My name is Aleksander, and I am from Wieliczka, Poland. Most people call me Alek.
I moved to the United States from my hometown in Europe a few years ago to be with my American girlfriend at the time, Suzette.
We met while she was on a student trip with her university. All the students in the group had gone out to a bar, where my friends and I spoke with them to practice our English, which we all grew up studying in school. Suzette caught my attention. She was smart, beautiful, funny, and as an American, innately different from the Polish girls I met. I bought her a drink, and we dated while she was in town with the other students.
When she went back to the United States, we continued our relationship via the phone and Internet. Navigating the distance was hard, but we decided we were serious about each other and wanted to be together in the same place. I love Wieliczka, but Suzette did not want to move away from the United States. I had always wanted to travel to the US and was willing to do anything to be with Suzette.
I managed to obtain a visa, and I packed up my whole life and left Poland to live in the US with Suzette.
It was an extremely difficult transition at first, to go from only talking to somebody online or on the phone, to living in a one-bedroom apartment with them. It took me a while to find a job, too, so Suzette and I were around each other a lot. It definitely tested the strength of our relationship, but we made it work.
As I mentioned, I had a hard time finding a job. I had gone to school for finance, but nobody was hiring. Eventually, I had to swallow my pride and just take whatever job I could get so that I could make an income and help Suzette with the bills. It didn’t feel right to sit at home all day while she worked. I hated not being able to contribute and figured working outside my field was the right thing to do, even if I didn’t like it.
I got a job as a server at a restaurant. It was humbling, as I had never had this kind of job before. Poland does not emphasize the customer service industry the same way as Americans, so it was a big adjustment for me. I hated waiting for people when I knew I belonged in an office, but I was happy to be working at all and to be able to bring home a paycheck to share with Suzette.
I was on my way to having it all in America. Keep reading to find out what happened next.