Recently my university declared the results of my postgraduate course and happy to inform, I have been awarded a Master of Science in Publishing! My graduation ceremony will take place on 31st October 2019, and I am fortunate that my family will be there to see me receiving the certificate. On the other hand, whenever I let my friends, peers and acquaintances know that I will be leaving the UK on 13th November 2019 with no return plans yet, they ask – how do you feel about leaving Edinburgh?
Last night, after watching six episodes of Big Bang Theory (season-12) past 11 pm, I went on to scroll my Facebook feed and stumbled upon a video that was filmed in old Manama, Bahrain during 1991. It was a video of a person driving around in Manama, and I could clearly recall the car my father first owned and all the memories flooded in; like cassettes stacked in a dusty place, until you put them in a VCR and watch it light up your TV screen. As a teen who had to leave a place that she grew up in, knowing she won’t be able to return and meet her friends; it wasn’t pleasant at all. Back then, I would visit my home country during vacations every year, but it never felt like home. Fast forward eleven years in India after I moved from Bahrain; I love it. And now a year later, I am eager and anxious to go back home, but I know returning to the UK isn’t possible anytime soon (read tier 4 visa limitations). This place has helped me deal with problems like an adult, it gave me a ticket to live my life in whatever way I wanted to, and grow professionally and evolve emotionally.
I studied a full time course, worked part-time in hospitality, interned in an established publishing house, ate an array of cuisines from different countries, hit a record low in terms of dealing with anxiety during winter and dissertation, earned enough to pull off a solo Europe trip (promise to write about it very soon) and made so many international friends, who gave me insights about their cultures and I got the opportunity to discuss mine too. To call it just another place that I lived for a year is being indifferent. Every single place that I have lived has taught me so many things along the way, but to feel that the possibility of returning to the same place is not happening any time soon (maybe never until a chance pops up), the place remains a part of your home that you never probably return.
Don’t get me wrong, but my feeling of missing might be a tad bit different. I don’t miss something too much if I know the possibility of meeting the person or visiting the place isn’t impossible, simply because there are no borders for me when people or places are located in my country. Plus, all hail to the internet and our gadgets that help us video or audio call our favourite contacts. So, things have gotten easier since college in that respect. But to move from one country to another with so many stories and experiences, the emotional attachment that translates to missing for me intensifies. I don’t have one home, and I do fall in love with too many things, places and people at a time! I believe it is a feeling every wanderer like me encounters. Though, what will be more interesting is to observe the little changes that I may have adopted unknowingly and the things I take back from Edinburgh to India – an amalgamation of all the changes in language, habits, perspectives, gastronomic palate, beliefs, thoughts and memories which fuse and add on to my personality; my near and dear ones will feel the change. Whether it is my heightened sense of enjoying and identifying different types of cheeses and coffees; talking about variety of cutlery that is set for dining at events; shopping for wines or G&T from grocery stores; laying on grass for hours when the sun comes out and the sky is blue (rare occasions); enjoying my time in beautiful libraries and bookshops; there are things I will miss or take with me. As I contact my friends to confirm my meetups before I leave for London on 16 October 2019, and write emails to my landlord and employers about my situation, it now feels surreal that I have lived the way that many can only dream. Edinburgh has given me both great and disappointing moments, and everything in between. I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning as an international student and I am grateful for it. Also, I am super anxious about my job hunting endeavours for now. It better takes me to my next adventure. So, if in the end, you still ask me what next, here is my answer – nothing less than interesting, I guess.
PS – I will miss you, Edinburgh.