How a hobby saves in exile: the story of a Ukrainian woman who moved to Washington
Relocation is worse than a divorce, British sociologists found out. They interviewed more than 2000 people, and 40% of them admitted that moving was the biggest stress in their life. And if it comes to moving to another country? Journalist "Voices of America" Ksenia Turkova talked about how a hobby helps in emigration. Next - from the first person.
Many of those who moved to another country have heard of the so-called U-curve adaptation, introduced by Calervo Oberg in 1954. This curve describes the four stages of adaptation in a new country. The first one is a tourist one full of euphoria from impressions and from the fact that you were able to move at all. The second is the most difficult, this is a period of severe crisis, during which disorders often occur, depression, even neurological problems begin. The third stage is adaptation. The fourth is the stage of biculturalism, when the migrant is already fully adapted to the world.
I heard a lot of stories about the second, most traumatic stage. But although my move (and I moved alone with a small child) was very difficult, I happily passed this stage for some reason.
When I ask myself the question “why?”, Each time I come to the conclusion that my hobby helped me a lot. Many are surprised: “But when moving to a hobby? Where can I get the strength on him? ” In fact, this is the paradox: exactly what we really love to do, supports us and gives strength, and does not take away.
I would like to tell a story about how my hobby helped me in emigration, and maybe this will help someone else.
I am interested in swing dancing. She started dancing in Kiev a year before the move. As soon as I flew to Washington, the first thing I did (even before I started looking for housing) was typing “swing dancing, Washington” on Google. I found several studios, and sent letters to everyone: I told about myself and said that I wanted to dance.
The next day, I received a response from the owner of one of America's largest swing dance schools: “Come on Saturday to a party at Glen Eco Park, meet you!” Naturally, I went to a party and immediately got acquainted.
I decided for myself: no matter how hard it was for me and how much time household goods would take away at first, I will by no means sacrifice my hobbies. Moreover - I will, as they say, take everything from life, that is, participate in everything that is possible.
After the first party, I signed up for classes, then for one more, there were more and more acquaintances, I felt that I was not only developing in dancing, but also making friends. Around me became more and more people with whom I could not only dance, but just communicate.
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My dream was to perform at a traditional parade on Independence Day, and I did it! She also performed at other festive parades, participated in the production of funny numbers, went to dance camps and even combined hobbies with work - she shot several stories about jazz dances, and one of them - about the legend of lindy-hop Gene Velos - gained more than a million views.
Thanks to dancing, I even got my first car in America: I bought a car from a dancing friend who moved to Europe.
Thanks to dancing, she got a dog - one of the teachers works in a charity organization involved in placing dogs in families.
Thanksgiving, my favorite American holiday, I met in the circle of my dance "family." And when everyone at the table talked about who and for what he was grateful, I said that I was most grateful to them, for the fact that my life here is much happier than it could be.
A hobby helps you deal with stress, raises your mood, helps you learn something new, improves your self-esteem and - most importantly - immerses you in a familiar environment because you continue to do what you did before.
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Therefore, my advice is: never give up your hobby, do not give up what you love. If you find yourself in another country where everything is unfamiliar at first, it is a hobby that will most likely help you feel happy. By the way, they say that among emigrants it is a hobby that most often becomes the basis for a new job or business.
The original column is published on the website. Ukrainian service “Voices of America”.
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