I came to live in the US a year ago. I spent a year in confusion, struggle and coping up with a completely new life. Before I know, a year is over. And this is the perfect time to review how my year went (that’s my past HR experience talking).
But seriously, big changes have happened in the last 1 year. I married and came to California. A new house, new routine, new responsibilities, new city, new weather conditions, new lingo and a new career (you guys know about my mid-life career change? Okay, I need to talk about it someday, then).
When I look back at myself – my attitude, fears and confidence, I see a sea change.
There were lot of difficulties I battled and not having a job was hardly it. There were tiny things that I never thought would matter.
The weather, to begin with. It is cold here from December to February. Not cold like New York or Chicago but cold as per Bombay or Baroda standards. I could not even stand 13 degrees minimum temperature of Baroda, what do you think I would do when the maximum day temperature is only 9 degrees? I spent the entire winter holed up in blankets or warmers, sweaters and bulky woollen scarves, if I stepped out, being lazy, looking miserable and feeling miserable inside out. I stopped doing habitual things like dressing up well, wearing my usual jewellery and make-up because I was so obsessed with hating the cold. I just waited for summer to come and bring joy into my life. This Fall, it is so much better. I face the cold like it doesn’t matter to me. I cook and work and dress up and go out and feel happy. It’s not that I enjoy the windy 7 degrees temperature; it’s just that I have other things in mind and don’t bother about cold.
Cooking has been a whole new activity for me. all I had ‘cooked’ before was coffee, maggi and eggs in the microwave. Yes, microwave. And the only things I could do on the stove were frying sausages and making grill sandwiches. These also happened to be my specialities. Now, I host lunches with girlfriends and dinners with the group. I cook good Indian food, have mastered many breakfast dishes and sometimes create my own stuff. I totally, totally enjoy cooking. Because I love eating too, I almost drool while cooking. Oh, and I bake too. I guess, I have come a long way.
Taking on a new career is more difficult than I thought. I chose to study Fashion Design, an old dream, after working in Corporate for 7+ years. So not only did I have to cope with a new environment, I had to change gears with respect to my career! What a contrast. HR to Fashion? I had numerous difficulties there. I had to do so many things I had never done (like, sewing) or stopped doing decades ago (like, sketching). I even had to brush up my factions addition / subtraction! Chaos. But I did start very enthusiastically and did well. Sewing is a skill that takes lot of time and practice and I am still learning. But otherwise, I was on track. Till the last 2 months of the first semester. Things got complicated, I had to sew more and I lost confidence and interest. I became complacent and just wanted the semester to be done with. This attitude was actually alarming. How can you be passionate about something for a decade, leave an established career for it and then lose interest in it! But this second semester has been much different. Not being a newcomer to the college and field made a big difference. I ended up being more dedicated, organized, curious and enthusiastic. Even when stress built up towards the end of the semester and I had little time to finish off work, I did not lose my energy. I did all that was needed and am raring for the next semester. That’s a very good sign!
And so many more issues.
So, I have struggled, I have failed, I have been anxious. I lost friends, independence and confidence. But in the midst of it all, I learnt new things. I met new people. I made some really good friends. I began to love this new city I live in.
Life may have been tough at times but never boring. Something has always occupied my mind – either anxiety or joy of triumph.
Would you believe it if I said I have already made resolutions for the next year? I am that excited about life in general.