I have never had a room to myself before. Ever. Which is surprising considering I have been living away from parents for the past two years, and usually prefer spending my time alone and aloof. But now that I am finally in the U.S of A (yay?), I realized that this was the first time I was really, truly alone in a room.
And this realization did not hit me immediately. Though I came here with Whizkid (thank you God for that blessing), we did not scoot off to our rooms as soon as we arrived. Our first week was spent camping on the carpeted floor of the living room watching Homeland and staring out the balcony glass door while eating dinners off plastic wraps. It was when our mattresses arrived that we finally got around to setting up our individual spaces with some reluctance. Whizkid and I have been roomies before, and this was a new stage in our relationship. We were graduating to be flatmates now. And she was better equipped to deal with this than I was. She has years of experience of being in a room of her own for years. Not me.
And this did not dawn upon me until I was finally sleeping in my own bed in my own room that night.I felt weird. I could not put my finger on it. I kept expecting someone to walk in and put a mattress next to me and camp down. But that was of course not going to happen. And so I started recalling my life in reverse. There has always been a Whizkid, a Joshua, a Laddoo, or the tiny presence of my brother in a corner of the room always. How much I wished at that moment that he would turn up. Because I wasn't elated at all at the thought of having a room to myself now (which I would often wish for when I had him), I was terrified. I did not feel liberated. I felt stranded. So, along with the pressures of the crazy graduate workload, exams, career fairs, money crunch, barely anybody to talk to, no friends (why am I suddenly having trouble making friends?), I also now have to learn to live with myself.
This was the first time I was going to discover who I really was. Hello Archika, I thought to myself, meet Archika. I don't know who I am going to find. I hope I like the Archika I am starting to meet. I hope I am able to learn to make the best use of my time and my space. I pray I fall in love with my company without the expectation of the long stretches of time being interrupted.
So, far, I have made friends with the three trees that are right outside my window. A few days more and I am pretty sure I will have names for them. And though I still despise being holed up in an empty space, I sometimes have beautiful, private moments.
|It rained today, helping the lights in the window glitter|
My guess (and hope) is that it will only get better from here.