Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year! Or a Walk Down the Memory Lane

I know it is already the forth day into the New Year, but I realized that I never showed my [crazy] New Year's outfit, and also I have something I would like to write about.

First, a few words about the New Year's celebration. This year I celebrated New Year's at this place in Brooklyn that I love called House of Yes. The party was awesome, we had lots of fun and had a great time. I didn't take any photos, but my friend sent me a couple so I will just attach those for the record. And yes, I did wear a crazy outfit this year.

The main reason for this post, however, resulted from me coming across my old journals yesterday. Well, I didn't exactly come across them, I was just in my room listening to some music on YouTube when one of the songs I used to listen to back in high school came on, and before I knew it I went down the memory lane, listening to song after song from the past, which then lead me to pick up my journals and see what I was going through in the past.

I was up until 1am, but after that little nostalgic endeavor, there are two things that I realized - one, things did not exactly happen as I remember them, and two, I have done (and am still doing) a tremendous job to get myself out of the hole I was once in.

Ok, first things first, my first point about the things not happening exactly the way I remembered. It has now been ten years since my mom and I came to the U.S. Obviously with time we forget things, we make things up, we create certain memories that may not be real. Thinking back to how it all started, I always thought that I came to this country in a poor mental state. I had an eating disorder, that is true; it started back in Russia in 2015. However, at the time I came to the U.S. things actually had already started getting better. After reading my journals I realized that at the time we moved to this country, I was quite a happy kid. I was a little lost and disoriented, that with me moving to a country where I didn't speak the language and did not have any friend, but overall I was happy. I had dreams, I had goals, I was grateful for every little surprise life (or my parents) through my way: my parents buying me my first 'dream' pair of shoes on the first day of schools and then us drinking champagne to celebrate at home; my seventeenth birthday party when I came back from school to a house decorated lovingly by my mom and then we went to Carrabba's where the servers brought me cake with candles and sang "Happy Birthday"; my mom and Eugene's wedding where I was secretly incredibly happy because we finally had a change at a real family, I still called Eugene "dyadya Ghenya"; the first time we went to uncle Serge's salon and he gave me highlights and the first time his daughter Anechka did my professional makeup, both times I came home feeling so beautiful! We were happy with every little detail. Of course, I was also scared and anxious about certain things, like going to school where I didn't know anyone and couldn't speak to anyone, but I stayed optimistic, I pushed through my fears, and I kept moving on.

Things started changing after about a year. I still had no real friends, and the friends that I had at school were a year older than me so they graduated when I started my Senior year of high school. I was alone, I felt lonely, and I started to feel desperate. Having friends was my biggest wish. I just wanted to be a part of a group, I wanted to hang out with people, I wanted them to see what a "fun, cool girl" Olga was. After a while my prayers had been heard and I finally made friends. But then a new fear started - will I be able to keep them? Having been lonely for so long and finally having friends, the idea of losing them was the most terrifying thought at the time. So just like that my fears began. And as they say "trouble comes in threes," on top of my fears to lose friends, I started dealing with stomach issues and social anxiety disorder. Not to go into too much detail, basically these issues continued and grew throughout the rest of my high school life and into my college life. By the time I was in college, I was a complete mess. No one knew, or not that many people knew, but I was in a very dark place.

Anyways, I will not dwell on that, all I want to say is that I have done a great job trying to get myself out of that place. I still struggling with a lot of the same issues, but I am learning how to deal with them. There are also still some things that I still need to work on, like putting myself first, stopping to try to prove myself all the time and just letting myself be just the way I am, letting things/people go, not trying to change myself into someone I am not, etc. But overall looking back, a lot of the things I wished for I have now - I have life-long friends, I am much more outgoing and sociable, I live in the city (although in my journals I wrote about living and working in Philadelphia, but at the time I could not even dream about New York). The only thing that continues to be a 'wish' throughout all these years is a boyfriend, but somehow something is preventing me from having one. Well, one day, when I learn the lesson I should learn (whatever it may be), it'll happen. If anything, through this visit down the memory lane via my journal, I learned a few things, and if I were to give myself an advice based on those things it would be this:

Stop trying to be perfect and stop taking full responsibility for everything that happens in your life and around you. You cannot take on so much and expect to be great at everything. And also, please remember to be patient because things WILL work out the way you want them to, you just need to give it some time.

But the question still remains - did this country make me or did it break me...


  1. Olga, Beautiful post--so raw and honest; thanks for sharing. I hope you take credit for making you the beautiful, successful, accomplished woman you are (and giving some credit to your mom and Eugene). Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you, Ms. Madeline! Happy New Year!!!!