In the summer of 2015, I took a trip with my parents to Udaipur, Rajasthan- an old heritage city with a huge castle and a manmade lake around which surrounds scores of hotels. This was the first time that I went to the city while it was the second for my parents; the first being for their honeymoon 25 years ago. During our flight we realized that one of my favorite pictures of my parents from when they were young was actually taken in a fort in the city. We decided to recreate the shot which was actually a lot of fun and incredibly romantic. However, what stuck with me the most on this trip was my conversation with my dad about life after college. I was just entering junior year and conversations about jobs and grad schools were on full throttle. I knew that grad school was something that I wanted to push up a little so that I could get some experience in the real world before heading back to the academic bubble.
However, jobs were becoming more and more difficult to get; something I noticed with the recent set of Denison grads. This therefore became a conversation about the fact that I might be moving back to India after college. When I left for college, it seemed like I would be in the US for longer than just four years but the reality that that might not be the case was becoming a realization. It took me some time to digest this fact but I was soon rewiring the things I was doing. I was desensitizing myself from the space I called home because I knew it would hurt a lot more if I didn't plan it out. A product of this disengagement turned out to be breaking up with my then girlfriend. Something that I didn't want at all but the uncertainty of the future bothered the both of us. We still talk and I am thankful for that.
Fast forward to 2017, and I am now back in Delhi living with my parents working in PR. For a moment there, I had the opportunity of moving back to Denison for a year but the job did not promise a visa sponsorship and going back just to go through the rejection I went through in the first three months of this year seemed too demotivating. I don't mind struggling. I think it's part of life but getting rejected not because I'm not qualified but because of my citizenship was just so hard. Hearing, "oh we love you but..." was something I got too used to and I felt like I deserved to be in a place that actually wanted me even if that means compromising in other ways. Job hunting in Delhi in contrast was fun. Finding a foot in the door was still a challenge but after that the process became fun. I was being invited for multiple interviews, job profiles were being changed to work with my experiences, and I was negotiating salaries-- something that is so adult, I never knew I would even reach this step.
Coming back wasn't hard and nor has living at home. I was always very independent which was something that didn't change at all. In fact, I think its a lot easier to build a life if you know that your residence and food is taken care. Did I ever think I would be back? Nope. A big challenge for me now is to create a vibrant social life which seems a lot more difficult in a city that is so big. From what I have heard, it takes almost two years to create a good pool of friends and I get that. Its hard being an adult! Ninety percent of the goes in just working and commuting. The time left is when I can socialize and even in that remaining time, you have compromise and choose specific things that you can do. It's a slow process but I am working on it (I think?). I don't what the future holds for me. I do not know what I want to study, where I want to study, what my dream job would be, and where I would like to live. As my friend, Saanya would say "go with the flow." I believe in what she says and I guess I just have to trust that the ebb and flow of life with direct me well.