Monday, October 13, 2014

Home - Part 2

This post is way overdue, but I was going through the saved pictures on my camera and came across the photos from my trip to Russia that I tool in October of 2014. I was very skeptical of this trip as I had not been back to Russia in four and a half years. I was thinking that everything changed, and I changed as well, and we would not have that much in common anymore. To my great surprise, everyone was exactly the same as I remembered, I felt like I never left. The city was different, in a better way, the people were still the same familiar, loving and loved faces. And most importantly, I actually felt home...

{Nothing like your grandma's love}

{View from the apartment. The same view I remember as a child}

{Out with my best friend} 



{Uncle and cousins}

Friday, October 3, 2014

Home

As days, and weeks, and months, and years go by, we don’t even notice how our lives constantly change. Just eight years ago, I was transplanted from my home in Russia (together with my mom) and relocated to a country that was unfamiliar and foreign to me. While the U.S. greeted us with warm welcomes, it was impossible to call it ‘home’ even though we knew we were staying here for good. Time went by, friendships were created, accomplishments were made, rewards were earned, and more and more I was starting to accept this life. On those initial steps, I was trying to assimilate, to blend in, to be like everyone else just to feel that I belong. However, a few years later I developed my own strengths and values, and I realized that the world around me started changing to accommodate my personality and values.

Today I am flying to Russia for a ten-day vacation to see my family. The last time I went back was in 2010, right after my Grandpa passed away. The trip was coming at the right time (although I wish it was triggered by different circumstances), I needed to be closer to my family. I was still in college, I did not know what I would do with my life; there were so many uncertainties. I needed to see where I fit in.

This time around, things are different. As wrong as it is to say, but today’s trip feels more like a burden, then a vacation. I’m sure I will feel differently as soon as I see my family and step into my grandma’s apartment. It is, however, interesting that now I have a feeling of going to an unfamiliar, distant place – almost the same feeling I had when coming to the U.S. Right now, New York is my home. It is the city I connect with, the city that shapes me into the person I am today. I think the reason I feel so strongly about this trip is my fear of losing what I have built myself up to be. This probably sounds mental, but it makes sense to me. That is why this time, I am more stressed out than excited about the visit to my home country.

Maybe I am making this up, maybe the last time I went I felt similar to what I feel now. Similar, but not the same. I am already homesick for my Brooklyn apartment and for my home at my mom’s and stepdad’s, but I am looking forward to this trip. Four years in between the visits is a good period of time to be able to compare and see things clearly. I can’t wait to feel what I will feel once I land at the airport in my home city; I can’t wait to experience the daily life I was so close to eight years ago; and I can’t wait to examine what I can truly call my ‘home’ at this point of my life. And of course, I will keep you posted.

{Me and my mom in my U.S. hometown}