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Bosnian refugee living in Buffalo writes autobiographical book to inspire others.

How a War Refugee from Bosnia Ended Up in Buffalo, New York

“In the beginning life loved me, and I loved it back.
Then my wounds grew sore, and life loved me no more.

I fought through the pain
with the help of a flower;
as I put it to my wounds,
it gave me strength and it gave me power.

Life will love you,
and life will love you not; count every moment as a blessing, even every battle that you fought.

18 years ago, Mirela Ajdimovski moved to Buffalo from Bosnia, along with her parents and younger brother. As a Bosnian post-war refugee, Ajdimovski and her family came to the US in search of the American Dream – better work opportunities, experiences, and overall life possibilities. 

After acclimating to the US, and seeing new waves of refugees relocating to Buffalo, Ajdimovski has published a book that she feels is an inspirational tool for others to find their own way in life. Her book, Life Loves Me, Live Loves Me Not, is essentially an autobiographical account that talks about her life’s struggles and successes, from her childhood as a Bosnian refugee to “finding her own place in the world”.

My story is one of self-discovery, hardship, love, and heartbreak; it is a tale of coming-of-age against a multinational backdrop while seeking self-fulfillment and chasing the person I want to become.

This book is both heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time, as it recounts Ajdimovski’s lifelong dealings with such issues as citizenship, cultural ties, and even mental illness.

“My story is one of self-discovery, hardship, love, and heartbreak; it is a tale of coming-of-age against a multinational backdrop while seeking self-fulfillment and chasing the person I want to become. In sharing my story, my goal is to make a difference: to grant someone a new perspective or a new lease on life.  Life is beautiful, despite any sadness we endure.  I fundamentally believe that, if you cannot change your situation, you must shift your reaction to live with positivity. Enjoy every moment!”

Upon learning about Ajdimovski’s new book, I decided to reach out to her – after all, who best to help others than someone who has already experienced such life altering transitions? 

Are you working currently, raising a family… what does your current life in Buffalo resemble?

Currently I am working two jobs, like a lot of people I’m just trying to make ends meet and survive.

And family?

No family of my own, I’m single and working a lot so it’s hard to have a relationship. All my family has moved away from Buffalo and I am the only one left.

How does that bode for Buffalo as your “forever home”?

I felt like my story in Buffalo hasn’t ended yet and there is more to be done here before I decide to move forward. If I do move one day, Buffalo will forever be my home. Even though I don’t have any family in Buffalo I have great friends who provide amazing support in everything and are always by my side.

You’ve learned a lot of life experiences, in ways that people could never imagine. What do you focus on these days?

I love to learn new things especially new languages and learning to cook new recipes. When I can, I take acting classes on the side, it’s been my life long dream to be an actor one day. I am always trying to get involved in Buffalo’s film community. I love being on the set with other actors even if it’s just for background work. I have met so many good people this way. I believe if I keep working hard I might have a pretty good chance at making my dreams come true.

Can you leave us with something inspirational?

Here is a quote from my book that I feel anyone could relate to, anyone that needs a little push in the world, the ones fighting for a better tomorrow.

“This is our perfect opportunity to take action. Stand up to the weak part of ourselves; look in the mirror at the person staring back at you, wipe away those tears, and turn that frown upside down. Tell yourself ‘I got this.’ Don’t fall down to the level of a victim, be a warrior and believe. The world needs you.”

Ajdimovski’s book, Life Loves Me, Live Loves Me Not, can be ordered on Amazon. The book was written for anyone who is looking for inspiration when it comes to unraveling and making the best of life’s journey. 

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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