Age Perception in Ukraine vs. USA

alisa kaiser, ukrainian in the us, expat, expat life,
Am I too old or too young? My planner is filled with stickers I bought a few months ago (through Amazon, of course. I don't want to do it in public, duh) and my favorite band is Thirty Seconds to Mars even though my passport says I am not 15 any more. On the other hand, my closet is hosting my professional dresses, blazers, and - tights. So what is age and why we (and by we I mean society) are so obsessed with it?

Let me take you on a little internet journey to Ukraine. I am almost 25, healthy (relatively), smart (eh), educated woman. I have a job and I pay my bills. What is wrong with me?
  • By 25 you should be married.
Whew, I am ok on that one.
  •  By 25 you should be with child already. Actually, you should be with your second child already. 
Did the world miss a part about the stickers? Or the fact that if there is Nutella on the table - I am not going to share? Or that I have a unicorn onesie? I am not suitable for children. I'll tell you more: if a girl at 26 is giving birth for the first time in Ukraine - the hospital is officially calling her "an old birth mother'. Yeah, let that sink in while I draw mustache on someone on my staff who fell asleep.
  • You should be living close to your parents because who else is going to help you take care of those babies? 
So basically the fact that a man can care for a child as much as a woman is not even under the microscope. That said, I know plenty of modern-day families who are rocking equality in child care. But it is assumed that a girl will need help from her mother or mother-in-law to care for a child 'cause 'she has never done it before'. I am not rejecting help in any way but this is kind of basic isn't it? I have never moved halfway across the world and look at me now! Or I never managed a hostel and I am doing alright. If I can manage drunken bachelors I think I can handle a kid. We will find that out - stay tuned for the next X years.

Let us fly our imaginary internet plane to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, aka the USA. I am still 25, still relatively healthy, still paying my bills. What is wrong with me?
  • You completed your Masters program before 25. That's impressive!
Yeah... And look at me teaching English or being a professor of World Literature. Can't see it? Exactly.
  • You shouldn't worry about your career as you are still way too young.
I've been working 'big girl' jobs since I was 18. OF COURSE I AM FREAKING OUT. Nothing is good enough for me and I don't know what I wanna be when I grow up.
  • 'I am sorry ma'am, you can't rent this car.'
But I will be able to in a few days! #Goals

There are things in the US I am actually not old enough to do and there are things in Ukraine I am waaaay too old to do (like go to the nightclub. brrr). And here I am living the life of a split personality. I do think that Ukraine nurtures its kids for too long but then at the same time asks so much of them (like having kids at 19). And America is quick to release its children into the 'adult life' yet places barriers on their way. And then there are expats, who basically are the badass rebels enjoying the best of both worlds (cue Hannah Montana). And are oh so humble.


  1. I still find excuses to buy/use stickers ;)

  2. Replies
    1. That is very sweet. Thank you for reading <3


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