Canada spoiled me. Rotten.
In Russia a lot of young families live with their parents. Or they buy a bachelor apartment where they live for quite a while before they can afford to buy anything bigger. If they have a one-bedroom apartment, it means they are doing really well.
My parents lived in a two-bedroom apartment with my brother, my father’s parents, my father’s sister for 10 years. Only after I was born, they were able to move to their own place – another two bedroom apartment – with two kids. It was considered unprecedented luxury.
Here, my daughter Maya had a room of her own before she was even born. We have two washrooms, big open concept living room, a den and three bedrooms upstairs. These bedrooms are not huge but they are big enough to fit in everything that needs to be in a bedroom.
I am very thankful. But I also believe that this is the trap of the American Dream. I was happy in Russia in a much smaller place. And my friends who are still in Russia and who live in smaller places are also very happy. But here it feels like you are being pressured to fit the image of a perfect family with a house that has a backyard, finished basement and a swimming pool. Cultural definitions of “home” are very different and I am still getting used to that.
I am thankful that my daughter doesn’t need to share a room with anyone. I am thankful that my parents can come and they will have a room to themselves. I am thankful that almost everything in this house was chosen and done by ourselves. I am thankful I have a place I can call my own.
But ultimately it is the people who live in this house that I care about. Not the extra 100 square feet.