The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Recently I came across a post on Instagram that read “Dear best friend, as we grow older, our lives continue to get busier, we don’t see each other as we used to. Ever so slowly, we are drifting apart.” This was one of those highly relatable posts that felt really personal, and I couldn’t resist but send it to my best friend. Her reply was “True…it feels as if life was in slow motion for the past 19 years, but now it is suddenly moving at 5x speed.” This text made me feel empty, and for very unclear reasons, also made me anxious.
It has been 19 or almost 20 years since I have lived in this city. Apart from a flooding of cafes and construction of slightly taller houses, this city hasn’t changed much. Just like my parents, it has not grown in its concerns and I think this is what gives me a sense of comfort here. Over the two decades of 21st century, while a lot changed quite rapidly everywhere, the people of this city absorbed and adapted to changes at their own pace. This place also remained successful in giving me a real childhood, one which didn’t require my mother to play youtube videos to feed me. For many years, my permanent routine was to wake up, get ready, go to school, come back, do homework, head to the park behind my house for 4 hours straight, come back at 8pm, eat dinner, sleep and repeat. I never felt the need of doing anything extra because I was perfectly happy with whatever I had.
But there is a problem with small Indian towns and cities, they keep you protected for a very long time, until one day you finally realize that you have to move ahead. I graduated from my highschool last year, but thanks to the pandemic, I never got to leave this city. My friends moved out one by one and this city kept losing its meaning for me. Over the past one year, I also interacted with a lot of people online and met some really talented peers through college. Perplexed and overwhelmed by everything, for the first few months, I kept blaming my city for all the opportunities that it didn’t give me. However, now, twelve days away from moving to Delhi, all I can feel is a sense of loss.
It dawned upon me a few days ago that in the quest of moving forward and achieving new things, we also have to lose a lot of other possessions. The epiphany that there’s no u-turn from here on left me befuddled. The sense of attachment that one develops with everything and every person in small towns is unparalleled in big cities. We usually take these things for granted, until the day we choose to step away from the whole lot. With the city, we leave behind innumerable childhood memories, laughter of the street, familiar faces, loving neighbours, school friends, home and family. In the ocean of vagueness, we then start looking for things that can provide homely comfort, and eventually end-up finding ourselves a new home someday.
The cycle keeps going on, but the loss isn’t deniable, especially for those moving out of small towns and cities for the first time. Maybe the speed of life truly changes from negative to 5x, but we have to keep moving forward. To know that one is not alone in feeling nervous might help to gain confidence that everything will fall in place eventually. It is just a matter of time.