‘I never thought I would have to readjust to an American lifestyle’.–This is what I told myself 3 years ago upon returning to NJ after living in Pune for 10 months. I had a serious case of wtf?! moments–no geysers, people obeying traffic rules, privacy, no masses on the streets….you get the picture.
After traveling back and fourth to India many times over, the adjustment becomes easier, the aftershock, less. This time around the overwhelming feeling I had when I arrived home was a peaceful one.’IT IS SO QUIET”. I slept earplug-free for the first time in months. Mind you, I’ve been a troubled sleeper for awhile now, but going from 3 months living on the towns loudest street corner to pin-drop silence will make a sleeper out of you. Trust.
Note: NONE of this is to say that America is better than India, or vice versa. I used to play this game but I’ve come to learn the plus and minuses of both; wonderful and destructive countries in their own ways.
One of the challenges I’m facing right now is the extreme cold front the northeastern US is experiencing. To go from 100 degree weather to 32 degrees is just TOO extreme, for anyone- abled or disabled. But even though I’ve done the trip to and fro India many times over now, one thing remains the same– there is an energy about where I live (NY/NJ) that leaves one feeling unsatisfied; maybe it’s a go-getter attitude or the constant desire to be better than the next person, but I hate it. With dissatisfaction comes guilt, and with guilt comes too many unnecessary emotions. I’ve decided in the time I am here I want to live guilt-free. Does this mean I will go on a murderous rampage or throw temper tantrums at any given stranger? Absolutely-friggin-not (welcome to Jersey). It simply means I will no longer allow myself to give in to the guilt that surrounds me. My battle with guilt began long before my diagnosis with Muscular Dystrophy, but time’s a changing. In the words of Michael J. Fox (and the Twelve-Step Program):
‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
Now, I finally know the difference.