This would most probably be the last blog I write from the United States. I am leaving United States for good and flying back to India, my homeland. I got my first job of my life on Nov 15th and even before I could complete my celebration, I got laid off on the 18th. I never expected this. I was new, I was enthusiastic and all the more eager to learn and perform when the corporate axe fell on me. I was depressed the evening I lost my job but later that night I realized I had accumulated a long list of questions to be answered. I began to understand that it is not the time to be disappointed but a perfect time to get questions answered…questions that matter…questions that only I have to answer and answers that would tell me what to do next.
The main question I had to deal with was that, which asked for top three priorities in my life. Well, I had a simple straight forward answer….Family, Friends and a Career. This question at that point of time did not strike me as bait…but it was indeed a vicious one, for the next question hit me like a sniper shot. It was again, simple in terms of subject but incredibly heavier than the previous one. It asked for my current status as of the evening of 18th Nov, with respect to my top three priorities in life. I was lying down; staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what could be a possible answer that was acceptable to me. The answer, however, as it unfolded, made me speechless within myself. As of the evening of I8th Nov, I was far away from my parents, all the way to the other side of planet earth. I was obviously far away from my high school buddies and college buddies as well. Having lived for 4 years in the United States, I had accumulated the best of luck to have made a great network of friends and buddies who made me feel like I am a part of a great Wolfpack in the United States. I was far away from them too on the fateful evening. As for my career, I just had lost my first job, the consequence of which I was answering these questions. Summing up, I was far away from my family, friends and staring at the uncertainty of my career which I thought had finally begun. This brought my racing mind to a screeching halt. I left India, my homeland, in 2007, with great hopes of living my share of the American Dream. Higher education in the United States followed by a career of my choice in this land of opportunities was the plan. After 4 years, I got my first job and I thought my dream was finally coming true. It actually lasted a full 32 working hours (the time I spent working as a Sales and Marketing Development Coordinator).
Having realized the harsh reality that I narrated myself, I began to wonder what is going on with my life right now. Well, my dream is yet to be realized, for starters. I still haven’t quite made it to the end of the tunnel, I thought. May be there is a little more to cover before I cross the finishing line. I decided to go back home that very moment. At first I thought I was giving up on my dream. It took me a few hours before I understood that I haven’t actually started what I intend to do and therefore giving up is just not an option. It was interesting for me to note that I decided to fly back home with the same dreams I flew with into the United States. I was crazy to come over here and I am crazy to go back home right now.
4 years in Starkville, Mississippi, followed by a short stay in Virginia, my life has already got a crown jewel of an experience. I learned things that I always wanted to. I traveled to places that I never thought I would ever visit. I met people from different cultures. I made friends and had a good time…. far away from my comfort zone. I have transformed in a way I never imagined. I came to United States as someone and I am glad I am going back as the same someone, but with a lot more added to me (that actually has humor attached and you would know if you look at me). In fact I came for an MS and I am going back with an MBA. I apologize to have lied about my MS which was never completed. I made choices that I shouldn’t have and I had to pay for it. I however did not miss out on the learning. 4 years at Mississippi State University, my “Harvard-Stanford-MIT combo” from the south, has given me the knowledge to make my life wherever I go.
For the past 4 years, life has been throwing twist after twist and I kept adapting to them, making compromises all the way. I guess it is time I start throwing the twists and let life make its compromises. It is a simple case of cost versus benefit and I happen to choose my satisfaction over everything else. I remember President Obama remarking that America is bringing in people, training them and sending them away to compete against America in the 2011 State of the Union Address. I am not sure if I should agree with the “compete” part but I definitely agree with the “training” part. May be someday, I will be able to explain how right President Obama was.
As for my dream, I guess it is something more than just the American dream. Things would have been different if I had the job but now I know it is going to be a lot more different that what I imagined. As for now, I won’t stop dreaming and I won’t stop at dreaming either. Thank you Mississippi State!!! Thank you America!!!
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