My Transformations. Part II

Mariya Gancheva Marelli
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Sep. 24, 2020
A degree in Gender Equality felt like the most natural thing to do next – so I started a study in University of Milano-Bicocca. I was inspired, felt in the right place at the right time, but the most wonderful feeling was as if my choice was blessed by destiny… everything went so smoothly, unbelievably so, I was able to organize my trips to Milan without missing out on a single lecture. Unsurprisingly, I graduated as enthusiastic as I started the course – I was fearlessly writing it down in Italian. My husband, of course, when asked to double-check it for misspellings, looked down on my work but I wasn’t at all bothered – I was just THAT confident. My mission succeeded and that was the most important part of the whole experience.

Next on we had conferences, seminars and trainings connecting more and more Bulgarian and Italian lawyers – that social working I really enjoyed doing. I was also one of the volunteers creating the first library in the Italian village where we used to live. Together with ‘UNSECO Leonardo da Vinci Sofia’ Club we organized different cultural events presenting Bulgaria in Italy; and with another inspiring Bulgarian based in Milan we found the Bulgarian Sunday School and also Cultural and Language Centre ‘Bulgaria Here’ in Milan.

I was more than happy to help as I firmly believed that culture and education will save our children’s future and I hoped that by searching for my true path I will help other women do that as well. I finally had the strength to overcome the feeling of limitation and closeness, but the lack of help with the housework and not being able to work at full speed at my law firm in Bulgaria, but especially the one it Italy where there are not only language barriers, but also difficulties because of the distance. That was starting to kill off my confidence as a woman and a lawyer; to cause some financial troubles and tension the situation at home even more. I was trapped! I was well aware of my qualities but didn’t have the power to make that final step. ‘I just can’t do it!’, I thought. And once again – by trying to help another person, I actually saved myself…

Fate brought to me a whole new world – that of traveling, discovering, experiencing, and getting to know lesser-known places. This new offer I got, totally helped me reborn. I was extremely thankful that I decided to help – it turned out to be one of the best things in life. And suddenly I was inspired by life again! When your hobby turns into a job, the magic is just unbelievable. It was so incredible how this assignment helped me get back to my law practice more excited than ever. I got the pride and self-confidence that I can achieve everything back! This time around though, I realized that I need to break out of the stereotypes I’ve grown and lived with for so long; of all the things that women and mothers are thought to be.

After a lot of wandering, suffering, and insecurities, I came to the conclusion that it was high time I gather all of the excitement and inspiration from the last 17 years and find the right balance between voluntary and remunerated activities. That was a brilliant thought I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long period of time. I needed to unite my legal activities with tourism and traveling, organizing trainings, seminars, and conferences; and gender equality projects with educational and cultural ones.

There I was, turning 50 – thinking of a big celebration, fireworks but actually wanting silence, concentration, new energy, deep connection with myself and myself only. I needed to prepare for my next big transformation – creating the one thing that combines all of my qualities, my personal and professional agenda but without depriving my family and friends of spending time with me. 50 and finally there – there, where I can preserve my femininity with beauty, and my motherhood with love; my career with competence.

An almost traveling Academy-like life,… Academia mobile… Moby Academy.

More about Mariya and why she decided to join Women Inspirations, you can learn in the video HERE.

Мария Мерели
Mariya Gancheva Marelli
Mariya Gancheva Marelli is a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience. She’s a member of the Sofia Bar Association and Milan Bar Association. Mariya is one of the lawyers who established the Female Lawyers Association in Sofia and is a member of that same organization in Milan. She’s one of the founders of the ‘UNSECO Leonardo da Vinci Sofia’ Club and also the Founder and Vice-Chairman of ‘Language and Cultural Centre – Bulgaria Here’ in Milan. Mariya describes her life as a series of missions and building bridges – legal, cultural, and purely human, between Bulgaria and Italy.