In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma.”
MY JOURNEY AWAY FROM POLAND
Since I was a little girl I always dreamt of the big world out there; the vast possibilities and unstoppable source of opportunities for people like me – for people who not only dream, but do everything in their power to make those dreams come true. I’m not finished dreaming, and I’m putting my plan into work. I just need a little bit more luck coming my way, but anyway I found myself to be one of the luckiest girls in the world. I don’t care about those moments when you just want to give up and throw everything away. The big moments; moments when I know what I’m made of and what I am capable of, these moments are worth living for.
I had just turned fourteen in the summer when I learned that my parents decided it would be best for us if we leave the country. I’ve always wanted to travel to different countries; dreamt of going for a holiday somewhere foreign, but we could never afford it. Finally, it was time for me to see a bit of the world, but somehow I knew it was going to be different than I had imagined. I was unconditionally crazy about us moving to a different country, but the question was where would we end up? It didn’t really matter as long as I knew that my mum didn’t have to work three jobs, and dad working inhuman hours from the early morning before I got up, until late at night when I was already in bed. He only didn’t work on Sundays, because Sundays were always about family. Of course until mum got another contract.
According to the plan, dad’s and mine, we took over the responsibility for Sunday dinners so mum would come back home happy we were taking care of everything. We had fun then. Dad always put a movie on, so it became a tradition for Sunday. While watching the movie with one eye, we were cleaning the house, slicing the chicken, peeling potatoes, spicing up, creating delicious salads, and preparing the little cupboard called a house for mum’s arrival.
After some time it was just me left on the frontier with crazy wars of uncooked carrots and bloody chickens; dad was working together with mum. He was her driver so the work would be done faster and they could come back home early. Not for long though, soon the list of responsibilities was so long it took them ages to come back home. I remember, when I used to call them sometimes, waiting with cold dinner, bored of watching repetitious movies, to hear that they have a lot of work left, even though it was already dark outside. They said ‘Goodnight’ and sent me to bed to sleep. I rarely listened, because I wanted to see mum before going to bed.
Yes… Moving abroad was definitely for our better future.
I was manic, jumping around cheering my mum with her interviews with foreign companies. First, there was numbers of ‘Nurse’ magazines and the articles about nursing in Norway, and then somehow a proposition to work in Australia, but it was way too far from home. When I learned that mum calculated we would be able to visit Poland as often as every five years my mind went into a shock. I looked at her and quietly asked if she was really thinking of leaving for Australia, I calmed down when she agreed with me it was five years too far.
I truly wanted to leave the country, but at the same time I didn’t want to give up everything we had here, and the thought of visiting only every five years gave me shivers. How could I agree with that, how could I be alright with seeing my friends only every five years? No, no way I would ever do that… After the crazy idea of Australia there was Ireland, and at the end England. At some point my parents wanted to live in Spain, but that was long before I was born, and it’s not what I’m talking about anyway… Mum had some friends over in Ireland so she thought we didn’t have to be lonely from the very start, but for some reason I dreaded the idea of living there. However, I didn’t have to give it a lot of thinking, because after the first unsuccessful interview mum moved on to an idea of living in England.
On 18th of December 2007 I had a chance to experience an exciting trip to an airport with mum and dad. It was snowing in the morning, but the icy roads couldn’t prevent us from ‘delivering’ mum on time. The whole trip was emotional and stressful. I don’t think I understood what all of this meant. It was exciting mum was going to another country, but when would I see her next? When finally it was time for last hugs and kisses mum got emotional and I saw few tears falling down her cheek. As I turned around to look at dad, and realized he was about to cry as well, I couldn’t stop myself from breaking down into tears. It was so sad. At that moment, for the first time in my life I was actually scared for my mum. My dearest Mommy…
Who’s going to hug me now? And check my homework? And argue with me? Who am I going to tell about my day? I knew it was for the best, but it was scary. I probably wouldn’t have so much courage to go to a completely unfamiliar country on my own. We didn’t even know what the people were like. Would they be friendly and help her out? Is she even going to understand them? I mean… she only learned English for two or three years, I learned all my life and I was still struggling. Why do people have to abandon their homes in search of a normal living? I was so emotional and frustrated at the time I almost wanted to shout out to ‘our country’ what it makes me feel like. I never felt overly patriotic, but seeing my mum goodbye made me absolutely angry. I wished to scream at our government for the things they do to the people. People leave every day because there’s no chance for a decent life in Poland without massive debts in lots of banks. I was angry at my school, my house, my town… everything, because for fifteen years of my life I found nothing there, nothing that would help you accomplish your goals and live.
Poland wasn’t for me. But it was my home. I always thought I would go back, because I would never find a home in England or anywhere else. I was wrong…
In March my dad joined mum in England and I stayed behind so I could finish school. Mum and dad managed to arrange with my scary and a very demanding principal that I could finish school two months early so I wouldn’t have to wait too long to join them, but she demanded that I pass every single exam in advance. What choice did I have? On top of that mum requested that I stay till the end of the school year if my grades won’t be satisfying. I never liked to study, but this time I had something really special to look forward to. I didn’t even realize when I managed to learn everything for all my exams and still manage to have time to meet up with friends. I was pleasantly surprised when at the end of my stay in school I realized my grades were actually really good. In fact, better than ever before.
30th of April was my last day in school and it seemed the craziest day in my life. I had to say goodbye to all my teachers and friends not being able to say when I’m going to see them next. After that, 9th of May arrived so suddenly it felt like seconds. Mum and I were packing everything from the flat during the last week. On the last night we slept at my grandmother’s place as our flat was already rented out. I said goodbye to my best friends and as we split up in tears we promised each other to stay friends forever. The night before the flight was so exciting I couldn’t even sleep. As soon as it hit 4 o’clock I was waking everyone up announcing it’s time. It took us about half an hour before we were all ready and packed in the car and said our goodbyes. Mum, my uncle, and I climbed into the car and started our journey.
Seeing a sign with my town crossed out as we were leaving made me break down. I started crying like a little baby trying to figure out what’s going to happen now. Was I ready for a completely new life, new me… How is it going to be there? Will I like it? Questions were pounding around in my head.
That was it.
I left home.
Bye Poland… I hope one day you’ll have a place for me…
But I found a new home…