By Sophia Khori
(Editor's note: This is the second in a series of posts by Sophia Khori catching up on the lives of current and former parishioners of St. Elizabeth's.)
Sasha, what have you been up to the past few years?
The past couple years have been chaotic. It was chaos of my own choosing. Once I left NDSU I didn't have any structure or direction in my life. I also didn't look at myself as someone of value so I never put the effort towards having a future. I was in all terms a vagabond.
I returned to Minnesota in 2014 and got a job at the Wedge Co-op thanks to the help of my older brother Daniil. The Wedge may seem like a typical grocery store, but behind the scenes it’s a mixture of artists and humanitarians. I work with drawers, painters, cartoonists, writers and musicians. I get to learn about acts of kindness from punks, feminists and animal rights activists and be inspired by the creativity of others. The Wedge started out in the 70's as a store democratically owned and run by its members. They wished to provide people with education about health and food. Now, 42 years later they're still doing that. I work as a grocer doing physical labor and helping customers, but everyday I learn and grow as a person thanks to this place. It provided me with stability, education and health, and now I can start focusing on more of my own goals.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My life right now is mixture of mild adventures. I bike and longboard where I wish to go, oftentimes that is to the many parks around Minneapolis. This month I recently picked up chess again. I've won 3 of the 4 matches I've played. I believe my love of chess will stay with me my whole life, thanks in part to the encouragement of Father Marc. He came and visited me once and gave me a chess set. To me it was a gift that spoke volumes. Small acts of love, faith, encouragement and compassion can be so powerful, yet I think we often overlook them as adults. Chess like many games is functional, it can be used to teach many things and for me it serves as a tool to hone my focus.
I watch soccer games when I can. Last year I took a trip to Seattle and got to see my favorite club (team) the Seattle Sounders. I stood with the supporter group for 90 minutes, cheering, jeering, chanting and jumping as the Sounders defeated their rivals the Portland Timbers. I'm overjoyed that Minnesota will have professional team joining the MLS next year.
Have you read any good books or seen a good movie lately?
I’m currently reading “The Man Without A Face The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin”. It's a very succinct yet insightful book about the state of Russia and how Putin maneuvered through it to become the President. The author Masha Gessen is an outspoken LGBT activist and I consider her a modern journalistic hero.
Next on the reading list is the new Harry Potter book and “The Virgin Suicides.” I also have a book on java programming sitting on my floor that has served as a reminder to put down the video games and work towards a trade. I had a short stint in Fargo at a student created mobile startup. Since that time the hope of working with technology has never left me. Hope is not enough, faith in myself, support from others, focus and determination (accepting my failures and learning from them) are all sparks that ignite my ambition.
I also have started writing every week. It works to help me keep track of my progress and remind me of my goals. It also helps me manage my emotions. Understanding my emotions has been my biggest obstacle all my life. Mainly because they aren't meant to be confined or allowed to run rampant and more often than not they're illogical but are extremely biological. Learning to accept them and utilize them is just another aspect of being human—a challenge of maturity and one that I face every day.
My recommendations for movies would be “Hurt Locker” and “Imitation Game.” I'm almost finished watching West Wing on Netflix and would encourage anyone interested in journalism, law and politics to watch it as well. I believe it to be the greatest TV show ever made.
My broad goal for the future is to be like my dad.
My father is a well-rounded jack-of-all-trades. He is educated and cultured, as he was an architect, a farmer, a mechanic, a defender and a teacher. Compassion and self-discipline are the two greatest lessons he taught me. I wish to be a modern equivalent of him.