Hi citizens. It’s certainly been a long time since I’ve properly sat down to write anything here. I suppose an update on how things are going for me on would be interesting for those who are wondering how I’m doing nowadays. I’ve moved to Dublin from Kyiv a little over four months ago. Needless to say, adapting to life in an entirely new country was quite a challenge. But at the same time, it was way easier than I thought. I never thought that I’d be capable of living on my own, let alone in a country that’s thousands of kilometres away from home. But I’m still here, and still kicking!
Leaving Ukraine was hard. It wasn’t until I saw my mum boarding the bus to the Dublin airport that I’ve realised that this is it – I’m now in Ireland, and it’s my job to take care of myself. Saying goodbye to the folks back home was heartbreaking. I’m still not sure when I’ll be able to see them again, as travelling from Dublin to Kyiv takes around three days – and with the power blackouts that still happen in Ukraine it’s impossible to know if a train gets delayed or a part of the city suddenly loses it’s electricity for half a day. I stay connected with my friends and family as much as I can, but calling once in a while is not the same as being able to see them every day.
For a while, I’ve struggled a lot with this crippling feeling of loneliness. I realised that absolutely no one around went through the same things I had to. Being forced to leave my home, seeing the streets I grew up on being bombed to smithereens… It’s not something I would wish on anyone. And it became quite a challenge to connect with other people around me. I shared an apartment with three other people, all of whom had only heard about Ukraine from stories on the news. On top of that, all three of them were studying business – so there wasn’t much to talk about and connect over, as I’m here to study Filmmaking. Living with other people was another thing I had to overcome – despite being the youngest, I felt that I was the only one doing most of the chores. It got easier with time, and now new people have moved into the apartment, one of them being another Ukrainian student.
Things became easier when I began my university classes. All my classmates came from different backgrounds, which is very exciting, as most of the people in my old Ukrainian university were from the same city. We had a lot of things to connect over, aside from out love for films. Here in Dublin, I became friends with so many wonderful people, and I’m quite grateful to have them in my life.
Speaking of gratitude, I’ve recently realised that the war has changed my perspective on quite a lot of things. For one – I’ll never take anything for granted again. This came up in a conversation with other students about the accommodation in our university. They were complaining about things I thought were quite insignificant – the bed is too small, there aren’t enough power sockets, the newly installed heaters aren’t working properly... I didn’t have much to complain about, even given the fact that I got the “worst” possible option - I had to share my bedroom with another person. But given the notoriously bad housing situation here in Dublin, and my own experience as a refugee back in Ukraine (sleeping on the floor, being unsure if my family would have a place to stay for the next night), I still cherish the fact that I even HAVE a place to stay here. And it’s a lovely apartment anyway, aside from the leaky fridge there really isn’t a lot to complain about.