Olia Hamolia for The Hello Series

Alisa's note: 

Ok, I am seriously excited about this one. I love The Hello Series so much. Thanks to my determination to share the stories of Ukrainian women in the US, I have met so many wonderful humans and Olia sure is one of them. No, we haven't met IRL just yet but I am sure the day will come when we'll sit in the most Instagramable coffee shop and think back to the time when I first sent her a message. Joking aside: this is one hell of a strong woman. I am proud to call her my virtual (for now) friend. Get yourself some ice tea and settle in - this one is a great one. 

 To be honest, this is probably my fourth attempt to write this😂 In fact, I'm so ashamed to admit that Alisa reached to me a couple of months ago with a request to share my story. I was thrilled by the idea and even asked about deadlines promising to send back my text within two weeks. Well, it's better later than never, right? (Great thanks for Alisa's patience😇)

So who am I and what's my story? My name is Olia that funnily rhymes with my last name HamOlia (at least, I think so😂). Mostly, people know me by my Instagram nickname @olka_gamolka. Three years ago I was super lucky to win in a green card lottery from the first attempt.

So a year ago I packed all my Ukrainian life into 4 bags, took my husband and my cat, and flew across the Atlantic. A year ago I saw America for the first time, I admired the beauty of Chicago and I cried a lot of tears cuz this city didn't seem to like me😂 I had endless paper issues (my ID was lost twice and my green card took 6 months to arrive instead of a month), plus unsurprisingly nobody wanted to hire such a hardworking Ukrainian so I was already planning my quiet death from hunger (exaggeration is def my thing😂). Then I felt disappointed by fake people from my native land many many times cuz everybody wanted to "teach" and tell you how little you deserve😑 In two months I left my husband and got divorced, then I finally found myself again and started building my life from the scratch. This spring I found my first apartment just for me and my cat, I bought myself my first bicycle and started living by the Michigan lake in my favorite neighborhood in Chi. Almost a month ago I even found courage to start my own tiny project in Instagram @gamolka.inc - since the moment I got to know I won in the lottery I've dreamt to promote Ukrainian designers in the USA. So now I hope step by step I can make my dream come true🙈

Being a one-year-old immigrant, what can I say? Life in the USA isn't a piece of cake as many people say and America isn't a place for the weak. I still cannot understand why so many bloggers try to paint a pretty picture of a trouble-free immigrant life in the USA where straight in the airport you get a bag with million bucks, a free Jeep, iPhone and many other things😂 Still, looking back at all the 💩 I went through, I am truly grateful for everything cuz it made me realize who I am and what I am capable of! In fact, only when I moved to the USA I managed to get myself together and understand my aims and life goals. I learnt how to appreciate what you have and simply enjoy life😂 Here I met my people and learnt to expect less from others (still working on that😂) So I can say that my story has just started and I hope you will hear about me with my Ukrainian shops nationwide in the USA😂 (I know I'm very shy)

*The Hello Series features stories in their original form written by Ukrainian expats living in the USA*

1 comment

  1. Oh my god! It's like reading my own thoughts!!!! Thank you for the text Olia!!!


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