Sunday, 20 August 2017

Saying Goodbye - The Hardest Part

We are here now. At the brink of new beginnings. No turning back. I am finally a part of the swirling cosmos of life, not a stagnant onlooker. New York in a day and 23hrs of travel away and as much as I try to keep nostalgia at bay, it has me by the throat.

I still can't seem to grasp what I've achieved for myself. Three years ago, I was sitting at my usual table at Cafe Pascucci, a Tanya by my side, with no sense of myself or where I was heading. I had a heart full of dreams I was scared to speak out loud in fear that it would never come true if I put it out there. A head full of uncertainty and self-doubt. Today, I got into my dream school in my dream city and tomorrow, I am leaving for my dream city - New York!

I often thought that everyone around me had copious amounts of will power and strength. That they had the courage to follow their dreams. Unknowingly, I did too. Without thinking that thought, I worked towards making my dreams come true. I did my research, took it when step at a time, and made it happen. And now, I believe in myself a bit more than I did before.

All of this has not only made me believe in myself, but it has brought me closer to my parents, which 10 years ago would've seemed impossible. It has brought me closer to friends, the handful that I have, and I few new ones I've made along the way. For all of this, I am thankful, not just to the people who have supported me, but also to whatever elements in the universe that have lent their strength to me.

Today was the day of goodbyes. I still can't fathom that I've leaving. It'll hit me tomorrow.

My family all gathered for me, and as much as I loathe being the centre of attention, it warmed my heart to know that they were there for me; congratulating me, wishing me well, and essentially celebrating me. I never felt like I was important to them, but today, they showed me more than they told me. I will miss them all dearly.

We gathered at a farm, lunched in the rain, trekked through the slush to take pictures by the train tracks, watched planes come in to land from a distance, and joked about past memories. There was cake and as I saw my sister shed a tear, a part of me realised what was really happening. I was leaving  them but I wasn't truly leaving them. I didn't comfort her for I knew it would hurt more for us both if we did. But as always, physical distance will never truly keep us apart. She is as much a part of every decision I make as I am hers. That's our relationship in a sentence.

One of the many pictures my sister and I have captured together. More on Instagram!
As I drove back after our mini reunion, I looked to my aged aunt and uncle, struggling with their own health and financial burden, with obvious happiness on their faces, for me. I cannot say what will become of us all in a few years, but I feel selfish to leave them in that state and move on with my life. But such is life. We work towards our dreams to achieve happiness not just for ourself, for we always hope to share it with those who love and support us.

My thoughts took me back to my usual table at Cafe Pascucci, with the same Tanya beside me. We spoke of what could come, for me and for her. The innumerable celebrities I could meet in New York and the pictures I would send her. Of some day, at the epitome of our individual successes, how we would live together in New York and always be there for each other. Over pizza and drinks, we took a short path down memory lane, this time in nostalgic joy, seeing how far we've come and how much farther we have to go. And as we hugged for one last time in my car, as We Are Young played on the speakers, it was the most picture-perfect untimed goodbye that fate had blessed us with. We will see each other again. In New York. In India. In Melbourne. And most importantly, in the first class cabins of Etihad Airways. And our lives will always be interlinked.

Tomorrow, it's New York. Soon, it'll be the rest of the world.

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