The Mistake

This morning when I looked at myself in the mirror, all I could see was a jumble of feelings. They are so contradictory & overwhelming that I want to cry out loud but I know I cant..

- I miss United States. There it is. I finally admit it. What makes it further complicated is the fact that I dont miss Dallas where I stayed the most. I miss the huge Harvard and MIT campus of Boston, I miss the trains & ferries of New York, I miss the astounding beauty of peaks & mountains of Colorado, I miss the falling leaves of New Hampshire, I miss the glitz & glamour of LA, I miss Muir Woods of SF, I even miss the miles and miles of barren land of New Mexico but I dont miss Dallas. It does not help that I am watching Grey's Anatomy & House MD alternatively for hours at end. I see Seattle. I had planned my vacation there just last year. Then I see Jersey and NY's outline. I see the snow falling down in heap, I see people dressed in smart woolens & I suddenly realize that Its not going to be with me this year. I will keep wearing my cotton shirts & kurtis & keep drenching in sweat this winter. I open my cupboard & touch my winter coats and further delay the time when I need to pack them in plastic sheets & move them to the loft above my bed. I wont need them for a very long time or may be forever!

- I miss living on my own. I love my family, I seriously do and yet I miss those moments of solitude. I miss coming home to an empty apartment, a messy kitchen and the fact that I can keep it messy for as much time as I want. I can just loll around & read and not do the dishes. I can watch SRK's movies back to back, order a pizza, clock in some hours working on office assignments & not sleep till 4 in the morning & then get up at 3 in the afternoon the next day. I miss the feeling of being responsible to pay rent on time & the 10 other bills. I miss being in control of my schedule. Here, I cant possibly miss my 7 am bus that collects me from across Siddhivinayak to go to office that's situated in some far flung suburbs. I tried doing it once and then cursed myself through a taxi-a bus-another bus-a rickshaw ride to get there. I hate it when every evening when I return home, its already pitch dark outside and some inane saas-bahu serial is playing on the TV and my parents sit glued to it as if their lives depend on it. I hate the cacophony of sounds - children screaming over a cricket match, dogs barking through early hours of morning, elevator pings.

- I miss being Single & when no one pushed me to change it. I still am single but every month, like a clockwork, my father receives a call or two from the families of prospective grooms. Sometimes I don't like the profile and it ends right there. My parents don't force or even ask me the reasons but I still feel guilty. Sometimes it takes a step forward and I end up daydreaming about my happy married life. A few hours later, I realize I don't even remember the guy's face clearly. As the proposal moves forward inch by inch, the face gets blurred instead of getting brighter. I speak to my friends and they speak of their struggle to keep their relationships intact and I wonder if I even have so much of patience & a big heart that forgives. My mind slowly recedes of its hope & instead I am filled with dread. Am I ready to do this? The commitment, the adjustments, the understanding, the joy, the sadness and the heartbreak. My doubts get worst of me after a few days & deep down, I wish the recent proposal doesn't go through, that they find our Kundalis dont match. I wish they find me dark & fat and cancel on me. I know the pain and hurt but somewhere I know this is nothing as compared the disappointment I would feel in myself if I commit to him, his family and not be able to fulfill my duties. I know the pain now is nothing to what I would feel later if I am not able to make him happy, make myself happy. When we dont hear anything back from them and my family moves on about their lives, I heave a sigh of relief.

- I miss being a top performer. Its a new project and initial hiccoughs are always a possibility. I make mistakes and I don't like that. That's me. I like to give my 200% to everything I do. It could be a crafts project for a kid or a high end job. I want to do it perfectly. I love the rush of deadlines. I even love the tension that floats around in my brain when I hit a roadblock. Next moment I am finding workarounds, I am finding a way to face the situation & correct it. But that is not what's happening. I have been blessed with managers that encouraged me and I know it sounds silly coming from a Technical lead - a tiny spec in the pool of such others but they, my managers did it without bruising my tiny little ego. They let me know my mistakes politely, all the while telling me that its part of learning & growing. Its not happening in my new project. I am part of an advance leadership program that opens up for only 1% of total employee base & while people are in some kind of awe when they hear that, it also isolates me. It makes me the freak. It reminds me of my school days when I was banished to the front bench for being the top ranker. It pushes me on the other side of the fence. People expect extraordinary-ness from me which wont come till I find my way around this new project but I am not getting a chance to grapple on the walls to do so! Me being a fast tracker, I am expected to do it quickly & on my own. People here are rude, insensitive & closed up in their tiny little shell. I miss the appreciation. I hate being a newbie! I hate when people think I can learn everything in a day and deliver the next.

And yet I cant blame anyone but myself for this confusion. I chose all of the above for myself. And I not only chose it but also made sure that it happened. I left United States, asked for a transfer from a project that I was part of for 6 years and I let go of my apartment that was my own - with every little thing that I had collected with love & pride. Though it wasnt the only goal but getting married was on my agenda too. Had I wanted, I still could have gone on living my life exactly how it was but then I didnt like it even then right?

Why does it all feel like a mistake? Why do I not like the change I so desperately wanted six months back? When will this confusion stop? When will the self-doubts stop? When will this life now become my comfort zone? I wish sometimes I could just stop thinking & assessing & re-thinking. I feel like my brain is going to explode!