United States of America. New York, New York. 55 Lexington avenue. How did the Ukrainian girl get here? Let’s start from the very beginning…
Lively and crowded but at the same time peaceful and cozy, beautiful ancient town in the Western part of Ukraine, known as “Little Wien”, but originally called Lviv is the place where on the August 7th of 1994 a woman called Natalia gave birth to a baby girl. That was the moment when my life story began. The funny thing is that is started from the fight among my parents about the name, which they wanted to bless me with. Thanks God my father won after long hours of arguing and bringing in arguments. Otherwise, I would be given a very abandoned Ukrainian name that has not been in use for years or even decades as my first one. Even though I received a beautiful Greek name Yulia I still had to wear a brand of having that ancient name as my second one thanks to my mummy, who insisted on me having it…
I remember my childhood as being very vital. Those years were really hard for Ukrainian citizens due to the collapse of Soviet Union a few years before my very first birthday. That resulted in difficulties in finding an apartment so all my family lived together in one place. That were 6 people and a dog.
Sometimes I had a good luck to slip into my aunt’s room while she was at school as long as I wasn’t welcome there. The room seemed to be so out of this world. There were a lot colorful paintings on the wall, beautiful and fancy clothes and shoes in the wardrobe, different stickers and interesting comics and a cave with the blue budgie I liked to play with. The room itself was full of colors, weird hand made objects and an easel with watercolors, that would make every child take the brush and completely spoil the painting with drawings from the baby’s sick imagination. My aunt is an artist. Now you know the reason why wasn’t I, a four year old child, welcome in her room.
When I came to school to write my enrolling exams the headmistress said that it’s no way I will go to the first grade because I know too much. I started school directly from the second grade. I didn’t like school. First, all my friends (who went to state schools) finished their classes at 1pm everyday, I did at 6pm though. I went to a special private school with their own curriculum, which was stronger than in any other school. Second, all my classmates came from very rich families and they had everything they wanted and even more, while my family wasn’t doing that well. The children were just spoiled.
Besides all that tings I hated about the school there were three more thing that made me feel uncomfortable in the school’s society. I was a new student while everyone else already studied at this school from the first grade. Furthermore, that was the time when only ten years passed after Soviet Union collapsed so most of the people, especially in the Western part of Ukraine due it’s was very nationalistic at the time, didn’t like anyone, who had something to do with Russian Federation. Unfortunately, I had. I was. Am and always will be half Russian. When my classmates found out this small detail the real hatred began. They just erased me from the list of human beings and started treating me like an object that was being mocked, teased and laughed at.
Our educational system is so that people in your class are with you till the prom night of your senior year. They never change if they do not decide to change school. So my middle school was pretty much the same disaster with the same people involved as the previous one. The only “but” was that thing started getting well. The biased attitude towards Russians started fading away so I had one problem less. My relationship with the classmates started getting better. And it was perfect up until my prom.
September 2011. Graduation year started. It was the most horrible and hard year ever in my life. I didn’t know whether I will be enrolled in the American university so I needed to get prepared to Ukrainian one too. Fortunately I got in and came to the US. I did a University preparation year for foreigners in Westchester and after that got enrolled to Baruch. So here I am now in United States of America, New York, New York, 55 Lexington avenue writing this monolgue.
P.S. My life was not as horrible as it seems to be. I travel a lot (i’ve been to at least 30 countries), do photography as my hobby, read a lot of books about psych and philosophy, speak 6 languages and have a lot of friends now. I love my life and I’m not that solitary little girl anymore.