When I was leaving for the United States of America to pursue my Master's degree in Occupational Therapy, I was definitely going through the stereotypical emotions of anxiety, nervousness, and the like, which would apply to any international student in all parts of the world. But a major part of me was also craving for a change from the routine life back in Bombay (I know it's Mumbai now, but I still like to call it Bombay). No complaints about it though, I have the most amazing parents and family back home who have given me a dream childhood. But as I said, I am always open to change of a good kind. And this one seemed like the path to a new way of living. A different country, city, new people. It felt like a challenge, an arena I hadn't explored yet. Now do not take this in the wrong sense and think that I am fickle. No, not true. Adventurous may be an appropriate word.
So anyway, coming to Los Angeles changed my life in a way I would not have otherwise even thought about if I would have been living in Mumbai all my life. In the sheltered environment of home with parents, I definitely knew what the monthly electricity bill, the monthly expenditure for groceries, and my mobile phone bill were. But having to actually take care of all this and manage my own finances was what coming to the US taught me. Here there was no daddy to take care of the bills, mommy to cook and make sure I'm well fed, or domestic help to take care of the house cleaning and laundry. It was to each his own. And it was kind of thrilling. Getting an on-campus job which would just about take care of my share of the apartment rent was a high, since it was my own hard earned money that was taking care of my living expense. I felt self-sufficient, a feeling I hadn't experienced before. Well of course, there were constant money transfers from India to pay my tuition fees. I was not totally independent. Yet.
Graduating from USC, getting another apartment, actually starting my first real job, another change in life. ''You cannot survive in a city like LA without a car''. Well, I had to. I didn't have an option. If I bought a car, I wanted to make sure it was entirely financed by me. I did not want to turn to my brother or parents for help. Though my brother who is in Ohio made sure I had more than my share of fun and that I was well looked after, I had that intense desire to be an independent girl. So there I was, travelling to and from my first job almost 15 miles away from home, changing 2 buses and reaching my destination only after 2 hours (a distance which would have probably taken me 30 minutes by car at the most). 4 months later, I was faced with having to change my job. Circumstances demanded it. A world of change from working with kids to older adults. Huge change. Loved it. Enjoyed every moment of the new workplace, the learning curve, new colleagues, everything. Although I did sorely miss my friends at the previous work place and the adorable kids of course. This is exactly what I mean. It is easy for me to adapt to new places, new people really soon. But that does not mean I forget what I had before. And that it is not missed. But if something has to be done it has to be done. So I welcomed this change too, with an open mind.
Come January 2010, and Honda Civic makes its way into my life. Now I knew what it felt like to enjoy driving to work with a steaming cup of hot chocolate while listening to Ryan Seacrest every morning. No more chilly morning walks to the bus stop, no more hunting for quarters while paying for the tickets, no more scampering amongst the crowd of people trying to grab a seat on the connecting bus. No more insane early morning alarms to make it to work in time. A more pampered way of living. I loved every bit of it.
Change of apartments in July. Moved to a smaller but cozy studio. New area, new roommate. Had to adjust to living with a new person, not of my nationality, so new food habits, new culture etc.
Now it seems like I have been living like this forever. Wake up, drive to work, associate with 80-107 year olds, drive back home, cook, chill with friends, watch some shows, sleep. The need for a change is tickling me again. Which does not mean I am going to move to another place or change jobs tomorrow. But I am open to doing it :)
And the biggest change in my life till now; surrendering my single status to a committed one way back in September 2008, and now in November 2010 to that of 'engaged'. From being a friend, to a girlfriend, now a fiance, and soon a wife to be. A world of change. This one though, a change for keeps; and one that I welcomed with all my heart.