I avoid home.
My childhood home, my parents’ home. I go out of my way to stay away. When I left for college at 18, it took me two years to visit again.
And then I moved to a city considerably closer to my “home”, it has become much harder to avoid home because home can now drive six hours and come to me.
I have closure, all issues I may have had with my parents or parental figures stand resolved in the form of a lifestyle I have created for myself. A lifestyle I absolutely love.
When I lived back home, when I was in school, I spent every vacation either building houses in little villages, or at conferences or at exchange programmes, or at job shadowing programmes.
I went to school for nine hours a day, I played tennis after, took french lessons, Photoshop classes, taught English to middle school students, worked in a theatre troupe.. I rarely ever got home before 9 PM, by which time my mother was usually ready to go out for a night on the town. And I was ready to soak in the tub and read a book, or bring home a boy.
Then, I went to college and there was so much more to do. I could spend 10 hours a day in classes alone. I signed up for every class that was offered, took every internship I could find, so when my “friends” went on Diwali break or summer break or Christmas break, I was happily engaged in crunching numbers, making coffee, drawing up statements, writing articles or just organising protests and mass agitations with miscellaneous activists.
Then, I decided I wanted to be a journalist, really I had always known. And I moved to a new school and a new life. But a familiar lifestyle.
I have almost 60 hours of classes and assignments a week, besides real-time reporting and training. The past four months have been a like one exhausting day that wouldn’t end, and finally I have Diwali break. Seven days. The only seven days I have off this year.
So, my mother suggested that I come and join the family for Diwali celebrations in Dharamshala which mind you is my favourite place in the world, but what do I do?
The day she asks me, I am so stressed by the prospect of this vacation that I go and get an internship for the one week I have off.
She understands, she knows how important my work and career are to me but.. I don’t understand anymore.
When I told master that I wasn’t going on vacation, he invited me to his home to enjoy the festivities with his family. I have met all of them before and I would say we get along reasonably well. But, no.
What did I do?
I scheduled an assignment to cover the world’s most bogus event. I mean, I don’t even like to cover events.
I used to do this when my friends or just about anybody would invite me to a “family thing”.
The truth is, I love my life. I love working till I am ready to drop. I love my relationships and the dynamics that define them. I love the distance that exists between my loved-ones and I. I love to go on vacation alone or with a strange man/woman on 36-hour weekends. I love to be alone.
But today, I feel bad for keeping everyone at arm’s length. So far removed are my feelings from anyone’s notice that my idea of talking to make myself feel better is equivalent to blogging under a pseudonym.