i can not stop looking at my hands. they still have mehndi (henna) on them. the designs are swiftly fading but they remind me that it wasn't just a dream.
i have arrived home safely and can now say that i have lived the longest running day of my life. i actually experienced time travel! i left delhi on the 7th and flew back in time, arriving many hours later and just in time to live the 7th of july 2010 all over again. it was strange and awesome. july 7th (#1) was lived out partially in India and mostly in the sky (a kind of "time free" zone) and july 7th (#2) was lived out a little bit in the sky but mostly in the U.S. after landing, i directly went to my parents house for a few days to visit, rest, and do laundry.
it is very difficult to describe all of the feelings that accompany my return to the U.S. i feel like i have alternate lives existing at the same time.... a "sideways", if you will. each one has warm friendships, a feeling of home, and aspects that suit my personality. but, in detail, they are worlds apart. i am still figuring out how to reconcile this within me. where do i go from here?everything that i have just lived out....it is a part of me now...a part of my story....but where does it all go?
i am a pretty old fashioned girl but the only way that i can think of to describe things is in terms of technology (go figure). it is like my brain is a computer and i have just downloaded tons of new (high def) information that requires a lot of space. if i want to be able to support all of the new info, i have to update the operating system. so i guess that is what i am trying to do...update MY operating system...and i am not even sure exactly what that means. i just know that i have to operate a little differently in life, in order to make a home for new ideas, info, people, and new dreams...as well as blend these things with the old parts. in the bigger cities in India there are signs up that address the growth that is happening. they say things like "KEEP DELHI CLEAN AND GREEN"(even though delhi is neither clean nor green to begin with). i was so used to seeing these signs that when i saw a simple construction sign, which read "WORK IN PROGRESS", i took it to mean so much more than was probably intended. to me, it wasn't just that there was construction work in progress...so much other work was in progress as well. and this is how i feel about myself. i am a "work in progress".
i tend to be a sentimental person (in fact, i think maybe a little too much most of the time) and usually at the end of something things become very emotional for me. i did feel some sadness saying goodbye to friends but mostly it was different this time. as i rode to the airport and took my final look at India, i didn't get upset like i thought i would. i felt calm. and two things felt distinct within me.... 1. i will return to this place. i don't exactly know how or when but i truly feel that i will return. and 2. i am so grateful for the time here that i have had. i am grateful for all the experiences and all the friendships, all the homes that i have been welcomed into. there is no need to feel sad about the amount of time that i have had with them...just the fact that they have been a part of this story at all is so lucky.
on the side of the road, right before entering the airport was a sign that read "SEE YOU AGAIN". and it made me smile. India WILL see me again. it is only a matter of time.
*i know that this post isn't really an adventure story but i will be adding more stories from the trip over time...so feel free to keep checking if you like.