When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Checking off the list
Attend last soccer game on a beautiful fall day and scream at the top of my lungs.
Run 10 miles in Forest Park (well, about 3.5 of them were power-walked on the uphills that are steep and/or long) and have a bliss. I did get tired on the way back and confirmed that my running legs are gone, but it's a start!
Clean my place in places I haven't since I moved in (or so).
Take Anatomy and Physiology "challenge test" to bypass the classes - pass! 3 semesters, 90 hrs and $1500 saved! I really couldn't handle anymore starring in this book, but do have to point out - Soviet system of education rocks! Everything that I answered - I remembered from 20 years ago (last time I dealt with this subject on serious level). That and common sense.
Meet with Alex, pay for his GED test, chat to try and smoothen corners, relax and feel good - he is my son, he is going to make it no matter what and how. I've learned on my mistakes most of my life's lessons, and so will he.
Go for an INS appointment to ask a question - and walk out with a set Oath Ceremony time same date!
Take an Oath. Become American Citizen.
Take pictures of my mug and my son's locks - for official services.
Apply for Travel Passport.
Apply for Travel Visa for Stephen.
Book tickets to Russia.
Manage to not miss a day of work.
How do I feel about all this? I was excited...up to the point I walked out of the INS building, holding my new piece of paper. I kept thinking last few days - luck is on my side, finally, "poperlo" (urban slang). And then it hit me: why? As I raised my hand and read the pledge, I had to say words "I renounce my other citizenship", or something to this respect. I did keep my fingers crossed, but at the same time, I felt I betraid my country. My country that gave birth to me, raised me, gave me education (and best at that), instilled ideals, made me tough, yet at the same time kind...There is a long story why I, personally, came to this country, and even longer, why on the spur of the moment did I apply for the citizenship. But the truth to most immigrants nowadays - we come for better life...as in "for easier life". And it is weak. This is the first time in my life I felt weak in character - and it doesn't feel good.
But I'll get over it. Life goes on. Look forward and put one foot in front of another...
And please by no means do I say being an American is a bad thing! And luckily for me, I can maintain both citizenship independently - well, more like both countries follow the "I don't see it, don't know it exists, so it doesn't" rule. I was simply sharing of a feeling of a loss I had today. And I am past it - thanks to Larry, Gail and Sid.
One thing for sure - I will never stop being Russian in my heart. And I am proud of it.