Shani (Marie Lou-Nahhas) and Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) in OITNB 7.   Photo credit: Netflix
Hello, thank you for stopping by! Today I want to share with you some of my recent inspirations. Please share your current favourites in the comments section, I am always excited to find new books, films, articles, series and inspiring content creators. Enjoy reading! 

Red (Kate Mulgrew), Gloria (Selenis Leyva), CO Alvarez (Nicholas Webber) and CO Stefanovic (Josh Segarra ) in OITNB 7.  Photo credit: Netflix
Orange Is The New Black Season 7-  NO SPOILERS 😊
This is the end of an era. OITNB's final season was by far the most emotional one, and, in my opinion, the best. I have so much respect to the show creators for having the courage to speak about the current world crisis and for doing it in such a beautiful way. Orange Is The New Black had a real impact on people's lives and it became a voice for those who don't have one. I never thought that a web series could be so groundbreaking and meaningful. Most of the main cast became not only famous and critically-acclaimed actors but also well-known women rights, human rights and LGBTQ rights activists. They made a change.
I love this show not only for the strong feminist message it sends but also for making me appreciate my freedom and having access to things that inmates often do not have access to, like sunshine. OITNB was a beautiful and entertaining ride.

Paperless Post
Kian is about to turn three (!), so I already started to think about a small party to celebrate this amazing little human. Most likely it will be animal-themed because he loves them so much. I want to keep the decorations and set up pretty simple to avoid unnecessary garbage and waste, this is why I will be sending out only online invitations this year. 
Our guests will receive the invitations that I designed using Paperless Post via email. I enjoyed making the cards because the whole process was not only fun but also efficient (and this is my inner Monica Geller's favourite word). There are tonnes of templates to choose from, and they all are customisable. In my dashboard, I can see who has received the invitation already, and who confirmed attendance. So simple, so satisfying. 

If you want to create some flyers or invitations, you can check out Paperless Post's offer here.

An exceptional portrait of Olga Tokarczuk by Tomasz Lazar for The New Yorker
Ruth Franklin's article about Olga Tokarczuk in 'The New Yorker': 'Olga Tokarczuk’s Novels Against Nationalism'
Olga Tokarczuk is one of the most critically acclaimed Polish writers, and one of my two favourite authors of all times. She stands proudly for what she believes in, and she braids it beautifully into her novels. Ruth Franklin, who spoke to Tokarczuk during the Warsaw Book Fair, and then visited her in her home in the countryside, painted a very charming picture of an outstanding author and a stout-hearted activist. In her novels, Olga Tokarczuk explores the history of the Polish nation and culture without hiding away the uncomfortable facts, and she often suffers the consequences of her courage. That all, combined with extraordinary intellect and her sharp observation skills, makes her work outstanding. 
In 2018 she became the first Polish writer to win the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for 'Flights', and it is only one of the numerous awards she won. You can read Franklin's article here. 

Personal Growth
In the past few months, I decided to fall in love with physical activity. I am not the laziest of the people, but I have never enjoyed sport (except for swimming), and I was never good at. With a little bit of determination and persistence, I have now established a decent relationship with an indoor exercise bike, having done between three to five hours of cardio every week. It is not a lot, probably not enough, but for me, it is a step in the right direction. 
In terms of my inner work, I have experienced some of the most exciting meditations yet, and I have broadened my knowledge about spirituality significantly. 

Let me know what has recently inspired you. Thank you, as always, for your time. Have a great day! x


A flight attendant and a student of the Polish Air Force University, Karolina is a 20-years-old independent young woman, dreaming about having her own little family one day. In the interview, she reflected on growing up in a multigenerational home, immigration and family relationships. 

What is your earliest childhood memory?
When my mum went to work (to the UK), and I was left home alone with my grandma and my dad. I was so stressed out, it was one of the first nights when my mum wasn't at home. I couldn't really eat or drink anything. 

You spent the first five years of your life in a family house with your parents, grandmother and great-grandmother. Four generations under one roof. How does it feel?  
At times it wasn't very spaciously, because I think we only had 50 sqm in the house. I remember my parents had their own room, which I was meant to sleep with them, however, I slept with my grandma in the kitchen on the couch. And then my great-grandmother, she had a separate room as well. We all lived together, but it wasn't that bad. It was normal for us. Raised in a small house with a lot of people,  I really didn't have any comparisons to how anybody else lived.

I think that being raised by three generations is actually amazing. The knowledge and experience you gain are so precious. Also, I often see that children who grew up in small houses are much closer to their parents because they physically needed to be around one another, so emotionally they are more connected. I believe that that closeness and support must have had a very positive impact on you. 
Yes. And I was never really lonely because when my parents went to work, I was with my grandma, and my great-grandma. Even now, when we all live separately, we are still all very connected. I visit my grandmas once a week, I visit my parents very often. We all have a very special bond, that not many people have with their grandparents and parents. 

I think that living with your grandparents and being able to make so many memories together is so precious.
Yes. And I have always treated my grandma as my mother as well because when my mum was working, I would always be with my grandma. She would take me out everywhere, take me out for a walk, she would show me everything that I really wanted to know. And even now, for mothers day, I always get something for my grandma as well.

That is so sweet! She must have had a great impact on you. I always admired how bold and confident she is. And she truly lives her life to the fullest. And I know that you are similar, you are very present and emotional. When you laugh, you really laugh, when you cry, you cry.
Sometimes I laugh and cry at the same time!

The flat you spent your early childhood in, your parents' house, the flat you're living in at the moment. Which of them do you call home?
When I was younger, the home was my paternal grandparents' house, because all of our family would always meet up there, and anytime you visited, you were always very welcomed. A home filled with family, filled with love. 
Now I live in a flat in Wroclaw, but for me, home is the one in the countryside, where my parents live. It reminds me so much of my grandparent's house because everyone in the family had an impact on its building. For example, my older cousin, he helped my dad to build the house, even though he was young. My other cousin would help to plant the trees around it. 
I think that it is a place for everyone now. It is in the countryside, there is a lot of animals in there, everyone is always welcomed to visit, and everyone that visits always feels at home. And even though I have my own little family here in Wroclaw, it's not the same. 

It is amazing what you just said about the impact everyone had. I remember how excited your parents were when they started building it. 
How similar is the flat you are living in at the moment to your parents' house?  
Actually, we have quite a lot of plants here. It is not a big flat, but we have at least two plants in every room. We have a lot of candles, which I took from home as well, because my mum was always obsessed with candles, with cushions, with photo frames.
In my family house, in the countryside, we have pictures everywhere. Pictures of us, of our family. And I really want that in this flat as well. I want this flat to be as welcoming for everyone as my home is. And I want it to be really cosy, nice and warm, so when anyone just comes in here, I want them to feel loved.

Amazing! You moved to the UK at the age of 5, having to leave behind your home and your grandmothers. Do you remember that moment? If so, how did you feel? How did that separation impact you?
I don't remember exactly the moment of us moving, however, I do remember that I missed my grandparents a lot. I was with them every day, and then I moved to a completely different country. We weren't able to be on the phone with them all the time, and I don't think Skype was there either. So I didn't really see them at all. I saw them once a year, twice maybe. It was really sad. I missed my family, I also missed my favourite cousin a lot, because we were the same age, so we would always do everything together. So being separated from them was really hard for me.

Do you remember visiting your home in Poland? Your grandmothers were still living in it. How did it feel to come back for a moment, only for a few days, and then leaving it again?
For me, it was very sad because even though our things were still in there, it felt very empty. And because we didn't have the contact that we would normally have, I kind of felt like if I was drifting away from them a bit. 
And I also remember when I used to go to my cousin's house I would always cry when we had to go back home, and my parents would literally pull me out of their house because I wouldn't go out on my own.

I bet! When you came to the UK, you were only 5 years old. You couldn't speak English back then, do you remember that feeling of going to school and not being able to understand the teachers and other kids? 
Yes. For me, it was awful because I didn't really understand anything. I didn't know what they were saying, and I didn't even know how to say that I wanted to go to the toilet. It was quite sad. I remember that every day I would go home, and my mum would teach me new words that she learned, so we would help each other. When I learned the rhymes, and when started reading books, it was all easier for me to understand everyone.

You have a little brother. How did the birth of him impact you? 
For me, in the beginning it was kind of hard. With time I learned to love him. We didn't really have a good relationship because we would always fight when we were a bit younger, this was until like 2-3 years ago. We weren't very good siblings to each other. He always wanted me to be told off by my parents, I always wanted him to be told off by our parents. Now it is a bit different, because he always wants to come to me, and our relations are much better. I always want to come home to see my brother. He always calls me, he wants to always be here, in Wroclaw with me, so it is quite cute. 

How old were you when you returned to Poland for good, and how did it feel?
I was 15 years old. I really wanted to go back to be with my family and to start school there. I was very excited, however, when I was going back I lived with my grandma for half a year, because my parents were still in England. I think that they just wanted to finish their work, they waited for Adrian to finish his nursery in England. So I was alone in Poland with my grandma. 

Tell me something about your mum. What kind of mum is she?
I think that my mum is a very good mum. She is very caring, she is a very good listener, and she doesn't judge anyone. I find that I can come to her with all sorts of problems, and she will always help me. She would never tell me off, and she would get straight to the helping bit. I think for her the most important thing is for the family to be together, for everyone to be close. She always tries to help everyone the best she can.

I always found her to be the most organised mother, too. Her house was always spot on, kids fed, she looked amazing. I have known her my entire life, and she has not aged at all! And I always appreciated that special bond she has with you.
Yes! It is very nice because we can always call each other, any time of day. She can always tell me about her problems. When she talks to me, she calms down a bit and starts to think rationally again. And I think that she has the same effect on me as well. 

Do you think that she knows just how amazing and beautiful she is? 
No. I don't think so. She never really knows how beautiful she is.

You were an extraordinarily beautiful baby, and you are an absolutely gorgeous woman today. Are you aware of that?  Did your parents, or the family, in general, assured you of that?
Aww, thank you! I think that they did, actually. I think that my parents always made me feel confident with myself, they would always tell me compliments. When I was feeling a little low, I would always go to my mum, and she would always make me feel a lot better.

Your dad. What kind of father he is?
He is a lovely dad, he is very strict but he is also very caring. And I know that if anything happened to me, he would always take my back. There have been a couple of situations when he didn't really think about the consequences, he just really went and stood by me. If anything happens, if have any boy problems or anything like that, my dad is always the first to help. It is so nice because I know that I can always count on him. My dad is also really good at everything. He has knowledge of every single subject, and if I have a problem with my car, I can always get to him, if I have a problem with my partner, then I can go to him. If I have a problem with anything, he can always give me some kind of tip, or do something about it. 

Are there any days that you would like to relive?  What are some of your happiest memories? 
When I had school productions, I would always see my parents in the crowd. They would always be there, they would always cheer me. It was amazing. And they still do that to my younger brother. He still gets a lot of support, they take breaks off work just to go and see him. 
And also, some of my happiest memories were in my grandparent's house. I believe that my love for horses comes from my granddad, cause he would teach me how to ride horses, and he took me for horse rides. 

Is there anything that you particularly are missing from your childhood, but you know that it can not come back?
I think I miss the bonds that everyone had when we were younger. All of our family would meet up a lot, and now everyone is spread around the world, so it is very hard to get everyone in the same place. And not everyone has time for each other anymore. 

Is there something about your childhood that you would change, if you had the power to do so, of course?
I don't think that there is anything that I would change.

Wow. Amazing! What does the word 'family' mean to you? Based on your own experience.
For me, the family is trust, love, and being able to be yourself without anyone judging you. 

Which phase of your life was the toughest for you?
The secondary school. It was a bit tough because of being bullied there. I was too scared to tell my family about it. I knew that I could tell them, but if they went to school and they started talking to my teachers, it would get worse. So I never really told anyone about it.
Now I always make sure to talk to my brother about how he is getting along at school, if he has any friends and if anyone is annoying him. And I know that there was this little boy at his football club that would pick everyone and always hit other kids, so I actually went down and I talked to him about it. He stopped doing it. I think it is very important to always tell an adult if anything is going on because we can actually do a lot about it.

In which phase of your life did you grow the most? Emotionally, spiritually, skill-wise,  knowledge-wise?
I think that I grew the most when I moved out of my family home. 

Are you happy?  
Yes, I am very happy. I have the best job I could dream of, I am living in a lovely flat in the city that I love, I have cats and a loving boyfriend. I am very happy.

Your job is very challenging, and I believe it takes a lot of courage to become a flight attendant. Did you have to overcome any kind of fears in your mind prior to starting your work?
I was never really scared of flying, however, on our training, they would talk to us about all of the accidents that could happen, all of the hijacks and the engines turning off, so I was a bit scared then. However, I have learned that whatever you do, you have to do it according to the procedures. Before the flights, we always check all of the equipment, if everything is working fine. 

Some people take our job for granted because they think that it is just a waitressing in the air, but it is not really about that. In the air,  we're doctors, we're midwives, we're the police people. If anything happens with a passenger, we are responsible for him, we have to help him. It is not just about serving beverages and food.

What challenges is your generation facing today?  What, in your opinion, the generation of your parents could have done better?
Politics is definitely a problem for my generation. I think that in Poland, not many young people are getting to say what they want and speak their minds.
And then, there are a lot of problems with the environment as well, not many people are trying to reduce plastic. In my household we use only metal straws, we reduce the plastic, we recycle. Not everyone does that yet.

I would personally toss in the technology here, too. It definitely changed the quality of family relationships. Especially that it all happened when you guys were coming of age. In the time when you need people to be there for you the most, they are constantly on their phones. It is scary. In some parts of the world, the consumerism is killing people, in some other the war.
You are living in a completely different world that your parents did in their twenties. It is a world full of opportunities, but everything now seems to be easy and instant: career, love, success. It actually isn't as easy.  And for success, one needs to be prepared emotionally, too. Sometimes, too sudden financial abundance or fame becomes a burden. Does it motivate you, or makes you anxious? As a 20 something woman, do you feel like you can do anything you want in your life?
I think that it is really scary actually. Some of my school friends have a lot of Instagram followers, they are getting paid for advertising products, and it is great, cause they are getting money from it. But sometimes they are advertising products that they have no clue about. That's really strange. 
And also, for me, the scary thing is that pressure that you have to go to Uni when you're 19. You have to know what you want to do when you're older,  you have to stay in that direction. But often when you're 19  you have no clue what you want to be doing.
When I was 19, I  passed my A levels, I studied International Business, and after 3 months I said that I can't do it anymore because this isn't what I want to be doing. Then I had to wait a year to really think what direction I want to be going in.

What are your dreams for the future?
I am a family oriented person. I want to have children, a house  I could call my home. I want to be happy. I want my children to be happy. I want to maybe get married one day. Have animals.

Thank you, Karolina, for your time and honesty. I am proud of you, and wish you all the happiness in the world! 
Thank you!

This interview is a part of a new series on my blog, all about how the upbringing style impacts one's life. If you would like to take part in this project, please email me at whatmumloves@gmail.com I would love to listen to your story.
Alternatively, you can DM on Instagram, just here
Thanks for reading x

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