Updated: Jun 27
In this episode, Alicja tells about her passion for fashion, working in the industry since she arrived in Australia in 1991 from Poland.
She also talks about her biggest accomplishment – coming to Australia in her early 20s, learning English, and making her way in the new country from the scratch.
10 Facts About Alicja
(at the time of the project)
1. 53 years old
2. Alicja was born in Poland and came to Australia in 1991
3. Coming to Australia at the age of 22, without knowing the country, without speaking English and taking the risk to start from scratch is the biggest accomplishment for Alicja
4. Alicja spent 25 years working in fashion
5. Alicja loves people in general and talking to people.
6. Alicja loves animals. She has a little Maltese Shin Tzu dog.
7. Alicja loves music and dancing
8. Alicja’s favorite actor is Anthony Hopkins
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “I think I just felt some stagnation in my life over the last year. And this stagnation to me, it's like a killer to your mind, because I always have been very active. I have to be always on the go.”
10. Positive change with age – “I think I find much more of inner peace, I am more peaceful. I take it easy.”
Watch Alicja's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated):
Hi, you are listening to My Body My Story podcast,
It is just a number. Keep it cool, calm and collected and view yourself be happy and smile every day.
This is the 45 or 45 chapter where we celebrate rule breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show that sensuality, beauty, soul and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and will listen to the stories of our participants. If you have an interesting story to share, we would love you to participate, you can email us on email@example.com or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
So tell us a little bit about yourself.
Okay, my name is Alicja. And I'm 52 years old. Actually I'll be turning 53 on 6th of April. And I was born in Poland. And I've been Australia in 1991.
Wow. That's a long time
a long time. Yes. Such a wonderful country. Beautiful length of us. I love it.
It felt like home straightaway? How did you feel when you first arrived?
I actually didn't I didn't like it. The first day I arrive. It wasn't so pleasant because it was so unknown to me. Everything was so different. But I guess it's just after a couple of months. I got used to it. So I love it now it's beautiful. I love it here it's gone. Yeah. I call Australia home now.
So what did you do? So you arrived, What was the plan? How old were you?
I was 22 at the time. Well the plan was just to stay here. I enjoyed a few months off and having time off and having time off. When I arrived I couldn't speak English much at all. So I started working in fashion warehouse. Just a general worker. Yeah, to compact boxes and cloths and things like that.
Did you get some fashion sort of tips look like while working there?
Not really, you know, because that was kind of manual jobs, manual labor but the fashion the sense of style, the sense of style I have it in me so that's fine. I already start working something in that field because I really like fashion. Yes. So that was my kind of first job and then the rest of my life I spent working in fashion for over 25 years. And I love it.
So what did you do then? In fashion? Did you move into anything particular?
Oh, I was working in all different jobs, starting like fashion agencies and in house modelling and stuff like that. They like retail stores, working in management in retail stores.
What was your favourite part of fashion industry because it sounds very glamorous. You know when you think of it
It sounds glamorous, but also I think you get to interact with lots of different people. Customers and I love I love talking to people I love people. I like to you know, hear the story and it's kind of you meeting new people. And it's all on the go. It's also like fast vibe. Very Fast Five, Fast Five fashion. Nutrients. You're always on the go. That's why I like it. I hate stagnation. So I cannot do just office job. It's not for me. I have to be on the go constantly, doing things. It's in my nature here. On Fire sign. That's why.
What do you think? What are you most passionate about?
I love people in general. I love people. As I said, I love talking to people meeting new people, all different ethnicity. I love animals. I have a little dog at home. Her name is Pusha. She's Maltese Shin Tzu. She's so cute.
How old is she?
She's 13. But yeah, I love that. She's my baby. And I love fashion. As I said before, that's my passion. I like music I like listen to music. Classical music. I love classical music. Especially Chopin. And music in general pop. Anything. I like dancing but not so much then sync now with all the restriction going on. So has been tough for the last year. I like going for a walks, watching movies.
What movies do you like?
I Like movies with. Anthony Hopkins, my favourite actor
Have you travelled much?
I'm not really much lately. I was in European 2018. And that was that I'm so lucky. That was so fortunate because I got to see my sister. And was there for about four months. And I came back and then shortly after Corona has started. So perfect timing. Just fortunate. I got to come back. Tom.
And then from that time didn't go away, anywhere just in Sydney. But it's such a beautiful place. Sydney was so fortunate here we've got like, lots of beaches and the weather is nice and sunny. Lots of places to go. Out in nature. It's beautiful.
Everyone knows that with age we change but what positive changes have you experienced with age?
I think he is just a number. And everything else you keep in your mind kind of if you it's it's up to you how you feel if you feel young at heart. You still You're not young, your age, it doesn't change anything. If you're 50 and you feel like 20. That's how I feel like I'm still active and full of life. What matters is on the inside. It doesn't stop you from doing nothing sits. Still everything is possible. And I think I find much more of inner peace, I am more peaceful. More maybe content peaceful. Then younger. When I was younger, I was more fiery. I was like more impulsive. And now I am more like, you know, like, peaceful. I take it easy.
You know, stay cool, calm and collected.
Now, yes. So I think I think that's fairly good actually. Without you just maybe if you knew what you know now, back then, then I think you'd be very cool. Yeah. Because you went through so many experiences and you learned a match. You're like, you know, wiser but I don't regret things anything either. I'm just happier at this point of my life. That's right. Yeah.
No regrets. You lived the way you wanted it?
Just have to keep spontaneous and you keep young at heart. Energetic. No matter if you're 45, 50, 60 people are still so you know youthful even in 60s That's right like if you feel young at heart that he saw me a number
So true I think sometimes people age themselves for no reason they just look at a number that the you know the 50s or 40s or 60s
Like depressed over and stuff you know my life is just coming to the end not to the end because you can give flunkies like 70s 80s Even 90s. But like if you have your mentality set in not positive way and actually think negatively it just brings you down a little so you just have to constantly remind yourself how beautiful, how happy you are, how fortune you are every day you got to see the sunlight, sunshine and I think you know like the thing is if you wake up everyday and your take each day with the smile I think the world will smile with you. Yeah, so yeah like you and beauty You know the thing about beauty is not about outer look about how you really do look it's what's what's inside, your inner beauty like your kindness your your kindness to other people, your beautiful heart and then people can feel it and this is true beauty and this beauty never age, you know. And of course we like to feel especially as women we all like to feel fabulous and we like to have our makeup done our hair done everything can have been like feeling very special. And this is important as well to make yourself feel special in that way as well. But not to forget about the other happiness. The inner beauty
Yeah. What is the biggest challenge you are experiencing at this age right now?
The biggest challenge I think I just felt some stagnation in my life because of over the last year as I said with the with the coffee and some restriction and other things also in my personal life I was experiencing I feel it feel very stagnant. And and as I said before this stagnation to me, it's like a killer to your mind. So I because I always have been very active. I have to be always on the go verify fast pace person. So that was a challenge. And I'm so happy now I'm sitting on this jet. Obviously, because I needed I needed it was like I need something to pick me up and I think this is it. This is something I needed right now. Yeah, I'm so happy. Honestly, I feel so much I don't know joy and I I feel happy. I feel happy. I'm here. Glad meeting you. And like I also believe in meeting people. You find yourself in places and meet people, every person in your life for a reason. And there is no such thing as coincidence me talking to you. Or even maybe someone see this footage of me sitting here. And if someone needs inspiration, if any women out there sitting and thinking oh, I'm not good enough. Yeah, I'm not 40 Yeah, don't think like that. You are beautiful. You are voting in the moment. Every human being on this earth is worthy of love. And lots of women who may be saying no, I'm not taught to have this or have some barriers between to opt in cap just to be more vulnerable with yourself. And also I'm drowning as well. Sorry, I just got a little bit emotional. I'm learning to open up more because I have been very close. Not trusting people much. So kind of, you know, I was isolated. And I'm learning to be more vulnerable with people. And to take risk. And not to feel fear is the very bad thing. And it's really stop you from things. So, me sitting here, this is very challenging for me. And if I can do it, anyone can do it. So I recommend to each woman, if you see it, if you want to do it, do it, just do it for yourself.
Describe your greatest accomplishment.
I don't really have one to be honest, I tell you, like I, you know, didn't win Oscars prize. This is me being kind of, you know, I was nominated for anything. But I think, you know, my accomplishment to me was coming here from foreign country from far away because I was born in Poland, coming here at young age of 22. Without knowing the country without speaking English, and taking the risk, starting from scratch, he or building my life. That was a very huge accomplishment because I had to learn the language. I learned new skills. I meet lots of beautiful people. And I loved every minute of it. I mean, it was hard and challenging from the beginning, but I don't regret I will do it over again. So that's my accomplishment is, yeah. Imagine, you know, like, I didn't even know like, back then in Poland. Oh, my gosh, where is Australia? I was dreaming. This country is so beautiful. And it's sunshine. And it's blue sky. And I loved it. And I had a dream to come here. And I made it made it without like language without you know, knowing people's gain. You took that channel, because I'm not scared. There is very little things in this life I'm afraid of. Yeah. I'm not afraid. That's great. And I don't really have like fear in me. I did before but I've done lots of work mental and spiritual work, and meditation. So I can help speak without, you know, anybody's. And I'm like, not afraid. If people see me and they see me crying. vulnerable. It's okay, because I'm just an average person. I'm just an ordinary person. And everyone has a story and this is my story I share with you.
What advice would you give your 30 year old self?
Where, okay, so, if I go back to my 30 year being 30 What advice.. To be honest, I would not change anything in my life because sometimes you think, okay, that no regrets because every mistake, maybe I made every experience I had I learned something from it. And that's what's matter to me. So I would just say to myself, Alicia, well done. And then you know, you're beautiful. stay the way you are. Be open to people be spontaneous, spontaneity is the most amazing thing. You don't prepare for things like some people do. I speak from my heart. I don't prepare things right on the list of things I have to say that I have to say that I speak from what I feel very spontaneously and I mean life the same with people as well. I don't have reservation to like towards anyone I can speak to anyone any, any ethnicity. I just love people. And even like, it's funny because coming here without speaking English and other people may be speaking English a little bit some other people speaking Chinese, or different languages like Arabic 10 How do we communicate with each other? communicate somehow even it's starting from the get shot, if you know, and then digital world saying whatever you can remember in English sound with very heavy accent. And then some people were laughing at me because I couldn't talk I said, like the world, you know, totally different meaning. But it was so fun. And I learned from it. And even like, if you open if you try and you learn things faster as well, even the language because if you have reservation, and then you are afraid to say it because someone would say, Oh, you didn't say this correctly, and they laugh at you, then you like withdraw, you won't learn. But if you open and you say it, people correct you and you laugh about it, you just kind of take it. Take it is a fun, yeah, exactly the years something, and that's how I was. And I think I learned the language fairly fast. Between one year I was able to, like get a proper job, you know, working with customers and stuff. So
yeah, so your desire to talk to people actually helped you to learn language?
Yeah. Because I'm very talkative person probably you know. I love to talk. I love talking to people. That's why I'm very like a people persist on and I like, I love people. I love life. And and I'm very spontaneous. I'm very open. Yeah. Yeah.
What advice would you give younger women who will eventually undergo these changes?
Are you talking about like her physical appearance?
Growing up, you know, growing older? What advice would you give women that will? You know, maybe they're 40 at the moment, or they 50 And they growing older? What advice would you share with them having been through you know, your 50
Don't freak out. As I said before, he is just a number. Keep it cool, calm and collected and be yourself. Be happy and smile every day. Show your beauty. Don't be like, Oh, okay, my hair is grey, I got to do my regrowth my knife seems not down or, you know, my teeth are not so white anymore. Or I put few kilos, wait. Don't be like that. Take it easy, you are beautiful. The inner beauty makes you beautiful, as long as you just chill out. Because sometimes I see women and they all done up. Maybe even sometimes over the top with artificial eyelashes and everything tip top and maybe one day her world will change. For example, for example, something will happen. She is not able to maintain her outer appearance, do her nails, do her eyelashes, whatever she was doing. And then all honestly she will find herself in very depressed state. Because for her that would be different world. So my advice to women is any age especially like 30s 40s because 20s That's very young stage. Experience everything, the beauty, the makeup, the hair, but not to the point that one day, if you have to drop everything, it will destroy your life. This is my advice because me sitting here it's not that I don't enjoy it. I don't want to be like oh, I don't put makeup I don't enjoy it. I love it. But if something changes, would I be able to leave and continue with my life? Yes. Even without the makeup, you know, and other luxurious things.
So Alicja, where do you think the idea of a perfect body image comes from?
I think lots of it comes from media. In TV, magazines, social media, especially Instagram, I think the most popular Instagram, Tik Tok at the moment. I think that has lots to do with it because you can see like, some images are just like and they think with age like I'm talking young girls I was 18,19, 20. And they already so concerned about the how the way they look. And they are beautiful naturally at that age. Obviously, no, you're naturally you beautiful. So I think it's you have a lot like Yeah. The pressure of and I think it's a pressure you put lots of pressure on women, on young women on women in, in general. Because if you look different magazines, even the magazines and and social media media, if you browse on Instagram, and look all the girls and the body shape, the makeup, the hair, everything he stepped up and sometimes makes you wonder, Wow, is this is real? And they think is it's just you have to keep yourself in check not to fall in this illusion of being a you know, like, because to me is like, there is not perfect. No one is perfect. And beauty is actually made from in imperfections. So yeah, I think it's just nowadays Lots has to do with social media. But it's good to stay grounded. And you have to kind of you know, sometimes it's good even to just withdraw yourself from maybe even looking at it. Because it might get you a little obsess if you start comparing the images you've seen, and then yourself is so you just have to keep your car kind of self checked in and balance. not to take too much. Because yeah, some people they get really maybe just impacted too much overlooking the images,
Even if they were happy with themselves before when they look at her that means I'm not happy now
You know, like you, you'll feel your soul. And you see someone 20 and then your value of 30s 40s. And then you comparing? Yeah. might get a little depressed. I think so. I think you just have to be real about everything like yourself and the images not to take seriously, I think you have to kind of have the balance of reality check. Yeah, so I think it's a lot with the social media and media, even TV and magazines, social media, especially. Yeah, huge influence.
What does it mean, for you Feeling good and Looking good?
Feeling good and looking good? Yeah.
What do you think comes first?
Actually a good question. What comes first? I think he comes how you feel inside? And then you know if you feel happy. Inside it reflects on outside. Yeah. Because you smile Yes. And smile makes you happy. And any and you radiating you know, like I fill you in, I'm happy I smile and I feel happy. You've got this happy vibe about you and you're just radiating all the positive energy. So it's not like if you let's say you wake up grumpy. And then you put makeup on you did your hair and everything and your nerves and you still grumpy but you look beautiful. So it is sunk. So I think it comes from insight for me does if I wake up happy I feel happy. Even if I don't put too much makeup I just put a little bit of mascara and lip gloss that's my style because I wear lots of spotty as I don't overdo on makeup at all. I'm happy comes from insights. Beauty comes from inside yet. So you don't have to think all the makeup I put the more beautiful I am yeah, it's not my motto, the less sometimes it's more that's how I think Yeah.
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
When I am happy. Because back to that question when you feel that I think the most beautiful when I'm happy with myself when I feel at peace with myself when I go to sleep, you know, and then I can chill in and then wake up next day before fortunate to see the sunshine again, blue sky, I feel happy. And I feel beautiful. I think it's good to actually say it to yourself every morning when you wake up. Even if you don't wake up and you have messy. You just say in front of the mirror. Anyway, I feel happy. I am still beautiful I've made. And that's it. Yes, sir. We start to feel it right as you start to. Yes. That's why That's what they say. Actually, if you say more, yes, it makes you more positive. Yeah. And your vibe more positive vibes if you're a bit different. Yeah. And if someone says to you, can you help me with something can usually you say no to because you're rushing? Or you say no, in general? Just say what the just say? Yes, once and you can see that things will change for you. Because it's actually, as Alexandra spoke before exchange of energy, that's, that's what I think so. Yes, yes. It's always positive. What now? It means no, it's kind of passive aggressive. And yes, it's positive and it's happy. Yes. I like you. Yes, I smile. I'm happy I see the sunshine. So yes, this quote.
What is your favourite quote about being a woman?
Oh, favourite quotes. I don't really have a favourite quote. And I know there is one quote very famous and most repeat. And non by women. Girls should be taught things classy and fabulous by Coco Chanel. And I do agree with it. But my quality is different. This is my own quotes. That's what I think. And to me, the most beautiful woman is the woman who dressed in strength. Yeah. And laughs with no fear. To me, it's the woman, fearless woman strong. And with no fear. That's mean. She's able to achieve anything in life. You don't have any berries. And it's not like Coco Chanel. Okay, that quote, I love it. I'm not against it. But think about it. Two things classy and fabulous. So this is again coming maybe it's more relevant to the the outer image how you appear, how you look, what you wear. And I'm talking about your inner strength. So I think you know, when you when you strong, and then you are able to love people without fear without being, you know, fear of rejection or fear of what people think about you. When you are more vulnerable to people. I think the whole world just changes and open to you. You might find new people on your life. But if you're not afraid of talking to people, people you don't know, like strangers. There's lots of possibilities. So I think that's so beautiful. And I love women like that. Actually people in general like that people, you know, without fear without any like, reservation, they are open to others. They like to talk even if they don't know each other, meet new people and share the experiences. Yeah, yes. So I really like that type of woman which is like able to be strong and you know, like, even if she had lots of tough experiences, and Life wasn't easy, and maybe she even you know, struggle, all different scenarios and she's able to get up again and fight again. she never gives up. She has the determination. And she's still able to give love to others. Yeah. Yeah, she's not sure. Don't you think it's the most beautiful like she's still even if she was hurting even if she was in pain, or rejected whatever happened, she's still able to come back and then she's still able to laugh. people open up to people. Yeah, so this is more of a like, inner sight of yeah, maybe not reflecting so much. But again, like the outer look to me all women are beautiful. We all beautiful all different way. Yeah. On way. We all different shapes, different light, body shape, different ethnicity, different eye colour, different hair, different everything. But we are also beautiful each of us. So yeah.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. And it's great to have you in my chair.
I'm so happy to be here. Thank you for having me, was amazing.
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