I apologize for four months of silence; I truly do.
I am at a café in New York and while I have spent the better chunk of my time going back and forth between reading The Alchemist and blankly staring at the rain, I thought that it’s time to finish this blog post because it’s overdue. This has been a hard one to write because I haven’t exactly been willing to face myself for a while now. I sat so many times to write this specific post in the past week but my fingers just didn’t find the strength to type.
So here it is:
If there was a time in my life that I’d call rough, this would be it. Rough, yet filled with a strange sense of transformation. Isn’t that how it goes after all? – in order to turn into a phoenix, you’ve first got to be burned down to ashes. From May 2018 to this summer (2019), I was brutally challenged to the core of my being. It was like I was constantly being slapped for every move I made – good or bad. A time for corrections and reevaluations – I was attacked, made bare and made to fall to my knees (all metaphorically, of course). I was pushed to question everything within my comfort zone in terms of career, school, family, love life and my identity, and ultimately move beyond, so I am not bound by it. It is like I am in the fifth of this 10-hour plane ride, when a frenetic turbulence sneaks up on us to mercilessly cause havoc, and on top of that, the pilot announces that there is no knowing if we’d make it to our destination.
This isn’t to say that any of this is in the past tense; I am still very much a part of this crazy whirlwind of “Help! I don’t know what is going on!” situation. It is an irony because in the past I’d go about telling everyone to take their lives in their hands instead of letting it take them over. But sometimes, truth be told, life truly just gets the best of you. Why is it that only after people get cancer, that they start fulfilling their bucket list dreams, or after they ‘almost’ die in a car crash, they get their lives together?
Like Palahniuk said in Fight Club, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” It is this crisis that invokes the realization of the non-crisis, it seems. Not that I have lost anything, but I can argue that the lost is my sense of self. I feel defeated (in no negative sense). I used to think that I knew myself better than a mother does her child, but apparently not. I was self-assured, secure and independent and suddenly all of that has dwindled into oblivion. Like I said, my ego, the lower-self, or whatever you want to call it, was challenged.
Of the many choices, a huge (and tough) choice I had to make was to temporarily give up blogging for this semester (Jan-May). I have an explanation for that.
I love to travel. I truly do. I fantasize about places I have never been to, the northern lights, the swim with sharks and the feeling on the tip of Mt. Everest. But currently, I’m in the midst of an expat issue as my US student visa is under the watchful eyes of US Government. This means that leaving the country this year isn’t an option until I get my undergraduate degree in December. It is a long story as to why, but this situation has dimmed the dreamer within me who has been aching to fly again.
Also, I love to blog. Trot With Arushi is my baby and I have worked so hard on building it despite being a full time student. It has taken me to places I never thought I’d go and given me such valuable connections, lessons and opportunities. I decided to take a break from it because I took a lot of classes this year. I had to give it my all, so I could score well, which luckily I did. But there wasn’t one day in the past four months that I wasn’t tempted to log onto my WordPress and type up a blog post, or even check my stats for that matter. But I didn’t – and that took every ounce of will power in me.
Two weeks ago, I lay in my bed wondering if this was the end, whether I’d ever even want to travel again. It was the most terrifying feeling in the world, because it is the only thing I’ve ever known to be mine. It had been so long, that I had forgotten what it was like to feel the sun of a foreign land kiss my skin. I had forgotten the feeling of a bubbly by the beach and how unknown places unceasingly embraced me like no human ever did. The fact that I barely left the state coupled with the thought of not being able to leave the country felt like I was being choked, quite literally.
All that being said, I do not regret not blogging. I am more sure now than I was four months ago when I interned at a MNC travel magazine, that traveling and writing are two things I will never give up on, come what may. I made it through the hardest school semester of my life and now I have all the time in the world to fulfill my dreams. I want to start by making my way to every corner of US, solo. Of the many things in my list, I want to try hitchhiking, skydiving and typewriting this year for a change. And if it rains, like it is right now, blurring the views from this café’s floor-to-ceiling windows, I’d just open my arms, close my eyes and embrace it with a smile.
And to you, my loyal readers, thank you for being patient with me and sticking with me in spite of my silence. It really means a lot.
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