2016 was as crazy as 2015. Though earthquakes didn’t shake up my world like it did in 2015 (25 April, 2015 – Nepal Earthquake), there were other emotional earthquakes that shook up my world.
The first was my move to the USA. Leaving my home country, Nepal, has to be one of the most difficult things I have had to do. I landed in America on July 23, 2016. The air was humid and the weather hot that I felt like peeling my clothes off right there and then at JFK. (But that would turn heads and cause unnecessary commotion so I didn’t.) I had known that America was a land of hot and cold-snowy weather but the humidity was getting to me. Coming from a place where the climate is neither too hot nor too cold, I felt like I was being fried in the sun. I felt disorientated for a while carrying my 120-pound luggage and a backpack. They say “He took my breath away”, but for me “My suitcases took my breath away”. Huffing and puffing I walked towards the final door that would lead me outside the airport. I felt like I was opening a door towards another dimension. As soon as I walked out, my friend Krishma ran towards me with her arms wide open. We hugged in the middle of the way blocking everyone behind us. Her dad shooed us over to the side and took one of my suitcases. Her granddad took the other, and her sister took my backpack. I felt loved right away.
I spent two weeks in Connecticut. We went to Boston to visit my granddad for two days and went to a beach in Rhode Island which has a pretty complicated name: Misquamicut beach. Our days were spent mostly going to the park, parking the car and listening to songs or sleeping for hours. I hadn’t thought about what would happen once I left this place and go to college in a totally different state – Alabama. I know now that I had not experienced true home sickness until I was left alone in my dorm in college with my suitcases sprawled on the floor and the bleak light flickering above my head. The white brick walls screamed “mental asylum” to me and I panicked for a while when I realized that the key to my suitcases were with Krishma who had just left. I had to wait while I waited for a maintenance guy to come up and break my locks. It was lonely for three days because the WiFi did not work yet.
It’s not as easy as in your country, where you have grown up with and become friends with the same people for a decade. Here, we must form connections and put trust in each other and help each other out too. It’s a complicated relationship. Sometimes friends come first and sometimes acquaintances. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and ego in order to help someone from your own country. And sometimes you got to let go of your anger and forgive for the sake of maintaining peace and professionalism.
2016 was also a year of meeting a lot of people, getting to know different perspectives, and understanding that nothing was right nor wrong. What mattered was how you lived your life and how you treated the people you loved and is closest to you. No matter how a person is, it doesn’t matter. I met two people in August: Pranisha and Sangé. I consider them my sisters (Pranisha is really a cousin of mine, anyways.) I used to be this naïve girl who always thought that there was a certain way a person should act and go about their life. But meeting them, I saw that it was not how you showed how you were to others, it was the memories you made with each other. Even if we made mistakes, fought a lot while living together, even if I did not agree with a lot of things with them, I learned that the thought matters even if the action was not carried out. I adjusted, I compromised and it was all an experience for all of us.
The final emotional rollercoaster I went through in 2016 was that I fell in love. And I fell hard. There was a lot of good times and a lot of very bad ones. Highs and lows are the norms in life but I felt them more intensely. I always thought that all love stories and all tragedies were too cheesy. There was too much drama but that’s exactly how it is. Sometimes expectations are not met, sometimes you are too selfish, sometimes you are not thinking rationally, whatever it is – love is a ride you have to be ready for and be strong for. You can’t go diving head in without knowing who the person really is. And I think I went too much with my feelings and emotions.
As I lay down on my bed here, feeling the cold-thin air that is seeping in from the cracks of the window, I look at the damages that were done to my heart by circumstances. That aching gap which could only be filled by talking to my parents and brother once a week on Skype. The scars left by what I thought were friends and people who cared, were there as experiences. The bitter weight that pulled me down to my knees because my love was just a bitter tragedy, unfulfilled and lost forever, is all there to make me strong for my next journey ahead in 2017.