Because it’s been too long since I turned around in my line in the morning to wave to you, and high-fived you, and saw your bony wrists, and fangirled about the cute girl drummer from Neon Trees together,
and cried about that Alex Turner GIF (in person),
and I miss it quite a bit, here’s a note to you in your happy place (this posts directly to my tumblr).
Have you ever read those quotes about starting a new life, a new chapter, new beginnings, a new journey, new opportunities, newnewnew?
They put me off sometimes (only sometimes) because they’re all so optimistic and make taking your future on sound so fun and easy and it’s so difficult to believe because I don’t want to have to leave the people I’m blessed to have in my life right now? I don’t want to sleep on a bed if my cat isn’t purring near my pillow!
The other times, well, I’ve spoken to plenty of people, read enough books and watched enough movies and TV shows to know that I haven’t reached what will probably be the best part of my life yet. That’s kind of exciting.
It’s about two whole years away, though, two more years of this monotony and I think you’re pretty lucky you’re going to spend those same two years far more dynamically.
See, there’s more area under your content-ness curve. Looks nice.
I know we all kept saying we didn’t want you to go, and we didn’t, but of course we did too because it’s so great for you. You’ve dreamt of this and your life right now is filled with things I’ve wanted to experience.
Just take a moment and think of how every single thing you do there is completely new. No matter what it is. You’re sleeping, yes, but you’re in a different bed, burrito-wrapped in different blankets and when you miss people, you’re not hugging the same pillows you did until a month ago. You’re eating food like you have all your life, except it’s been made by totally different people, people with their own distinct lives you know nothing about. It’s got a pinch of salt less than your mum used to add, and the guavas are larger, where’s the plain roti? You haven’t eaten this food before in your 15 and a half years of living, and you’re no longer eating the food you ate for the last 15 and a half years. You’re sharing your meals with a bunch of kids who’d try to eat butter naan and chicken using forks and knives, who probably can’t pronounce daal makhani right.
That boy in the library, sitting behind your laptop, you know nearly nothing about him. Ditto the girl near the bookshelf, the kid near the small fireplace. You don’t feel connected to them. You feel like you don’t belong. But start here: the shirt that boy’s wearing? Hey, what if it was manufactured in the same factory in China, the same year that yours was? What if they’d even been packed and shipped in the same box, neatly folded and placed one upon the other, till a certain point? What if the cotton in your shirt and his came from the same plant?! There’s entire far-off connections like these you have with so many people and you can’t and never will know about them. You probably haven’t thought about this before because it didn’t really matter (also you’re not as weird as I am), but don’t you think it’s kind of cool? You’re meeting a whole new bunch of possible neither-knew-of-nor-cared-about connections. More than I and your friends from 11A&B have. I’m a little envious.
You probably never realized how important knowing with surety small, insignificant things like how my voice will sound before I’ve spoken, or how yum that friend’s mum’s famous white sauce pasta will definitely be, or how screwed you were for not doing those 10 extra math sums was to your being comfortable here in India, in school, during lunch breaks and field trips and otherwise.
Now, that girl’s accent is something you cannot predict. You don’t know whether these guys write blogs or play the violin or prefer classical music or listen to the Arctic Monkeys or even know who the Neon Trees are. Every person you meet there is an adventure because all of their voices, accents, clothes, tastes in music, preferences and dislikes are completely foreign to you. There’s so many new things you have to discover, so much you’ll learn apart from what they teach you in class. Class! You’ve got to figure out which teachers’ classes you can sleep in risk-free, which teachers’ homework you can get away with not doing, which bench gives you the best view from your class window (do you have windows?), etc. I’m sure, honey, that there’s a hundred new things to distract you when you’re feeling down, and that’s something I’m a little jealous of.
We’re still stuck here, sitting on the same benches, improvising on doodles we started two months ago, attending the same classes, worrying about the same few sets of exams, going for a jog in the same neighbouring parks. This isn’t necessarily all bad (other than it’s minus you), but when I compare it with your current situation, where you are right now really appeals sometimes.
It certainly isn’t easier to leave than to be left behind. But in your case, it’s more thrilling to have left. And there will be times you find it hard to agree, and that’s completely normal. And when that happens, read this, or just call someone from home.
Give it time, give it time and we’re so sure they’ll love you so much that you’ll be the life of the place and soon have far surer bonds than cotton shirts manufactured in China, with them. You’re amazing. There’s all these future a capella groups you’ve to pole dance for, dude.
And finally, to show you how much you’re being missed,
^Us when you finally visit in December (with a gorgeous British accent).
PS- Congrats on your scholarship. So proud. And yes, I will tune your piano :’).