“In Russia, I was studying marketing. But when I came to the US to work for the summer a couple of years ago, I stayed after meeting Nick (now my husband). My mom didn’t like that”. *laughs*
A couple of days ago, My Russian coworker at a restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland relayed the story of her last two years struggling to start out in hopes of giving me advice for my move next month. Upon my return to the USA and its catapult into a whirlwind of divided politics and opinions, it is relieving to see people from ten different countries working in one restaurant together and helping each other to make things run smoothly. This diversity is what makes America so powerful, beautiful, and influential.
“We lived with his mother, who is blind. She had abandoned Nick when he was young, and he stayed with his father for most of his life, but twenty years later, she reached out to him. We had nowhere else to go, so we stayed with her in New Jersey, and at first he received money for helping her, but later she took most of it. I begged him that we had to leave, so we finally did, and went to his sister’s house in Maryland after seven buses and a couple days later with one hundred dollars. After one night of staying there, she gave us a Hilton Hotel gift card for one night and sent us on our way. Then we searched for work. The next day, a restaurant called me. I was texting Nick and texting him, and he didn’t find anything, but by the end of the day, he had found a job cooking. Since he had to work in the kitchen, and I was a server, we were able to live off of my wages for a week before he started making money. We lived in a church for a little bit, and lost most of our luggage to a hotel manager who had not written me a receipt for my payment of that week and later claimed that I had not made it. But finally we both found work and now that we have a baby on the way we’re very lucky to have been able to find a place to live, too. Nick is such a good cook and makes something more than $12 an hour! So good!”
Anything can come with perseverance, I’ve learned, but it helps when you have the support of others. It is when we trust and understand where other people come from that we are able to accomplish more ourselves. Last night after work, I hung out with a friend to celebrate the fourth of July. He is originally from Nepal.
“You can tell- people who travel or even just question a world outside of their own tend to be more respectful. They think about what they say, how it might be taken by others. In order to be good people and think about how our actions will be taken by others, we have to be empathetic. If we ask ourselves how the world is viewed through others’ lenses, we can see a more realistic and encompassing version of reality and what the world really is”.
Being able to experience everyday life through the eyes of different people gives me hope for my ability to be successful in whatever terms I want to be, and to not be nervous about my move across the country. I am transferring to school in San Francisco this week Not only this, but it has taught me that communication is key to interacting with others- successful communication of your thoughts and feelings allows you to be honest with yourself and others.