Sometimes, I forget I am not in India. Sometimes. I take a step out into the world. Look up, look at the sky. It feels the same. Look around me, its the same. I still have to rush to make it in time for my classes. I still have to wait on the pavement for the bus to come. I still see the bus go past me, just coz I'm late by a minute. It feels the same.
Just because my parents are not home, does not mean I dont feel attached to them anymore. Just because I have the right to, does not mean I will abuse my rights. Just because I can, does not mean I will. I don't see whats the big deal about the freedom. I think the only freedom I have now, which I dint have earlier is to pay my own bills. Everything else is the same.
It's not a tough life really. It's just living that life that's tough. It's not a life you can't adjust to. It's just slipping into the adjustment that might be tough.
Everyone keeps telling me that things will get better. For some reason, I trust them and believe them. I believe that things will get better. Because they tell me.
When I miss my bus, I tell myself that it happens to every student.
When I am rejected from a Job, I tell myself that every student who wants one, has one job. I will get mine soon too.
When I see no chance for an Assistantship, I tell myself, that every Indian has got funding by the second semester. I won't be excluded. I'll get something too.
When I try to cart 8 bags of wal-mart groceries back home, on the bus. I realize every new student must have done this too.
When I see who I really am now, I realize, everyone must have had this moment of clarity too.
I can see my true self forming in front of me. When anyone asked me to describe myself, I kept saying that I dint know myself well enough to be able to give a description. Now I can see that the vague outline is forming in the picture. I see myself deal with situations, and it strikes me that this is the way I deal with situations. I see myself react to something genuinely, and I realize that I dint garb that reaction, scared of what the people who already have an impression of me in their minds would think. I react, I talk, I comment, and I behave to fill in that picture and make it more definite. To remove the vagueness and fill in colors.
I smile. I laugh at what I was. At what I had forced myself to be. To gain protection from hurt, I trained myself to be aloof, indifferent, unconcerned, unattached. I now realize I am not. I will hurt no matter what. Protection will just save me from wear and tear, but exposure will toughen it up.
I realize that I have gotten over the worst setback in my life. I realize it suddenly, one day, while sitting amidst a party of 25 people, bidding farewell to a friend, someone I have known since just 2 days. But someone I do consider a great person. It suddenly dawns on me, that I have gotten over the setbacks of my life. I have moved on. It took me 5 years, but I thought it would take 7!! The past has no power over me anymore. No strength to hurt me, taunt me, condemn me, laugh at me or cry with me. The past, has reduced in significance, and become just a story lived, loved, and left.
I struggle with daily life. But its the kind of struggle that makes your life, not breaks it. I am living. After years of getting by, I am suddenly alive with life.