March 1st, 2019
The Choice that Led Me to My Freedom.
Have I found my freedom? I’ve asked myself for the first time. First thing comes to my mind is when I achieved financial freedom at age of 19. Financial freedom meant to me that the money you’ve earned, you get to make decision when and how to spend them, and not to be controlled by your parents. Back then, being first year college student I had an opportunity to work part time at a luxury hotel in my hometown. I enjoyed the work I did as a waitress and saved some money to purchase my first car. My financially independent life started right after I’ve graduated college in 2010.
Lao Tzu said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. As a human being we all have a dream and goals. In this life we face to success or failure. There is always some kind of risk to achieve a big goal. As a little girl I’ve always dreamed about studying and traveling abroad and here I am writing about journey to my freedom. In other words, I knew to truly understand English, become fluent, and learn the culture of the English speaking world, you need to learn English abroad. I’m from a country where people afraid to leave their routine lifestyle, friends and family. I left Kazakhstan in 2011 at age of 23 to follow my dream and pursue my goals. First year was very tough to adjust myself mentally and physically to a new country with completely different mentality. Each day was full of surprises until I got used to the City of New York which is always crowded, constantly evolving big city with charming views, with diverse people from all over the world. It’s wide open to explore the city even without spending a penny, so many free places such as museums, shopping centers, libraries, free events, walking tours and so on.
In fact, the English that I’ve learned in school was British English which is slightly different then American English so, I knew basic English grammatically but not spoken. Listening people around me and to understand what they were saying was challenging. I was so desired to speak the language so fluently and without translating from my native language. I was so afraid to have conversation with local people because of my poor English and heavy accent, people tend to judge others so easily. Malcolm X said: “I suppose it was inevitable that as my word-base broadened, I could for the first time pick up a book and read and now begin to understand what the book was saying. Anyone who has read a great deal can imagine the new world that opened”. I chose this quote because it relates to my story when I came to U.S. The school I went for ESL program helped me to learn the language well. I had to put myself in an all English speaking environment where I could learn passively and the best way to learn was through speaking. Also, I keep a notebook of new words I learned and used them in sentences and tried to say them at least 3 times when I spoke.
Therefore, after a year of living in New York I wanted to go back to Kazakhstan. The main reason was that I emotionally isolated myself from others, felt lonely and depressed. Later, I said to myself that going home is not the best option and I had to work on my personal identity to build a relationships with other people. However, I’m an open mind and easygoing person so, I didn’t have hard time to make friends and to build a friendship with them. I just needed some time to get used to. There was no support from anybody, because all my family is in my country. I knew developing and exploring myself in any relationship was very important. Because, life is never been easy for anyone, it is particularly harder during the time of adjustment. The period where I was no longer a child, but not an adult. I am now at the point where I found my other half, meaning my husband and have my own child.
In conclusion, I would like to add that my life may not have been perfect however, I did find myself in this country and realized that freedom is your choice that you make in order to get what you really want in this life. Definition of word “freedom” might be the state of being free, freedom is a right or wrong choice that we make just to own that happiness. I know that I’ll continue to achieve my goals and build my life experience, facing with success or the failure. As we know life can’t be perfect, I just have to be focus on my career and family to accomplish my goals successfully.