If somebody told me some years ago, that I would finish my Doctorate in Washington D.C. while working at the Library of Congress and meeting with people personally who participated in the Dayton Peace Accords , I would be curious and say: No way.

PhD student’s life (The Hague, 2012)

But one more time my life proves the converse. Here, in Washington D.C. at Channel Square on January 27, 2016 (6:00 am o’clock) I put the final point in my six years and eleven months’ research and writing. You can say: This is the whole life. Yes, you will be right, the amazing and great part of my 33 years life. During the presentation at Department of State I shared my personal story about my history teacher, Larisa Kozlova who believed that I could achieve more. She took my hand and showed me a door to another life. Since I have been thanking her every day.

My inspirationa teacher, Larisa Kozlova (09/01/2015) Belovo

The other thing is that Larisa taught me: doing a big affair by small steps with passion. Right before embarking onto my journey as an Atlas Corps Fellow, I returned to my school with that same inspirational teacher to talk to the current seventh graders about dreaming big and working hard for their dreams. So, if you have a big dream, just divide it into small several steps and do it with all your heart and passion.

The third thing is that I learned while working on the doctorate: never forget about your final goal. Our life is very unpredictable, and can give a lot of surprises, you might have many ups and downs, but NEVER GIVE UP and KEEP YOUR CHIN UP!

Thanks to this Universe, on my life way I meet people who inspire me to move forward. At the beginning of January 2016, I visited my American 84-year old professor in Ohio, who just told me: Get it done!

Currently, I can say: John, I got it done!

And always remember Paolo Coelho’s words: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

Fly as a bird! (DC, 01/30/2016)


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