This is how I felt when I first moved here. Cliche but true. I think most of us feel lonely when we first come to a different world, away from our comfort zone. Though I do know people who love this opportunity to meet new people, interact and make new friends. I find this a little weird. Don’t get me wrong, I am sociable. But I do find excessively chirpy ones among new people; a little weird.
India is crowded; very crowded as compared to the various states in the United States. You wouldn’t see a stretch of land without any people on it. I am from Mumbai, I have never seen empty spaces of land. Growing up there, I got used to the cars honking, hawkers shouting at the curb of the road, women shouting at each other so they could win their argument. This was routine for me. And how can I forget the heat and the humidity. Ah! Sweat! And of course, the smell.
A big part of my childhood consisted of playing with my neighbors and the sleepovers. It was four of us girls; sure there was a lot of fighting. But there was also a lot of caring, sharing and doing all the girly stuff together. And as we grew up, there was shopping! I fondly remember those days, when were we wore each others clothes. Today its different, considering one of us has a 6 year old boy. He is quite the rockstar. I don’t recollect a single day where our doors would be closed and we wouldn’t be running around in both the apartments.That was the feeling of belonging. I knew all my neighbors. I ate home cooked meals with them every other weekend.
So, when I landed here, in the US, I was quite shocked and depressed. I knew no one. I had no neighbors and no friends around. This feeling can really be overpowering if you don’t do anything about it. I waited for a good two weeks to realize I wasn’t in India anymore. And that my family and my friends are 10,000 miles away. Reality struck me bad. I cried a lot that night, slowly understanding that I truly was by myself.
I have seen students leaving mid- semester and going back to India. Just because they cannot handle the pressure of being alone or rather by themselves. Let me tell you this, we aren’t really alone. There are thousands, just like us, who are struggling to make it here; who are scared to ask for help. I, once wanted to go back home. I had decided to give up, lost all faith. But then my father reminded me that I was a fighter. I have always fought my way through different times. Achieved great things through hard work.
I am lucky I found amazing friends who are like family. You always feel the need to find somebody, especially during the holidays. Someone to cuddle with in the cold. How would you do that if you stayed depressed and lonely at home. So go out! Mingle! And am sure you won’t feel lonely or unhappy anymore. Trust me, it isn’t too difficult to open up to a stranger. No reason to get hurt or nothing to lose. Take this chance and enjoy your holidays!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!