A letter to Nika

Dear Nika,

I hope you are well, and I hope it isn’t too strange for me, a stranger, to be emailing you.

I am a comparative literature student from the united states. I was a fan of your husband, and through him, discovered you, and, if it isn’t too odd to say, your online presence has provided a lot of reassurance to me through the grief and upheaval I have been dealing with these past few months. If nothing else, I would like to express gratitude for that, and sincere condolences for the loss of your husband.

I hope this isn’t too strange for me to ask, but truly, I am not sure where to turn with a question like this. In thinking about what I “should do” with my life, I feel quite disheartened by the state of things, and very afraid of being trapped in a world where things seem to continually be moving from bad to worse. I would love to move out of America, but am not sure how, as I don’t know how to go about finding work abroad. I am thinking of taking the next term off of university as well, but am not sure if this is a good idea, or if there is a way I can move abroad during that time. I suppose I also feel quite guilty for wanting this, as it is a selfish desire as well. I suppose I am just pining for a world where I can study and write outside the confines of American academic institutions, but I just don’t know if that is a realistic thing to wish for, or if I am being idealistic and naive. Perhaps I am trying to ask: what would you do if you were a student now, trying to write, and trying to move to another country?

I know this is completely out of the blue, and a question that is not at all your concern, so please feel no pressure to respond.

I very much hope you are well, and again, if nothing else, am grateful for all you have done, and the hope you have inspired in me.