Born and raised in Russia, in love with Georgia and happy in the USA, I am forever grateful to the three great lands, cultures and nations. What came out of this unique combination only time and others can tell.
My childhood dreams were to become an archeologist, a ballet choreographer or a “philologist”. The former two were not too realistic because of poor vision and an outstanding degree of clumsiness and the latter, as my brother correctly pointed out, should be hobbies in my life and not my profession as”[reading and studying literature] is what any normal person does.”
Travelling abroad was something I could not do much of while growing up in the USSR (Poland was the only country I was allowed to visit, the rest of the world was out of reach). In the last thirty years, I have been blessed to travel extensively, both for business and leisure. Paris and Florence remain the favorites. Greece is on the list for my next trip. I continue to live in three places: the Republic of Georgia, the United States and Russia, which makes my life rich and diverse and keeps my horizons open.
Growing up, with little interest or talent in subjects like math and physics, English language was my only choice in a limited selection of Soviet educational avenues. No complaints – it brought me to my two favorite jobs – the first, in the Copyright Agency of the USSR in Moscow for seven years and the second, thirty-six years (and ongoing) with Nova Publishers. Today, meeting, working and corresponding with the most exciting people from different countries, fields and backgrounds remains one of my biggest interests, joys and achievements.
Outside of work, fashion and interior design are hobbies that I continue to enjoy because they bring visible, lasting results. Reading is too big to discuss briefly. It is something I hope will be present forever and every day in my life and in the lives of my children and friends.
I feel blessed and grateful for the rich and unique influences on my life by such outstanding people like my late husband Frank Columbus, my parents, Bishop Mitrophan Znosko, Merab Mamardashvili and his sister Iza Mamardashvili, Galina Ulanova, Grigory Pomerants, Ruslan Skrynnikov, Martin Levin and so many others who would be impossible to list here but each of whom has enriched my life immeasurably. My daughters Maya and Sasha are a source of my strength, pride, and admiration. My many friends in several countries are the best support system a person can ask for.
Building on the past, I am excited about the future.