Who are you?
My name is Jenia, I am 30 years old. Born in Soviet Union, raised in Russia, a US citizen currently residing in the United Arab Emirates. A former interpreter and an occasional educator, now I stay home with our 9-month-old boy (we share a birthday!) and do a bit of photography on the side. I am bilingual, pescatarian, and 20lbs heavier than I’d like to be. I am very, very good at packing, whether it’s for a trip or for a move. It’s quite handy since I’m addicted to traveling. And books.
What is your middle place?
Well, I’m in a middle place geographically, since we’re in the Middle East. I’m in the middle of the whole parenting thing. As I’m writing, my husband and I are in the middle of deciding whether we should spent a 3rd year in the UAE or move to China this July. Personally, though, I’m in the middle of figuring out what I am and what I want to do with my life. I had to quit interpreting and it’s not likely I’ll be doing it again, but I haven’t found something to do instead of it.
What is the hardest and most unexpected thing about it?
I surely didn’t expect to be going through a sort of an identity crisis at this point in life – it’s something that happens to teenagers, right? It’s hard not to be embarrassed of it sometimes. I thought that having a child will answer some of my “life purpose” questions, and it surely has, but at the same time, I feel an even bigger urge to figure myself out. The hardest thing is finding something you are truly good at – I tend to doubt myself and dismiss my family as being subjective. They say I should write.
What have you learned so far?
I am discovering I am not the only one among my friends doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. We are not unhappy, we are not losers, maybe we’re just a bit slow. Maybe we played by the rules, did exactly what we were told to do for a bit too long, and now that we’re in our late 20’s and mid-30’s, we can pause, and reevaluate, and ask ourselves some difficult questions. And it’s okay.
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