A hard Diwali.
In February, I was completely prepared for the long haul. By November, I had turned into a floppy balloon floating on water.
My Diwali was hard. In fact, the whole of November has been hard. In February, I was completely prepared for the long haul. For staying put at home. For being indoors, for not having to step out unless absolutely necessary. I rejoiced at the thought of never having to leave our front door and embraced my full homebody-ness. Everyone's lives changed with the flip of a switch, and so did mine. I found balance and solace in the fact that I wouldn't feel so uncertain about finding jobs or making money. I read more, I wrote more. My partner worked from home too, and I was suddenly not alone. Being alone challenges a lot in you, for you, and for the people around you. More so, if it's for almost ten hours a day, and even more so when the sun sets at 3 pm.
It's easy for everyone to say "Oh, they live abroad, their lives must be dazzling with picturesque views, snow and posh clothes like winter coats and thigh-high boots!" The truth is far from it. Being abroad is more being alone, and less of anything else. I'm not saying this to make life here sound undesirable. I'm saying that I didn't know this life existed. It's extremely desirable until you start living here, being part of this culture. Until you try to fit in. As humans, we try way too much to fit in. To be part of a herd. To be accepted, to communicate, to express ourselves in a desirable way.
But in all honesty, I love this too. We've built a rhythm, a routine and found a way of not being answerable to anyone. I've stopped worrying about people who don't matter to me. In short, I've been able to separate the grain from the chaff.
But, being alone rears its ugly head every now and then. By November, I had turned into a floppy balloon floating on water. It came back to haunt me after eight months of being shut in, on Diwali. I missed the outside world for the first time. People were dressed in dazzling clothes, ate sweets and cracked jokes on the 'gram. I craved meeting people who spoke my language, and I actively reached out to friends to talk, but well, it doesn't always work, does it? I sat on the edge of the bed and cried. Social media is all fun when you're having fun, but when you're not, it feels like the world's truly laughing at you. I signed out of all my accounts and actively shut everyone out. I didn't respond to messages and I threw myself into a pool of sorrow.
It's been a week since Diwali and all the hullabaloo has subsided. The world has found newer things to worry and care about (Black Friday, Book Prizes, startup exposés and the outgoing US President's lack of maturity) and so have I.
So, I wish you a very happy rest of the year. Trust me, good things are on their way. We aren't seeing it yet. :)