I haven’t blogged since a while, partly because there is nothing unique to discuss about and partly because there is so much going on apart from the research here at ISU that I don’t even know where to start from.
I’ll try getting some things off my chest and gonna write impromptu, hoping it all makes sense despite inadvertent grammatical errors. .
I follow a person named @sadhguru and another person named @garyvee on Instagram and since the past couple of weeks I have come to believe (through them) that it’s very important that we know what we are, how we are as a person, until this happens, we won’t ever know what we are bringing to any team or contributing in any work place.
So I decided to actually retrospect what I am.
2 years ago, I never imagined I’d be in the US with my entire family, sitting in a state that I only heard about from other people. Immigration to US was something that my family planned when I was born about 20 years ago when they applied for my green card in hope that I will pursue my PhD/ Masters in the States.
Bottom of the line, I was supposed to come to US 5 years later but due to Immigration Visa rules, I had to come to the US and my parents used up all the money they saved for my masters to pay my undergraduate tuition fee.
It was as if we were earning in Indian Rupees and spending in dollars (1$ = 70 Rs, btw), so it was a huge financial strain on all of us (It still is, but not spending is not an option, we gotta do what we have to do).
We had a very hard time coping up in a new country, one because we were suddenly uprooted from India..had to leave our family, home, friends, everything..and two.. we had to start afresh from scratch. That entire year..I felt as if I am getting all the problems I should be normally getting throughout my lifetime..in that one year. I was unable to talk to anyone in my family since I could not take the risk of making them feel as if they didn’t do the right thing bringing me here, the inferiority complex of having an Indian accent and not being able to fit in a group kept crumbling me down. I soon stopped eating food..it later led to a few personal health problems which I am suffering from even right now. My dad would ask me how my day went and I used to try to keep a straight face and tell him it went alright, despite the fact my classmates did not include me in any group,I was trying to get accustomed to the new culture here..I did not know half the things..for example..I did not know what a pop tart was. I worked as a cashier in a grocery shop and once had to give change back to a person..I did not even know what a dime and nickel looked like… I was having a hard time doing coding and I was experiencing newness in literally everything..I had a tough time making my point clear in a classroom whenever I was asked a question, I even had relationship issues with people I was connected to back in India. I was in my most helpless state but one thing that I never stopped was praying. I kept praying every single day..not to ask for anything but just to help me gain some peace of mind.
Why am I discussing the past?
I’d say that I want to give out a message to people, also to myself (because sometimes I forget everything is going to be okay).
The fact of the matter is that despite so much unrest in my mind…there was some sort of strength in me to wake up every morning and focus all my anger and sadness into concentration in my work. I am a firm believer of philosophy and am currently reading the Bhagwat Geeta (I also plan to read the Bible, Kuran and other such books sometime later). What that book is teaching me is be a “Karma Yogi”, i.e. keep doing what’s under your control and leave the rest to God.
I kept working hard every single day. I was new to coding and I absolutely despised it. I also thought of changing my major to mathematics or philosophy for a while..yet I kept working. Even writing the code to calculate the sum of 5 numbers used to give shudders down my spine. My dad played a huge role in pushing me into this..he had a feeling I’d be alright. A year went by, and nothing improved..I was okay in coding and far from being proficient. But then…Last summer, I had a moment of epiphany..I was helping out a friend and somehow whatever questions he had..I was able to solve. I wrote my own code for matrix multiplication and it ran without any error. I programmed a vending machine, movie kiosk…all the things that I could not have imagined doing a week ago. It was then I realized that hard work eventually pays off. It takes real long to get results..but it does. After some time, I applied for the job of a student instructor on campus, nailed the interview and got the job. My work now is important to me because when I see people come to my lecture..I see myself in them and I go to any lengths to help them. After the semester the look of satisfaction I get from my peer students..Is something that is priceless to me. I could have never imagined that what terrified me a year ago, is something that gives me immense joy now.
Coming back to my point, I feel that if we try hard enough, nothing is impossible. We can easily blame others, our circumstances for not being able to perform well, but the truth is that no matter how people around you are like..you have the power to change your results if you put in the hard work.
This is something that I have learnt in the past two years. I still have the same Indian accent, I wear Indian ethnic clothes sometimes to class, I still find it hard to talk to people at first, I have a huge inferiority complex but I know I am responsible for it. I’m gonna try my level best to improve myself and if not,I’ll be responsible for who I am. Priyanka Chopra, my favorite Bollywood actress and wife of Nick Jonas I guess?.. once said..whether I am in India or I am in America…I’m always true to who I am. Because if you try to change into something you’re not…you wont ever be able to know what you can do for the place you’re working for. If you stay true to who you are, then whatever little you achieve will be yours and you’ll only move forward in life and take everyone else along with you..
My aim here in Iowa is to fight all my fears. A lot of time I feel disheartened and unable to work. A few days ago my father was really unwell..Like very very unwell. That was the time I thought to myself..my mom and sister are already taking care of him what can I possibly do for him sitting 10k miles away? I can only make my time here worthwhile by doing my job to the best of my abilities..knowing my father..this is something that will give him immense joy.
I still am not tension free yet..I have team issues, I have family problems, financial issues , my own insecurities and what not but I still pray everyday and try to tell myself everything will be okay. To everyone who is reading this right now and is able to relate to even 0.0001% of it…I can assure you that as generic as it may sound at times… but eventually everything does become alright. If I am able to change even one person’s mood today..or uplift someone..I’d be very proud of myself. 🙂