It’s rather strange to be keeping count of this because living in Armenia is as natural to me as breathing, but for the sake of keeping a well-maintained timeline, I do. It has been nearly four years since I moved to Armenia on June 25, 2013. Four years since life has been simple and perfect in its own right.
In four years I have come such a long way but yet stayed the same. I have been me. I have laughed and cried (tears of joy mostly) like any other. I have found my mate, my partner, my second half. I have borne a child into this world. I have shopped and danced and enjoyed the company of good friends. I have worked and paid the rent and paid my bills. In short, life has been as life should be, no different than anyone else in the world. Just a simple, happy stream of moments. I do not recall ever feeling brave or privileged or wondering why I made each step that I did. It simply flowed. One foot passed the other. I don’t even think I wobbled or fell. Everything happened as it should have. And now, four years later, I wonder why people think it is bravery to move to Armenia.
When I came, I will not lie that I felt an incredible sense of power. It was like I was doing something magnificent. Something akin to a heroic act. I don’t believe I ever felt like I was sacrificing. I did, however, have an inflated ego about it all. I was treading where few men dared tread. Now, I wonder why so few do it. I mean, if I can walk around for hours in heels, handing out my resumes in Canada, I can certainly attend some networking events and shoot off some emails here. If I can get a part-time job to help pay for my gas, my food and as much of my university expenses as possible, I can certainly make do with what I have here. I’m no materialist. I can wear the same shoes for 10 years and it would not bother me in the least. So why would keeping a budget until I got onto my feet bother me here? It didn’t. Mind you, I did choose the most opportune time to move. I had neither career nor family of my own to tether me down. I had my parents, grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles, of course, but no husband and no child. I had only myself to think about. That’s why I made the decision when I did. It was perfect.
Now, it isn’t that my parents didn’t help me. I simply refused more than a small share. I did come with just over 1000$ in my pocket, which melted away rather quickly. I’m a smart spender though and with a rent or two paid by parents and cousin who all came to stay with me in the first months, I did it on my own. I wanted to do it all on my own. I wanted to ensure I had the skills to survive and thrive. That is exactly what I discovered in myself, and with a boost in confidence so came back my infectious laughter and incredible love for life. I was my own woman. It took me very little time to discover that facet of myself and even less to be loved for it. It was how I got my first job at USAID EDMC. It is why I still love my boss there like a child would her surrogate mother. I will forever be grateful for that experience as well, for it opened my life up to the possibility of business.
There was a period of joblessness, of course. First when I arrived and picked up any odd job here and there, and later when the EDMC project closed down prematurely. I threw myself into online freelancing at that point, while also picking up students for tutoring. I once again picked up odd jobs, but within a few weeks, I had caught the attention of two individuals who offered me 200k a month part time jobs each. That made for $1000 a month at the time and I was more than happy. Plus, I had some extra time and the work offered flexibility. I threw myself into an MBA program that I graduate from tomorrow. I learned much and snatched a final degree (hopefully) to add to my belt. From now on, it will simply be workshops, online courses and seminars to add to my skillsets. In the meantime, I am a full-time mother with some part-time jobs, as my place at Repat Armenia awaits me.
I don’t think I was ever brave for doing all this. I don’t think I was ever particularly special. I was a simple girl out of university, finding herself in her homeland. Here is where I made my life, after immigrating of my own volition. Here is where I plan to raise my children, living a simple but fulfilling life. I am grateful for my bounty and even more grateful that my parents’ own immigration ensured a full family for my children. They will grow up with my brother’s children along the same ages, with both sets of grandparents by them, and in a place where children are beloved by all. What more can one ask for?
Four years later, I am simply living a simple life. 😀