Because sometimes, writing it all out – is almost like crying it all out into the universe.
January 2017. It was my last few weeks of Boston University – which meant I had less than two months to find a job to retain my one year post-completion student visa and continue to work in the US. (I will keep this visa related explanation really short – because no one in their sane mind can understand the endless complications that one has to go through to work in the United States – and I am sure I cannot even begin to explain it even if I wanted to.)
I started looking for jobs and gave up sooner than many others. It wasn’t that I was not hearing back from employers – it was because most of them gave really stupid reasons to not select me for the position. As if I didn’t know that I was an international student already! Argh. Some said, I was “overqualified”, while others said that the native candidate in competition just knew the area a lot better. Well, duh? Obviously.
Reality is – I studied journalism. And an Indian studying journalism – is almost as surprising to American employers – as a fish trying to fly. Fact check – if you are not in technology, data, or pharmaceuticals, with a brown skin in the US – there are not many companies who can sponsor you. And even if you got really lucky and some miracle of a job happened – then came President Trump. We all know journalism, immigrants and Trump are the worst of enemies. So if you got my point – sheer bad luck just came attacking at me right from the White House.
Mr. H says, “I didn’t even try enough”. And yes maybe, I gave up way too soon. I accept it here – even if I don’t accept it in front of him. Maybe if I looked harder and longer, I would have found a job. But as wise men say – when bad luck comes – it comes full force from every direction.
February, March, April, May 2017. My dad fell sick. My mom panicked, and my younger brother was trying really hard to hold it together, while I was trying to sort my visa issues and fly down to India as fast as I could.
My dad is 56. And he is my heart and soul. It took us some time to diagnose his problem, and thankfully we knew it was treatable. But still, I was scared, like I have never been scared before. It wasn’t as much as his health that was eating me up from the inside, as it was the constant fear of loosing him to old age. It was the first time I realized that I am a grown up now, and my parents are getting old and life from now on wont be a happy playground anymore. That health problems will happen, and our parents will get older and all I wanted was – to be around to experience all of it. The good and the bad.
This is what growing up feels like – lonely, scary and shitty as hell.
June 2017. He recovered. Touchwood. And I flew back to the US. Once again the hustle started – what about the job? I had already lost the first 5 months of the year to some shitty destiny – and now I was sitting there to “Restart”.
The thing about restarting is – humans are not machines. You cant plug them into an on and off mode whenever you like and sometimes you simply JUST CAN’T restart. So I spent the whole of June and July – mostly hibernating, crying, depressed, eating, drinking, binge watching Netflix, and applying for whatever job I could on the planet. In the middle of it all – I impulsively took a solo trip to Mexico – a plan well achieved, but absolutely crazy when I look back at it. I still tell myself – “that trip could have gone really wrong! You got lucky. Kudos to one more daring experience in your kitty.”August 2017. Finding a full time dream job in India, which meant staying away from Mr. Husband and making this work from two different countries and two different time zones. Yup, I got that NIFT professor job I always wanted and had to start immediately.
This was the hardest of it all. On one hand you get the job you can bet all your passion on, and on the other hand – you have to answer constantly to society on why it has to be a long distance marriage. Why I am back, and living with my parents? Well, surprise, surprise – Mr H. and I are still thick as a rock, and there is absolutely nothing wrong between us. Reality is – he wanted me to follow my dreams, and give my passion a fair shot – than sulking in a country that is SO hard to fit in. He wanted me to go for it. If that’s not love – then I don’t know what love is.The problem with society is – people you know or not know – question your choices from all different perspectives – without having an iota of an idea about what made you choose that option in the first place. They hardly know your problems.
Army couples do it? Doctors do it? Navy officers do it? Many working couples do it. There are a lot of couples in the world who do long distance marriages – so why not us? Why is it so hard for society to understand – that a grownup, married girl can choose to have a career in a different country and still be rock solid with her partner back home?
All you need is an open mind. And the ability to not judge. Because a famous song says – “Our choices are half chances. So are everybody else’s.”
August to 24th December 2017 – I took THE job. Became a design professor in the number one fashion institute in India, and joined back in my very own department. As hard as it was to explain this step to the people around me – I did love every single day of my work, doing something I hope I am good at and enjoy it each day.So what happened to StreetTrotter?
What I didn’t see coming was the fact that a full time job eats you up in many different ways. It requires time, focus and hard work. Mine requires a lot of studying too. Waking up on time and reaching my classes on time – i.e. before my students. And keep up with their curious questions. On top of it all – the daily driving back and forth from work drained me out and all this change gave me a “writers block” of a lifetime.
My life was already a roller coaster ride in 2017 – and now I hardly had any time to write as StreetTrotter. SUCKS. BIG TIME. Will 2018 be different? – Well I don’t know. But I do hope so.
Christmas 2017. I took a one month off from work and flew back to Boston to start the new year with Mr. H.
Since then, 2018 has started with a legendary bomb cyclone on the east coast and we have been shoveling mountains of snow in ice cold, frostbite-like, negative temperatures.
But the good part after the sucky 2017 is – this post to kickstart 2018. Because as I said before, writing it all out – is almost like crying it all out into the universe. To help you get back on track and give yourself another chance to have a fresh start.If you are reading this, trust me – growing up sucks! But we all have to go through it anyways. Things will go out of your control, you will have people judge you, and you will fall in love with things you can’t have. You would want to turn back time, change it somehow, make it work or simply shut it all out and pray for it to get over. You will want to elope, and that will pass too. I hope it will pass for me too.
P.S. I am 21 days away from my big 30th birthday, and the only thing I want to give myself on my 30th – is to write more on StreetTrotter. Exhausted reading this? – well, imagine my plight living it. Phew! But I am glad I told you.