After I passed the board exam and landed a job up north, I changed. Drastically, maybe, maybe not – depends on how you’d look at it. I changed from a regular college girl to a regular party-goer, a regular drinker and a regular smoker. Since I used to be a non-drinker and a non-smoker while still in school, I think it was one of those 180-deg turns. I, with my eyes wide open, had decided to change.
It was not the crowd I was with, or the company I kept. It was about me, being a curious cat that I was. It was about me wanting to see, to know, to learn, to experience. It was about that hunger for experience. That thirst of knowing what this life might bring. That wanting to grope the way to adulthood, to learn on my own.
And I must admit, this soul had wondered and wandered. Except for drugs, tattoos, body pierces and s*x, I had done a lot. I was gaily partying every night. No, scratch it. I was not actually partying every night but when I did, I would do an all-night-every-night worth of partying. And drinking and smoking, too (despite knowing their hazards).
But unknown to me, a time would come when I would eventually move out from the city that I have learned to enjoy and later, love. Call it fate. Or maybe call it God’s blueprint of my life. (I’m more inclined to think of it as the latter.)
Anyway, I was offered a better assignment, a better job somewhere - and what better place would that be than my hometown. Unexpected as it was, it had come as a surprise but one which was warmly welcomed. More because, about that time, and as fate – as most would like to think - would have it, I already had enough of the life I had. It had somehow become so ordinary to me, that it was already monotonous. I must have had already satisfied my thirst, my hunger and my wandering soul (in that department) then. Reality was I was already so ready to move on, to unlearn everything.
So when I came home, somewhat unexpectedly but not unwillingly, work on the unlearning, I did. I carefully reoriented and resolutely disentangled myself from the arms of past lovers- alcohol, tobacco and merry crowd. It was another 180-degree turn. I really have come full circle. Difficult as it may sound, it was fairly easy for me. Must be because it was undoubtedly not a half-hearted attempt. Every inch of me was completely one in wanting to do that, and was completely one in doing that.
Audacious as it may sound, I truly wanted to say I’ve changed because of ME.
But then it must have been about coming home. Or being close to the family. I’ll hazard a guess that both have that same comfortable sobering effect- that would ultimately lead to pulling one’s self together. And then if by being home means, as the say, getting the feet back on solid and even grounds, then I can safely say I’ve changed and I’m definitely home.
Looking back, I do not regret about these too merry episodes. And if I were to choose, I’d certainly do the same. I feel I needed all that to become a better me. But I do not miss all that. No, not at all.
But whatever it truly was – that made me change - may not even be too important. Maybe the most important thing is the end result. I have not puffed any smoke since I came home. Not drank a drop of alcohol for ages and it was only this year’s New Year celebration that I allowed myself to sip a little wine. Prior to that, I had been firmly declining any offer, even during celebrations.
P.S.1 Change is also one of God’s wonderful miracles. This author deeply –and strongly believes in that.
P.S.2 I really should thank my friends for respecting my wishes, for understanding that when I sense that an event could put me in a compromising position, I just have to beg off and excuse myself.