And its been 6 months now that I’ve lived in America.
It feels like just yesterday that I got here, excited, wary, nervous, slightly hesitant, all at once. And within the blink of an eye, it’s almost 6 months down. And as I sit down to pen my thoughts, an entire wave of self-reflection and self-realization hits me, because I look back at the version of me that came here with stars and dreams in her eyes, and almost admire at how she’s grown and evolved with time. And even more so, at how the journey so far hasn’t felt forced, rather almost natural, as if it were planned this way.
There’s quite a few cultural adjustments I know I’ve made, mostly subconsciously. I now easily smile at strangers, ask them how they’re doing, and sometimes even pick up random conversation, an act that might raise eyebrows in my country. My British-English trained eyes have finally learned to accept C-O-L-O-R as an acceptable way to spell ‘colour’. I’ve learned to dress according to the weather forecast and not my mood. I’ve experienced Thanksgiving, and Black Friday, and Superbowl, and all the hype that come with it. And I’ve been witness to the election frenzy, and the frenetic build-up and aftermath. I proudly retain some of my idiosyncrasies though. For instance, I still ask for water without ice at restaurants, for I cannot fathom how someone would enjoy the taste of ice-cold water when it’s freezing outside. I
I almost celebrated when I realized I could navigate my way around a decent portion of Chicago without Google Maps, for it told me that I no longer was a stranger here. And I know that I’m have creating memories of my time here, ones that I shall take with me wherever I go. Of places, people, experiences. Of moving along the graph from visitor to resident. Of the experience of the home away from home. So much has happened that I’m ever grateful for, and I know that so much will happen that I’m excited about.
There’s a lot I know I’ve come to love about America. Its user-friendliness. Its vibrancy. And its overall acceptance of individualism, one that allows you to be who you’d like to be. And while I don’t know how long I’ll stay here, I do know that however long I do, I when I finally do leave, I’ll leave a part of my heart here.