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When I first time arrived in London I fell in love. I had always felt a little bit of an outsider in Finland where I’m from. I was noisy, I had ideas, I had opinions and I wanted to shake the boat. The Finns, they didn’t like that. Especially the Finnish school system at the time encouraged everyone to be the same, act the same and you should not stick your head out. I felt I didn’t fit in.

I ended up quitting high school, not only once, but twice! This wasn’t because I was a bad student, a year later I graduated from an evening school with top grades and ended up in a top university. I quit because the system didn’t suit me and I always felt I was going against the grain.

So when I landed in London for the first time I noticed that I could breath. The air here may not be as clean as in the Finnish forest but for the first time I felt I fit in. People were having fun, the crowd was diverse and new ideas were welcome. I worked in the creative industry and I flourished. This was the place I felt I could be innovative and I could be myself.

On Friday the British people voted for the UK to leave the European Union. I thought there was this place that embraced diversity, equality, ideas and innovation. Of course London is very different to the rest of the country but even in London 40% of people voted to leave. Even a lot of my very intelligent and highly educated friends voted for Britain to leave the EU. I was shocked.

The purpose of my article is not to make a case for the EU or to make any political statement. I have discovered something deeper in myself and in my values.

Equality and diversity are my most sacred core values.

And I don’t just mean equality in the women’s empowerment sense but in a boarder sense of connectedness, of freedom and appreciation of other people’s ideas and opinions.

I have long held a view that we, especially we women, rely too much on what happens on the outside, how the life’s circumstances pan out for us rather than think how we could change our own circumstances. I’ve long understood that I can’t rely on any organisation for my success or happiness. I can’t wait for the glass ceiling to break, and my definition of success doesn’t even support that path. I can’t wait for anyone else to pave the way for me.

I must keep changing the world around me.

But I still held dear this idea of a country that was open to different people and ideas and creativity. Today this dream has been shattered.

This referendum has made me realise that I can’t even rely on a country. I have no country.

No country on this planet any longer holds the same values with me. The values of diversity, equality, freedom, creativity and acceptance.

I have only one option going forward.

I have to create my world.

This referendum makes me even more convinced that I’m on the right path with DrivenWoman. We are building a community of women who have decided to improve their circumstances regardless of their circumstances. A community based on diversity, equality, freedom, creativity and acceptance.

We can’t afford to keep leaning on organisations or countries to secure our future. We must take our own steps and start crafting our own future. This means being brave, stepping out and choosing the kind of goals that serve us. We must dream our own dreams. We can’t rely on organisations or governments to secure our financial, physical, emotional or spiritual future.

Don’t you think it’s time to define your own success. What makes you happy and what makes you thrive?

And then, let’s do it.

Part of EU, or not.

Step by step, one more action point at a time.

I will do it.

The question is, will you join me on this journey?

I sincerely hope you do because no-one can do it on their own. We all need support. I need support. And I want to share this incredible journey with like minded people!

This notion drives me forward building DrivenWoman into the most amazing support network for women. It will become a global community for women who have decided to act on their dreams.

Nobody can realise their dreams and goals alone, but you can connect to your tribe for support you and shared values. And when you do the possibility of making it happen suddenly opens up!

At DrivenWoman I’m no longer without country, DrivenWoman is my country.

~ Miisa

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