Welcome to Victorious Living, I am Sarah Marielle the founder of sarahmarielle.com
Have you ever felt like, with everything that is happening around you, there is no way to move forward? You’ve tried everything from plan A to plan Z and you feel stuck? Then you’ve come to the right place because this is my story. Let me give you a bit of background and what this platform is about.
I am a wife, mother of four wonderful children. I am a friend, a sister and I love people. I have a master’s in Electrical Engineering which is not always something you will see in the blogging community. This is also one of the motivations why I decided to have a blog because I am a creative person. I love research and design. I am not where I want to be just yet but along the way, I learned a lot of things so I created this virtual support system. But before we get to that let me give you a bit of background.
I was born into a family of twelve children. We didn’t really struggle as such when we were little. My Mom always managed to provide for us with my grandmother. My mother and grandmother are entrepreneurs. There was always a business launching, like shops, restaurants, school, etc… For them, there was always a solution to a problem.
As far as I could remember my mom and my grandmother always had a business. She taught me how to cook at five years old, and we sold my first fish in indigenous steamed chocolate. My grandmother was great at saving money and I got it from her. We lived comfortably until the age of around 10-12 years old if I remember correctly.
Le good life
We had two helpers in the house, one nanny and one domestic worker. We had two washing machines and I didn’t even know how to wash my clothes. We were really comfortable financially. We always had brand new clothes, stationery for school, and at every Christmas a brand new toy. Let us say, in the eighties and nineties there was an economical boom in Gabon with oil and gas industry and almost every family was living comfortably.
The valley of shadows
My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, then from that moment on life became extremely difficult. My grandmother had to travel with my grandpa for his treatments to another town and you can imagine: expenses, bills and more bills.
As children, we didn’t know at the time but one thing after the other, there was no more nanny nor domestic worker; from 2 washing machines to one and then none. We had to learn how to wash our own clothes and that’s where the penny dropped in me that I needed to save money to survive and make it in life and buy books. I really enjoy reading books. By observing my grandmother that’s how I learned to save money, she always had petty cash somewhere.
I clearly remember there was one time during the holiday season we hosted some cousins for the holiday. My grandmother was gone that day to the plantation. She left me with five smoked sardines and she asked me to cook lunch for me and my cousins. We were around twelve children so imagine a sardine is pretty small! I had to come up with a plan and make sure that everybody has something to eat.
It was a success, everyone had something to eat. I can’t remember how I cook the sardines but by the time my grandmother came back, it was 5 pm. Everybody had eaten and we were all happy and she was amazed I could pull that off. We were still happy even though we had great financial difficulty.
I decided to tick the boxes
With these financial challenges, I learned to work hard. I learned that satisfaction that comes from working hard and seeing the reward of a disciplined life. At the age of 10, I learned that school/education was the only way for me to succeed. In other words, I could make a name of myself by going to school, having degrees and buy a house, and coming out of financial struggle.
Education and life
I did everything by the book with regards to education – if there is such a book – I went to school and was among the top students. I went to university, graduated and worked a little bit. I came to South Africa to further my studies and got a master’s degree in electrical engineering and yet while living abroad I could not find sustainable work. I was wondering how could life be so unfair to me. I have worked so hard, I studied and I did everything to make sure that I play the game but nothing was working, and what could go wrong did go wrong.
From there I struggled to save money, the supply was not enough the expenses kept on coming and coming. I got married and became a mom in between, I have wonderful children and the concern of not having enough or providing for them was always in my mind. I then started to think I was a failure.
When you get knocked down so many times by life it is very difficult to have a victor mentality and believe in better days. I finally realized that having a degree was never a guarantee of financial security and stability. Long gone are the days of going to school, study hard and be the best; get a job, and build a stable life.
Then it hit me that success is not solely defined by the number of degrees I have or how many languages I speak. It is also not about what society and culture tell me: get married and have kids. Success is defined with me fulfilling the mission – my purpose in this life. Yes, money is a big part of it. It definitely helps. Money helps me do things easily. When I have money I won’t need to be worried about where my next meal will come from nor if my baby has nappies/diapers or not. I will not need to think twice if I can give money away and be a blessing to somebody in need.
I will not need to see or be concerned that my kids outgrew their clothes or if I can afford a new pair of shoes for myself? Thus, I will have the time to exercise, have time for myself, and be mindful of my own nutrition. I realized I needed to take back my life. I needed to look after myself and become victorious.
Yes, life is hard, but so are we. There is nothing as powerful as the human spirit. I decided to overcome every aspect of my life. I needed to lose the baby weight that I gained over the years after four pregnancies, not for my husband or anybody else but me.
I wanted to feel myself again and no longer be out of breath after climbing a few stairs or running after my own child. Maybe you are in the same situation or not. Maybe there is something about your life that you would like to see changed but you don’t know how and you can do it. Perhaps you just need encouragement and accountability to get back up on this train of life or maybe you just need a virtual sister in Southern Africa to sheer you up on your journey and share with you and encourage you that you can get back up again, that we can laugh again, that we can live victoriously, that we can acknowledge our mistakes and choose to try again. We choose to have victorious living.
This blog is about how I recovered or how I am in the process of recovering my life back and to show that you can do it too. We can make ourselves accountable to be victorious because we cannot do it on our own. This blog is about disrupting the norm, it is about us being victorious again.
We need to establish our own protocol, our own culture, our own trend by making sure that we are following the desires of our heart, and playing by our own rules.
This platform is to ensure that we are becoming successful again and wealthy and healthy again. This is about us coming together, defining our own mission, our own purpose, the blueprint we received, and making sure that we are leaving a legacy to our children’s children.
So who am I? I am your virtual sister. I am your virtual friend. I come alongside you to show you by practical examples how you can do it, by showing you the way how I am in the process of recovering. I come to you from here to wherever you are and together we build a victorious community. We are the trendsetters. We define the culture for our families based on our value system. We are no longer consumers, nor followers but we are leaders. We are making sure that we lead the way to financial recovery. We lead the way to health and that whatever we set our hands to succeed. Welcome to victorious living.
Until next time.
Your Virtual Best Sister.