Natia Lekveishvili, 29 years old
I want to tell you my story. Before I achieved the goal to be an architect-designer, I went through a long and interesting way. Since my parents are architects, instead of playing in the yard, I spend all my time in the studios of my parents, so I had exposure to architecture from the very beginning. My parents spent a lot of effort to give me an education in the dark 90s, regularly took me to the opera and theater, which greatly influenced my personal development. When I was 17 I attended the Academy of Arts media art faculty. 18 years old I got married, immensely with love and one year later I was a mom already.
From my perspective, the work that my parents put in me for years, I transferred to my own family. I became a typical housewife with a few hobbies and Natia, who had her profession, has disappeared after some time. What’s really weird is that the situation seemed totally normal and right to me. I tried to get back to my profession, but because my desire caused tensions in my family, I decided not to. At the same time, I saw how my husband was fully developed professionally and personally and my accomplishments seemed to be nothing compared to his.
One day I “woke up” and realized, that I couldn’t continue like this. That’s when the problems started. It turned out to be really difficult to manage time in a way as to give everybody enough attention. I didn’t handle it very well, and it caused a lot of arguments between me and my husband. I think the development of women in Georgia, consciously or not, causes a lot of protest in men, as if their egos are getting bruised. Finally, after a lot of fights and arguments, we decided to start everything over and moved to a new house. At first, our attempt seemed to be working well. After a while, we had to move to my mother- and sister-in-law, where my husband’s weakness came to light – he was his mother’s boy, which is usual for Georgian men. It was not obvious while we were living together. I can’t say they didn’t have my family’s best interests at heart, but others intervening definitely affected our relationship adversely.
later when I moved back to my parents, I found out I was pregnant. Because of that, we tried one more time to live together, but other things started to happen. The very next day after hearing our child’s heartbeat, my husband had a car crash. He survived, but he was in poor health. My pregnancy wasn’t a cakewalk either – late in my pregnancy I was reading my husband’s messages to another woman, which caused me to give birth 36 weeks earlier.
After the divorce, I had a choice – falling in a depression, or standing on my feet and becoming the best. My brother, who lived in a foreign country for 14 years, returned to Georgia to stand by me and tried to share and use his multi-year experience and knowledge to help me. He wanted me to get my lost time back and put it into my profession. We started our own architectural company. At first, we were putting all of our revenues back into the company to grow. We were meeting clients at home, then opened our own office, which turned out surprisingly good. Each new stage was a new challenge, which I had to overcome with countless hours of work. Step by step we expanded, customers were flooding our gates and I can say with certainty, that we established one of the best studios.
It follows from my story, which is a lot longer than said above, that I want to tell all the women and their families, that overcoming difficulties together will make you stronger. A woman can be independent and strong too, have her own private life and professional ambitions. The main thing is to be able to fight for our goals.
Author: Nino Gamisonia
Photo: Sopho Aptsiauri
Translation: Mariam Kajrishvili