Post-Traumatic Growth

Journey to my true self

Anna Cley
5 min readMay 8, 2021

The Journey of the Heart is a dream. It’s the dream that more people on Earth will take their leap of faith toward the true calling of their heart. Even when, and probably especially when, the odds seem to be against them.

I have this belief, deeply anchored in me since I was a very young child, that if someone is happier, it makes the world a better place. Not only by raising global energy with their own well-being — which, in itself, is already a lot — but also because when someone is happy and fulfilled, they tend to be more caring for others, too.

The release of my book The Journey of the Heart marks the beginning of my third career. From rocket science to opera singing to bold creation. Since I announced the upcoming release, I’ve already received many messages sharing how inspiring it is. I’m thinking to myself, both with humility and pride, that if it inspires others to dare and explore more, then I’m doing what I always wanted to do in the core of my soul.

It’s not about what I do. It’s about how it encourages others to find that spark of hope within them to take one more step toward their true self.

Because I left a successful career in the space industry for music, because I left my home country all by myself with a backpack and a suitcase to start a new life, because I sang on the subway platforms to survive after leaving my job as an executive, I’ve heard many times over the years that I was courageous and brave. Truth being said, just like you, I hate uncertainty. And in fact, I don’t see myself as someone particularly brave. To me, it’s not about courage, it’s about survival.

— Presenting our moon station project to the NASA with my classmates at Politecnico di Milano, Italy — (Second from the right)

I can say without shame that from age 14 to 25, suicide was a lot on my mind. It was always there with me, even when I worked for the French space agency, had a boyfriend, worked out ten hours a week, and looked like a bimbo on the weekends. A couple of years of Lacanian psychoanalysis helped me unveil some forgotten memories from my childhood. They came back to the surface of my mind like bubbles that were stuck in the mud for a lifetime. To this day, many memories are still stuck in the mud as my memory sometimes feels like a big gruyère (yes, I’m talking about the French cheese full of holes). My work in self-analysis helped me understand how much I had been conditioned by the first twenty years of my life.

In my heart, I wanted to live a different life, a meaningful existence, but I did not dare at all to listen to my heart!

At 25, I started to volunteer in a hospital for children on Sundays. No more boyfriend. I still looked like a bimbo every now and then when going out with my friends, but somehow, the suicidal thoughts had disappeared. At 26, I started a new position at the headquarter of a major company in the space industry. I hated my job and felt disrespected (I guess it was not easy for my 50 year-old male colleagues to team up with a young and smart woman), and both the work atmosphere and industry weren’t aligned with my values. The contrast between my Sundays with the sick children and my constraining workplace was so strong that I burned out. I just came to a point where I couldn’t go back to work.

In the USA, people love to talk about “mental health”. I dislike this expression very much. “Mental health” suggests that you are sick and there is something wrong with you. But is there, really? Maybe there is, or maybe you’ve just been so conditioned or traumatized that you lost your way home — to your true self.

Everything I did after I burned out had little to do with courage, it was about survival. Human beings are complex creatures and we have both impulse for life and impulse for death within ourselves. I chose life.

Choosing life didn’t mean going for the easy and safe path. It meant trying to find myself, no matter what.

Since I was a little girl I knew I came to serve a higher purpose. This is the feeling that drove me to take the steps toward my true self. I was not courageous when I left my job and my country, but I was when I started my psychoanalysis. It does take courage to face our darkness. Every time I went for therapy, it was because I felt I was not aligned with myself and I did not know how to remove blocks that I couldn’t name nor understand. Talking with someone can help us find such clarity and become the person we truly are. The person we had in ourselves when we were born. Who we were (are) before absorbing the expectations, restrictions and judgements of the environment we grew up in.

One thing I can tell you is that every year I’ve lived since I was 25 was a happier year than the year before. It doesn’t mean I was happy all the time. In fact, occasionally, my mind would take me to very dark places again. But I’ve certainly lived a beautiful and fulfilled adventure on this planet so far.

Perhaps because I found myself over the years, the baby growing in my belly chose me so that I can enter the next stage of growth in my life. I’m becoming a new person and discovering my new self every day on this transformational journey of motherhood.

I am and I become. The journey never ends.

The Journey of the Heart is a philosophical fiction but it is, in many ways, the story of my life, too. It’s the universal story of all those who dare to explore and become their true self.

What does your true self tell you right now?

To learn about The Journey of the Heart, visit

Join me on the Facebook group Live Here

For music, projects and more, visit

Empowering children and youth impacted by trauma: visit