This time of the year does something to me. The dark days, the short days, the early darkness and all the winter blues- you know it is not without any reason. There is a disorder SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. That’s right! I do not think what I am feeling is bordering on disorder but I do feel unusually home-sick and nostalgic.
I am specially reminded of this time 3 years back! I was probably sitting on my bed in my house back in India, the windows open to let the stuffiness out of the room (yep, even in November!), the birds ,all four of them, chirping away in a corner, ma and daddy somewhere around but close to me and the anxiety and uncertainty of a big journey weighing heavily on all of us. We had just started our K-1 fiance visa process in early November. I would go through the list of all the papers we needed, tell John and he would dutifully and happily go send them to the dreaded USCIS. Oh we were so naive back then. I could not wait to go back to him and not work in that software company as a miserable software engineer and in my moments of anxiety would forget what a blessing I had been given of enjoying some very quality time with my parents! Oh I feel stupid now. Not that I was not grateful. I was, believe me. Yes, it hurt to have to retreat back after a failed attempt at getting a job. I probably did not try hard enough also because my heart and soul was not in it. Just the failure of it all hurt my self-esteem a lot. But I started loving being at home. I think there was nothing that could have made me more happier on a Friday evening than coming back home in that rickety auto-rickshaw, cruising along the streets of bhubaneswar amidst the dust and crowds of people and knowing that am going home to my ma and daddy and to a cup of hot tea that ma would make for me allowing me to not worry about it. Knowing that I was going to go home and open my laptop, check facebook and see what all had happened in America the night before, wait for John’s customary morning phone call before he left for his work, check the progress of our visa paper-work and play with my little birds and just be comfortably nestled. In my home, close to my parents.I think that was the happiest I would feel those days. I hated going to work and I thought that place sucked. But I was terribly wrong. I made friends with people who made me want to stop time and relish that sudden-life relationships I had just formed. I always look back to those 10 months I spent in home as a life lesson.
One never knows what trajectory their life will take. The people they will meet. The perspectives one forms and the changes that take place in one’s thinking that thet had never anticipated.
As I would lay sleeping at night, I would try to picture our lives, if it was ever going to be allowed to happen. I would try to picture if we would be happy, where would we live, where would I work and there were many what if-s and scary thoughts as well. While the fact that it was soon going to happen for real was surreal and good, the fear of getting separated from my parents was very disturbing and saddening. I just did not feel ready.
And I am still not over it. I still think about those days, that house, the warmth, the dust, the heat, the birds -my friends, the way I felt when I came back home after a days work and the faces of my parents when they came to pick me up at the airport with a single rose in ma’s hand. It so easily tears me up.
But life has to go on. And even today, I wake up and thank God for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to go back home and spend time as an adult with my parents and learn a few new lessons.
I guess this is what I am thankful for. And not just this month. Every day !