My mother tells me as a kid I was never upset when I had to be away from home (e.g visiting aunts with Grandpa). I was content wherever I was, never asking after my mother or little brother. Mother says I am selfish. I don’t know if that’s the right word to describe me, but I do have an ability to think I’m home wherever I am staying. How I did it when I was young I do not know, but now that I am older I do it by choice. If you’re cursed to live away from your family, you better do it with a smile on your face. There isn’t much to look forward to in Life otherwise.
The largest chunk of time that I have been away from home was during the four years of college. I visited occasionally, yes. But I never felt home at home anymore. I felt like a guest in my own house, one who comes to visit but leaves eventually. I hated this feeling. I hated that I had to leave the peace of our tiny home to live with people who did not care two hoots for my feelings and emotions. But I had no choice. I had to complete my degree. I don’t know if selfish is the right word to describe me, but I did miss home. Badly.
Even now that I am home, feeling at home typing into my laptop sitting on my favourite red stool (how the word came to mean such different things, I wonder!), I miss home already. This day, next month I will be in a different city, on the second day of my new job and my parents would be in a train back home after dropping me off in that unfamiliar jungle of unfamiliar faces. Maybe you’ll call me a baby for being so clingy. Anyone beyond twenty is supposed to be grown up; after all eighteen is when we are all adults. But indeed, age is just a number. In my mind I am still the teenager post-high school, taking a bus with my father to a new city to start college. Even after having lived with strangers for four years and becoming “friends” with them, I am not ready to face the unknown. Uncertainty makes me nervous. I cringe inside, because I know that I have no control. No choice either. In all honesty, I am even less prepared to leave now than I was four years ago when I started college, because I know now what I can expect. I know that no matter how kind people seem, it might all be a facade, a mask. I have never been too good with people, or relationships for that matter.
The hardest thing about goodbye is all the things you didn’t say.
That’s a quote from a friend’s Whatsapp status. The biggest regret of my life is that even though I have lived so many years with my parents under the same roof, I know so little of them. I know so little of their aspirations, their dreams and their desires. As long as I have known my mother (whom I am closer to than my father), I have known her as a mother only. Until very recently, I could not see past her motherhood for the woman that she is. And now that I have started to see, it is almost time for me to leave. I fear I will never have the time to know my parents as well as I wish to. It is sad that only few years back, I did not even care enough to know my parents. Now, the word selfish does make some sense.
There is nothing like your parents’ love. There is no treasure greater than your own family. To value these is the secret to real happiness. It sure took me time to realize it, but I will still have time to make amends, won’t I?
The clock is ticking!
Indeed, the clock is ticking. In about three hours, my ebook, Bound by Life will be available for free on Amazon! Do you use Kindle? If you do, don’t forget to download your copy of Bound by Life. I am eager to hear your thoughts on it.
Update: Bound by Life is now available for FREE on Kindle! Be sure to download your copy!