Today I am grateful. I don’t think I’m doing anything special here. I write for the same reason a lot of people do — to feel some sort of human connection. The months since I’ve moved here have been mixed. I’ve felt a lot of loneliness (I still do) and the overwhelming joy as well. Last week when a neighbour came over, I never thought I’d be as surprised as I was. This was the first time since I came here that anybody has ever knocked on our door just to see how I was doing. Well, second time. The first time, Lisa just wanted to drive me home so she could see where I lived.
The people here are extremely kind. In India, we’re used to people who don’t smile in family photos or interact without a please and thank you. Here you hold doors, thank bus drivers, inquire about a cashier’s day and try not to be a general ass about everything. Park within the lines and the world loves you, cut someone off and you have no values. Doesn’t matter if you were in a hurry to volunteer in a homeless shelter, your turn signal wasn’t on. I’m made to understand that kindness goes a long way, which is precisely why I tore up a sticky note I saw on a freshly-cemented landing at the entrance to our building yesterday. “Instead of fixing the cracks, fix the damn hole”. I’d write, “thank you” but what do I know.
This is confusing.
Why can I manage to have a conversation with people I’ve never met in my life and still not feel that sense of community I feel at home? I lived away from family for 6 years (I think) but even then I felt cared about…by my roommates, by A Myra who let me stay in her house, by our neighbours who’d fill our water because we were too lazy to wake up at 6am and by the parents of all my friends. Homes were always open, as were hearts. People would say “come over” and you wouldn’t think anything strange of it.
This is in no way a geographic EQ comparison. I’m in transition so of course things stick out more for me than they would for a person who calls a place in America home. I could be speaking too soon and in a few months, I will wonder what I was even talking about. This is a new place. A place I am more than willing to give a chance. A place where it rarely snows (and definitely not in March) but a place where it still does. Nothing is set in stone. I still have dreams that Goa is just a button push away, but who doesn’t?
It’s within these (sort of) inner trials that we find how blessed we really are. And here lies the source of my gratitude. This writing space. The place where I feel so generous because all I really want to do is make someone’s day. To know that I have one person nod their head in agreement is enough. I appreciate your kindness despite us not knowing each other by face and more so if we do.
Everybody right from my lovely mother, who shares my writing with people I know wouldn’t approve of me saying “shit”, to people I know just because I found you (or you found me) on the internet — THANK YOUUUUUU!!! It requires emphasis because you went out of your way to be amazing and I love you for that.
If you’re reading this, say hi or tell me something really arbitrary about yourself. If you see any typos, tell me that too. 🙂