Today marks 19 years since my family immigrated to the United States. Seeings as how I am thirty, this means that I have now spent almost twice as much time living here as I have in the former Soviet Union. I recounted my life in the Soviet Union and the decision along with the actual process of immigrating to the United States. I am not yet ready to recount my experience of my life in America between 1994-1998. I don’t remember much from those four years — a coping mechanism.

For all intents and purposes, we know how that period of my life ended and that the result is fairly successful. Sometimes, when faced with no other option but to “just deal”, I can be very Machiavellian in that the means justify the ends. The process was emotionally incredibly difficult. I haven’t shared my feelings, thoughts or emotions with many people and I am not sure when I will be ready to.

I have to say that while I am an American on the outside, I still retain a certain something, je ne sais quoi that is proof that I come from the “old world”… So without much further adieu, a few tidbits about me (in no particular order).

The first time I tasted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was in 1994 and before tasting it, I thought the combination was repugnant.

Nothing is less attractive than an underachiever – a child who is spoiled, who comes from great means and wastes it all.

I have no special place in my heart for sandwiches, pretzels, fried foods … only chocolate.

White chocolate is not chocolate — a pretender.

Successful people aren’t just those who are happy doing what they do but are those who are able to maintain a lifestyle they desire.

The first time I ever visited a Jewish Deli/Typical Deli and tasted a pastrami sandwich was last year.

Travel is essential in understanding how lucky you are to be an American.

I have very little tolerance for clutter, over indulgence and waste.

I have worked since I was 12… the earliest that I could, I wanted to.

I am finally in a good place in my life where I can or already have checked off quite a few boxes from my To-Do Before I Die List. Oh, yes, one more thing — I make lists.

I am of course here thanks to the people who brought me here (Mom and Dad) and the person who stood by me and always will (my sister) and the person who makes me want to be the best I can be (my husband). Last, but not (not ever) least, my in-laws have been our constant supporters and advisors.

I have and always will work as hard as I can and I now have the best reason to do so — Sophia.

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