THE NEW AND THE FAMILIAR
The taste of independence is addicting. You take responsibility, sometimes you stumble but sometimes you also make yourself proud. You take responsibility for your tasks, decisions, words, the company you keep, the media you are exposed to, time management, the diet you keep and several other things. Once you settle is such a lifestyle, you appreciate it because you created it for yourself. You chose the places where you’d have lunch, the café whose coffee would wake you up, the same streets you’d traverse to reach your college or any other destination, the ways to deal with the local transport – whether to be firm and leave no scope for coyness or just trust the system and get on, manage the monthly expenditure and above all to balance your professional and personal lives.
Such a lifestyle keeps you busy and most get fascinated by it so much that departure seems like an impossible task, even if it is for a short period of time. It’s not like you totally disapprove of the life when the remote control was in the hands of your parents or other elders but the thought of not being that ‘free’ is a little unsettling. The journey is from this place to that is quick – you feel a stream of rush, an amalgamation of excitement and nerve, to see those familiar faces that have possibly aged a tad in the previous 8-9 months and then to know that your ‘independence’ is going to be redefined.
You still hold responsibility for all the things stated above because you are now an adult but did the feeling of coming back to the place where you once started feel a little strange? It was strange because it felt like you never left it in the first place while in reality you had been gone for months. Is it because you had spent nearly two decades of your life there before moving out? The flooring, the smell of the of furniture, the light yellow paint on the walls, the spices that dominated the kitchen and the rooms attached, the windows through which the sunlight lit the room in a particular direction, that one place on the dining table which you always preferred, the items in the fridge– all of it just seemed as warm and welcoming as ever. It seemed you had always been there. It felt like you had just got up from the sleep and now were back. Some might disagree on this thought of unexpected and overwhelming familiarity and that is totally respected. Different places have different feels for everyone. It is not necessary that a place you accustomed yourself to before gives you the exact same sentiment, atmosphere and chord as it did in the past. In this case, you just have to make peace with it, I guess.
The life that we are brought up in and the life that we make for ourselves are not necessarily all different. They are more or less built on the same grounds of basic principles that we have been exposed to. Yes, most definitely we make several and massive amendments in order to adapt, evolve and yet stay grounded and that is a good thing because without it no one would survive. We need to blend in the customs of the place, be it the old or the new because man is a social animal, right? We need to understand the demands of any place we go to and whether it all suits us or not. This in no way is like binding yourself and being too restricted. Freedom and independence are not rightly understood. It is about choice. You have the choice of where you want to go and what you want to be but some basic customs of the place that you choose need to be followed in order to maintain order and peace. It’s like not anyone and everyone can barge into your house and do as they please.
There is always going to be a ‘new’ place and a ‘familiar’ one. It is us who turn the ‘new’ ones into the ‘familiar’ category by making the connection between our independence, freedom and responsibility. We experiment in order to understand what we would prefer in the long run and stagnancy should not be appreciated. Remember where you come from but keep your eyes to where you want to go. Let your principles guide you when you need them to and be careful what grounds you lay for yourself. Let the ‘familiarity’ be of the good and the memorable before you move on to another ‘new’ place to make it your own.