First, I would like to say I feel so sorry for what happened to you – surviving in besieged Mariupol under constant shelling and bombarding, a long tiring journey through many cities and countries before you landed in the UK.

Let’s together have a look at you and your stay here.

But worse than that is the constant pain you must endure. It’s so heartbreaking. It looks as if it’s always with you. Ukraine and Mariupol are always at the back of your mind. I know you feel so upset and unhappy.

But surprisingly, you managed to turn it into something creative. Tears, sleepless nights, and frustration gave birth to the performance. It’s called “Ukraine – UK, Undefeated”. I know pretty well it cost you and your team a lot of effort, but finally, it was worth it. It collected a lot of money, and the relief was sent to charity organizations in Ukraine. It is great you worked in collaboration with the famous Winchester Rotary and St. Lawrence Church.

And not only that. You were a bit disoriented at the beginning. But then things went up.

I know you’ve tried some jobs in different fields – catering, education, and social work.

It’s amazing you have enough energy and stamina to be open to new challenges. And as you say, you are the least young in the Ukrainian community. You have learnt to make jokes in English. 

But now after nearly a year, I know the reason you could integrate. It is your previous life that has prepared you. 

You have always been ready for new experiences. You have learnt to accept new things no matter how challenging and unpredictable they might be. 

But I know one thing you still can’t accept, and it bothers you a lot. It’s your age. It hurts you; I know. Nobody can help you here. It hurts even more as the Ukrainian community here are mainly young women with children. But again, you happened to make friends with some of them and now you do a lot together – make short trips around the UK, explore the area and most crucial thing you support each other here in the UK. It is your new circle, a new environment. And again, you made friends with a couple of English people. You have always been saying, “How are you? Thank you, I’m ok. “pattern is impossible to overcome. This polite formula doesn’t help us make friends but keeps us away from each other. It’s your new experience. And it is evident you are a success with it.

One more unexpected thing in your life. You have started writing articles in English. Who could have thought about it a year ago? Nobody. Volunteering has always been one of your interests. And now Winchester volunteers are the subject of your two articles. It’s a good start. I hope you will keep writing.

So, my dear self. So many things seemed to be impossible a year ago. But you have survived turmoil. You went through hell. You proved you can sort out so many challenges. And yet so many things are inside us that don’t let us move and develop. We are responsible for what is happening to us. We promote Ukrainian culture here in the UK. We represent our country here.