I feel rather heavily distressed for not having paid any attention to my writing/blogging in the past few months. It hasn’t been one of those phases when I have nothing to write. It has, I must admit, been the lack of time. Several things have happened and come to pass since the time I last wrote – most of them good events and some emotionally taxing ones. I’ll go backwards in time as I recount them.
I have moved. Moved apartments, I mean. I still reside within a mile of the lovely Loop of Chicago, just a tad bit closer to one of my favorite spots along the coast of Lake Michigan. Why did I move? I wanted a larger space than my cramped (it was starting to be) convertible apartment of 540 sq.ft. Given my tendency to fill up any available nook with books and trinkets that catch my fancy, it was high time that I upgraded my living space. The search didn’t take its toll on my like the previous move and I had signed my new lease within two weeks of beginning to look. The packing, however, did take its toll on me.
I have NO IDEA how I accumulated all the things I own! I threw out at least 6 garbage bags filled with clothes, toiletries, packaged food, sheets, random objects… and gave away two bags of clothes and shoes. What fascinated me even more was that I had 4 boxes of books – I came into the country four years ago armed with 3 books – and 4-5 boxes of kitchen stuff – things that I bought in a two year period. The rest of it, clothes, electronics, shoes, bedroom fabrics, and some other random odds and ends accounted for the other 20 boxes and 5 huge suitcases. And then there was the furniture.
For someone who landed here with 4 suitcases and lived in a dorm for two years, it is a lot. I would have had more had I not realized the sanity in waiting till I moved to purchase other furniture – book shelves, stands, bar stools and the like.
So yes, I moved. I warded off falling sick till the week after I moved; surprised myself by actually unpacking 15 boxes within 4 days of moving. Now, I’m half settled in and still slightly disoriented by the fact that I need to travel 30 minutes to and from work, and I move South instead of North now. I have returned to the South Side, or as it says on the map ‘Near South Side’. It’s so much more quaint than what I was originally looking for, but then I have my lovely kitchen, a nice balcony and 800 sq.ft. all to myself!!
In other news, more intense from a personal standpoint at least, there were somethings that happened over a period of two months that made me question the very office of an arranged marriage. Not that I have been in favor of it, to begin with, but coming from an Indian family there are certain social expectations that I am expected to fulfill. I was alright with it because my family, I believed, has always been more open minded than most conventional families. There were several factors would affect any decision, I knew, and I trusted in my parents to weed those out if necessary. Well, the wheels of ‘hunting’ were set into motion, and sometime in March it was popped on me in a fairly decided manner. What followed, in the six weeks after that, I can only describe as tears, arguments, fears, and more tears (it also turned me quite completely against the whole idea of an ‘arranged marriage’).
Obviously it did not work out. The reason being – I was not ready to pretend to be a typical traditional South Indian girl. The guy concerned was painted out to be an absolutely fantastic person with a great job. Not in my books. It isn’t that I expect something more. I just want to be able to, on the simplest of terms, have an interesting conversation with someone. Anyone. It is the most basic foundation for any relationship. It took a week of very few conversations to prove that I would never have that with said person. That said, the only thing that really and completely annoyed me was the fact that the guy seemed to think that just because this was being arranged by our parents, he didn’t have any work to do. That he needn’t bother with actually trying. Apparently I should have been impressed with his multi-million dollar investing clients, while all I could think of was ‘they aren’t your millions, so why would I be impressed?’
I’ve always been more about the mind. The brain fascinates me because while we are all wired the same way, as homo sapiens, we still act and think differently when looked upon as individuals. As a species, we are the same, but by ourselves… there lies the unending curiosity and intrigue. Yes, the material world we live in demands that we place a higher importance on physical appearance but the mind is what keeps you engaged. That should be what draws you in.
Without going into the more intricate details of this particular dealing, which I am glad I got out of my way as quickly as possible (though it did set into motion a different set of consequences to battle with), I must admit that it lead me to think through my priorities and for what I’d be willing to change them. It isn’t easy because of the very many definitive details in them… the fact that these are the essence of my being make them all the more hard to ignore. I couldn’t do that and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do it either. They aren’t set in stone, no. But they are principles and ideals. Things you believe in. So, what is worth giving all that up? Was I ready to do that? Will I ever be? The answer to the first is, I’m not sure, and a big no is the answer to the latter two.
Despite the tears and agony of those few weeks, which I will remember for the rest of my life, I came to the wonderful realization that is myself. I understood myself better and nothing can surpass that enlightenment.