I'll start off by being blunt and straightforward [something I've avoided being for a very, very long time]: I've fallen madly in love with You. Not in an "Obsessed" kind of way, but more of a "When Harry Met Sally" kind of way. Please don't worry.
As I write to You from my balcony, eating custard apple, drinking coffee, and waiting for You to get ready for another day, I can't help but think of where we were half a year ago. Stuck. Stuck in a very black and white world, and preparing ourselves to stay stuck, anchored, and running around in circles. As limiting as the word can describe the feeling, we were unhappy. With each other, with the lack of direction we had, and with [what I considered] the lack of things we accomplished in our 22 years of knowing each other.
But all of that changed, no? We ran away together with plans of seeing the world, not really knowing what to find except everything that we couldn't at home. Yes, the first night in India scared the crap out of us; the only thing we had [prepare for the cliche] was each other. And let's be honest: can you trust someone you don't like?
Now look at us! The colors, the smells, the sounds, and the tastes of just one country have made you my best friend, my most loyal companion, and my trusted sidekick. We've eaten more food than we thought we'd enjoy, and gotten more lost navigating the public transportation system than our legs wanted to handle. You pushed me to argue with the auto drivers, foolishly dance like an American at weddings, and speak as much broken kannada as I possibly can with strangers. You convinced me to wake up at 5 am to catch a 6 o'clock bus so I could practice kalaripayattu at 7 am on an apartment rooftop with a five time national kalari winner and professional dancer. Oh, and we've talked about our other teacher/dancer/dentist who's been nothing but another mother and inspiration to us. And how many people from the U.S. can say they've read and enjoyed the Bhagavad Gita in India?
Let's not forget the mysterious skin condition that didn't even phase our plans of practicing dance or martial arts or going out to see more of India, regardless of the number of painful blisters. [ More of that later. ] Or the mosquitoes/foreign tick-looking bugs that find their way into your net-covered bed. Or that any bus/auto/vendor that doesn't "have change" for your money will assume we're fine without receiving the difference. Or how that bus will sometimes kick us out before arriving at our stop, forcing us to walk for an extra 45 minutes home.
We've come a very far way, love, and we still have a very long way to go.
I'm excited knowing that I have this next year to spend with You, and many years after that in whatever I choose to do. We'll keep running around until we're tired, and then probably run a little more. I love spending time with You, which is why I don't want to waste it checking Facebook or Skype or Youtube or Xanga or Twitter or [insert other social media website here] - essentially everything that I could be doing in the U.S. I think of everything I can/could/would be doing back home [staying stuck], and I'm glad that I got away. I'm the one that got away, who escaped the waiting place, who refused to run in circles, who left home to search for something bigger, who wanted to fly rather than walk. I left because I knew I could. I traveled to keep changing and growing because where I was at the end of college wasn't enough for me.
And You were always there.
In the month that I've traveled with You, I've realized a very important thing: I'm [as limiting as the word can describe the feeling] happy. And regardless of how stressful You can be, I realize that I'm consistently happy. Another thing I haven't been in a very, very long time. I don't feel bigger or smaller, just like my skin fits better. Not perfectly [still far from that], but better. Thank You, Love You.
[The One That Got Away]