Decisions that changed my life - Part 2
I wiped my tears and came out of the bathroom. A lot of unfamiliar faces filled the place all of a sudden. I went back to my seat and chatted with my friend. I tried to think about all the fun adventures in a land I had never seen before. Just for a short period of time I convinced myself that I was happy. When the sunshine vanished and darkness filled the flight space I started panicking again. What did I do? I was contemplating my decisions to leave my homeland.
There was a lump in my throat each time I thought about what everyone back home was doing when I was flying thousand miles away from them. Were they thinking about me? I was definitely thinking about each and every person I left back home much more than I had ever done in my whole life. I was too young to be rational with my thoughts. I was a mess in the making. Each time I drifted away I would look at my friend's face and be reassured that everything was going to be fine. I definitively knew one person and she was sitting right next to me. I don't know if other people did this but I always told myself that there were thousands of people that were actually living away from home and they didn't have anyone either. I would make them my family. I do this even today. Whenever I feel alone I reassure myself that I am a citizen of the world and a family to everyone.
We had to change flights in Amsterdam. That was my first experience of foreign faces. I must say I was happy. I felt like Alice in wonderland. I had a lot of things to look forward to. I noticed what people were wearing and how they walked with so much confidence. I slouched all my life and all of a sudden I felt ashamed of myself. What was I scared of? For being fearless? For wanting to explore the world? For wanting to be different? I told my friend about all the adventures we should take together. I told her that our lives had just begun. We were free and independent.
Like always fear and anxiety crept in. Anxiety is a parasite that never leaves me. I can be worried even at the happiest moment of life. What am I worried about? Oh well, just if happiness was going to last for a little longer. I missed home badly. I felt like the world was collapsing. I had never felt this way before. Finally we reached the land of dreams. I was in America. I couldn't believe it. Things were very different. I could not understand the accent. But everything was clear; the rules were clearly laid out. I would never get lost here. Every street had a name. People drove in their lanes. Everyone said "Sorry" and "Thank you". People held the doors while I was standing there confused not knowing if I was someone famous and why they were holding doors for me. Why were they being so nice to me when they didn't even know me?
Also, I forgot to mention that my friend's parents accompanied her to the US. They were really sweet. I had known them from India. I used to always hang out at my friends place in India and her mother made amazing food. I was treated like one of theirs. But looking at them and their family reminded me of mine. I missed my mother dearly every time I saw my friend's mother. I kept telling myself I am strong and unique. I will be just fine.
We were received at the airport by my friend's sister. We were going to stay with her for a while until we could figure out on our own. I enjoyed the drive home silently looking out through the windows of the car. Everything was new. I remember asking my friend's sister why she was stopping at the red traffic light when no one was around and it was in the middle of the night. I remembered in India everyone broke traffic rules anytime they could. I loved that. I drifted away again remembering the crowded streets of India and how everything was so casual. People did whatever they wanted to do and that was its own kind of beautiful. I missed India. That time the feeling was intense. I couldn't go back even if I wanted to, at least not for another 6 months...
p.s This is the second part of the series "Decisions that changed my life". Please read the first part in the series before reading this one.