They say: “Son, come back. You traveled enough. You’ve seen the world. It’s time to think about creating a family. We are waiting for you… come back home.” They said: “You cannot make all the money in the world. Come back home. With your brains, you will be well set here.” They think I am here because of money and the quality of life. They said: “You are lonely there. You need family and friends. Come home, Alex. Your home is here.” I tried not to cry. I was afraid to hear the question: “Are you happy there?”. I won’t lie, and I wouldn’t know what to say. To be true to myself – I don’t know if I am…
I’ve been more than seven years away from home. I missed so many birthdays. I missed all my family holidays. I missed the point at which my parent’s hair started turning white. I missed the point when my cousins grew up taller than me. I was absent from their lives for too long. They know me only from pictures. We are strangers. I sacrificed my family and friends. What for? Why do I continue paying this price if I can’t even say that I am happy? What am I doing with my life?
It’s not about money.
With all my heart, I want to find out why I was born. I want to find a purpose for this body. I did not create myself. Neither did my parents. Something put me in this World. It gave me a healthy body. It gave me eyes to see and senses to feel. It gave me the gift of language to communicate and express myself. My parents called me Oleksandr. Why Oleksandr? This is nothing but a label, just like Dodge or Chevrolet. I am a different person for many people. I am known as Oleksandr, Olek, Alex or Sasha. I am neither. Who am I? I’ve had this question for as long as I can remember myself. I am sick of it.
I was lucky enough to get a great education. Because of pure luck and enormous effort, I was able to get out of my home. I don’t know why. I refuse to believe that things just happen, with no reason. I can’t. Nothing in the world happens without a reason. So, why was I gifted health, brains and all the opportunities up to my disposal?
I learned today that 250 Native American kids were killed in a local school just fifty something years ago. They were killed just because they were different. I cannot even comprehend the scope of this tragedy. It happened only a few decades ago… I could’ve been one of them. Why not me? Why am I here? Well fed, nicely dressed, with access to all the pleasures of this world. It’s a burden to be a white male in the country of opportunities. I cannot blame anyone or anything for not finding an application for myself. They said: “Sasha, the time is flying. Come home. Buy a house in Kiev. Find a job. Create a family.” What if they are right? What if I am just a dreamer? What am I doing with my life…? Why did I even decide that I am in control of my life? Maybe things do happen for no reason… Maybe life is not what I made myself believe in. I am fooling myself. Playing my own mind games. Why do I need to find the purpose for myself? I might spend my whole life searching and end up alone and useless. Maybe they are right.
These thoughts never stop. They can turn any sunny day into a nightmare. They exhaust me. Why do I have them? What’s the purpose? Maybe I am just a negative person. Chemical imbalance in my brain? What if I take antidepressants, will it make things better? Better… What is better? Seeing unicorns every day? No, I don’t want that.
Why am I here? What am I doing with my life? Is it even my life? I don’t hope to get the answer, just to make it through this low point. Tomorrow, I will wake up and everything will be back to “normal”. I will be cheerful and optimistic. The sun will shine and I will smile.