Why now? More than anything, as a healing process. One thing I learned over the past month about myself is when I moved here there were so many things that made me wake up, smile, laugh, learn, love; and I have lost that feeling.
Ten thousand miles away from family and my closest friends, living in a new city which chose me rather than the other way around and starting my life all over from scratch...alone is how I started 2016. Just over a year ago I moved to one of the largest cities in the world of over twenty million people and I find myself feeling more alone than ever before.
While I don't remember the last six weeks of 2015 which changed my life forever in such a profound way, never did I expect to fall into a world of deep and dark sadness. Everything I had worked for, my purpose in life and all the reasons I moved to India suddenly meant nothing to me anymore. The first three months of 2016 was just me trying to get through a day without tears. The second quarter was fairly tear-free, but without laughter and glee. Where I used to wake up every day with a "Good Morning World!", it was replaced with repeated snooze buttons and getting up to close the blinds.
But just as they say, every day gets better. It has for the most part. There are still struggles, but they are different.
I don't want to sound like a total downer, however, that American saying "Fake it until you make it," is exactly what I had to do; Getting out of bed and putting on a BIG FAKE smile before walking out the door became a daily ritual in my life. As stupid as it sounds, I think it has some value. If you act happy, you eventually start to believe that some things are happy, and then you start doing happy things, but I am still testing this theory.
Just as the year (2016) was coming to a close, I was starting to believe that things were becoming better, but only to find out my greatest test was about to happen. Remembering so clearly the 24 hours which lay between the 6th and 7th of December, I took myself to the movies to watch Dear Zindagi and walked out of the theater thinking of how much I missed my therapist, wishing how I could see her right now, and knowing I would never find someone like that here. Reality hit. I was more alone than ever.
You see, in the US it is okay to talk, to have emotion, be sad and angry and have issues AND talk about it, address it, feel it and solve the problem...not shoving it under the rug or just tell someone to move on and repress whatever is going on. I had spent an entire year of my life without a single hug of empathy and understanding of what I had gone through. Now I was about to face my biggest challenge, filled with fear of falling into a deeper feeling of loneliness became very real to me.
Loneliness I felt. My biggest struggle has been, coming from America where people will ask you if you are okay and if there is anything they can do to help. But here people misinterpret and accuse of being too sensitive, too defensive, being angry all the time and without ever once considering there is really something wrong. AND IF someone actually does ask if there is something wrong, the response is to 'just move on or it's in the past there is nothing you can do now,' which does NOT help at all.
I wish I could say I had more good days than bad last year, but that would be a lie. But the good days that were there, were good...really good. While the effort to make friends was a very difficult task for me, I made some. If I do say so myself, some really good friends I hope to have for the rest of my life.
The work I came to do in India a couple years ago took a back burner for the past year. In a profession of give, give, give, I didn't have the energy or heart to give. However, I would not have made it through the year had it not been for my clients. I have always found the best part of my job was to change people's lives, but now they were the ones who changed my life. For the first time in my life I felt needed my clients more than what they needed me. They brought me laughter, adventure and a sense of purpose I felt that was lost in my day to day life. They changed my life. But now I need to stand on my own feet.
As another year closed on the anniversary of my birth, I made a commitment to myself for the year
- working back to my healthy lifestyle - mind body and soul
- accepting what is and what is to come
- finding my happiness, my laughter again
- putting my needs first
- reigniting my purpose and moving forward
- patience in myself and others
- do what excites Me and be more fearless
- sharing with others
- love again
So...welcome to the journey.