Almost all my life my view was a green field, an occasional cow, sheep or goat, and a distant city on the horizon. Yes I got to travel here and there with my family, but that view was home. It was in a petite neighborhood with no more than 400 people and 5 streets – ‘Zinkweg’. My home was my little castle, and I used to dream about the world outside. Call me a tortured soul, but where I went to school I never felt like I belonged. Surely somewhere in this world I would find what I was looking for, some day. I always believed anyone could be what he or she wants to be, if that is truly what they want at heart. My insecurities always have been in a dreadful battle with the feeling that something greater was trust upon me; I just never knew what it was. Candidly, I still don’t know what it might be. I just know my life has changed – I have changed. Have I? Some tell me I am living the dream, others have no understanding of my life whatsoever. As I grew out of my shell I didn’t try to fit in anymore, frankly the exact opposite happened. I embraced being different, even though this isn’t always easy. Sometimes it gets lonely to follow your own path, a path that is not prepared for you to follow, but a path you are building stone by stone. When you are on your own you make your own luck. I use to dream about meeting people I looked up to, about becoming someone others looked up to, and being more than merely my own existence. To find love even – passionate and endless, for something or someone. Change someone’s life. Somewhere along the way I became the girl that won an international business award, studied everything in her interest, who saw more of the world than many, the one to say cheers to Forbes in Bratislava, volunteer and raise money for good causes, cycle in Venice with the actor from one of her favorite movies, after-party with famous artists in Vegas and LA, and meet legends just to find out they are people too. I walked more red carpets the last year than I ever could have imagined in a lifetime. This intoxication of the high life makes my head spin, but in someway I am still that girl from that small town named Zinkweg. People might call me ‘The Dutchess’, but I will always be Manon. One day I will find what I have been looking for all my life. It will give everything meaning, so the path starts to make sense. Until then I love life with all my heart, and live every moment. Life is too short to pass on the good things while waiting for something great. You never know what tomorrow might bring. It doesn’t matter where you come from, believe in your dreams, and make them happen.

One day it may be too late.


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