Last time I was in India I remember getting to my first hotel room. I put down my bag, sat down on the bed, looked around, and cried. I felt so alone. I had never felt so far away from everything I knew to be world. The awareness of the 24 hour journey required to get home was overwhelming (and ironically what kept me here). Later, I remember sitting on a bus, thinking “just wait.” My motto at the time. If you find yourself in a situation you don’t like, just wait. Eventually it will pass and you will be on to something new. I think this was a result of college, “just waiting” to get through each semester, each year.
Just wait until you can live life.
I was in India, on the biggest adventure I had yet faced, and I was waiting it out.
As I sat in that hotel room I felt empty. Like something had been sucked out of me and I was left to survive until whatever it was was returned.
This morning, as I was driven from the airport to Mysore I reflected on how I felt. Alone? Lost? So so far from home, as I had expected? I had anticipated something of a repeat of my last visit to India. I had expected to feel a little foreign. But I was wrong (expecting never really works out, anyway). It wasn’t until I was smelling the air and watching the day begin to spread across streets that I realized that this time I was home. Last time I was on the opposite side of the world. This time I was coming back to a place that my heart had missed. It wasn’t until this morning that I realized the emptiness I felt upon my first visit had staying with me over the last 5 years. Where it had begun as a longing for the States and the world and people I knew, it remained as a longing for the unknown and for a country and culture that filled my heart. When I left India last time it created a hole in my heart. I lived with that hole without truly realizing. until now.
That hole was filled this morning.
I love India. You fools are lucky I have a return ticket and plans with Kelley, or you’d never see me again.
As for details…
I have an awesome little apartment, just across from the shala. In fact, in the house that Guruji lived in years ago. No, I don’t know the address, but I will try to get on top of that. I am in possession of a set of keys (one of which is a skeleton key, yikes!), which is almost as official as receiving mail. I have been wandering around Gokulum, finding shops with daily necessities, as well as almost every other random thing you can think of. I start practice on Sunday. I am nervous. All the other westerners I see walking around look pretty bad ass. Which is good, I kind of like being the worst in the room, not a lot to live up to.