“those who don’t risk, don’t drink champagne”-Arunas Zukauskas
March 30, 2010, 9:11 pm
Filed under: on air

my future was decided by a lottery

my entire life that was yet to be shaped, formed, molded was all done by complete chance

lets bring it back to 1992, i was yet to be birthed or maybe even yet to be conceived, but no matter, it was still 1992.. picture Lithuania in its first year of freedom from decades of rule by the Soviet Union.. an old, yet new country getting back on its feet and meddling with the relations of the rest of the world, free, and just like its people, ready to breathe the air that the rest of the world had already known, but which was new to my family and my people alike

my father was reading the local paper and spotted a tiny advertisement in the corner of one of the pages.. it read something like “Win an opporunity to get a chance to become a citizen of the United States of America”. Just one year after being re-admitted to the rest of the world as a country who was ready to take care of itself, everyone in Lithuania was ready to see what the world, and especially what America had to offer. Everyone had heard of the stories, of the opportunities, of that new life. So my dad cut that little piece of paper that weighed more than anything else he had ever held and placed it in his wallet, and soon the thought of a new life was replaced by daily routines and taking care of his family.

from selling candy on his car at flea markets, to buying freezers from Russia and creating a booming ice cream store in his town, to owning his own store, all the way to managing a tv station, my father made his mark as a smart businessman and someone who was never afraid to take risks, life went on and he was happy.

“55,000 people from around the world will  be eligible to live, work, and apply for American citizenship this year. Look in your local newspaper for more information.”

that was the commercial he heard on tv, andnit was the second time this message had reached my father, it was his turn to take a chance

to the library he went in search of that newspaper with all the information that he needed.. he copied all of it down, discussed this lottery with my mother, and they both decided to send in their applications.. if my father wasn’t chosen, then maybe, just maybe, my mother would be..

six months.. six months was the waiting period to hear back from America. and if you didn’t hear back in six months, well then your ass was staying put right where it was bred, born, and raised

and the six months came, and so did the biggest envelope my father ever saw in his life, in a language he just didnt understand, english

he paid and persuaded his former english teacher with chocolates, money, and cognac to translate this life-changing document into our native Lithuanian, and so she did, and so moves were made to the embassy at the capital for fingerprints and to Warsaw, Poland for our visa confirmations

1998, march 4th.. my fifth birthday.. the day that was to determine whether we stayed or left

while my parents left me in the car because they didnt want to disturb me from my cute, newly 5-year old nap time, they went to the immigration facility and were questioned, interrogatted, interviewed, and picked apart by officials who were to determine my family’s fate.. all around people were being denied of visas to come to the New World. People falling to their knees begging for “their last chance to get out, last chance to make something of themselves”, crying for a change in the decision… but no budging, they were stuck.

nervous, anxious, sweating.. money had already been paid for the visas we didnt even  physically have yet..  our lives were in the hands of people who didnt even know us and didnt even really care, they were just doing their jobs and waiting to get paid

but it paid off, the “congratulations, you have six months to find your way to America” speech was all worth it

and the life my family and i were about to begin was all due to a simple choice, and a simple pick

a lottery that has shaped the life i live today and the words i type on this page as we speak

it ceases to amaze me how one decision and one risk can change entire lives, memories, and experiences

i could go on about the talk i had with my dad tonight, about how happy i am that im getting close to my family, about how the people i live with are living encyclopedias filled with life experience like no other, about how the choices they made and still make have formed the words i speak, the thoughts i think, and the dreams i have yet to find, but theres no doubt that this topic is far over from being discusssed

this is just the beginning

to the future from the past



March 7, 2010, 9:53 pm
Filed under: on air

17th birthday was thursday, march 4th 2010

all i can say is that i hada WONDERFUL and MEMORBALE time and that epic proportions were reached

ayyyyeee~~~~~~~~… hehehehehehehhehe