Today I am thankful for the two places I can call home – Russia and Canada.
I was born in Russia and lived there for 25 years. I had no intention of leaving what so ever: I was an assistant professor at University, I had a bunch of great kids to tutor English, my parents were close and I had amazing friends.
My decision to move to Canada wasn’t something that I had been planning for a long time. It just happened 🙂 and I am very thankful to the universe that I took that step. My flight to Canada was quite an extraordinary one, let me tell you, but I will write a separate post about it one day. Believe me, it was once in a lifetime experience.
I felt home here in Canada almost immediately. Was it because of my Russian friends who let me stay with them for the first few weeks, was it because I had no language barrier, was it because I didn’t have a lot of expectations? I do not know. All I know is that I fell in love with this country at first sight, so to speak.
I am married, I have a kid and I have a very interesting job. I have friends and I can say that my life here is very comfortable. My parents are back home, some of my closest friends are also there, and my childhood and youth are left there as well. It is not an easy thing being an immigrant. Not at all.
When I need to count something fast – I do it in Russian. I speak with my husband and my daughter in English. I still watch movies with subtitles, not because I do not understand but because it has become a habit. Cooking blogs that I follow are in English. My favourite blogs are in Russian. I am starting to forget some words in Russian but my English vocabulary is not even close to my Russian one. I can go on and on.
Two countries with different cultures, histories, identities. I think, I have done quite well so far in Canada. Yet from time to time I can’t help having this overwhelming feeling of sadness. I have two sets of everything: family, friends, language, movies, music, jokes. But one set is 8 time zones away. That’s a lot of time zones, if you ask me.
I am thankful. I am. It is bittersweet. That’s all.