I’m back! Early.
I decided to leave Kolkata on Thursday 8/5. I was able to get an earlier flight out–I was originally scheduled to leave on Saturday 8/14. I finished my research, so I accomplished what I went to India to do. I chose to return home earlier than planned because India has made me think hard about where my strengths and weaknesses lie. I knew that I would encounter some challenges during the trip, but I came across a whole set of problems and difficulties that I never could have anticipated. At first, I thought I was just jetlagged or adjusting to the new culture, so I tried to tough it out. I gave it a shot. After 3 weeks, I realized that what I was feeling wasn’t jetlag–it was something much more than that.
I’ve written in the past about how I have a tough time coping with change and uncertainty…well, that’s pretty much what life in India is about. This state of flux and the constant stress of the emotional highs and lows were starting to get to me, so I decided to head home a little early. My experience in India was life-changing, that’s for certain. I now know that I really, really need to work on being more comfortable with situations where things are out of my control. I need to learn to adapt, adjust, and go with the flow.
In addition to all the touchy-feely personal growth stuff, I realized a few important things about my future, my career. I don’t know if I want to be a teacher anymore. I don’t think I want to do ACE. Those are huge changes in my plan, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. (Again, I need to work on this flexibility thing.) I learned that I love to write. Journaling and blogging were fantastic ways for me to share my awe and frustration with India and my experiences at school and around Kolkata. Even though I’m not in India anymore, I’m still processing the trip and all that I saw and did there; I will continue to write about my adventures, so keep reading!
I don’t regret my decision to leave early, as I believe it was the wisest, healthiest choice to make, but I do miss Cynthia and Liz (and Colleen) already. They are great research partners, roommates, travel buddies, and friends. I know that they will continue to do great work over the next week or so, and I’m really proud of them for sticking it out in Kolkata!