Teuta’s First Day In America Going Through Immigration Process

Monday, July 03, 2023

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Teuta’s First Day In America 

Going Through Immigration Process My Intuition Was the Loudest

January 25, 2004, was the day that my life took a 360-degree turn. John and I flew from Prishtina to Vienna and we just landed in Washington DC, Dulles Airport. I’m carrying a backpack that says, United Nation Mission in Kosovo and a black carry-on. I’m feeling stiff from an 11-hour flight. I’m kicking my heels because there’s not enough space to stretch while waiting in line for passport checks. There are two different lines for passport inspection: US Citizens, Global Entry Crew, Diplomats and the other one says, Visitors and Permanent Residents.

John went on the US Citizen’s line and I’m on the Permanent Residents. His line is shorter and seems to be moving faster. I have a very bad feeling right now. I don’t like being separate from him. I’m worried about losing each other in this big airport. Neither one of us have cell phones. I have no idea how long my immigration process is going to take and I’m already very tired. I keep looking at John on the other line until I no longer see him. I look around and there are people from all over the world coming to visit or permanently live in America. Some of them look very excited but most look tired.

A startling voice in my head said, “This is wrong!” I don’t have a single thought but tears are rolling down my face. I bent down pretending to look for something in my backpack and poured those tears in it. The line is starting to move again. I wipe my face, stand up and start walking a few more steps. The closer I’m getting to the immigration office, the blurrier my future seems to be. I’m having a really bad feeling that I’ve just made the biggest mistake of my life. I try to avoid negative thoughts and bring my attention to the present moment. There are all kinds of smells around me, pollution is the most dominant one. I guess from all the airplanes and machinery, I tell myself. Sweaty travelers, a baby with a stinky poopy diaper but poor mom can’t do anything about it right now. A lady pulls out her perfume from the bag and sprays herself. That was nice but some people are closing their noses which is odd to me because the perfume is much more pleasant than all of the other smells.

I take my jacket off because I am getting hot. Within a minute, I realize I’m smelly too. I put my jacket back on to cover up the smell. The jacket feels familiar and comfortable. The jacket doesn’t just help cover my stink, it helps cover my emotions as well. In a room full of people, I feel extremely lonely. I cross my arms and hug myself fighting tears.

And for the next 13 years, that’s what I did, covered my emotions, and hugged myself. 
I suffered from depression for years and wasn't even aware of it becuase my syptoms where not of those typical associated with depression. I ate healthy, I worked out, I went to work, I looked like I was enjoying life. After all, "I had no reason to be depressed." I had a loving husband, a paid off house, a paid off car and living on a beautiful island. However, I felt like there was something big and important missing in my life and felt a hole in my soul. I kept trying to figure out ways to fill that hole. I volunteered like crazy sometimes up to 20 hours a week on top of my 40 hours a week job as an admin/marketing at a Real Estate Company. It was a boring job with not a lot of work. So, I wrote a book in my native language. I tried so much to fit in this new big country to the point that I lost myself. I didn't know anymore who I was or what I wanted to do with my life. After two years of living in the US, I had my first child and was so in love with her. She gave my life a whole new meaning. It was another adujstment in my life but I managed to feel happier. Then four years later, I had the second child and had another life change and adjusting. My son had a lof of food allergies and the daycares would accept him because he was a high risk. I stayed home with him and was working as a freelance writer and graphic designer. Then later web design. Eventually I started my own digital marketing company in 2013. I started to be more aware of the depression. I had negative thoughts and feeling sad and angry a lot. My then husband and I were driffting apart. In 2017 my son was playing and made a mess and was being loud. I snapped at him. He said, "you're mean" and ran to his dad crying. That was the day when I thought, I should just die. I'm not even good to my kids. I was so sad and horrified at the suicidal idea that was a huge wake up call. That was the day that I told my ex husband about my problem and asked for help. It was the turning point for me. I begin therapy and read a lot of self help books, listen to podcasts, started meditating, but what really helped me have a huge breakthrough was hypnotherapy. I I did Marisa Pees'program on Mindvalley and it changed my life. I didn't realize how much of the past I've stuffed and it started to resurface. It was mentally exhausting but I've healed from the past trauma and eventually figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Now I work with a lot of immigrants who develop a identity challange. If you're an immigrant who's struggling to find yourself in this wonderful country full of opportunities, I'd love to help you navigate the challanges so you can live a happy, peaceful and purpusful life. You are meant to stand out, why bother fitting in. 

The Peaceful Doer, LLC 
DBA Teuta Towler

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