Happy 2015 to all of you!
The past month was quite a whirlwind for me, with Christmas making a quick appearance and drifting away before I could even catch a proper glimpse of it! I should say the whole of December is a blurry memory for me because it involved some major changes and adjustments that I wasn’t ready for.
I did have a lot of things planned out and a list of fun things to do after exams. Aren’t plans like sand castles? We never know when the waves will wash them away, and wash them away it did.
I had to move to Chennai(roughly 430 miles from home) around the third week of December to start with my internship at the company that hired me. It did sound exciting and all that but the thought of having to stay away from family and officially be an “adult” almost paralysed me. We(me and 5 others from our college) knew our internship would begin soon but we expected that to be after the new year, so when our mails read that our joining date was 22nd of December, I was thoroughly disappointed because I wanted to be home for Christmas so bad.
I know turning eighteen thrusts you into the adulthood pool and now that I’m 21, I shouldn’t be making this much of a fuss. But trust me, for a super dependent girl like me this is harder than you think! I guess this holds true for most of us Indians, especially South Indians(South Indian girls, to be more precise), because our parents do everything for us even until the point of getting married!
And once you make that big move, suddenly all the things you took for granted become more valuable! It was hard for me to say goodbye to family and hold back the tears and most of my nights were something like this picture below.
It has been 10 days since I moved and now I’m actually back home for New Year and the weekend. As I sit in my room today and look back, some of the grim moments that I had in my new hostel yearning for home disturb me but my memory also tells me of all the startling ways in which I grew and the things that I learnt in the short span.
1. Be brave and independent
In a place that was four times as big as home, I had to be brave. I had to learn to be independent and do things on my own and not let fear stump me. It was clear to me that God was going to teach me a lot of things and the first test came on the very first day. Our company is located in a humungous IT park and like every first timer, getting around was a bit of a confusion. All my other college mates were placed in a different floor on the block with me isolated, perfect right? But we lunched together and when I went back to my floor everything was so different! It wasn’t the same place at all! I was perplexed and wanted to ring my friends up and ask them to come up and help me find my way around. But that was such a childish thing to do and I ain’t a child. Such situations usually embarrass me but I went up to one of the men who got off the lift and told him I needed help. “Not a problem! This is like a full circle. You probably took the stairs on the west wing and came back up in the east wing. Just enter and walk around and you’ll find your station”, he said gracefully. I’m glad I didn’t complicate the situation by asking my friends to come up! And that day I realised that all I had to do was ask. Help is all around.
2. Smile and be kind
Smiling was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to survive the first day and go back to my parents(who were leaving the next day only). Access cards hadn’t been issued to the newbies and so at each floor we had to show our project trainee card to the security guard and he uses his card to swipe and grant us entry. So as I entered my floor, just out of good manners I said a rather dull thank you to the guard and was surprised as he looked at me with a wide smile. I guess he rarely hears a thank you. I smiled back, walked away and thought to myself that I should smile more often. Three days later, when I wished him a Merry Christmas, you have no idea how happy he looked and it was such a gratifying feeling for me! Being kind to strangers actually lights up our day more than it does theirs.
I read this somewhere, “Every time you do the right thing even when you don’t feel like doing it, you are growing” and now it was time to apply that in real life and oh,how hard it can be! Nights are the toughest for me when I start missing home so much and when tears start flowing uncontrollably. So after a night of crying and disturbed sleep, I will not feel like getting up and dressing up for the next day. But I had responsibilities, I had duties like washing my clothes and tidying my room which were once taken care of by my mom. You can go about not caring for two days or so but after that you really don’t have a choice. Nobody is going to do them for me no matter how terrible and tired I feel. So I had to get myself up and get going when I don’t have the slightest desire to. Also, it was important to do it with a good attitude. If I start the day on a grumpy note, I bet I’m going to be grumpy all day long. So I learnt to get up, take a deep breath and do what I ought to do.
4. Give it some time and trust God
A major change in life takes time to sink in. It takes time for us to adjust and to settle and be comfortable in the new environment. And this time could be days, weeks or months, a measure which varies from person to person. So wanting everything to turn out perfect instantly is such an impractical thing to wish for. Instead I got to accept that it’s okay to make slow progress and it’s okay to take time. What’s more important is to trust God during those days of waiting and hold on to His love and know in my heart that His plans are always for my best. I love how the Jamie Grace song goes,
..this is the waiting.
I anxiously wait.
I hold on to love that will never let go.
And in these times when my patience is tested,
Won’t you remind me that I’m not alone?
I guess the list of new things that I am learning will keep growing in the coming days. When I go back on Monday, I may have to spend some more nights crying as I miss my family. I don’t really know when I’ll ever go to bed without a tear, but one thing I know. That it will be okay and that God will be present, right there, right by my side.
Now I see it, the huge banner that floats and reads, “Welcome to adulthood”.