Love will win! Glory to Ukraine!

It has been a while since I have written something in English. During the last several weeks, I wanted to support our Russian-Ukrainian-speaking community – Ukrainians, so I was sharing my thoughts in Russian.

I’m from Kharkov, Ukraine. In Kharkov, we call the city Kharkov, though officially in the Ukrainian language, it is Kharkiv, of course. I was born in Kharkov; I went to school in this city and got my master’s degree in business and banking.

I never seriously thought about relocating to another city or country at this stage of my life. We were joking with my husband that we would retire in Portugal one day. We would open a small cozy boutique hotel with a restaurant with a fantastic ocean view. I would occupy myself with promotion and write books on the terrace while my husband would cook tasty dinners in the restaurant twice per week. Our grandkids would work on the front desk during their long summer holidays.

I still have this dream. One day when my husband is in his 80s but hopefully not too grumpy, and I am still in my 70s but still hot and ambitious, we will build that life.

I have often heard during the interviews with potential clients or have read in the comments below our YouTube videos that all Ukrainians want to leave Ukraine.

During one of my first trips to the USA when I was in my early 20s, people – Americans – kept asking me how I managed to get a Visa and what will I do in the USA because they had no doubts, I had no intentions to return to Ukraine. I kept answering that I was just attending a wedding or doing sightseeing and going home in a week.

Kharkov, Ukraine is home. After I got married and we had our daughter, like many other couples, we have started settling down: getting a modern grill, nice chairs for the patio, plants in pots, and Christmas decorations.

Our summer house was robbed. Unfortunately, during the war, some people think it is ok to break windows and take what they please. We were not there, but I kept thinking if they had guns while going through old toys, sneakers, and my yellow cups and plates. It still feels surreal to place Ukraine and war into the same sentences.

I never wanted to leave Kharkiv, Ukraine long-term. Traveling for a few weeks, maybe even for a month, was always a good idea for my family and me. Still, then we just had to come back to do the laundry in my brand-new washing mashing, visit my mom, run to the office, and have breakfast in a favorite breakfast place by the office. This breakfast place is now destroyed. It was in the new apartment building that is now missing most of its windows. My husband’s brother and his family used to live there. After seeing a video of the destroyed building, I kept thinking if they would rebuild it – the walls, windows, and breakfast place. Will it feel like home there again? Will the same smiling girls with cute tattoos make tasty cappuccino there? Are those girls even ok?

We have been traveling for more than a month already. The first five days were a planned vacation, and then it became a forced trip. It is such a strange feeling when you want to go home by you can’t.

This forced trip is life-changing. I can’t say that my values have shifted – they are still the same, but now I know what true love and genuine kindness feel like. Also, I have an acute sense of fakeness.

Friends still are friends. Fake friends or pretenders still pretend not to be too happy that they are ok buying a new Lexus while you are suffering.

It is getting more complicated to listen to fake, shallow problems that people create themselves to shield themselves from true feelings and their insecurities. Now, when an average-looking Joe claims all Ukrainian supermodels should be desperate to date him, I don’t have it in me to write him a lengthy reply to why his expectations are unrealistic.

True love and healthy relationships have nothing to do with brushing the ego and proving something to the women who have turned him down for a good reason.

I have no doubts that love will win! I have no doubts that we will rebuild our beautiful city.

During the madness of the last weeks, I felt so grateful for my family, my team of cupids, our fantastic clients, my readers, and new friendships that I will cherish with all my heart. I want to thank Geneviève Gresset, who was there for me when I felt weak and useless. You did more than you can possibly imagine.

Today I have started the first page of my new book — this time in the English language.