Saturday, February 18, 2017

Going Home (Hesitation)

Today is quite an exciting day. Today, I am going to Russia to see my family! Although interestingly enough it became 'exciting' just recently, just a couple of days ago. Up until then, I was extremely nervous and confused about this upcoming trip. I do not remember if I felt this way the last time I went to Russia (and I specifically did not read the post that I wrote before that trip as I wanted this to be honest), but this time I was going through a whole array of various, not such pleasant emotions. It's not that they were unpleasant, it's more that I felt sort of unsettled, scared and extremely anxious. Of course I tried analyzing what exactly is causing these uncalled for emotions, and I think there are a few things.

First, subconsciously I keep thinking that it will be hard to get along with my family. I keep thinking that living in different countries, in different worlds almost, we have changed too much to understand each other. I know I am a very accepting and adaptive person; however, I keep thinking that my family will judge me and think that I became dumber, lazier, more uninteresting. I know this is probably stupid of me to think, but bear with me please, I am just being honest about how I feel. Also, if they do end up judging me, so what? It's time for me to stand up for myself. But it's just the thought of having to defend myself is giving me anxiety. I do hope that this is all in my head, but we'll see.

Second, this is kind of related to the first point, but all of a sudden I am realizing that I have lost some Russian traits in me, specifically that desire to always look perfectly put together. In Russia, people are very focused on dressing up, always wearing makeup, always wearing heels, always looking like they are going to a party. Lately, I only look like that when I am actually going to a party; the rest of my time is spent in comfort. Don't get me wrong, I still dress up to work, but I do not do it every single day, and I do not accompany my pretty outfits with hair and makeup. My hair is pretty much always pulled into a ponytail and my makeup consists of eyeliner I wear under my glasses. So it has been all about comfort lately. Hard work and comfort. At the same time, it's not like all I do is work, work, work; I do have more fun here that I ever had before. I think I have a good balance of work and fun right now, but again, I do not put enough time into making myself look prettier. At the same time (I know I am going in circles right now), I do like to be more natural when I do not have to put on a full face of makeup. I don't know, I am debating about this one being something I need to work on (i.e. do my hair, wear makeup, etc.) or being something I need to accept and appreciate (i.e. chill and be comfortable with who I am). Again, we'll see how I will feel about this one after going to Russia, where people's values about their appearance are the complete opposites of the people here (we're talking in general, obviously there are a lot of people here who take great care of themselves, and there are a lot of people in Russia who do not take care of themselves at all).

Lastly, I think what stresses me out the most though is the fact that going back to Russia makes me realize how much I miss everyone. It's hard, it will probably always be hard. We live these separate lives, lives in different counties, on different continents. While a lot of things between these countries are very much alike, there are a lot of things that are completely different. I have grown to really love this country, everything here makes sense to me, I have accepted this county as my home. So what happens is I get on with my life here, I make a bunch of steps forward, learning new things, enjoying my life in New York, and then when I go back to Russia, it almost feels like I take a few steps back. I realize how much I miss everyone and everything, and that makes me sad. The thing is, this will probably never go away, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. So what I miss the place I grew up in, the place where my family still is, the place that will always and forever be my home? If anything, I should feel lucky, because as my mom says "we should be grateful because now we have two homes."

So all these feelings have been making me very stressed out and upset for no reason. Today, however, I feel differently. I am excited to see my family, I am excited to see my home city, I am excited to potentially learn something new about my culture and about myself, and then bring that knowledge back and apply it here. This will be a good trip. Whether I am happy or sad about things by the end of it, I have a feeling it will unlock some interesting facts and information for me. So here comes a new adventure - let's see what it brings!


  1. I hope you can relax and enjoy the visit. Your feelings of push/pull are not uncommon among people who live away from family. We are not the same people we were when we lived with family so every visit presents the challenge of being true to who you have become. I think the most important thing, though, is to feel the love and soak up memories.

    1. Agreed, Ms. Madeline! And of course it turned out to be an amazing trip... I was reminded how wonderful my family is. I really truly miss them.