Today marks one month since I started my journey in India. Thirty days ago, I landed in New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport with three bags and my most cherished companion, Olson, in tow.
In my first bag, I packed my desire to shake life up, to find adventure and to feel alive. And in the last four weeks, I have laughed uncontrollably, I’ve been moved to tears, I’ve danced until I couldn’t anymore, I’ve been overwhelmed and scared. But when I lie in bed at night completely spent after my day, I know I have squeezed every bit of juice that the day had to offer. I am alive.
In my second bag I packed my search for belonging. I’ve moved around a lot. I am a product of the best (and the worst) of the cultures I have experienced — sometimes a mosaic presenting a coherent picture and other times a fragmented mess. But in the last month, I have recognized parts of myself in those around me — the part of me that doesn’t always think in a linear way, the part that is passionate, compassionate, talkative and at times longwinded. While I will never completely belong, these parts of me now sport a “Made in India” label.
In my third bag, I packed my hope for a broader perspective. It is easy to revel in what is familiar, comfortable and expected; to become occupied with ambition, life’s successes and inevitable disappointments. I had an inkling of a reality beyond mine. What I’ve discovered is a world that is so much bigger and richer than the one I know; a realization that is at once sobering and reassuring.
Olson and I came to India with our 3 bags, we’ll no doubt leave with so much more, and yet surprisingly lighter.