Anupama writes a letter to her 18-years old daughter. Read what she has to say.
I have moved twice quite far away from home, and it has been traumatic – leaving the familiar behind – friends, neighbourhoods, climates. But we’ve survived it.
“Change is good, embrace it!” My friend told me the other day. I am not a novice to change, but I won’t say that I am a fan either. I had my fair share of changes. What can be a more daunting and stressful change than relocation, and I did experience two of those. The first one was when I moved from India, the place close to my heart, to the US, and the second time was when I moved from Minnesota, a place I called home for a little less than two decades.
When I moved to the US, I did not know what to expect, but I was enthusiastic to see a new place, meet new people and experience the new culture.
The night I landed in Minnesota was an extremely chill winter night. You would expect a person from Chennai to be a little wary of the cold weather. Not me. Not even a bit. The weather did not bother me. I loved the snow and the snow covered trees. A winter wonderland, it sure was.
My aunt and uncle came to pick me up from the airport, and I still recall to this day the colour of the sheet on the bed I slept on, and the hot and spicy dinner my aunt made for me for that chilly night. It was one of the most memorable days in my life as this was the first time I had stepped into a foreign country and the first time I saw snow. The snow on the ground and on the trees in the blackness of the night fascinated me.
Fast forward fifteen years, my husband and I are in our sun room. All we could see outside was snow on a bright and sunny morning. But do not let that fool you as once you step out, the cold will pierce you to pieces and you would wish you had never stepped out in the first place. We learned that lesson too soon.
Don’t get me wrong. I was still fascinated by snow, but only as long as I was in the sun room. Two decades in Minnesota was enough for us. We were ready to move on but where to. That was a million dollar question, and that was the topic of our discussion that day.
Picking a state out of 50 states in the US should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. As with anything, we never seemed to agree on a state that we both liked. Either the cost of living was too high or the place was too hot. It is not that once we agree on a place, it is going to be a walk in the park for us. We are fully aware of that, as all the websites that talk about relocation remind us constantly that relocation is not going to be easy. Even picking the state is not easy for us so we don’t expect anything less. We did spend several snowy, bright and sunny mornings discussing where to relocate, over a cup of tea, and it always ended the same. We drank the tea and we were more confused than ever.
Two more years passed. One fine day, out of the blue, in the same sun room over a cup of tea, my husband announced that he had a job interview in North Carolina. I wished him good luck. And just like that within a week our family took the first step to relocate to North Carolina.
That was the second time we moved from a place we called home for a couple of decades.
My husband got the job and made the first move to North Carolina while my son continued with his school as he had to wrap up the school year and I continued with my work like nothing happened. I don’t think it had sunk in me yet that I will be moving away from a place that I called home for a major part of my adult life, that I will be leaving my work that I loved, and that I will move far away from my best friend who I will miss a lot. It did dawn on me on the day we moved to NC that this is really happening and that we are leaving our home, our friends, our family and all the wonderful memories behind to a place where we knew no one.
A year later, I was in my living room in North Carolina on a bright and sunny winter afternoon sipping hot tea with my friends. Friends, who I met for the first time when I moved to NC, who make me feel that I have known them forever, who offer their shoulder for me to lean on when I am sad, who make me laugh when I need one and I can go on and on. Yes, change is always good. How else can you make new memories, new friends and a new life if you do not welcome change. Someone once said, If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies! Here is to new memories, new friends, new life, new adventures and butterflies!
Image source: shutterstock
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