Blog 3 – Reflections before Christmas

Nearly half way there. I want to share that my first project, transforming digital evaluation strategies for GWL’s 30th anniversary, is sadly, coming to an end. Not just yet but soon. What I mean by end is that coming forward, I will start working on a different project. Post Christmas. The remains of this project will continue to breathe in the corners of the Library and in the minds of my colleagues. There is the finishing touch and the final stroke to be lent to this project. I am eagerly waiting for the day I will present my research and findings as a final act in this performance.

I would like to present my experiences from September to December through a poem:

I wanted to be surprised

Surprised I was

For though this city was enveloped in dreich

I was overflowing with warmth and wonder

My hands touched lives

Otherwise unknown

My speech sprinted

Otherwise trepid

I have moved against the earth

I have also moved against the sky

Lost I have gained as well

I came with a heavy heart

From torn relations

I left some gems of friends

In the pursuit of my freedom

I feel like a character from a special movie

The movie that makes me weak to my knees

I have asked myself

Is living really important?

After having survived

Across my days through nights hard

I have chosen to wake up

With a mug of coffee

And the remains of my dreams

I still know my heart is heavy

I still am in the storm

But you know what?

I will survive

I will have survived

Well, being an international student is tricky. Especially when I am floating within my identity and spiritual crisis. Or faith? I like to call it faith. Faith in myself, in my powers, in my abilities to change my way of thinking, in my will to catch myself every time I fall, in my opening of letting others in, finally, letting them see other parts of me. There is a strange strength in becoming vulnerable. For me, when I confess my love to someone, I am actually becoming more powerful due to that confession. I am letting them know I have feelings and no shame in saying I have feelings.

I also come from a backdrop of a lifelong disability. And I swear, it feels like I have not lived a 20 but 30 years of my life. I have started to understand how drained I am. I have accepted to myself that sleeping, taking a day off, listening to music, watching crap stories, bickering, striking loads of conversations, letting those tears fall out, and letting more tears fall out of my system, is the best things I could do to myself. Feelings of being shamed, ripped apart, faulted, pitied, left out of the loop, stranded, left behind, blamed, screamed at, hurt, disappointed, neglected, taken away the agency on my life and yes, so much more from where I am coming from, have all chosen to catch up to me.

And I am extremely grateful for all these bumps and rides occurring in my life. I have come to see myself in a better way. Through my colleagues. Through this nature. Through my rest. Through my friends I have made here. I don’t need to carry everything on my shoulders. I don’t need to overexplain myself. I don’t need people who don’t understand to respect me. I am learning the act of letting go. And surely, all my life I will be learning something.

My tri-walker takes care of me and I take care of it. Since I started using it, I have ferociously wanted to, give a tight slap to my country, for not ever giving me the right to movement and independency. For always, always putting me in a lifelong lockdown. And yes, when the lockdowns came, it wasn’t anything different for me. I always had to stay at home, unable to hang out, unable to have an agency on my life, always afraid of tripping on roads, having to rush during traffic signals, spraining my muscles and my tendons, making life difficult for me physically, unable to use local trains, unable to use local buses. You would think my country is a tyrant right? I will tell you a joke. My country is the biggest ‘democracy’ in this world.

I don’t know about India, but India must know how much I resent her. I am yet to receive an apology.

Thank you for reading!

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