In about 5 hours a good friend of mine named Tanya will be leaving for the US. She’s married and originally went there nearly 2 years ago to be with her husband but she recently had to come back a few months ago to complete her University work and get her diploma. My thoughts are with her tonight because she’s going through an agonizing emotional process of saying goodbye (once again) to her mother and younger sister.

We became very good friends when she came back to Russia since she lived in Silicon Valley and we obviously had many things to share. We bonded well with the irony of knowing that I am living in her old hometown and she is going back to mine.

We had many observations to share because of our reversed roles which really gave us a great appreciation for each other’s experience. One of the funny things that she shared with me is that she is a minor celebrity in Santa Cruz where she lives since many of the locals immediately see this stunningly beautiful Siberian girl with long blond hair walking around and then cautiously approach her by saying.. “Gee aren’t you that girl from Siberia?” We both get a good laugh out of this.

While she was back in Russia this time around she bitterly complained about being here and “couldn’t wait” till she could go back to California. One delay after another frustrated her return to the States but now her departure time is finally here and she’s been an emotional wreck for the last week. I feel for her because I understand this situation very well. It’s not easy to pack up and make a move like this towards a better life when you have to leave the ones you love behind. Still what can you do? At some point you need to bring yourself into a stronger and more promising future even if the hope that you can pass this on someday to the ones you love is fleeting.

I will sorely miss her physical presence and good nature even if we are able to communicate via chat or voice regularly. I’m hoping that she will become a key participant with this blog in the near future because her experience as a young Russian girl in the US is important for all of us to understand.

I guess the reason I’m writing this post is to better illustrate the human side to all of this. Tanya’s pain in leaving her homeland and family behind is real and very difficult… yet this gets repeated many times over for the girls that are lucky enough to find good relationships with responsible guys in the West. It’s a very bitter sweet experience and the emotions are equally mixed. If it’s mixed for me then i’m sure it must be a damn whirlpool for her.

The other point I want to bring up is this. The vast majority of Russian Girls I know are incredibly close to their families. Close knit and understanding families are the norm here. While sadly in the US it seems like it’s becoming more of the exception.

This issue is hitting an introspective and philosophical nerve with me right now because it comes down to an age old question.. Which is better? To grow up with a deep love within your family or life and then to be separated from it.. or.. To never have know it in the first place? Either way.. this is clearly one of those things in life that we often label a “bitch”.. and right now it’s a sad one too.

At times like this it’s good to be reminded that “when God closes a door.. he always opens up a new one for you..” I know that this doesn’t make the test in anyone’s faith any easier.. but deep down I know it’s there.. and I hope Tanya does too.

Fair winds Tanya.. Fair winds..

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