I came to the US in 2009, the year I got married and the year I started school again. At that time, my boyfriend (I am married to this good soul and who I am going to be addressing him as N in my posts) was in graduate school in Minneapolis and so, once we got married, I left India to join him. It was the month of March and I will never forget the feeling as I came down the escalator and out of the airport to get into the car- I had the flutter of a newly married, I was also missing my parents, I was nervous to be starting this phase of my life in a new land and I was freezing too since it was around -20 Fahrenheit!
Fresh off the boat at that time, needless to say, it took me a bit of a time to adapt to a new way of life- I was living with someone other than my parents for the first time, I was going to start school in a new country, for the most part of the year it was colder than I would ideally have liked and I did not have friends! Gradually, things began to fall in place, the good man and I found our balance and I soon met an amazing bunch of folks, who I credit with shaping my initial years in this country. Had it not been for N and these people, I would have found it very difficult to adjust to the life of a grad student (the severity of which I was clueless about!). They made our stay in Minneapolis worth every penny we had to budget for and for every back breaking shoveling we had to do to dig ourselves out from under the snow! And though we have have been living in New Jersey for six years now, Minneapolis, still, is much closer to my heart.
Living in a land that is culturally very different from the one I grew up in, continues to be an act of adaptation. And raising a child is, for the lack of a better term, complex! Diwali and Christmas exist in harmony but there is fine balance that needs to be maintained. We enjoy our independence but have to be mindful of the bond that ties us to our homeland. We want to pursue our ambitions in this land of dreams and at the same time the fact that parents are getting older and losing strength, is worrisome. Now that I have been here for almost nine years, I find myself in a quandary about choices. The struggle between promises made and promises kept, between the past and the future, between learning and unlearning, between the emotions that tug at the heart strings and the reality of life, is constant and palpable.
And when I find myself at these crossroads, the smiling faces from the good old days of Minneapolis pop up in my mind and remind me to take one step at a time. And as a person who likes to plan every minute detail of everything -be it going to the grocery store or a big trip and everything in between- it is an indispensable reminder.