I guess I've been putting off this blogpost for a while now. I wanted to wait until I was sure, until there were no doubts, no more damn flip-flopping. I've come to realize that whilst I am much more at peace with my decision this week than I have been this entire past month (thank you Dan and Nissa, y'all are the bestest), the doubts are never fully going to go away, and that's not the end of the world. That's just bloody fine. For those who missed the incredibly important international news flash- I'm taking this next semester off from Pomona to stay in Mumbai and get up to all sorts of wackiness. WAIT WHUUUUT?! Yeah, more on that soon.
So 2013 huh? Where did that whole year run off to? And we're now almost halfway through January? Holy cow.
If i'm being honest, it has been a pretty painful year. Leaving UWC in May 2012 may have broken my heart, but the real goodbyes happened over these past few months. Watching friendships grow apart, and lives spin in different directions. Graduating in 2012 may have given us a soundtrack and a ceremony for our pain and our goodbyes, but the more painful were the ones that weren't anticipated, and weren't heralded in as an important rite of passage. They were the ones that happened in the sad silence of a skype conversation or an unbooked plane ticket.
I spent a large part of these past few months being exhausted. It's terrifying to admit, but I ran out of steam this year. I felt my brightness, my positivity and pure earth force sputtering to a creaky, squeaky stop in these past few months. I kept up the pretense, I continued to bubble over, but the bubbles seemed fake and the enthusiasm seemed obligatory. Much of this came from a self-induced feeling of rejection, from a whole-hearted, all-consuming terror that I wasn't doing it all right, wasn't getting anywhere, wasn't worth anything, wasn't, wasn't, wasn't.
I am so incredibly privileged to go to school where I do, to have grown up where I did, to have been given the opportunities that I have been given, and to have had the people in my life that I have had and continue to have. (HOLY CHAPATI, I LOVE YOU ALL, LET THAT BE KNOWN) And yet, much of this year has felt like a fog of confusion and frustration. Since I was eight years old and selling overpriced lemonade to my overgenerous neighbors- I've been called industrious, and ambitious, and 'going-places' and bright and talented, and I'd be lying if I said that I haven't lapped it all up. I have. However, this year felt like I was faking it. I was too busy mentally waging a war against myself to look up and authenticate myself.
I scribbled this in my journal the night before my 20th birthday, huddled into a sleeping bag in Zion National Park, Utah-
These past few days I've been feeling as though I'm living in a dream. As though I'm wading through a blur and a fog, waiting for my 'real life' to walk in and un-blur everything for me. On some levels- I'm embracing it. Embracing the idea that this is my time to be nineteen years young, to just absorb, to let my mind swirl with thoughts, and to just listen to the sounds of mere consciousness. To give my big, vast dreams the same time of day as my big, vast doubts.
On the other hand, I find myself yearning to be sharper, clearer, less dazed. I find myself wishing for clarity that I once had. I find myself wishing for the purpose and the definition of decisions and direction rather than this limbo of concepts and hopes that I can't seem to pinch myself out of. I know that I am working towards things, and I know with an absentminded certainty that I will look back on this time a few months from now and all the pieces will have snapped together- my tangents and pit stops will fit into a larger patchwork of process and progress.”
A little over three months later, I feel as though the fog has finally cleared. I am home now, with mother, father, brother- our little Javeri-Kadri quartet that I wouldn't trade for the world, a fresh start with the city that I once ran away from, and what is shaping up to be an exciting array of work and opportunities to keep up with over the next few months. This, this is good.
It hit me on my first local Mumbai train ride last week- the sun was glinting off of the metal poles, and as the train hurtled from station to station, the light rippled golden hued leaves and lines all over the train's blue seats. With three women squished on either side of me, staring at me with blatant curiosity, making it very hard for me to move my shoulders or turn my head, very aware of the sweat trickling down my forehead, and very aware of the crackly newness of this experience, as well as its aching familiarity- that was the moment, that was the sureness I'd been waiting for- I felt ready. It felt right.
So here are some photographs from our Christmas in Hampi. Photographs from Kochi, Alleppey, Bangalore and Palolem coming soon!
PS - Thanks for the adventure, favorite goon. Wouldn't have wanted to be exhaustedly eating packets of chips and 'Delishus' biscuits in grimy neon pink hotel rooms with anyone else.