Staring up at the stars on the roof of the Punjab office after a 3-day meeting, I blinked, breathed in and listened to the people and sounds around me with not a single emotion radiating from my face, which you usually see smiling or letting out a booming laugh. You know when everything around you just seems so perfect that you start to worry? You start to wonder why so much good is happening to you. You see it as a sign of what shit is about to hit the fan? Instead of relishing in the moment and remaining optimistic, which I usually am.
In immediate response to my last post, literally just days later, I was offered my position of choice with the organization I’ve been working with in the form of a 1-year contract. This including of my choice of start date and a whole bunch of other fantastic benefits. It is exactly what I wanted, what I hoped for, what feels like the perfect next step in my career and for my personal growth as my love affair with my second home, India, continues. But, another year? Although my family and friends are extremely proud of me and support me through everything I do, I know a hint of sadness touches all their hearts as another year away is another year of holidays, birthdays, special events, accomplishments and challenges that I won’t be able to experience with them or help them through, and vice versa (and let's face it - one year could easily turn into five). It’s already become so difficult to give a synopsis of everything I do and experience here, and for them to express what is and has been unfolding in front of them as their lives continue on back home. Then there are the surprises that make me feel even more disconnected. Like when friends get engaged, find themselves with child or start down a new path that I am not there to experience with them. I compare our lives and question all my decisions: will we grow apart? What do we still have in common? Would that be me if I was home? What if my savings went to a home instead of an adventure? Who would I be and what would I become? Would I be the same Jazzmine?
I don’t think we’re ever ready to contemplate the answers to these questions or ready to take on new responsibilities and new changes. We do what we think will make us happy and take hold of all the experiences and challenges that come our way, but whether they walk right up to us or sneak up from behind, we still do worry about what’s up next and what we may need to face in order to achieve great things. And although we may not be ready, somehow when the cards are dealt, we play our hand. No matter what is thrown at us, we cope, we learn and we grow.
Every change I’ve ever made, either willingly or because no other option was presented, I’ve never been ready for. Never. And I’ve actually never admitted it. But then that change happens and some how everything makes sense and it’s like I knew exactly what to do. Like leaving home for example: I may have been ready for India when I left in January but I wasn’t ready for what I was about to experience or what would happen next. I had no plans. And still every morning I wake up not sure of what is coming my way. Then it happens. Something hits me and I survive and whether it was positive or negative, I continue moving forward with new strength, new knowledge, a new block built onto my little house of independence and another new checkmark on the “Jazzmine vs. Life” checklist.
I’m not ready to leave. I want to stay in every moment forever and I don’t want anything to change. But I also know that I will leave and after crying my eyes out, suddenly I’ll be happy in Australia and I’ll repeat this grieving cycle. I'll depart for my return to India and I'll say to myself again, “I’m not ready to leave. I want to stay in every moment forever and I don’t want anything to change”. But... I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it all because I want to, I can’t wait and I know I’m going to love each experience, every new person I meet, having more options than rice and rice for dinner and I’m going to continue growing and reaching out to catch every new thing that gets thrown my way. Soon, like every other time I go through this cycle, the voice in my head saying “what the fuck am I doing?” will turn into “you know exactly what you are doing”, just like my heart always says so.
I do lead with my heart and it will always be screaming YES louder than the little voice in my head questioning its own no. So thank you Lauryn, because whatever is coming my way, it will find me and make me love it whether I’m ready or not.