Struggles of an outsider

The Harrison 20141117_095246

I spent the first twenty years of my life in my home in Mumbai, India. For as long as I can remember, the earthy seating and quaint surroundings was what made my home unique. The familiar lizard that seemed to grow older along with me and my sister, the pink and purple walls and welcoming kitchen were staple elements of my home that I cannot forget. The bunk bed on which me and my sister slept has attached to it many memories of adolescence and teenage years. After my mother’s passing away, when I was seventeen, the home didn’t seem to have the appealing and warm feeling it did before. This was the moment that I realized a “home” is not so much a physical surrounding. Instead, it is a place where family is together.

When I left India, I never really thought of any place in the US as home to me. I was miles away from the people I really cared about and it was this distance that fortified in my mind their value and importance. New York City was my biggest inspiration to come to the United States. There was something about the glamour and liveliness of New York that drew me to this place. The value attached to higher education in the US was another important factor that determined my move here. In the midst of these varied thoughts I hadn’t realized how difficult life is for an immigrant moving across the globe.

My first few months here were difficult without a job and an outlook of converting the dollar to Indian rupee. Surrounded by people with varied ethnicity and backgrounds, I was initially intimidated. One of my early mistakes was moving in with a person I disliked; that made the process of living away from family excessively challenging. One year later, I found myself battling depression and addiction. This was the time I decided I needed to return home once again. I spent a good two months in my comfort zone, rejuvenating, building my self-confidence and self-esteem, being loved and taken care of. This was an extremely motivating time for me and I owe it entirely to my family and friends back home.

I decided to come back with a bang!! I found 2 jobs for myself that occupied me for almost 50 hours a week. I managed to pay for my education and living for almost a year which made me realize that I still had it in me. Time passed by and in the last semester of my course I found family away from family; People who accept me for all of my idiosyncrasies, Motivate me, Help me figure my way through life’s various challenges. Friends who cooked me a four course meal for my birthday! They never deny me of anything. My friends helped me move into my new house, and more importantly helped make it a home. Two of them are now my roommates which makes living here an absolute delight. I have finished my course and am currently employed with Johnson & Johnson. I drive to and fro from work, almost two hours a day. Life is hectic but it hasn’t ever been more fulfilling than this. I can finally say I’m happy!

From this point onward, I hope to grow professionally and see myself at a better place than I am today. In the long run, I wish to expose my family to the life I have here. I don’t enjoy Skype but I love writing so I post letters to my sister and friends every now and then. She writes back to me and helps keep me sane.

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