I recently finished a diary and started a new one. Whenever that happens, I like to look through the diary that was, revisit the months it records, see if I can chart the growth from the person that began that diary to the person that ended it. This time round was particular interesting. The first entry in this diary, dated October 28, 2010, begins:
"It's late, and I should go to bed soon — LONG day tomorrow — but I really needed to record this day. Today, for the first time, I felt at home in New York. I'm not sure what prompted the feeling, but it was probably building up over the last couple of weeks... they've been a wonderful couple of weeks"
That entry goes on to detail some stimulating work I had just begun, the joy of classes at the best pottery studio ever, and some wonderful conversation through which many of my New York acquaintances started to become close friends. I had been there over a year at that point, and it was finally becoming home.
The last entry in the same little red notebook, dated Wed, Dec 14, 2011, reads, in part:
I'm falling in love with Delhi again; even as I acknowledge its flaws, I'm growing to love it deeply. For the first time that I remember, I feel confident that it is home — for a long time to come ... I don't have a word for all these expreinces together, but somehow they make me feel grounded, here, and in myself. I'm home. :)
This entry records various little moments and experiences and new encounters that are becoming part of this sense of belonging here, to the city I grew up in, in ways that I don't ever remember relating to it while growing up here. In many ways, just that journey from making New York home, then leaving it behind, and then making Delhi home again is the entirety of the last 14 months of my life. (yes, i just quoted from my journal on my blog. I can't believe that either)
This sense was made even more real by a recent email exchange — an invitation to a Spoken Word performance by two friends in New York, whom I regard as awesome performers BTW, and the realization that nothing in me wished i was there for it. Don't get me wrong, I know it will be a wonderful night, and even three months ago I would have felt sad about having to miss it, but now, as I settle into this life of mine, that is one of those things that was beautiful and pleasurable in a previous life, and remains a fond memory, but isn't really something I would want to go back to. Like college ... wonderful in so many ways, but over, and not a part of who I am now, except in the ways that it shaped me into this person. Not something I would want to go back and do again, at any rate.
I will say, though, just how much I love this process of sinking roots and creating homes. Even (perhaps especially) after I leave that home, having had it makes my life richer, makes me happier. So, New York, almost at the end of 2011, I need to pause and say thank you, for everything you were. And New Delhi, almost at the start of 2012, I need to pause and say thank you, for everything you are becoming.