Into the blue
My title perfectly describes my life right now. Diving deep into the blue of uncertainty, of curiosity, of my unwillingness to give up adventure. Yes i drowned at first, I will not lie. My first week with my family was absolutely awful. I was drowning in loneliness, homesickness, fears, uncertainty. I spent hours on end peeping through old classmates’ instagrams to see what they were up to while I was a mess, many seemed happy enough. Happy enough to make my unhappiness seem everlasting. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know who to turn to. I felt as if I was being jerked deeper into the ocean, the air was simply a distant memory. To clarify, my family is absolutely amazing, they are loving and inviting and helpful as ever. My drowning had nothing to do with them, but it has everything to do with being stretched from my head to my toes emotionally and mentally. Adjusting to this new place and family was not easy, I was simply a functioning mess who didn’t know that I was one. I literally took to google to see why I was so unhappy, and I figured it out. Loneliness. Culture shock. Okay seems simple enough.
I think it all just happened too fast. Whilst my other fellows spent the summer preparing for india, I was too busy having the time of my life in China. I could care less about learning Hindi at that time, I was too preoccupied learning Chinese and having lifelong memories with my new best friends and relishing the sizzle of hot pot and being stared at everyday. But it all ended just a bit too early. 6 weeks went by like a flash and I had to give up a family that I had grown to love and amazing baozi and my buds. I ended up back home…and it was HARD.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t want to come home….
When I got home I BAWLED. All of my friends broke down also. I just didn’t want to let any of it go. I just had some of the best times of my life in China and it was over. It was hard. And it hurt, BAD.
Not to say I wasn’t happy to see my family because I WAS SO HAPPY to lay eyes on my beautiful mother and my father’s glowing face when I gave him his gift of “black man toothpaste”. My niece’s confused eyes cause she really didn’t understand who I was but kinda did, and my brothers’ chill energy through it all. But yea man my time with my family was bitter as we couldn’t spend much time together as I had ends to tie up and I had a plane to catch early in the morning to California. But definitely sweet as we did go to lunch together and my dad and I ended the night with a showing of Straight Outta Compton. So I was happy.
From this point on I literally had 1 month to get prepared for India and I honestly was a bit disengaged for much of the in country training. I was tired and just wanted to rest but I had no self control and I feel like I wasted a month just marveling the beauty of the mountains we were in rather than actually working.
But anyways, you can see why I first drowned in India. Yea it sucked but I felt better once I talked to the other fellows and they drowned as well. I gained confidence, this wasn’t me being a baby, it was normal. Okay cool.
From this stage came the brief stage of fighting violently with the current. I would just become frustrated with everything.
It’s too many people! (You haven’t seen crowded until you’ve moved to india)
Its too hot!
I don’t know the language but I DO know you’re trying to hike the price up!
Jesus Christ why do I live so far from the city, it’s so expensive to go anywhere.
Ughhhhh stop replying to me in English if I spoke to you in Hindi.
No I speak Hindi NOT Marathi.
I didn’t come to India to talk about America, so stop asking about it.
And oh god…the bathroom situation. The bathroom basically has a hole with a bucket of water in the corner….don’t ask me how I do it.
As you can see this wasn’t a very nice stage for me. At this point all of the cultural differences became elongated, the conflicts and ambiguities became more stark, my “honeymoon stage” was spent wondrously frustrated. As in I would go out to do something wondrously excited (as shopping in the market the first time ever) and it would end up with me extremely frustrated and unhappy. India is an entirely different animal than what I’ve come in contact with and I didn’t understand how to handle it. I think of India as a girl so pretty that you gotta punch her in the face because her radiance is going to blind you. The craziness you are excited for become the worst thing on earth for you. Sensory overload, trifling rickshaw drivers, and badly spoken English leading to HUGE miscommunications became the bane of my existence yet I got a healthy dose of it everyday. Not a pretty time
Somehow my body learned to float and now my drowning subsided. I just feel…content. After getting used to the craziness of india, the cows that cause ridiculous traffic jams cause they wanna rest in the middle of the street, my hair just dying from the crap water, I just learned to feel happy about everything. I don’t want anything more than to just learn, experience, and connect more with india and the people of it, but these things seem to come if I float along with the flow. I don’t do much now honestly. I don’t really go to parties like other people my age or go out on the town. Outside of work I pretty much spend hours reading. Spending time with family and studying Hindi.
Now I’m just happy.
Everyday I just look at the Palm trees and think of how blessed I am. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’m content.