To Myself:

When you’ve thought of home, you’ve thought of a warm cat caressed in your arms, the cold kiss of an evening’s snowfall, and the soothing idea of a simple rest on a plush mattress. You even missed the notion of the unique feeling you’ve found that can only come with the relief of tears.

But now you are home, a concept you genuinely have yet to grasp but will nonetheless explain what that implies. Growing up in the same house for the entirety of your life, you only came to cherish the familiar moments there once they were taken away. But now you’ve found a new familiar, and that’s the beginning to defining home. The truth is you get used to the lack of western toilets, you get used to endlessly getting fed chapati, and you get used to feeling like family.

To my last 3 days in Pune, my life here has ranged from favorably culturally intoxicating to frustrating beyond belief, and it will always be a year to newly define myself that I will never regret. I will miss you family, I will miss you friends, and I will miss the independent life it took so long to make for myself here as I return home to once more rebuild again; a repeating life theme of a daunting task really, but a task that leaves me to become only increasingly more excited for my future nonetheless.

It’s almost haunting, with the year once ahead becoming so quickly a memory. Now all you have left to do is move on. Whether chosen to do so with tears or a grin, it should be understood that the experience faced here is not something as simple as a story shared. What we have relished, savored, combated, and criticized is a growing start to a life with newly learned triumphs and failures that can never be purely expressed through dialogue alone, but simultaneously will always be apparent in our eyes.

Life lived. Lessons learned. Eager for what’s to come. Sure, now you can finally return to that warm cat caressed in your arms, the cold kiss of an evening’s snowfall, and the soothing simple rest on a mattress, but to my joy, wonder, discontentment, and many frustrations I have faced, I cannot yet leave without saying a part of me here will be left behind.

Thank you India, for everything.

Here’s to the next chapter. 🙂