Meg and I, over an entire year, crossed half the planet – from Ukraine to Canada’s west coast – in order to be together. Most of that trip, from Turkey to British Columbia, where Meg had a home, was by sailboat. We had no other option. We embarked on this endeavor, not just because Meg had some aviation experience and the money to buy a sailboat, but because we couldn’t help but do this. Meg’s need to challenge injustice and unshakable desire to help me get back my life, set her on fire! My love and need to be with Meg was the force driving me forward and overcoming nearly every obstacle. Starting with our correspondence when I was in Russia and later, in Kiev, Meg had become everything for me and I no longer could betray myself. I could not sacrifice my life for the sake of devastating prejudices and self-aggrandizement of people surrounding me. When I fell in love with Meg, it became necessary for me to take back my life from those people. I started fighting for it, and only then I felt like a human being. I finally lived.
Looking at myself back in Russia, I now know what was bringing me down, pushing me to the path that was going to lead me perhaps not to suicide but certainly to a life-long agony. It was people around me, of course, who deny a woman the right to have her dreams, her aspirations, her life, but mostly the force that made me walk the plank was my own conviction that I have no right to resist, that it is unthinkable to listen to myself, to love myself and to fight for my life. Meg crushed that unshakable notion, raised in me by Russian society, by sharing with me her own life experience, and in just a few words that she wrote to me in her letters.
“You don’t have to be with the person you don’t want to be with.”
that was her first advice. And the second advice, that turned out to be the most effective for me, was
“Listen to your heart”
These words, and simple human compassion, shook up my life. I now know that the unimaginable is possible. It begins with one recognizing a human being in herself. It is all about respecting yourself, and believing in your own power.
12 years following that February day, when I saw Meg for the first time in Borispol airport, I still can’t imagine my life without her. Meg and I have become inseparable. Our huge journey to Canada not only opened up the world for us, it also liberated us from conditioning and rituals of society. We no longer can live without personal freedom, including the freedom of movement, and we are thrilled to travel the world in search of new adventures and friends.