Women of Inspiration™ Podcast – Carmen von Arnoldi – Living a Life Without Regret
My name is Carmen von Arnoldi, I am originally from the Netherlands and moved to Taiwan 3 years ago. Before relocating to Taiwan, I worked as an advisor, trainer, and career coach supporting talent to reach their full potential. In addition to supporting individuals, I also advised corporate clients on how to coach candidates on the work floor. Before working as a career (job) coach, I started my professional journey as a special needs teacher, training disadvantaged children, and young adults in self-empowerment. I always encouraged my students to find the light within themselves and allow themselves to shine despite their challenging circumstances.
My three years in Taiwan has been an amazing and transformational journey. After a year of job searching, starting Mandarin study, immersing myself in a new culture, going through extreme highs and lows, frustrations, feeling out of place, missing family and friends – I got a job at GSK Taiwan as an Executive Assistant. In this role, I have found myself developing as the heart of the organization connecting, inspiring, and bringing different people and cultures together. I have also experienced breakthroughs in my personal life. Growing up, my childhood dream was to become a contemporary dancer. This was a goal that I worked hard for but was ultimately unable to pursue due to illness. Twenty years ago, I buried this dream, never imagining I would be able to one day be on stage again as a dancer. Thanks to my colleague Freya Wu, I signed up for a 4-day Flamenco Workshop towards the end of June in Taipei. On the last day, I auditioned among semi-professional, trained, fit dancers who were 20 years younger. I told myself that the outcome of the audition was no longer important as I enjoyed the experience so much. I found myself reconnecting not only with my passion for dance but more importantly, with myself.
You could have imagined my surprise when I found out I was chosen to be one of the 15 dancers to perform in a grand production, in collaboration with the National Taiwan Opera and the National Taiwan Symphonic Orchestra at the end of September.
Thereafter followed three months of intense training every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Getting out of my comfort zone, having doubts, dealing with the language barrier, fatigue, long travel time to the dance studio, wanting to give up, feeling frustrated, happy, grateful, insecure – you cannot imagine the whirlwind of emotions I felt and the thoughts that raced through my mind each day.
On September 26th, 2020, the big premiere became a reality. We performed in a sold-out venue despite theatres closing all around the world due to COVID-19 restrictions. The performance was also broadcasted live via YouTube to an international audience. There I found myself, on stage, and fulfilling a life long dream – it was a truly magical experience!
Taiwan has given me the opportunity to become an even better version of myself and re-connect me with my life’s purpose to remind people to dream big and never give up. You really can achieve anything, anytime, anywhere! I feel incredibly grateful and blessed for all the people who have supported me on this extraordinary journey and inspire others to live a life without regret!