One thing that no one ever talks about when they go off on an epic adventure is fear. You hear about all the exciting moments and the wonderful stories. You see all of the beautiful pictures; Instagram posts that paint a beautiful image of the most idyllic experience. No one mentions any of the bad stuff.
Moving to India, alone, was scary. There I said it. I was excited about it but I was also scared. It takes courage to pick up from the life you are comfortable with, surrounded by people you know and love; to move somewhere completely foreign to you, where you know no one.
There were moments that were really hard. Being alone in a hotel room and feeling really disconnected from everyone was a lot of my experience the first few weeks. That’s the thing about life; there are always ups and downs. Always. No Instagram picture or blog post is ever the whole story.
Someone messaged me after I posted a picture on Instagram one time saying, “looks like you had the best day!” I responded with the truth which was very different to what was perceived. "Actually I was in a meeting most of the day but got to go to this awesome book store for about ten minutes and snapped that picture really quick”
Things are not what they seem and people are not real enough about that. Those hard moments are just as much a part of my experience as the great moments and I cherish them both for what they are and what I learn from them.
That's the attitude I have about it and so far it's been serving me well.
Did moving to India scare me a little? Absolutely. Did that stop me? No way. Are there moments when I’m homesick or sad or lonely? Of course. That’s a natural thing that everyone feels.
My first few weeks had a lot of those moments when I was still trying to figure this place out and was living solo. I still have those moments all the time. Lets be real, I don’t think anyone ever “figures” India out. Crossing the road or trying to direct an auto driver are daily struggles. I think they will continue to be for as long as I'm here. So, what d0 I do when things feel off balance?
I find the joy in the little things. For me those are things like:
Finding the perfect papaya.
Discovering my favourite cookie from the sweet shop down the street.
Realising that the supermarket here does not overwhelm me anymore ( major win!).
Getting complimented on my Kurti choice at work.
The guy in the apartment above me who practices his saxophone between 7 - 8pm every night and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.
My housemate making me dinner and laughing at me when I cannot handle the spice.
There are so many little things that make life so wonderful and make those scary or sad moments a little less so. As much as I love India, I’m not immune to feeling overwhelmed or nervous or lonely, but I don't let it get the best of me. While my real, everyday life may not actually look as beautiful as a well curated Instagram feed, I have so many wonderful moments daily. Stopping to appreciate them is my favourite way to maintain some perspective.