Posted in response to The Daily Post Challenge: The Road Less Traveled (Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.)
Imagine a life where you have everything
- a job that, although is monotonous and sometimes mind-numbingly boring, pays you well
- a newly budding relationship which is just so perfect that it baffles you
- you live super close to your family
You are drowning in all the love and affection being showered on you. This is your first job and you are a strong independent woman, enjoying life, visiting places, enjoying long road-trips, eating at some of the best places in town. What could anybody possibly do to screw this up?
Anybody? No. You choose to screw this up. You decide to quit your job because it is not catering to your intellectual being. You come to a country ten thousands of miles away from your home and your loved ones. Everything begins to change. You have tons of friends but you are lonely. You miss your family, your boyfriend. Long distance relationship comes with its own set of problems and you start battling it out as a couple. On the one hand you get stronger because you faced so many issues, but you did not escape unscathed. There are scars that are reminders of what the issues were, wounds that still need to recover. This is accompanied by nights of tears and helplessness where you start reflecting on how you chose to exile yourself and distance everything that made you happy. Some cope with distance better than others, some move on and stop needing you as much as they did previously. You are shocked at this change – you are desperately trying to cling on to how things were previously but everything is naturally slipping out of your hands.
For the outside world, you have a very stable job, you will soon have an engineering degree from a reputed university, you are in a very happy relationship and you have a bright future ahead of you. On the inside, you know that your job has nothing to do with your degree and you might as well have never done Masters to begin with, you need to go through another 2 to 7 years of long distance and the future looks bleak without your family by your side.
Now, think of this world.
You never left. You stayed at the mediocre job, grumbled about Mondays. But you were genuinely happy otherwise. You wouldn’t miss the wedding of your best friend of 20 years, you would be there to personally congratulate your college roommate after hearing news of her pregnancy and you would not be missing the engagement of your friend of 10 years.
Your family. You would personally see your baby sister grow into a beautiful woman who starts fending off guys on her own. You would stand by her side, watching her face hurdles as you had and come out stronger than before. You would help her sneak into the house when she came in late after drinking with her friends. You would meet her friends and her crushes. You would spend hours on the balcony, talking about love, life and everything in between. You would be there for your mum and dad. You would be their pillar of support, not only financially, but also emotionally. You would visit places, take tours, visit the home store and plan the home decor for that ideal house that you would soon have, while your sister rolls her eyes in exasperation. Your relationship with everyone would only grow stronger.
And your relationship with your boyfriend. Given how happy and compatible the two of you were, you would have bloomed into something much stronger and happier just because of the fact that the two of you were together. You would have countless date nights where you would stare into the impossible depths of each others eyes and realize how truly lucky you both were to have each other. You would go on fun double dates with friends, maybe workout or go for a swim together. Both your families would get ample time to get to know each other and see how great we are as a couple. You would be able to go on that coveted Europe trip a lot sooner than you expected. Two years since March 2014, would have transformed you two into stalwart supporters of each other’s dreams, two people whose fights were typically about who does the dishes and our opinions on religious leaders.
You would slowly stop complaining about your job, because you would eventually realize that by being in a software industry, you can easily switch from one company to the other and keep at it, till you retire. You start taking joy out of other things in life. You volunteer at a pet’s shelter or an old age home. You start teaching during the weekends. You write a lot more. Do a little bit of freelance work of your own. You see how much of happiness can be gained out of small things. One day, as you head back home from your best friend’s engagement, you start thinking about how foolish you once were, to head to the United States like the millions before you, to turn your dreams into reality. What was the old you thinking? All your dreams were always by your side waiting to be discovered.
This is bliss.