I had little access to a television (it only worked if my neighbor was watching TV), internet, pop culture, news, etc... Therefore, the things that I did look up on the internet were things that were important to me. I didn't spend hours searching for stupid shit- I was paying for my time. I didn't get force fed info and ideas. I went specifically searching. This is the same with television. Ideas, shows, concepts, products were not involuntary. I made a point to learn something, so I cultivated a more intense sense of identity as a result. I consider this to be a really cool side effect of my experience in Ukraine.
Also, I now realize that what I learned from this experience will continue for the rest of my life. My learning didn't halt in December. Revelations will present themselves to me for the rest of my life. Just another reason that I will never regret those 27 months, no matter how alone I felt sometimes, how cold my toes were at nights, how many frowns I grew to abhor, or how high of an alcohol tolerance I came back with.