I got to America in 1983, when I was three years old. I remember it vividly. We lived in Portland Maine. It was November when we arrived. We lived a block away from Deering Oaks Park, the Central Park of Portland. I remember seeing snow for the first time. It was beautiful. I remember my mom putting an empty pitcher on the porch to catch the snow. She made us snow cones with honey. We didn’t know there was any such thing as acid rain!
I remember a church helped us tremendously. There was a family in particular, the Whitings. They were the kindest, most beautiful people, literally. They were on the cover of some magazine as a family. Patty, the mom, modeled in her twenties. She would bring us places and I would ride in the back of her station wagon with her kids. This was back when you could ride in the trunk of a station wagon facing towards the cars behind you. She introduced me to broccoli. I didn’t want to eat it, I thought they looked like trees and refused. Then she melted cheese on them, broccoli was amazing after. Maybe I should say she introduced me to cheese…
I remember rotary phones. I remember our first TV. It was a wooden box type of TV that sat on the floor. We had this cable box that was connected to the TV by a long cord. I remember watching Three’s Company, my mother laughing hysterically, although she was alone in this new country, escaping a civil war and concentration camp in her 30s with two young toddler girls, all her troubles and fears disappeared when Jack Tripper did his magic on that show.
I remember Volkswagen buggies. I remember songs like “You belong to the City, you belong to the night” by Glen Frey. I remember my mom pushing my little sister in a stroller, through the ice and snow, so she could go to the center where they taught English for free. I was older and always wanted to sit in the stroller but had to walk. I feel so selfish, looking back at that as an adult.
I remember when I played with friends as a kid. There were no “play dates.” We just went outside to play. I remember riding my bike around the neighborhood in a dress, playing hopscotch and hunting for rhubarb. I remember Saturday morning cartoons like the Smurfs, Rainbow Bright, He-Man, She-Ra, Jem & the Holograms and Duck Tales. The cartoons were so good back then.
The 80s are my favorite time. I am so grateful my mother got us here to America. We are so lucky to be in this country. Though people complain about it, I don’t. I thank my lucky stars I am not subjected to the horrible things other people in the world are subjected to.
There is so much opportunity here to make a beautiful life. Everyone has their challenges, it’s all how you choose to handle it. As much as I love technology and am grateful to have a cell phone, being able to reach someone any time and having information at my fingertips, I miss the simpler times. I think we just didn’t know any other way back then, so we were patient and waited for that phone call at home…as I was saying, as much as I love technology, I know my wiring is different. If I am in line somewhere and have to wait a minute, I pull out my phone, it’s like I have to fill every moment of my time with something. I can never just sit still, with my thoughts, in silence. This fast-paced life is not good, it can be stressful being ON all the time, so I meditate and I journal.
I started journaling in my teens to get me through difficult times. I was a young mom and had to juggle school, work, and raising a baby alone. I had to get organized and could never find the perfect planner so I started making my own. Fast forward 20 years later, I started designing journals and selling them on Amazon. Selling on the world’s largest platform, competition is fierce, I had to learn how to get more creative and market my journals better. I went to a marketing conference where I met a lawyer who loved my planner.
Now I am making journals for Law Firms and branching out to other professional practices. I enjoy my work and living life, I love love my family and try to spend as much time as I can with them. I am blessed to have the most wonderful, funny, sweet sisters. I am passionate about food, books, music, dancing, and exercising.
A portion of our proceeds go to the American Red Cross. I encourage you to find a cause important to you and help in any way you can.