First Birthday in Ukraine
It is about 6am on Tuesday March 6th. Today is my birthday. In general, I have never thought of my birthday as any more special than any other day of the year. Also, I read somewhere long ago, that if you truly don’t believe in aging, then you won’t age at the same pace as other people. I had always prided myself in looking much younger than my age. When I left for South Korea 4 years ago, I looked much younger than I do now. However, many people still compliment my age. When I look in the mirror, I think that the guy I see now does look older than the guy I saw 4 years ago.
I arrived in Ukraine on March 11th, 2009. If you would have told me I would still be in Ukraine 3 years later, I would have told you that you were drunk or on drugs. Here I am!
The small girl came back into my life last evening. She had a class at my school. I had a one-on-one class with her. That is not very common to have a one-on-one class with a student as we have enough students in every level that one-on-one classes are not very common. So, I was able to diffuse her anger in that class, and then after that, she had another class with another teacher. So, she finished last evening at about the same time as me. We grabbed a bite to eat, and I walked her to her bus stop. She said something that was very wise for a 23 year old girl.
Of course, I know this, and had thought of this before, but in this moment, I had forgotten these words and needed to be reminded of them.
She said, "Each relationship is different from the previous one you were in because you are a different person than you had been in your previous relationship. You’ve received some lessons and made some mistakes and those changed you. Think about those, and then let them all go. Don’t be attached to the past – past events as well as past relationships.”
I responded with, "how did you get so wise for such a young girl!”But, I realize she is correct. I am still attached to my previous relationship with a Ukrainian girl. I haven’t completely let it go yet. I thought I had, but upon further review (looking again), I see that I haven’t. I am carrying my hurt with me.
If I had any advice for guys coming to Ukraine looking for a Ukrainian girl, it would be to make sure that you have completely let go of all of your previous thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions. Let it all go. Set down all of the weight and create a completely new experience.
My previous one had communicated with me on Sunday evening and got angry at me. After sending me a message in Russian and then reading my response, she said, "you didn’t understand anything!” I responded with, "Don’t give up! Keep trying until I understand what you wanted me to understand! Don’t give up!”
She hasn’t tried again. I hope she does try to communicate again as I know that I am trying again. Giving up never works. Try to find another way. Try to find another point of view. Take responsibility for my own communication, but more importantly, take responsibility for the other person’s listening. How can I change my communication in order to put it in a way in which it will positively impact that other person???
Socrates said, "A man’s success does not depend on his accomplishments. It depends on the questions he asks himself.”
What questions am I asking myself??
Jim Valvano, in his famous last speech on ESPN when he was close to dying from cancer suggested, "Every day, I try to laugh, cry, and think. If I do that every day, that’s a full day!” Laugh, Cry, and Think.