Living in India has been hard.
But, today, a taste of "real life" hit me and I was reminded of the world I am about to step back into. I received an email from my student loan company reminding me of a payment due...and suddenly, to my dismay, I was reconciling, adding, subtracting, calculating, planning, calendaring, and spreadsheet-ing.
It's been over four months since I have paid a single bill.
And suddenly my life is once again on the verge of the mayhem I couldn't wait to leave behind last winter. This is a prime example of why the Grass is Always Greener Theory is bologna: while I was in the States last year I was working a job I hated in the corporate world and struggling to get on my feet as a new college grad. The idea of coming to India was romantic in it's anticipated simplicity, yet once I arrived and was faced with the realities of this foreign environment, I began to pine for those comforts I left behind. I have since adjusted as best as possible to this parallel universe but this ultimate truth prevails: every situation has its downside and its silver lining...no matter where I go and what I do, I will always struggle under varying degrees of discontent.
Simultaneously ending this chapter and beginning a new one in "familiar" life is already starting to present challenges. I am out of mainstream American culture; I am clueless on current events, newly released movies and music, and all other things typical-pop-culture. Where do I begin to reintegrate after becoming so separate and how much do I actually desire to seamlessly fall into the cushy consumeristic lifestyle I once knew? I am disconnected yet longing for my roots; I have yet to find the ideal balance between the two. I desire to stay aware, alert, and sensitive to the world but part of me also looks forward to shutting everything out and sleeping for a week straight to rebuild myself upon returning home. I am stuck somewhere between responsible world-citizenship and feeling superficiality beginning to suck me back into certain aspects of life. How can I live the way I did knowing what I now know?
As I figure it out, in the meantime I want to appreciate everything about India that I like and love while it's still at my fingertips. I am also anticipating many things about the States that I haven't seen/tasted/smelled/experienced for the last 4 1/2 months (it will be nearly 6 by the time I return home...)
-cake (cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries included)
-CHEESEBURGERS (namely those of the In 'n Out and TK Burger variety)
-mom's home cooking
-endless amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables (except cauliflower and potatoes, had my fill of those here)
Beyond food items, I am also looking forward to going to the beach, my friends being only a phone call away, comfy couches, and summer BBQs.
For everything I have learned here and am still learning, the lesson of appreciating all I have been blessed with is a frontrunner at the moment. I am looking forward to feeling embraced and comfortable for a time so that I can restore myself and really begin to absorb all I have collected from this endlessly difficult, beautiful, and complicated culture.
I can't think of anything else thoughtful to say, I fear I am too overwhelmed with thoughts to birth anything more that's even remotely cohesive. Adding insult to injury, I am very hungry and completely exhausted. Once again, I have stayed up too late and am allowing myself to be distracted by what's to come. Even if my blog post doesn't reveal my desire to finish strong here in India, I'm truly wanting to make sure I leave a bit of something useful and meaningful behind; I have put in too much to not go out with a bang (for lack of a better descriptive). I have a lot of work to do in the next 14 days.
See you all in 5 1/2 weeks...