Following our Ukraine-focused Monthly Team Meeting in early March, we sat down with Den to speak to him a bit more about how he was doing, and about what being Ukrainian means to him right now. These are his words.
Hi, I’m Den, and I’m the Head of Design at one of the best companies in the world, which is called myOnvent (aka myDayFamily). I’ve been here from day one, championing product design, high-end quality, and exceptional user experience.
I was luckier than many men from my motherland. Living so close to the border with Russia, I was horrified to see thousands of soldiers posted just next to my home. I had just renovated my home, spent all my life savings to arrange a quiet and happy life for my family, and my kid had just started at a new kindergarten. This was Kharkiv, Ukraine’s best city to live in in the 2021 rankings – the old political capital and the Eastern cultural capital. In Ukraine, I love the ease of life, it’s well balanced. Four seasons, an absolutely wide variety of food, religions, hobbies, people to talk to, and books to read. If you imagine a perfect country to live in, it’s Ukraine, a motherland for so many talented people.
This is Kharkiv, Ukraine’s best city to live in in the 2021 rankings … a city that now is almost non-existent because of constant shootings and bombing.
Soldiers were 50km from my home. I shared this with our founder, and told him I couldn’t sleep normally because of the fear, the risk. He said to me, if you think it is too scary there, maybe you should leave – maybe it will be the journey of your lifetime. I bought tickets the next day, packed small bags, and took my wife and daughter with me. This was one of the best choices I have ever made. We flew to Hungary, then to Albania, then made our way to Montenegro. That was December 2021. This type of relocation has its price: you lose social connections, your cozy home, you speak to your parents and friends only in text messages, your lifestyle changes, you just turn the page.
After almost 3 months, I decided to go and get my car and documents in order to start a business and stay longer in Montenegro. I almost bought tickets to fly to Ukraine on February 23rd, but I could not leave my wife alone with our child. I asked my mom to fly to us – she flew the day before the war started. This was another good decision in my life, literally taking her from the Donetsk region, from a city that now is almost non-existent because of constant shootings and bombing.
When you defend your home, you tap into a supernatural power, the whole universe helps you.
Being Ukrainian, first of all, is to be free. Ukrainians were always a symbol of freedom, and to be Ukrainian means to fight for your rights. To fight and win… As of now, we stand for our rights. I’m proud to be Ukrainian, even if it means fighting for my rights for the rest of my life. When you defend your home, you tap into a supernatural power, the whole universe helps you.
Peace to me means to get back home, our real home, and go with my daughter to play in the playground next to our renovated home … I hope this peace still exists, and one day I’ll see it again.
Now, my daughter asks me when we will get back home, a real home which she still remembers – she is only 3 years old. She wants to see her friends, to play in the playground (that most probably no longer exists anymore, just rubble). Peace to me means to get back home, our real home, and go with my daughter to play in the playground next to our renovated house, with the other kids she remembers. It means not having any thoughts about leaving my home, afraid of a horrible war that brings destruction of the visible and invisible. I hope this peace still exists, and one day I’ll see it again.
If you’re interested in reading some of the other stories we have shared from our Ukrainian team members, you can find them here.
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