Believe in yourself, in your power, and be ready to leave your comfort zone and accept new changes if you want to change your life.
Afag is a 37 years old single mom of two brilliant kids who have moved to the US from Azerbaijan four years ago. She graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in International Relations and Law from Baku State University. She started her career as a Specialist at the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan. However, a few years later she realized that this job does not suit her at all. “It doesn’t make a sense to work and improve your career at the Judicial System where there is no existence of fair judge and laws to fight for basic human rights. Witnessing such injustice where my presence won’t help change the corrupted system, I decided to quit from my ‘show off’ job and do what makes me happy.”
She decided to open an event planning and decorating company with her best friend in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her company made great success and she brought a new wave and style to the old tradition. However, she also had to leave her company because she realized that the cultural aspect limits her from her freedom. She felt that she was under pressure from the society. Being a divorced woman who wants to open new chapter in her life, she realizes her dreams and goals were a massive challenge in a masculine society — Azerbaijan. She has such great passion that she decided to make the hardest decision in her life and leave her country. It wasn’t just about the country, she also had to leave her comfort zone provided by her family, leaving all her beloved ones and start a new life from scratch in a new country where she doesn’t know anyone.
“I was so excited but at the same time I was afraid. It was a different environment and culture with new rules and role for me. I didn’t know where to start or how to provide a customer service at an international level”. Aiming to develop her knowledge and skills on business administration and customer service, she attended various leadership and business classes, even received training from mentors and personal life coaches. “My goal is to be a successful entrepreneur who provides high quality customer service for my clients, and can make them feel like a family member who also can offer them a way to be healthy and happy.”
Although it has only been a year since she opened her business, she has gained the love from her customers and became a successful business in San Francisco. “I love to communicate with new people, listen to their stories, learn more about different cultures and lifestyles while also motivate people. People like to talk with us, hangout at our cozy environment, and the most important thing is that they leave our place satisfied and happy. Mentally, I almost got what I wished for in my business.”
I used to be like a “princess” with blind eyes. Maybe not blind because I knew what is going on, but I didn’t have enough courage to fight for my dreams.
Afag regrets that she followed her dreams a little bit late. Nevertheless, it doesn’t discourage her to believe in herself. “I used to be like a “princess” with blind eyes. Maybe not blind because I knew what is going on, but I didn’t have enough courage to fight for my dreams. All the decisions that I’ve made, I had to share and get approval from my family members, relatives, friends, my husband and general society. Now, I see myself as a warrior, mom, dad, driver, cook, housekeeper and even time-to-time a man too.”
She acknowledges that being all of these characters is hard to handle for her emotionally and physically, as well as financially. But she is stronger now and is able to handle new challenges. “Sometimes I sat and cried in my car alone because I thought I couldn’t handle this anymore. But none of these is important as having your own freedom and independence. Being a strong and independent woman who has a voice for her rights is priceless.”
Her motivation is her kids. Her two sons have always been the light in the dark on hopeless days. Her goal is to raise them to be educated citizens with integrity, and can bring only good to this society. “I remember when my 13 years old son first met with Mark Zuckerberg, he cried. I asked him ‘Why are you crying?’ and I felt proud when I heard his response that he wants to change the world and be helpful for humanity like him. I hope he will make his dream happen.”
While sharing her amazing story, Afag doesn’t forget to thank her friends who supported her on this new challenging endeavor. She values the opportunity that US gave her to gain her confidence, build her business and make friends who supported her all the time.
“I personally believe in female power. Sometimes, it is true that I can feel so strong and tough that for a moment I forget I am woman. I try not to lose the beauty of my femininity. I’m proud of being a gentle, sexy woman with my red lipstick J. I’m one of the greatest creations of the universe who can collect all strong and delicate characters in one body. I am a Woman who is aware of her own power. You see, I got my confidence back!”
Afag advices Femigrants to believe in ourselves, in our power, and be ready to leave your comfort zone and accept new changes if we want to change our life. “Always try to keep your smile, try to help others and you will get it back. Don’t hesitate to be ridiculous, proud of your individuality, be a rebel and get what you wish. And don’t ever be afraid of Love. Be in love and be beloved!”