Monthly Archives: February 2014

Article by Elizabeth Gilbert and my thoughts on it.

” I continue to hone my craft with stolen hours that I bought myself!” Wow…what a profound idea and what a great article. 
I love the “stolen hours” part, I can soooooooo relate to that. But the crazy part is that I understand and totally agree with Elizabeth, but I can also so relate to her friends. It’s a strange, unexplained thing, how deep down inside so many of us want to be “saved” , want someone to ride in on a white horse and set us free from the misery we so often have to endure…the struggles that yes, makes us stronger, but boy does that wear you down, making you feel like you’re so tired out by life, when everything in you just wants to be this feminine, relaxed, peaceful, life loving version of you, one that is not rushed by the rat race we call life, one where you have time to be you and time to spend in your own world.
At the same token, great things do require great efforts, and probably be so much more appreciated and cherished if achieved by your own merit and will.
I strive every day to be an independent, strong woman I can admire, articles like this are like a little burst of energy that keep me going and remind me of my own potential and abilities and remind me to always be my own hero.
 
 
 
Dear Ones —
Help me to understand something. 

In the past year, I have overheard no fewer than four women in my personal acquaintance suggest that their lives would be completely solved (and that their creative potential would be completely realized) if only they had married (or could marry) a rich man. 

These are women whom I have admired for years. They are different in age, in background, in passions, in upbringing — but they are each strong and smart and competent and completely healthy in mind and body. And each one of them still dreams of snagging a guy with money, who will (presumably) remove all their obstacles and solve all their problems.

The most startling example was a woman who is a powerful, famous writer. This woman is ardent and outspoken feminist. An example to all human sisterhood. A person I have looked up to forever. We did a reading together recently. A young, female audience member asked her, “What advice to you do you have for aspiring writers?” The famous author replied: “Marry a rich man.”

When I heard this, my soul let out an anguished howl. I simply could not contain myself. I cried out, “NOOOOOO!”

The author turned to me in genuine surprise. “But how will she get her writing done, if she has to pay the bills herself?” she asked. 

People, listen to me. I wrote my first two books when I was a diner waitress and bartender. I worked as a nanny and a cook, and I stocked other people’s books in a bookstore. I did whatever work I had to do, and I honed my craft in my stolen hours. Hours that belonged solely to ME, because I had bought them myself. 

Toni Morrison wrote her first books as a single mother. She did it by getting up at 4:00am while her young son slept, and putting in the hours at the typewriter before she went to her fulltime paycheck-earning job. 

My friend Ann Patchett wrote her first books while she was a broke-ass waitress at TGI Fridays in Nashville. 

Her friend, the poet Lucy Greeley, wrote her books while she was in numberless hospitals, enduring countless reconstructive surgeries from a lifetime spent battling bone cancer.

Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott, Sue Monk Kidd, J.K. Rowling…do you want me to go on? 

There are no rich men in any of these stories. 

Please help me to understand, then, why this fantasy of the rich man endures. Why would a brilliant, gifted, healthy, powerful woman still hold to the hope that someday a Mr. Darcey will arrive, and open up a world of possibilities that she somehow cannot open for herself? 

Whenever I hear this fantasy expressed, in any form, I want to say, “WHERE IS YOUR DIGNITY, WOMAN?” 

I was practically a baby in the cradle when I first heard Gloria Steinem say that we should strive to become the men we always wanted to marry. I took it to heart. That was 40 years ago. Does it need to be said again? 

Can you help me wrap my mind around why this story endures? Can anyone explain this dream in a way that makes any sense to me? Because I really don’t get it. In fact, it makes me want to spit nails and blow fireballs through my ears. 

AUTONOMY IS THE GOD OF WOMEN. Never forget that.

Hell, autonomy is the god of everyone. 

Which is what I told all the aspiring young writers in the audience that night. And I also told them: “Now go get yours.”

Onward,
LG

Fallen Crumb

Fallen Crumb

Oil on canvas
Fallen Crumb

I painted this one when I was in the very dark state of mind, but after I came up with this concept and started working on it, I felt tremendously better. It’s like I have taken those feelings and was able to express them on the canvas, instead of allowing them to live within me.
It’s a concept of feeling powerless due to the circumstances beyond your control which control every aspect of your life.
This image represent the agony and pain as a result of that. Feeling like a little crumb that has fallen through the cracks of society.
The lack of acknowledgment and the carelessness is overwhelming and crushing.
In some way, this is my way of coping with it.

As an artist I do believe it is my responsibility to uplift and elevate others with my art. Which is why I will include this in my body of work called “Light at the End of the Tunnel”.

It will start out with a few “dark” paintings reflecting the trial and tribulations, which every one of us experiences at some point of our lives, but with every painting it will gradually become lighter and more vibrant, reaching towards light, love, beauty and everything that is worth living for.

There is a fire and I don’t have my pants!

Image

 

So, this has been an interesting morning, but instead of being annoyed, somehow the sheer absurdity of it all just made me laugh hysterically, which made me happy, because when I have my sense of humor I know I am feeling all right with the world.

Went to the gym this morning, got my workout, all good, as I am showering the fire alarm went off, employees running around telling people to get out, apparently someone has worked a treadmill so hard it literally caught on fire. Yeah! Woo-hooo for that person, they need to donate some of that energy to me, ha ha.

So, I get out, frantically getting dressed when I realized I forgot to pack my pants! Really? Fire and no pants in one morning, you couldn’t make this shit up! But, it all worked out, another beauty of living in downtown, close to home and the gym, so sitting at work now, safely sipping my coffee and yes, I have my pants on, lol 🙂

Chapter Three: Eternal Gratitude

Chapter III

Eternal Gratitude

When we first came to US we were really fortunate to have gotten involved with the church and it helped us to much! We met the most amazing people, who opened their hearts to us.

Let me just say this, seeing the kindness of the people here in US have restored my faith in humanity.

We have never experienced anything like that. In Estonia life was rough and every man was for themselves. We didn’t see any sympathy or help from anyone, besides our relatives. Only the opposite.

It was just a vastly different world.

When we got our first apartment we had absolute nothing! We have left our world behind in Estonia with everything in it. We came here with 2 small bags and ourselves, and it is not in any way an exaggeration.

People from church donated a whole new life to us! They gave us clothes, household things, toys for my sister, groceries, and rides to church.

I wanted to dedicate this chapter to the eternal gratitude I feel within for the kindness and generosity we have encountered from the people who didn’t even know us.

I consider myself very lucky, not only because of the courage of my beautiful mother who had so much guts and strength to bring us here, but to have experiences so much good, to see so much love in humanity. Thank you!

There were so many people whom I would like to thank. I moved away, or they did, but I thought about those people many times, sending them love, blessings and just thinking well of them and what they did for us.

I don’t remember all the names and even faces, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t remember their good deeds.

Chat and Fran Barnett, were a couple from church who became close to us. For one, they’re the first older couple whom I witnessed to still be in love. They even had a date night every week.

I remember one of the Thanksgivings when they invited us to their home. It wasn’t a big house, but it was full of love. I have never seen a family like that before, everyone getting together, cooking together, playing a piano and singing songs after dinner by the warm fire place.

It was so new to me. I admired and envied them a little.

I loved it when they would come to pick us up on Sunday, they would take us to church and on the way home they would always treat us to lunch. Going to McDonald’s was such a treat.

It is funny now, looking back and remembering how we couldn’t even order food there. We told them what we wanted and they kept asking us questions, and we kept saying that we just want a burger. I don’t think I could repeat this process again…immigration I mean, to a foreign country where you feel like death and dumb because of the language barrier. I am glad I am able to laugh about it now.

Of course I mentioned Sharon, who picked me up every morning to take me to school. I can only imagine how challenging it is already finding time in the morning to get ready for work and get your children ready, much less worrying about someone else’s child.

Someday, I would like to give her a hug and tell her how much it meant to me and how much it benefited me to have that experience.

I remember a young couple, their faces, but not their names. They took us to the grocery store and we had the biggest shopping spree ever! Even to this day.  As we went from isle to isle, he kept asking us if we’ve tried this or that and when he found out we didn’t, he was so excited to get us to try something new. We had at least couple things of each and 2 full buggies.

It was Christmas and Thanksgiving combined! After going through near starvation in Estonia, when Soviet Union fell apart and we had endured empty shelves for over a year, words cannot express how this made us feel.

The husband was mostly motivated to help us, but after we had checked out, I felt really bad, the wife didn’t seem that happy that he spent so much money on us.

But we didn’t ask for it. In fact we didn’t ask for much, people offered to help us on their own accord.

That was definitely a first. I couldn’t believe that people just wanted to help us, without any alternative motives. I loved that about American culture and it was definitely new to us.

There are so many others who helped and who cared.

Although we did encounter people who weren’t friendly and almost hostile with us because of us being an immigrants or Russians, I don’t even know exactly why, the reason I am writing this, is because I believe it is so important to remember the good more than you hold on to the bad.

To me, it is vitally important to count your blessings and to truly feel gratitude and love.

It’s also important to focus on the good. Even in the darkest times.

We all encounter hurt and disappointment in our lives, it is a part of life and cannot be avoided. But I don’t believe in regrets. Even for the events or circumstances that caused me a great deal of pain.

Regrets are like an unfinished business, it’s something you haven’t let go of or accepted. They don’t serve us in any way and the sooner we can let go of them, the faster we can move on.

Gratitude is a powerful tool and we all have something that we can be grateful for.

I am grateful to be alive and well to write this.

 

Chapter Two: Transition

Chapter II

Transition

 

Vera is the name which I will forever remember as our Angel.

Vera was Luba’s mother. She was a kind hearted woman, patient and friendly. She was an amazing cook and she loved to make people happy, to cook and invite friends to share her wonderfully made food. People in church adored her. She was incredibly caring person and I don’t know what we would have done without her help. God Bless you Vera! May you rest in peace. I will always be grateful to you and remember your kindness.

  She was the reason we are here now. First with immigration, her name was on the guest visa for us to come and visit.

Of course, I could probably write another book just on the logistics of our immigration process and how it all went down. But for now, I’ll try to keep it short.

 

Sometimes we went to church on Sunday. I have never been to that kind of church, in Estonia they didn’t really exist. So, it was all very new to me. Of course I couldn’t understand anything pastor said, but I liked the singing and the kindness in the eyes of the people there. I felt love.

We enjoyed our outings.

 

This was Easter. We went to the service, Luba, Vera , Angelina and maybe Luba’s husband, I can’t remember now. As the service finished and people started leaving or gathering to catch up, we made our way to the pastor’s office.  Vera insisted on speaking with the pastor. At a time I didn’t understand much, but I gathered the sense of urgency. Vera wanted to talk about us. She was a good standing member of the church and this time she came for help. She told them that my mom was a single mom with 2 kids and that we just came from Estonia. She said that we had nobody else and really needed help to get on our feet.

As we left the office and were walking down the hallway towards the exit, Vera suddenly fell. She fell on the ground and her eyes were closed.  I don’t remember much after that, I was just in shock…She was taken to the hospital and later that day I was told that she left us.

I was so sad that I would never seen this wonderful lady again, just when I was just getting to know her. I sat in her apartment, her husband was there. I couldn’t believe that I was in her apartment with her smells and things and that she wouldn’t be coming back here.

 

The church honored Vera’s last wishes. They rented us an apartment and paid rent for 3 months, along with food and bills.

We were beyond happy! It felt like a victory day. Our own space! That old tiny apartment which wasn’t in the best area was such a happy place for us at that time. New beginning!

 

The great part was that it was near the shops. I remember we ventured out on our first walk, went to a grocery store! It was truly surreal, as we have never seen anything like that in our lives.

 

Mom and I worked with Luba at the flower shop for a while. I remember it was Valentine’s day and we worked for over 16 hours. I was delirious from standing on my feet for so long, yet so happy to be working, making money and smelling the roses! Ha ha, when the boss paid the compliment on my work, I felt like I was on a 7th heaven. Plus, we were treated with fried chicken, also a first and it tasted amazing.

 

After a little while we received our work authorizations and I marched by myself to the clothing store TJMaxx to get a job. By that time we became familiar with the stores around and I really wanted to be there, it seemed like a magical place. I still didn’t speak English very well, but I was polite and very enthusiastic. Boss hired me for a minimum wage and I was assigned a task of putting up clothes back from the fitting rooms and keeping things straight. I took my job very seriously and worked very hard. Soon after my English continued improving and I was able to run a cash register.

  I was such a late bloomer. I remember when guys, especially younger ones would come through my register I could hardly function. My hands were sweating and shaking, I felt my face being hot and flushed and I could hardly speak a pick directly in their eyes. I was very nervous around the opposite sex, for many years.

The job was fun!  At least in the beginning, when I could still appreciate it because the newness of it hasn’t worn off and because at that stage of my life it was an accomplishment.

I truly felt a sense of achievement, maybe for the first time in my life. I mustered enough courage to go and ask for a job, by myself. I figured there wasn’t anything to lose and the worst thing that will happen is that I will hear no.

  It helped me in many ways, I can see it much clearer now. It wasn’t just a paycheck, it was so much more to me and I learned many valuable lessons there.

 

School was fun at first, before I faced the reality of public schools.

When we first came here, a lady from church, Sharon has gone out of her way to help us, me in particularly. Her 2 sons went to a Christian private school and somehow she was able to arrange so that I could go as well without paying a dime. I only spoke a few words in English, but I was allowed a great opportunity to go to school and observe, sit next to someone and copy their notes. It helped me to learn English tremendously! Sharon, wherever you are – Thank you! I will never forget your kindness!

She came every morning to pick me up and take me to school with her sons.

It helped me more than I ever had a chance to tell her! It was such a nice experience. Most people treated me with kindness and compassion, for the exception of a few students who kept asking me about my father and how come I didn’t have one. I found it infuriating but I didn’t let it show.

So I went to this wonderful private school, full of tidy, smiling children in their neat uniforms for about 4 months or so. It amazed me when I first started to actually understand what the class was talking about.

That’s how it usually happens, you start understand more before you speak; next you force yourself to speak starting with putting together a sentence or two.

But I felt like I was making progress and I liked it there.

 

But…next year I was in for a rude awakening…to say the least.

 

When you immigrate to US, you’re integrated into the school system through a program called ESL – English Second Language. It helps students to study English while also taking other classes with ESL teachers. Those classes helped me tremendously and I am so grateful to those teachers. Immigrant kids were kind of unruly and it took extra care and attention to teach those classes, I am sure.

In Charlotte, NC there was only 1 high school that offered ESL Program, it was in West Charlotte High School. That meant that it was my only option for school.

In Estonia schools are very different. You kind of stay with most of your classmates throughout the whole time you go to school. For most classes teachers came to our class. There weren’t any lockers. Lunch time – meant you were going to eat with your whole class, seating was arranged, our meals and drinks were already on our tables when we arrived. This eliminated a lot of awkwardness, clicks and separation to some degree.

 

My first day in school was hectic and scary. I have never seen so many buildings, trailers and so many students! In Estonia our school was one large building.  I had no clue where to go or how to get there.

It was beyond confusing. I stopped in the bathroom and a few seconds later 3 black girls came in and one of them pushed me away from the mirror. By that time, I was well aggravated, frustrated and my patience just reached the end of my rope. I kind of lost it. I started yelling at them in Russian. After about a minute of silence and obvious shock, their expressions have quickly changed to reflect a friendlier demeanor. They started asking me where I am from and I think they even helped to direct me to where I needed to go.

I barely made friends. There were a couple of other Russian girls I started hanging out with. Until one day, when another girl got off the same bus stop I did, she started talking to me, a lot, like a whole lot. I didn’t mind, she seemed weird, but she was also an immigrant, at that time from Ugoslavia. I guess that bonded us, we were both kind of like a fish out of water.

 

She was kind of loud and obnoxious, I also suspected that the stories she was telling me were lies, but she lived in the same apartment complex I did and I guess I was glad for her company.  I did found out later that she made up a bunch of fibs to make herself into someone she wasn’t. I didn’t understand it, but I never called her out on it. I just chose to let it go.

 

At one time I called her my best friend. Our parting wasn’t on the best of terms years later.

So, Daniella and I became friends. She did most of the talking.

During this time, I wasn’t very talkative. It was when things at home already turned ugly with Alex.

  I remember waking up in the morning with regret. Regret of being alive in this reality. Stuck!

I think I cried every day from 17 to 18 years old.

I hated everything and everyone. Even myself…probably mostly myself for feeling this way…I really did not want to live anymore.

 

Sometimes days slowly morphed into weeks and I would go to school transparent as a ghost, not talking to anyone for long periods of time. Just going through the motions.

School bus was the worst.

This school I went to was what you would call in the not the most desirable location. It was overwhelming and a complete culture shock. The first day of school I witnessed as the chair was frown across the cafeteria.

There were fights on a school bus almost every day. I have never seen such violent people and they seemed to be so much more developed and mature than me. I couldn’t really call them kids. Lots of girls had children and already a very active adult life.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I felt like a fish out of water.

I felt like I was from another fucking planet.

 

Daniella would later tease me as she loved to rehash the stories of the school days. Her lack of understanding and compassion infuriated me beyond belief, I felt betrayed by her, each time she would tell the story of how I would always sit in the front, next to a window, staring out the whole time, with the headphones pulled over my ears. But it’s true. I did. What she failed to realize is how bad of a shape I was in. I was standing at the edge. Looking down. Considering the idea of jumping…

Everyone around me seemed completely mad. Their obnoxiously loud laughter pierced my insides with sharp pain. I couldn’t stand to see anyone happy…it caused me so much pain I felt like crawling out of my skin. And the worst part is that I felt completely and utterly alone.

 

I had a little cassette player which I cherished. It was a little tiny bridge to something beautiful, away from the warped reality I was living in.

My first tape was Enigma. I listened to this tape thousands of times, over and over, every day, every school bus ride. In my mind it sounds terribly theatrical to say that music saved my life, but in this instance that beautiful, haunting music saved a piece of my sanity and brought much needed beauty to my soul. It was my only escape.

I went to West Charlotte High for a year, I transferred to a nearby school East Meck next year, despite still having a huge language barrier. I couldn’t take it anymore. Not the 5:30am bus rides, not the bus altogether. I walked to East Meck the following 2 years every day.

Chapter One: Surreal

Chapter I

Surreal

 I try to remember how it all happened, how I felt when we got on the plane to leave our life in Estonia behind and come to US. But I can’t. Not really. It’s like remembering snippets from a movie but not the whole movie.

I remember feeling utterly surreal. I felt that I sort of checked in my emotions, locked them in the safe until the next step. Until I knew for sure how I should feel.

After all, this wasn’t the first close encounter. We tried to immigrate to US in 1988 or 87, before my sister was born. It was just mom and I. But we had different last names, because my mom got re-married and there was one typo in my last name, which got us denied the beginning of a new life. One wrong letter changed our lives forever.

 

So we stayed in Estonia, my mom reconciled with my stepfather and in 1989 my sister was born. But not long after the birth of my sister things took a turn for the worse when my stepfather fell off the wagon of sobriety and his alcoholism took over his life completely.

There were some dark times…darker than I care to remember…

 

But we were living it all behind. I wasn’t for sure that we were, in fact I just went through the motions, feeling nervous, scared, excited but at the same time somehow numb. Like I didn’t believe what was happening.

I didn’t look at Estonia with the thoughts that I would see it for the very last time. We fled Estonia leaving everything behind and flew into the unknown.

We had just 2 small bags, my sister was 4 and I was 15. This was my first time on a plane.

And even sitting in the passenger seat, I still didn’t believe that it was actually happening. I remember we had to make a stop in Helsinki. We sat in the airport where I was surprised to see that most people smoked, it all looked so foreign and I was captivated by everything going on around me.

I guess that’s what I remember most about Helsinki, sparkling clean bathrooms of the airport and clouds of cigarette smoke. I wondered if it would be the same in America.

It wasn’t.

 

We landed in New York airport on December 27, 1993.

There were so many different people, the colors, flow of people and not knowing where to go to pick up our bags terrified me.

It was scary and fascinating at the same time.

We finally got our bags and were walking down the hallway where our friends were supposed to meet us.

Scared and exhausted we were looking for our friends who were waiting to greet us. We looked at other expecting faces, so different from the faces I was used to, they terrified me, we weren’t exposed to many other races and nationalities growing up in Estonia.

 

I have seen an African American people in Moscow, but there were far and few in between. There was one African American boy in our school, who was everyone’s fascination. I so wanted to talk to him, to touch his hair and beautiful, dark skin…but he wasn’t in my class and so I didn’t get a chance to do that.

  What I remember most about those first few hectic moments of panic in the airport, is a very tall African American (or maybe she was just African) lady, she had on a very bright national African dress, with a head wrap that matched it and around her neck was a necklace made up of large plastic fruits, mostly oranges. I had never seen anyone so colorful! Another African American person had dreadlocks which I have never seen.

It seemed absolutely surreal.

 

As we were walking I realized in that moment that I vaguely remembered my mom’s friend and that I didn’t remember what her husband looked like at all. I remember my little sister ran up to a woman for a hug, because for a moment we thought it was Luba, my mom’s friend. We quickly realized that it wasn’t.

For a second I had a chilling thought, what if there wasn’t anyone expecting us?  Luckily my doubts quickly passed as we reunited with our friends. 

 

We actually still have a photo of the 3 of us walking through the airport. My sister looked so tiny. Beside us in a photo is a large white orb, we always joked around and would say that we brought our ghost/spirit with us.

As we walked through the airport I already felt like an alien from another planet, it was so different, people, clothes, their hairstyles, it all seemed overwhelming and made me feel anxious, like an increasingly loud drum drawing closer and closer. I felt relieved to finally get in the backseat of the car and embrace the darkness as I closed my eyes.

From New York airport it was a long 12 hour ride to Charlotte, NC. We passed lit up gas stations which I have never seen and road tolls, I was exhausted, we all were, it was a long plane ride and I didn’t sleep during any of it. As we drove down the highways, I was looking outside the window, as we rushed through the darkness,  I remember thinking to myself: “Is this real? Is this really happening? We really are in America. We made it.”

By the time we got to their house I was more tired than I have ever been in my life. Everything was a blur and I just wanted to sleep.

I have never seen a house like theirs. It was a 2 story house with a glass front door. I looked at it in disbelief and wondered how is it that they’re not getting robbed?

It seemed so beautiful to me, the house, furniture and when I got upstairs to Angelina’s room, I felt like I was in a fairytale. Angelina was about 10 I guess, she was Luba’s daughter, we played together when she was a bit younger in Estonia. Our moms would come visit each other once in a while.

Her bedroom was designed with pink and purple colors and her bed had a hanging canopy. I thought she was the luckiest girl in the world.

I don’t remember falling asleep or how long I slept, it was many, many hours, maybe even the whole day.

I remembered waking up and heading downstairs. The first food I tried was cereal Lucky Charms, I have never had cereal before and it tasted like a slightly sweetened cardboard that shouldn’t have been edible.

Actually nothing tasted good at first, everything tasted very different, butter, milk, bread, it was weird.

 

We sat on the plush, soft sofa in their specious living room and the first thing we watched was the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. I wanted to cry. This was one of the best moments in my life. The big color TV and the movie, it all overwhelmed me with its beauty and colors.

It’s still my favorite one, because I remember just how I felt when I saw it. Luba translated, well, some of her translations were kind of funny, and years later we laughed about it. When she told us someone said: “I need a dozen eggs”, they were really saying “I need success!” ha ha or vice versa. Why do I remember that?

 

Mom knew some English; I studied English in school but couldn’t really say more than just a couple of words.

We would spend the next 3 months in their house, sharing one bed between the three of us and only getting out to walk outside. They lived in the newly developed area, so the only thing was there are the other houses and a road.  There were little walkways and a lake, there was also a small square with a clock tower and a water fountain. Nearby was the only restaurant, more like a trailer actually, mom spend the only $20 she had to her name on a burger couple of times which the three of us shared. Food was scarce in Luba’s house, they hardly cooked, so we had made some plain noodles most of the time, we were never taken out anywhere for the 3 months we spend living with her.

One of the first places Russians usually go after immigrating to US is the grocery store. We heard stories about that and we were dreaming of going there.

I am not sure how to even express that unless you’re from another country or have seen how other, less fortunate live around the world.  It’s kind of life changing.

Starting my book

Light at the End of the Tunnel

By Alina Skye

Introduction

 The idea of this book was born long before this day, but it is starting now – March 18, 2009 at approximately 10:50 a.m.

After battling with my situation for over 15 years, it suddenly came to me: “I should write a book about this experience”, after all, I have something to write about, I don’t have to imagine it, it happened, I am living it. And so it starts.

 I have to make a correction. It is now January 27th of 2014.

I can hardly believe that 5 years have passed.  After writing just a few chapters I have put my book on hold. Until now.  The events that took place are real. At times it is painful to write about. Since 2009 my situation haven’t changed…

 It’s important to have a purpose in life; in fact, it’s one of the most important things there is. So, I’ve found my purpose for now, to write this book and tell my story. As it is, just as it happened.

I hope, that my book will help someone to find the strength within, in order to make a change. As I am writing this book, I also hope to find this strength within myself as well.

Map of Estonia

Map of Estonia

Estonia’s map

Monday blues…

As the Monday drags on through the fog of twisted reality I cannot seem to find my ground…or peace. I feel trapped in the fragments of reality and something that seems surreal, as if in a dream, where I cannot define shapes only shadows.

I feel pressure of being restricted, I am mentally gasping for air, unable to take a deep breath. My mind is racing as I fight the feelings of hopelessness and desperation. Not again! Go away! Leave me the fuck alone!!! Be calm, don’t lose it. Everything is ok, forcing myself physically to take deep breaths I feel dizzy, but it’s working, it’s distracting me from myself.

What to do…what to do…I am forcing myself to feel the artificial feelings I am “allowed” to feel in particular circumstance, as if reading it from a list. It is so much more convenient for everyone when I am not dying inside. But even if I am…even when I feel like I cannot go on, answering phones, pretending to be ok, happy to answer the same stupid questions day after day for 6 years, hearing my voice going through the motions as if automated conveyer, who cares? Everybody just wants me to be ok. But what can you do with a broken down machine? It makes others feeling uncomfortable knowing that “the machine” is one stop away from breaking down completely. Shattering into million brilliant fucking pieces.

Fuck you! Fuck you world! Why are you laughing at me???  The cruelty of your joke has worn off…pick a new victim, you fucker!

Is this really that bad? It’s not bad, just stagnant. Like water that doesn’t have movement, it is standing still until it’s stale and dead. No, it’s not bad, I am able to have a job and pay taxes. But that is all that I am able to do.

I feel like I have a potential in me to do so much more… I just haven’t had any opportunities thus far…more than performing the same, mindless duties day after day, without a spark of creativity, interest or soul.

How should I feel? Lucky to be alive? Lucky that I have a job at all? Lucky that I am able to do anything at all, when I have lived in US for 20 years now in a fucking limbo! Without a promise of a light at the end of the tunnel!

I consider myself creative, vibrant, smart, life loving person who has gotten a shit of a deal from life. To be 35 and 22 out of those years being stateless. Unable to realize my dreams or potential. Unable to go to college so that I can realize my long dream of being an artist and a photographer…When will this end? Will I have any desire or passion left for life after this is all over with? Will I still have a will to live left in me?

I am not entirely sure…I hope and pray that I don’t lose myself before I have an opportunity to find myself at long last.

I just know that I am exhausted at fighting and suffering with my secret in silence.  I feel like I am standing at the edge, looking down, considering what would happen if I jumped. 

But that is not the way. Not for me. I am a fighter. I am a survivor. I made it from physical and emotional abuse as a child, survived 2 stepfathers and an insane ex-husband. I have looked out for my sister since I was just 11. Trying to help my mother best I could.

Bought my 1st pair of sneakers at the age of 14, by picking berries with my grandmother and selling them standing in front of the grocery store. We have survived a starvation and a great depression in Estonia after Soviet Union fell apart.

I have run away from home many times…last time when I was 18 turned into my last. I never went back home. I made a new home for myself, where I would be safe.

I have worked since I was 16, lived on my own, left my home to go and live in another state without knowing anyone twice. I have fucking immigrated from Estonia and have lived stateless for 22 years.  2 years in Estonia and 20 years here. I feel like a little crumb that fell through the cracks of society. I have felt lost and displaced for many, many years…and still do.

I have survived an alcohol and drugs addictions, have tried to commit suicide 3 times in my life, 1st time when I was just 9 years old and somehow have been given 3 more chances at life.  

For better or worse I am still here.

Universe, grant me the strength and perseverance not to lose it. Grant me the strength to make my dreams come true! I want to live! I truly want to live, not just survive!

God, I want to scream at the top of my lungs but not from pain anymore. But from an intense, overwhelming desire to live and have experiences I have always dreamed of.

I want to wake up in the morning, even if it’s so early that it’s still dark, excited to start a new day. Hungry for life! And everything is has to offer. I want to learn! Learn from other photographers, I want to be on the shoots in the locations out in nature, mountains, oceans, desserts, creating images that make you think of something higher, because how else something so beautiful and perfect could have been created.

I want to do something that matters. Matters to me. I have always meant to create beautiful things. Whether it’s art, photography or other outlets of creative expression.  I just want to be a bridge between reality and all that is good and beautiful in the world.

I can work harder than anyone I know! When I am doing what I was meant to do! When I feel like I am finally alive!

I feel a little better having written this…I no longer feel the way I feel so often in my dreams, where I am standing terrified of something, wanting to scream, but instead I am completely paralyzed, unable to utter even the slightest sound.

It’s better to cry, it’s better to hear your soul cry out, rather than feeling nothing but numbness and darkness…

 

I am ALIVE!

I started writing my book again. Looking in my notes I found where I started it in March of 2009. I realized that somehow 5 years managed to pass…so, I am picking up the pieces of what I already wrote and what I am ready to write now and integrating them together.

It’s really hard…may be the hardest thing I have yet to do. The book is about my life. So, it’s kind of a big step to look at your whole life and write it in a book, as if a reflection from a mirror.

But I feel like I have to do it. No more waiting. No more silence.