Share Your Story: Jenia

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.

Jenia was so gracious to share her story with the Middle Places community! We hope each story you have the opportunity to read will be an encouragement to you as we all crawl, trudge, stride, or gallop through these middle places of life. If you have a story to share (and we’re pretty sure you do!) email for info on how you can share your story with Middle Places.
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Here at Middle Places we LOVE a good story. Everybody is making their way through the middle of something and we'd love to hear about yours. Please send an email to or check out our Contact page if you'd like to share your story with us and our readers.
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