was happy. She started asking me questions about myself and she took the card, promised to listen. I moved to another mother. She was sitting. She was like I saw on her body language that she was very reserved, doesn’t want to be bothered. I asked her if I can talk to her. She said yes. I didn’t give her the long story as I did the first time because I could see on her body is she’s not that’s open.

00:54:20:07 – 00:54:33:22

Roula

But I told her about the podcast. I gave her the cards. She she took the card from me. So her body language accepted the card and said, I don’t usually listen to podcast. Maybe I will try it. That’s for me and win.

00:54:33:22 – 00:54:35:00

Rosie

Yeah. Yeah.

00:54:35:02 – 00:55:09:19

Roula

I moved to the third parent, a guy who was like with his hands telling me he doesn’t want to be bothered. Yeah, it’s fine. I told him, okay, that’s it, no problem. I walked back to my seat. My adrenaline was high because I went out of my way to give boss podcast cards. It was scary, but I did not think for a second of the guy who rejected me or of the mom who wasn’t enthusiastic about it because they don’t matter.

00:55:09:21 – 00:55:40:20

Roula

What matters is that’s one lady that wanted to listen. I can try, but not everyone will be happy. After a few minutes, the lady came to me and whispered in my ear that she sent my podcast to four of her friends. Wow. She praised me for my courage. I was like flabbergasted because I took the step which I doubted if I should do it or not, and I did get a result from it.

00:55:40:22 – 00:55:44:10

Roula

So for the rest, doesn’t matter. Go and do what you want.

00:55:44:10 – 00:55:56:14

Rosie

Yeah. If you didn’t face your fear and be brave and courageous and do that, that lady may never have discovered your podcast and those for other people she sent it to might not have either.

00:55:56:18 – 00:56:23:01

Roula

One important thing I like to add, and I learned it the hard way, it’s best that I don’t take anything personal. If they refused my podcast or refused to talk to me, they don’t know me. It’s not personal. It’s not their moment. They have their life. They have their story to worry about, to worry about. Yeah, very important not to take things personal.

00:56:23:03 – 00:56:23:21

Roula

Keep trying.

00:56:23:24 – 00:56:50:10

Rosie

Yeah, I agree. And that’s something I really struggle with. I have to admit. I take things very personally and I. I have to work really hard not to because it’s not all about me. People have other things going on in their lives, and it’s not personal. Maybe sometimes it is, but I shouldn’t be taking these things personally. It just uses up all this energy and it’s definitely a waste.

00:56:50:13 – 00:57:05:11

Roula

You know, when it’s personal, when you care about that person, yeah. Then it matters if it’s personal or not. But for the strangers in this world, nothing is personal, very wise.

00:57:05:11 – 00:57:12:22

Rosie

And how have the people in your life you love and care about? How have they reacted to you embarking on this podcast adventure?

00:57:12:24 – 00:57:40:20

Roula

My husband is very proud of me. Yeah, well, that’s funny to say because I had the guest or my coach maybe she said to me, You carry a lot about your husband’s opinion. And I realized, Yes, I do, because we both help each other grow, and I think that’s what makes our relationship so strong. We help each other grow, even though sometimes we are very critical to it, towards each others.

00:57:40:22 – 00:58:12:06

Roula

And we I go like angry thinking he doesn’t support me. And I’ve said that I think about it. Yeah, he was right, you know, like go through lot just make up a good word because the guy was just trying to advise you. So yes, he is my he’s truly my cheerleader. Because even though in the beginning I was afraid he won’t listen to my episodes, he’s a podcast listener experts, you know, probably what I mean.

00:58:12:08 – 00:58:24:09

Roula

He listens also to so many podcasts that he understands what a good podcast is and then one day he was busy in the house and he binge listened to my episodes.

00:58:24:13 – 00:58:25:06

Rosie

Wow.

00:58:25:08 – 00:58:36:16

Roula

He was so happy. Really. He expressed his happiness his how proud he is. My recent episode. He even felt tears in his eyes because he was so touched by the story.

00:58:36:16 – 00:58:37:14

Rosie

Wow.

00:58:37:16 – 00:58:43:22

Roula

And that’s my husband, who is really the tough guy. He’s not like someone who was very emotional.

00:58:43:24 – 00:58:48:01

Rosie

Emotionally triggered.

00:58:48:03 – 00:58:56:07

Roula

My daughters, I think they’re proud of me, but they don’t say it very much. I know they’re proud of me when they like my social media posts.

00:58:56:07 – 00:58:57:05

Rosie

Yeah, okay.

00:58:57:07 – 00:59:22:15

Roula

That’s enough for me. One of my daughters said to me, But mom, like, why do you use your podcast voice? like, that’s not my podcast voice. When I record, I’m so relaxed and in the moment that this is who I am at that moment because I don’t know if you experienced this. It’s challenging. Also for our guests.

00:59:22:17 – 00:59:52:16

Roula

Sitting behind the microphone can be intimidating. This is something very serious to take, and when I sit behind the microphone with my headset, with my story written, I have this serene feeling inside of me because to bring you back Rosita, our initial goal, I’m doing I like, Yeah. And then my daughter looks at me and things. My mother is crazy.

00:59:52:18 – 00:59:54:03

Roula

She thinks she has a beautiful.

00:59:54:03 – 00:59:59:02

Rosie

Voice as she goes on with her life.

00:59:59:04 – 01:00:07:20

Rosie

Now, I love that. I think I’ve got, you know, some people in my life are supportive of what I’m doing and others just sort of nod and smile. They don’t really get it.

01:00:07:22 – 01:00:12:07

Roula

But are they podcast listeners, The other ones?

01:00:12:09 – 01:00:37:22

Rosie

Yes and no. There’s a combination. I think some people it’s so foreign to them to go against the status quo. And when I say that, I mean leaving a 9 to 5 in a so-called secure job, which is what I’ve done, and go after something that you really want to do that just lights you out like, I love this so much, I don’t know how I’m going to make.

01:00:38:03 – 01:00:44:21

Rosie

I’m just going to figure it out. And to some people that is so terrifying that they just don’t know what to say.

01:00:45:00 – 01:00:52:00

Roula

Look, those who really rely on their financial income day to day life. Yeah, this is a big step.

01:00:52:00 – 01:00:52:24

Rosie

Yeah.

01:00:53:01 – 01:01:07:16

Roula

Another podcast may be any hope or dream they have. They find it a big step and it’s okay. One day probably they will be able to do that. There are also people I know they just like their night to five.

01:01:07:19 – 01:01:09:04

Rosie

It’s true. Yeah.

01:01:09:06 – 01:01:25:12

Roula

And think what I’m doing is a waste of time. But this is their opinion. Yeah. That will never be my good friend. No, this is their opinion. And it’s okay. And with this kind of people when we meet, I don’t talk about the podcast, right. Unless they ask.

01:01:25:12 – 01:02:02:05

Rosie

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it’s, it’s okay for everybody to have different dreams isn’t it. That’s, that’s the beauty of it. We all have a different story and I think if we can all stay true to whatever that story is, that’s what makes it beautiful. And I think you helping people share their stories, hopes, helps them, or I hope it helps them own their story, because sometimes I think it’s easy to feel disconnected from our journey and not be proud of it, because I think we’ve all been through things that, you know, aren’t so nice and that would rather forget.

01:02:02:07 – 01:02:10:08

Rosie

But you can’t change your story. It’s there. What you can change, I think, is how you carry it forward.

01:02:10:10 – 01:02:15:09

Roula

I am, though, looking for people who have fun stories. because sometimes life is also fun.

01:02:15:09 – 01:02:30:21

Rosie

So true. Yeah. Yeah. So if anyone’s listening and and wants to be on as podcast, the Life Affairs podcast, we’ll put some contact details in the description because yeah, you’re always looking for, for people to have on you.

01:02:30:23 – 01:02:32:02

Roula

That’s true.

01:02:32:04 – 01:02:57:19

Rosie

well thank you so much. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. I’ve learned a lot. I hope you’ve had as much fun as me. It’s just been nice to learn more about you and hey Wisdom, you have to share. It is wisdom, all those experiences of wisdom. And I’m so glad that you shared it with us. So thank you so much and I can’t wait to have you on again.

01:02:57:21 – 01:03:26:07

Roula

I’m so glad you gave me this platform on your podcast to tell my story. It’s the first time that I talk about it in like this kind of way. And I like I like being here because it feels safe and comfortable. And I’m sure that the listener listening to the episodes, I’m looking forward to listen to other people’s stories on your own because you’re doing almost the same.

01:03:26:07 – 01:03:33:08

Roula

It’s just you don’t have one story. You’re diving into our life and asking us about it. Yeah, in various.

01:03:33:08 – 01:03:34:13

Rosie

Ways, yeah.

01:03:34:15 – 01:03:36:18

Roula

That makes us think and reflect.

01:03:36:24 – 01:03:56:14

Rosie

Yeah. Which is what I love. And and, you know, I’m glad you brought this up. You know, I guess we have the podcasts are similar, but we also do it in our own way. And I think what’s beautiful is we’re both supportive of each other. This isn’t some sort of I don’t know what the word is. It’s not a competition or or anything like that.

01:03:56:14 – 01:04:02:19

Rosie

It’s just supporting a fellow creative and an a woman is chasing her dreams. I think it’s wonderful.

01:04:02:22 – 01:04:07:11

Roula

Absolutely. No, there is no competition. That would be heartbreaking.

01:04:07:11 – 01:04:07:22

Rosie

Yeah.

01:04:07:23 – 01:04:24:17

Roula

To stop doing this because you’re scared of the competition. Yeah. It’s only support because we’re both trying to grow something. I think helping each other to grow is much easier than competing with our energy. On competing.

01:04:24:19 – 01:04:37:08

Rosie

I agree. Some people feel threatened by supporting other people, but I think it’s the best way to best way to be will only come out better for the. Thank you so much and we’ll talk again soon.

01:04:37:14 – 01:04:39:19

Roula

Thank you.

01:04:39:21 – 01:04:59:22

Rosie

If this episode resonated with you at all, could I please ask that you share it with a friend who you think could get value from it? And whilst you’re doing that, make sure you follow and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss another episode. And whilst you’re following us subscribing, please leave us a rating, preferably five stars and also a written review.

01:04:59:22 – 01:05:20:23

Rosie

Doing each of these things is going to help this podcast reach more people and impact more lives, which is at the end of the day, is what we’re here to do. Thank you so much. I appreciate you remember you, Metta. You’re worth it. And you are so, so capable. Take care of yourself and I’ll see you next week.