Vitaliy Mahidov Prologue for Memoir

For a long time I wanted to start writing a book. I feel as the time has come and I should share what my book will be about. So, here is my short prologue to a book that shares glympses of my life. Very exciting times and stories that will make you laugh and cry. Any feedback on my prologue is welcome.

Here it is the prologue from “Awakening Memories: (Mis)adventures on Fastivska Street”:


SELDOM HAVE I THOUGHT ABOUT MY PAST, NOT because it was haunting me, but because it was a massive part of me no matter how life changed me on the road. I tried not to let unfortunate circumstances change me, strongly believing that we make ourselves with choices we go for, but there were some parts of me I tried to change, unaware that being different in any way was normal.

For long time I was trying to characterize the word “normal”, failing in succeeding because the vision of “normal” was different for everyone. One vision remained eternal, deep dug into the roots of society: enjoy your childhood, respect your parents, go to school, be good, don’t lie, finish your school, get a job, start your own family, get retired and enjoy the rest of your life, and even though only minority was able to follow up with that pattern, I tried.

I tried to enjoy my childhood and bear the loneliness around me, being alone in the crowded place, which was not the kind of loneliness that could inspire you. I was instead inspired in going further, beyond that unbearable state, not making peace with what life gave me. I tried to respect my parents, and I did silently, even though they were not around. School was the only thing I enjoyed, finding a way to be better, to go further, to learn and later to teach others who were willing to learn. That was my only way out.

Being faced with too many “but’s”, I was always different somehow, even though I tried to be like everyone else, often feeling guilty, often feeling less than normal, whatever being normal meant. Who decides what is normal, anyway? Everyone will say that normal is what they are, so I decided not to pay attention to what other people thought, but somehow it always mattered.

I decided to get my experiences written and documented, not out of need for exhibition or acknowledgment, but to announce to the people feeling the same, what was life like for me, to help others learn from my mistakes and my successes.

Somehow many the lonely souls, left by those from whom they should naturally get the purest unconditional affection, always believe that it is their fault for being rejected, for being left alone. Overcoming that belief, tore it and denying it, learning to go beyond it, making goals and striving, makes live worth living. Because as long as we strive, we are truly alive.

Even though I was mostly lonely as a little boy, I could tell that I was pretty much alive, always trying to make one dream come true. The only thing breaking me through my entire life was the thought that I was cursed with the loneliness, not knowing whether being raised in the orphanage was normal. Again, normal is different from person to person, so wherever we turn we see different beliefs, different religions, different views and attitudes, because normal depends on the viewer. Besides wanting to reveal my life path, I decided that writing my “(Mis)adventures” would be a good way to draw a parallel between ages, between cities, between people, between religions, making every experience counts, maybe even being helpful to someone.

I feel everyone needs to know how life is treating orphans. Lonely and unwanted as an orphan in Ukraine, I feel that my native country is also worth mentioning, not to judge it, but to remember it. Whenever I walked the streets naively careless, enjoying the day, I always liked imagining what was behind the faces of random passersby, trying to read them as a book. I wondered how it would be if everyone put their stories on paper, making their life eternal for others to learn from their mistakes and to feel their success? If we learn from the world’s history, why couldn’t we learn from people’s individual stories? Maybe we would discover that being normal is just one of the words we don’t need, that judging has no place in any conversation, regardless of how pleasant our surroundings may be.

People often take what they have for granted, forgetting that some people can brag about having their childhood spent with parents, forgetting that even though they felt wrapped up in misery, their life eventually was filled with love, forgetting to care about the people who care for them, regardless of the circumstances.

A mother walking the streets hand-in-hand with her child is a priceless view to have, two brothers hugging each other, two lovers holding hands frozen in a moment of what seems to be endless lovewe all sometimes forget about the things that really matter. I wish to remind everyone who may be doubting that no matter how many lives we might have in front of us, family, love, and acceptance are the things we all need. We can have hardly anything more valuable than an honest hug and words of consolation. Alone, even with a million other materialistic values around us, happiness cannot be everlasting without others’ love and attention.

We ought to appreciate even the times of sorrow, because we learn to recognize joy when it strikes us, and it will. I learned that life is not colored in white and blackit is a spectrum of every color colorful and vivid for those who are not locked in chains of solely striving toward the materialistic, forgetting about things that are the most valuable and unavailable for purchase.

Finding myself, through books, songs, movies, experiences, childish experiments, and exploring different religions, trying to unravel the meaning, trying to find the answers to my pain and loneliness, travelling the world, meeting people, I finally managed to find my true self and accept who I am.

I am not writing to be accepted, nor am I writing to be understood. I am writing to share and to show that every life counts, no matter how lonely we may feel. Going back, dreaming, remembering, and recalling, I am trying to put my experiences on paper, reviving every moment I went through, breaking loose, telling another story of someone who counts…me. We are all the same human beings, but so different from one another. Only if we could find a way to be different together, we can get along with each other.

Parentless or living with parental love and care, capitalistic or socialistic society, Ukrainian or American, Mormon or Orthodox Christian, does it really change the person we are? Does any of it make us better or worse? Or is it all written in the way we treat others and expect to be equally treated?

Blog posted from Chernivtsi, Chernivets’ka oblast, Ukraine View larger map

Comments