what would you say to yourself before leaving?

“You won’t regret anything”

Maria, 43, physician from Boston

Once my old friend asked: “If you knew in advance everything that you have to do, would you leave?” I thought and answered: “Yes!” In Russia, I successfully studied at the best medical institute, I had good professional prospects, and many friends. I left all this not for the sake of America, but for the sake of a loved one. Of course, I was afraid that it would be difficult to get used to an unfamiliar life, to break through again, to prove my professional worth. In general, all fears came true: it was very difficult. A few years later, my husband suddenly died, and I was left alone with a small child. But I still got an education and became a doctor. America is an amazing country. Yes, on the one hand, nobody here cares about you. You are free from the close attention of the state and other people. But in the same way, you are free to build your destiny and you can achieve whatever you want. Here you are much more appreciated for who you are. It doesn’t matter how you are dressed, what kind of house you have, what school your children go to – external, status attributes almost do not play a role, including when applying for a job. I don’t have to build anyone out of myself to be appreciated and loved, I can be myself. It is very important for me. It was not easy to get used to the fact that there is no such close relationship with friends as in Russia. But on the other hand, there is much more respect for the personal space of another person. Over the years, I really appreciated it. And I found friends. In general, I can say: I am very glad that I am here.

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