Zohreh Sadeghi India and Beyond

“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

I spent a magical week with the ones I love in Thailand. It was so great seeing everyone, seeing my family and my best friend. Our trip was truly amazing; we spent a few days in Bangkok and then headed over to the beautiful island of Krabi where we rented a villa with a private pool and enjoyed ourselves as much as we could.

Something major happened when I was in Thailand, something that could probably change the rest of my life. I made a decision that I wasn’t expecting at all. Seeing my family reminded me of how much I had missed them, of how much I loved being around them, laughing with them, crying with them, and just being myself around them. I remembered how wonderful my family is and how much I love them. I couldn’t imagine being away from them again; I couldn’t imagine saying bye to them… so I decided to go back to the States. Just like that, in a matter of minutes I made my decision and it felt so natural. It was the strangest thing. I wasn’t deciding with my heart or with my brain but just went with my gut feeling. Whenever I ignored my gut in the past, I suffered and made the wrong decision. I just knew I had to go back home. I spent a few hours in front of my computer searching for Ayurveda programs in the States, my mom and my friend Julie joined in and searched with me.

It all happened so quickly, it came out of nowhere but it made everyone so happy. I found many great schools in the States, and within few hours I narrowed my search down to 3 schools offering either a Masters or a doctorate degree in Ayurveda: one in Florida, one in Beverly Hills and another one in New Mexico. I immediately emailed my university in India informing them I wouldn’t attend class and that I needed to withdraw. I felt great, powerful and so sure after I made my decision until I got back to India.

As we had planned, my mom, brother and I arrived in Bombay after we left Thailand. The moment we landed I felt so heavy, so sad all of a sudden. I felt like I had come home to my beloved India, but I knew I’d only have 5 days here. There was still so much I wanted to do, see, and feel in India.

My heart is split, I’ve left it in 2 places and having to decide which one to pick is nearly impossible. I can’t describe exactly why I love India, words can’t really express how I feel about this land but I just know that I deeply and truly love it here. I love the people, I love the simplicity, and I love the challenges. I love this land; I love its hot and humid weather even though I can’t stand it. I love its spicy food even though I know it’s not good for my body. I love eating with my hands, I love walking into a super market with very few choices, I love taking 12 hour train rides from one city to the next, and most of all, I love the people. I love it when they wiggle their heads, I love it when they add “itself” or “only” to every sentence even if it doesn’t make any sense. I love it that they say some words twice to emphasize the importance of the subject matter “Ma’am these shirts are all different different prices.” Or “the vegetarian set menu comes in small small portions.”

But I love my family too much. I want to be there to hear about Tina’s night out with her girlfriends, I want her to wake me up when she gets home at 2 AM to tell me about her night, about the lame guys who hit on her and about the cheesy pick up lines she had to hear all night. I want to be there for my mom, when she comes back from work feeling sad because she just found out her patient had died due to overdose. I want to be the first to hear about it, to hug her and lend her a shoulder to cry on. I want to be there when my brother Ehsan learns a new Japanese dish and cooks it for everyone, I want to be at the dinner table with them all. I don’t want to miss out on the precious little moments anymore, I don’t want to grow apart from my family only because I’m not physically there. I want to be near them at all times.

I have 2 more days in India! I can’t believe it. I’m extremely heart broken, I keep reliving my past 7 months, and I keep remembering when I first arrived here in this land, when I met Marta, my amazing Italian roommate and how quickly we became sisters. I keep remembering my Ayurveda program, all the medicines we made during class, and how I slowly fell in love with Ayurveda. I loved being in class everyday. I keep remembering all the wonderful people I met along the way, all the wonderful food I tried, wonderful shops I went to regularly. I remember Kannur, lovely Kannur, a big city in Kerala but just a small village for me. I remember Marta and I walking the streets talking, laughing and drinking coconut water. All I have with me now are my memories. I’m not ready to leave this land, this country I fell in love with but I’m ready to be with my family again, to be there for them when they need me and to have them there when I need them. I’m deep down happy and excited but I believe I need to go through this period of grief for my beloved India.

Sometimes you just know what the right decision is but it doesn’t make it easier at all. I know the right decision for me is to study Ayurveda and to be close to my family. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss India. I have promised myself to come back to India every chance I get, every break from school.

Now I will go and enjoy my last 2 days in one of my most favorite cities in the world!

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