10 Years in the USA
It was a rainy, Friday night when the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt, Germany landed in Atlanta, GA on January 5th, 2007. An 18 year old girl walked out of the South Terminal of the airport onto the ramp leading to Groom Transportation for Chattanooga, TN. She was pulling a huge suitcase and a rather heavy laptop briefcase. Her hands were raw and red from balancing it all down the steep ramp. She approached the bus stop and stood there for a minute looking at the paper reservation that read 5/01/2007 18:20 PM. A voice said, "Can I help you ma'am?" She looked up, handed him the paper and said, "Yes sir. I have a reservation for a ride to Chattanooga." He looked at the paper and chuckled, "Yes you do. On May the 1st. I'm full, ma'am. Maybe the next one can take you. It will be here in an hour." She carried that suitcase back on the sidewalk and sat on it. Tears running down her face. How is that possible? "God, you can't bring me all the way here and leave me at the airport in the rain."
I cried a lot that night. I was terrified. See, Cyprus is a Greek island but a British colony. We drive on the other side of the road, and we write our dates backwards. First the date, then the month. Therefore, I reserved a bus for the wrong day. It all seems so silly now 10 years later.
That night I arrived at the college dorm exhausted. I remember standing in the middle of my room for a solid 5 minutes without moving. The RA knocked on the door to check up on me, and when she saw me still standing there she asked, "Are you ok?" I said, "Can you please show me where the bathroom is?" She politely pointed to the en-suite, and for a second there I chuckled. I had just made a 35 hour trip to the other side of the planet, but I couldn't seem to be able to find the bathroom. I think my brain had literally stopped.
The next five years were some of the best in my life. Everything was new from Walmart and Cracker Barrel, to Tootsie Rolls and corn dogs, to Forrest Gump and American Thanksgiving. I was fortunate to have great friends and roommates that invited me over for Christmas and Thanksgiving almost every year. I spent my very first white Christmas in a small Ohio town, and my first Thanksgiving in Columbus. The following year, I was in Sarasota, FL and the year after that in Michigan. I would wake up every Christmas morning thinking, "This is just like the movies!" I usually spent my spring breaks in Panama City, FL or in Cape San Plaz. I was introduced to Margaritaville and Hard Rock Cafe!
Some of the people I met in college became my best friends in life.
In my 4th year of college, things were getting hard. I was a double major with two jobs and two internships. I was the foreigner that worked harder than everybody else because there was a language barrier. I was getting tired and lonely, not because I wasn't constantly surrounded by people but because I was constantly on the go with nobody to call my own.
In July of 2010 I adopted my little Othello, and my life has never been the same! Othello is my now 6.5 year old cockapoo, and since the day I met him, I have spoiled him. He has no training, and he doesn't know a single trick because I never treated him like a dog; he has always been my baby (also because I have no patience and training is expensive!)
Othello and I have written countless Shakespeare papers together and danced at Frank Sinatra's "Stranger's in the Night" at least a dozen times. He has licked my tears a million times, and I have snapped over 380 photos of him. True story.
In 2011 I met and married my husband Daniel, and the two of us moved to Los Angeles. The two years I spent in grad school are sort of a blur because I had no time to do anything else other than school. Having said that, let's skip over 2012-2014!
2015 and 2016 haven't been easy. Life in California was expensive, and I was an actress. One in a million. I was fortunate to have skills that allowed me to work as a producer and a director, which kept me busy. I had a wonderful team, and I owned a production company. I worked for celebrities and produced films for different festivals. I worked on major theater events, and I got to walk through some of the most iconic movie studios in history. I feel blessed for the experiences I had.
2017 found us back in the South, and a whole new chapter has started. I'm excited for this journey. I'm excited for my blog and all the memories I get to document. Thank you for taking this journey with me!