My journey to America was captivating and unforgettable, but my experience in this wonderful country has been beyond extraordinary. With my family back home in Odessa, I have gotten used to working at home and helping out on the farm. Whether it was outdoors planting or indoors cooking for the workingmen coming home late, I have accustomed to this routine. I would occasionally travel into the city of Odessa, and see few people dressed extravagantly – their hair perfectly laid back, their clothes as if imported from Italy, and especially their jewelry. As a woman, 34 years old, I couldn’t help but wonder how it must feel like to be pampered and available to all these commodities daily. I have heard stories of America and all of its availabilities. When my parents decided to immigrate to America, I was so happy! I would’ve never been able to take such a huge step without my family. Within two weeks of notification, I embarked on the ride to my new home for the rest of my life.
We arrived to JFK airport in New York. Luckily for us, the ride went smoothly and we were easily admitted into the country. It was September and the summer was coming to an end. However, the weather was still nice, as I remember, I went to explore the parks. I remember back in Odessa, I have always liked parks and the smell of nature. But I also loved and desired to walk through city streets. In New York, I felt like I had found the best of both worlds. Since we stayed at a relative’s house, and it was extremely packed, we had to get along and go to work everyday. I, however, decided to go to college to get a job as a teacher (I was pregnant when I enrolled in college). My husband began as a taxi driver, since that was a very prominent, available, and rewarding part time job.
One experience I’ll never forget is when my husband got me Broadway tickers for my birthday. I have never been to theatre in New York, let along such a famous professional one! We went to see 'Cats' on Broadway. This was one of the best nights of my life. I walked through the city streets, blending with the crowd and feeling like this is where I belong. The show was incredible. Whether it was the lighting, or the meticulous costumes or the characters, or the superb acting, I was entranced for two hours. Afterwards, we went to a restaurant, I don’t recall the name of it, but the food was like Applebee’s. This was one of the few restaurants I've been to at the time, so I was really grateful. That night, I felt like a princess.
My life in America had its ups and downs, but I couldn’t have imagined my life any different. I moved to my own house in Brooklyn two years after my arrival and built my life with my family. I still oblige to my cooking and cleaning habit in Ukraine, but I am more outgoing. I go to malls, movies, theatre, and even on vacation. I am so appreciative of all that is currently available to me; immigrating to the United States is possibly the most rewarding choice I have ever made.