I was sure that my very first post on this blog should start right from the very beginning, my first experience in the U.S; after all, that is why this blog were created. Luckily, I found a journal I had kept when I was moving from India to the U.S, in 2007. Although, it has many private moments of my life, I have decided to share it with you because if you are reading this, you have probably gone/are going through something similar. I hope this post can help you cope with the transition or at least help you realize that you are not the only one. Also, I am not sure if I could recount my first experience in the U.S with such intimate detail and emotion again. The transition from one completely different culture to another was one of the most challenging phases in my life, but today seven years later, I could not have been in a better place. In the end, it is all worth it. Here is an account of a 17 year old teenager’s experience..
21 June 2007 : The Sun just set in for the day, leaving a violet blanket over the sky. I smell wet mud. Aah! Nothing smells better! Within minutes I hear the pitter-patter of the rain. Almost simultaneously, I hear my mom’s shouts. Unwillingly, I get down the window sill, muttering something to myself. The fact still not sunk in, I begin my packing. I look at the airline tickets for tomorrow. It is an afternoon flight to London and then off to our destination, New Jersey where my dad was already working. I look around my room and I can only see bare walls and my clothes strewn all over the floor. It began with a small tear and in no time I was crying out loud, shuddering. I couldn’t control, nor did I want to. Memories of my time in my house and school began to play like recorded tape. I never realized before this moment how lucky I was to have such great friends; I was certainly going to miss them. The rain and the thunder seemed to grieve with me.
22nd June 2007: The first image that came to my mind as soon as I woke up was of my boyfriend at the time. I was to leave him and go far away, what would happen of us? This wasn’t feeling right and I felt so helpless, defenseless. Completely dominated by gratifying ideas of running away, I got ready. I somehow found peace when my boyfriend called for a final goodbye. The hour and a half ride to the international airport seemed to have passed off within minutes. Neither of us wanted to keep down the phone but I sensed my mom’s impatience. It was finally time to catch our flight. At that moment I felt so vulnerable. Was I foolish to leave all that I had and enter a world I dreaded? I feared? Something in my head told me “Change is the only constant”. Almost instantly, I replied to myself, “Spare me the cliché”. I was not ready for any consoling words, even from myself.
21st August 2007: Two months later, here I am sitting in what I now call my room, feeling nostalgic. I can’t say I am not homesick anymore, but life seems to have had a fresh start, everything is new but it is not as bad anymore. I still do not have any friends here, but I at least have my parents with me, I am one of the lucky ones. Today, two months later, I feel a flood of optimism in me. I do not know what the future holds, but I am certain that it will be something new and exciting, and I am ready for it!
After all, change is the only constant.