I sit at the bus station, waiting for the bus to park in its bay, and as one has little to do in these situations, I sip tea from a small paper cup and think about coming and going. Almost two years ago, I came to my hometown amidst the most uncertain time in the world, like many others. I had left my job behind, I had left my friends behind, and I had left a life behind. A living, breathing life with potential and a path ahead. And as one often plans in these situations, to feel a semblance of control when there is none, I planned to stay for six months, with a certain hope that things would settle down and I would leave again. Of course, when nothing is up to us, no plan comes to fruition, and this decision, or lack thereof, was two years ago.
Now, I have built a life in the city I grew up in, and as I have changed, so has the town. Neither of us is the same, and for some reason, I can’t imagine myself parting ways again. Perhaps, this happens when you can see a good present and an even better future. Like how you meet an old friend after years and slowly ask questions to get acquainted with this new person you still remember, I have befriended this city once again. I have an apartment, some friends and a living, breathing life once again—the one I did not plan on. Yesterday, I renewed my lease for another year, and even though it was a lease for a flat, it very much felt like a lease for the life I have now, which may be why my thoughts have only revolved around the coming, the going and now, the staying. I have never once been able to say that I stay somewhere. Perhaps, a part of me has always been afraid to stay put; I have always wanted so much from life.
Now, as I sit here on a dilapidated plastic chair, happy to leave for a vacation and even happier to come back, I realise I still don’t have everything I have ever wanted, and something tells me I never will. But, I have something here which I have searched far and wide enough for. It occurred to me yesterday how I have always been more than ready to leave. But my joy only arrived when I decided to stay.