Sometimes I had a feeling of being a very very useless and very very abandoned.
The misery and some kind of endless sadness would rise from the bottom of my lungs, making me hard to breathe. Sometimes the messages from A would just drive me mad, and I wanted to reply him in the same way, with disrespect and dishonor, and sometimes I did so, which obviously didn't help to solve the problem. Then later on, I learned, how to handle my saint anger inside for a good purpose. But in the beginning I was very frank and straight forward.
A would react very smart. He would yell at me, and keep me busy with the stupid work tasks for a next week or two.
Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I cried in front of my husband, just because I thought I can't handle it anymore. That time he wanted to kill A, and everyone who would make me drop even one small tear.
One day I cried right in the store, because the conversation witho A went out of control and my emotions as well. I just run inside the stockroom, hid between the shelves, and let my tears out, praying, that no staff will go to this area to pick a product.
I was feeling very very nervous every day, trying to find a way to handle this guy, and do my work properly at the same time.
One day I cried in B's office. It was not planned at all, I was just trying to get some very important papers signed, and to reimburse my bills, cause I had no money. And all departments were just giving me some stupid reasons, why it cannot be done. I ended up in B's office, though it was a last place where I would go to. I never wanted to give him any of my problems, even with A, though, it was actually his business. I just wanted to keep the face of a professional and mature employee, a kind of always-happy-no-problems-at-all girl.
But that time the face couldn't stand the weight of life, and crashed.
I sat down in front of him, and asked him for some signatures, and he said something, that he wouldn't sign some of it, because the pol I have changed. And that was a breaking moment. First I became angry, then suddenly I realised that right now I will weep, and I can't hold it anymore.
Be handed me a tissue box but said nothing.
I felt so embarrassed. This was the last man in this world, whom I wanted to see me crying. He should, I shouldn't, this is all wrong, why the hell I'm sitting here.
I wiped my cheeks, trying not to touch the eyeliner, took my papers and left the office. I don't even remember, whether I said sorry. I was so much down and I literally wanted my body to disappear that time, as well as any memory of me, as a person, to vanish from the mind of this man.
I always was the person on my own.
The way I felt, the way I acted, not looking back on anyone around me. I shouldn't say I acted, but I have to. I really did.
No one, even my husband, knew, what's inside me. No one could ever guess my thoughts and emotions. I hid it very well. That came from the time I was still in love with the love of my life, and I carried it for life. I would smile and laugh, but there was always a bit of sadness inside. The thing is, in this country you cannot be really sad. The sun is shining every single day, and people around are smiling and pouring out the good energy, even though they might be sad or in a grief. They all act.
So did I. That was a rule, that became a habit. You put your face on in the morning before leaving your house.
You wash it off with a glass of whiskey in the evening, when getting back home.
Do you still remember who you are? Good if you do. I believe, I did. Thanks to my CD box and my memories. Sometimes I slipped so deeply inside the past, that one moment I woke up, driving, and wondering, what the hell I'm doing in this country, and whom I have become. The answer was very near, but sometimes it took me a while to find it. I was myself, and I took some time to find myself and bring it back again. I was with myself again.
B was often joking that I should call them out for a barbeque in my place. He knew, where I stayed, and he knew as well, that was a crap place. Still he was joking.
One day he texted me:
'Im planning to buy a gifts for the top performers before the next meeting. Can we search in Dragon Mart?'
That was just next to me.
I took a deep breath and thought, he's crazy or what.
'Ok, what are you planning to buy?'
You have to respect the boss, right?
'Some plants maybe. They could grow it'
He is crazy. I knew, he was fond of plants. He mentioned a couple times, and I saw a palm and a small money tree growing in his office. Among all the elephants and other souvenirs, that made his office look like a museum.
'Lets meet on Friday and have some coffee in the afternoon'
Where the hell is he? What are we talking about?? I was completely lost and texted something stupid, though, that was a funny conversation. I didn't have an idea he was drunk at that moment, now I think he was.
That was a common thing with us. I realised it later. The difference was, I didn't dare to text at these moments. He did.
I remember very well the day when I bought my car.
Agent delivered it to the mall parking, gave me a call and handovered the documents.
I sat inside, turned on the engine, put the documents in the glove box and closed my eyes.
I was smiling and laughing, I turned on the radio and was sitting there for around twenty minutes, just smiling to myself, full of the feeling that I finally have my own car! This wonderful emotion fulfilled me, spilling out of me, I just couldn't hold it, and sang something, and laughed out all the time.
I really had a hard time after I was promoted, roaming around all the stores all around the country by public transport, hanging in the bus stops with the heavy laptop on my shoulder, and the temperature outside was not less than 40 C that time.
It took me time to get the licence, which was not easy at all in that country. Government tried to control the increasing number of drivers from all around the world, and the process of getting the licence was very strict. I don't blame them.
Finally I was sitting in my own car, I was holding the steering and touching the brand logo on it, and I absolutely loved my life at that moment.
After a while I went out of the mall to smoke a cigarette, and one couple next to me asked me how to get to some place in the City, and we chatted, and I was so full of my happiness, that I poured my story on them, that I have just bought a car! I dont know, what they thought, maybe they considered me crazy, but I didn't care.
I was enjoying driving, feeling myself so full of life and joy.
I started buying CDs with my favourite music, and riding around, singing a songs.
Once B asked me to drop him from the mall to the garage, where he kept his car for service.
I was very proud, cause I finally owned a vehicle, and excited to drive him somewhere.
We sat inside, and I turned on G'n'R last album, and he smiled, murmuring the songs. I barely had an idea how to drive to that place, and he was guiding me. We were talking all the time about everything, and he told me that he had an LP player, and I replied, that I was brought up listening to the LP player, starting from the kids staff, to the gold rock vinyls, that my parents were listening to. He seemed surprised, and we shared our music favourites, finding each other with the same music taste, as if we were good old friends. He said, he was on G'nR live concert last year, and I felt so envious, but in a good way, of course. I thought, he was a cool guy. I always knew. And I was very proud to have this guy in my car on the passenger seat, singing my favourite songs along with me.
Then he realised, that we missed the exit, and we had to take another round, and another round of conversation, but no one seemed disappointed. I think we both enjoyed the ride, but finally I had to drop him, and he left the car, shaking my hand and smiling with sparkles. I told to myself, don't take it personal, this is your boss, and just shut up and be happy that your boss is such an amazing guy, but don't think, girl, just don't think about it.
Anyways, I didn't have much time to think, cause I was fully engaged with work. But sometimes I thought, I would be happy to repeat this ride. Maybe make it little bit longer.
The family life ain't simple if you're trying to make it good. You can just let it flow. And then the challenges you suddenly encounter might get you out of track. And you will start thinking, whether it's a right person you live with, or the right way to build your life with him.
I never had those difficulties.
I was lucky to try a family life style with a couple of boyfriends before I met my husband, so I had a slight idea of what to expect from family life and what I want to get from it.
Also I was never blinded by love, of being in love, or any other emotions. I experienced a true love early, and that ended with a horrible break up, of course, and It took me almost two years to recover, though, I think I never fully recovered. Sometimes I thought, if this man calls me once and asks to come back together again, I would just drop everything I'm doing, and take off the nearest flight to Moscow. This kind of feelings I never felt again in my life. I was truly happy with my family life, I had a joy of it, I had a deep understanding and respect, and something that you call partnership and fellowship, but some kind of irrational idea that this is the only right way, how it should be, and the feeling of a life-time belonging to each other, I never had again. I still feel a strong connection with that guy, though, we haven't seen each other for more than 10 years, but I'm sure he feels the same somehow.
When I left Moscow for Dubai, I thought, the bridges were burnt. On a New Year night of 2012 I got a greeting message on my mobile, which was obviously a drunk message, emotions outside. Is as shocked, but pleased, and I felt, yes, I wasn't wrong, that this connection would be between us for life. We are still in touch sometimes, sharing updates and having a lazy chat. I'm not sure whether he still loves me, but this man is obviously standing out and will stand out for life.
Having experienced that, I had no illusions about feelings anymore. I was done for love in my life. The task was completed. I didn't need to repeat it again, trying to make it better, cause I felt that nothing can be better than that, even if that case was lost for me. I wanted a peaceful life, full of joy and good emotions. I was probably trying to avoid any sort of pain and useless disappointment, that these sort of deep feelings normally cause, soon or late. The same you feel when your birthday is approaching. You are waiting for a miracle to happen to you, but it doesn't. So better not to expect anything. I mean, I believe, that you should always take a risk, when there is a chance to make things better, even the small chance. But I didn't want to suffer from love anymore. I was done for it already. This feeling is with me, it's buried so deep inside that I doubt to dig it out ever again.
But besides love, there is much more to do about family life. And without love it's maybe more difficult, but I have tried my best to work it through. I tried to be a good wife, as much as I could, being busy at work and making a family budget for the first 10 years of our family life. I cannot say it was so hard, and it hurt me, that I was earning more. Not at all. I liked my job, and I was happy that it's getting us some bread. I never felt abandoned or exploited, as I was trying my best to maintain the house and even cooking. Before I got rid of the stove of course. I had two days off a week, one with my husband, the other one on my own. That day I used to spend cleaning, washing, cooking, playing piano and drinking wine. A good housewife. I was happy.
One thing upset me, is the jealousity of my partner. Literally for everyone I ever met during my day and spoke a word about. That was driving me mad. It was kind of funny first few years, but after I felt, that wasn't healthy jealous. He was obsessed with it. And it made me think. Think a lot. And I made a decision, I would live with it. Will try to make him happy. Whatever happens.
This winter 2012-13 passed, bringing us the fantastic results, and we were all looking forward to the next seasonal meeting, that was going to be the biggest event of the year.
I've done a lot that winter. As I said, every single day was a fight, but still I managed to work and achieve. As everyone did. Sometimes I think we all were just so annoying to each other, and that was the way to achieve.
By that time I was fully settled in my new role and I had a confidence and support from the people around.
I should be frank, I was always different. Sometimes it gave me scores, sometimes it was bringing me down. But one thing I realised, being in this country, when you have nothing, that you used to have before, I mean, your family, your property, your friends, your comfort zone, the last thing, that you still have, is yourself. My consciousness was sticked to my personality, and that was something, that kept me up, when everything was about to go down.
Usually these thoughts were coming to me, when at night I was driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, alone In my car, rolling through the day that I just lived, listening to Guns'n'Roses, and rolling all my life, while the poor deserted landscape, barely highlighted with the highway lights, hurtled behind. Sipping cold coffee, and singing along with Axl, I recalled many snaps of my previous life in Russia, was recalling my boyfriends, my study, my work, my cats, and I was wondering, how if happened to be in this country, with these people around, and whether I was different or not. The answer was 'not'. I was still the same, strong, young in my soul, good looking, confident, interesting and I was still myself, how I used to be. If I didn't agreed to anything, I would speak up. If i was angry, I would not smile. If there was a fun, I would be laughing out. If I felt like to hide my emotions, I would hide. And if I didn't like anyone, I would never pretend. But I was always trying to be polite to people. This country teaches you how to be tolerant. In terms of skin colour, religion, education, background, everything.... You have to give respect by default, unless you catch a thief, which I did, or catch a lie, which I also did, but it's not a legal case, unfortunately.
The thing was, in that work, it was all about people. I think, it was too much about people. Cause everything you have in your life here, are the people around. You don't have a property, you don't study, and your family is far. Everything you have, is work, and the excitement comes from the human relations. Time to get little crazy, huh.
As I mentioned, there was no alcohol also. The regular relief, that we used to, is not there anymore. And again, work takes all your time, and if you have guts to go to bar after doing extra hours, tomorrow your day is ruined by a hangover. I kept myself out of it, and those few nights out remained just a few nights out.
I think, something was there, that attracted other people to me. I want to believe, it was my personality, not my appearance. Sometimes I looked at myself in the mirror, and I was thinking, how come my husband was still with me for these 8 years. Scarecrow, in other words. But that was sometimes only. I wasn't looking bad, at the end of the day. My weight was stable at 52 kg, and I was working out at home 3-4 times a week just to keep the shape. All the rest came from inside. I can say, I was in love with the Brand, and tried to pass the same emotions to the people around. Actually I knew, people liked me, so I speculated with my image to pass them the good values. My image helped me, but also my belief did. I was very passionate about work, and I was never compromising, so I had a reputation of a tough and professional. Exactly what I needed.
One thing happened to me that winter, that made me think further.
I was n the store early morning,standing outside, checking the window with the paper in my hands. I was fully deep in that window update, when suddenly I felt someone next to me. That was B, he also came early morning for some reason. I don't remember now, what he said, but he was obviously in a good mood, and, as a greeting, he waved his arm around my waist. That time my heart missed a beat, but i never missed a blink, and he removed his arm after one second, and we continued talking. Before that I never thought, he was attracted to me, but after that, I started looking more closely. I suddenly felt that all our jokes and sights were not just a silly jokes and sights. I don't know, why I wanted to believe, it was not. I wasn't scared, like, how come I should be scared of such I nice guy, who happened to me not only my boss, but the very meaningful person for me.
But that was the breaking point.
And I let it go, as if nothing had happened, but sometimes I realised, It was special. And it made me feel good.