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Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy 12th anniversary to me

Wow, time flies! It's been over a month since I've written anything in here. I guess I'd make a shitty Carrie Bradshaw. :) Anyway, I have a good reason to revive my blog today. Besides being a wonderful cool Friday night in June and the fact that my zaiki are in bed, and I'm sitting in the living room enjoying a nice cold Blue Moon, it is also a 12th anniversary of my coming to the United States. Epic!

 It's a date that usually falls off my radar, especially since we've had kids and most days I'm lucky if I remember to set my alarm clock, but tonight it hit me: June 8th, 2000 is the day I landed in New York City.

I came to the US to work in a summer camp and was scheduled to go back in August same year. I never did. The funny thing is that, a week before I left Russia, my girlfriend and I were joking about me falling for a square-jaw-baseball-playing-gum-chewing-American, getting married and staying there. In the end, my American husband does not play baseball or chew gum (thank you Jesus!) but he is square-jawed and handsome non the less. :)

I was very naive, young (like not able to buy liquor young) and full of hopes. Watching soapy American touchey-feeley movies where all the right doors open and everything is wonderful also played into my delusions that life will be easy for me once I get to the States. And things did work out, but it was pretty rough for the first few years. Like am I going to make it or am I going to disappear in the underbelly of Russian/Ukranian Massachusetts underworld rough. The craziest part of it all was deciding to stay in the States and leaving behind all the life I knew. I still can't talk about things that I lived through. I just can't. Words just don't string together. The first year in the US was truly the darkest, the most difficult time in my life.

I believe that there are many paths in life to choose from and our choices make us who we are (yes, it is a cliche, thank you!). One day I will tell my zaiki about the choices I had to make, and the happiness and heartbreak that came with them. How those choices made me tougher, but also made me almost lose hope, and taught me patience and humility (not really, still working on it!). How there are good people willing to help you, but there are also those who are looking to take advantage of your helplessness, and how to tell the difference. How difficult it is to live as an undocumented immigrant, to put your dreams on hold and to see precious time and opportunities slip by. How it is so hard not to see your mom for years, or miss your younger brother grow up. How without me making these choices they would not exist.

But tonight, I simply raise my beer to the day when my life changed irrevocably and forever and enjoy my quiet Friday night. Cheers!

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