India has become familiar, and the United States has become strange. I didn't expect to have to adjust in North Carolina similar to my first days in New Delhi. India is on my mind every waking moment of the day, reminding me of all the heartfelt moments. I've cried tears of sadness realizing how simple and authentic life was in India. I didn't fully understand how content I was with having little connection to materialistic means and how much I let myself be at one with the people and the environment until I was looking in the rearview mirror. I've cried tears of happiness realizing the depth of my experience and how it has broadened my perspective of the human experience in ways that I could have never imagined. I knew I was evolving on the surface but there was an evolution stirring much deeper within myself that I was not entirely conscious of until I had been placed back in a contrasting environment. I find it strange that I came back to find fleeting happiness in having a hot shower, air conditioning every where I go, 24-hour access to wifi, faucet water clean enough to brush my teeth with, and clean raw fruits and vegetables. I appreciate these resources, but the lack of them in India seemed so important at times that it diluted my reality. Now that I'm back home I recognize how insignificant it was, but “With every lesson we must be learning.” (Beatles Ashram graffiti)
I had accustomed myself to a culture so far from what I knew that coming back to the United States seemed so small. We are living so extravagantly on the outside but so shallow on the inside. I believe we have lost touch with real human interaction and we have lost touch with living in the present moment. There is a misconception that life is only vivacious on the television, but it's not. We have gotten disconnected from everything that makes us alive and as a result we are searching for truth in all the wrong places. My compassion extends to myself and to those who suffer this way because I understand why we often feel empty and lost despite the fact that we have everything else we think is necessary in life.