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I will definitely be happy…

The detachable calendar at my home is still on February 24. It feels strange to recall my pre-war life. There were so many fears to start something, asserting myself. Everything was out of time. I needed to wait until I’d learned everything in the world, get my third graduate degree, and lose 5 kilograms. I would postpone my ideal life.

I will return home and will be detaching pages of the calendar for a long time. One by one. Remembering every day. Here I’m in tears, driving out of my hometown in horrible traffic jams, listening to the sounds of a frightened cat. Here I’m meeting the best people in the world that sheltered us, gave us comfort and full acceptance. Here I’m meeting my sister from eastern Ukraine, forcing myself not to cry, it’s hard enough for her already.

Here I woke up at 4 a.m. because of the loud explosions in places where they couldn’t be happening and took my sleepy child under the stairs. Here I’m looking for a new place to live. Here, my friend and I take our children to after-school clubs in a new city, after coming to terms with the fact that we will not be able to return home so quickly. Here I’m shaking because of the news from the freed cities, and we are crying together.

Here I’m trying to live a normal life, learning something new.

I think it’s important to write about that. I understand that my personal experience may seem stupid to someone. But it is important to me. Noticing my unusual life during a catastrophe is important to me.

Now I’m drinking coffee on a bench in one of Lviv's bedroom communities. I can hear out of the Children and Youth Creative Club’s window the voice of Melanka during a dance lesson: “I will do whatever I want!” I’d like to apply this wisdom to myself.

Postponing is not relevant anymore. I’m living with what I have right now. I’m planning my post-war life. I will definitely be happy.

Ukrainian Text by Tonia Vysotska, translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team — May 10, 2022

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