I moved out of my home a few months ago and now live in a new city, all by myself. This is a letter to anybody who’s afraid to let go of familiarity as much as I was. Love and light x
I packed three suitcases, each of which was about thrice my size. But it wasn’t enough.
No matter how much clothing, food or memorabilia I packed, a little bit of myself seemed missing. I felt the way you feel when you’re congested- when your voice is the same but it isn’t, when you hear the same but you don’t. I couldn’t bring my mother’s voice, humming a Tagore song. I couldn’t pack the strength of my father’s arms- an image of dependability. I couldn’t pack the little sigh of pleasure my dog lets out every time he settles down to sleep. I couldn’t bring my friends or the symphony of our voices, echoing in the old lanes of Calcutta.
So I just brought myself- an amalgamation of all the above, yet not quite each of them.
I cannot tell you that it has been a journey of ‘self discovery’ and that I have become an individual. Because I have mostly learned about microbial reproduction and organic chemistry. But I have taught myself to distill the pain, to lock my doors at night but to open them at the break of dawn- to let love in, to let hope in. I have built a life out of borrowed clothes and cold food and I am baffled by how much I love it. Funny thing is I began writing this at the beginning of the semester. Today is the 10th of October and I leave for home in six days. I had a meltdown yesterday after I did badly on a test I had actually studied for and then I proceeded to pick up the pieces, do my laundry and put myself to sleep. It feels extraordinary. By no stretch of imagination was I ever independent. I have always been the consolee never the consoler.
I still push myself to the brink of exhaustion. I am too hard on myself. I wallow in the pain I inflict upon myself. My life is a wild goose chase- a long winding corridor of hasty mistakes and subsequent regret. But I forgive myself, every single time. I have only recently mastered the art. I accept my body. I accept my mind. Living alone has allowed me to view myself as a project, as an independent entity- isolated from the cocoon I was raised in.
I have been drunk and sad. I have been happy and thoughtful. I have lived through each of these without needing assistance and so you will you. Your own emotions leave an indelible mark so make sure you stop to feel each of them. And when time comes, make sure you let go.
So here’s to independence and the spirit of adventure.
Here’s to me.