I’ve had a wonderful time the last two months. Seeing my town, the place where I went to school & a place where I spent all of my adolescence & my teenage years was exactly what I needed. Being in medical school can take its toll on your mind and body, but add to the mix a 3rd world with all the wrong people and you have yourself a recipe for a nervous breakdown. This vacation helped me realize why I was there. Along with all the wonderful places I visited with my family, there were a few places I had to disembark upon by myself. Most of these places were in a not so distant past. Places that helped me draw up a plan to attend medical school, places that pushed me past the limits to choose Pakistan over all other options. In my head, I revisited that one place which helped me realize that healing and helping people was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The place that told me it was okay to waste the best years of my life for this dream. I turned 21 in Pakistan and I won’t be back until I’m 28. What else defines one’s prime?
Anyhow, I shared plenty of laughs with my parents, who have ever so graciously shouldered the financial as well as emotional responsibility of seeing me through this tough time. Me and my brother spent a wonderful, and possibly our last, summer vacation together. We fought, we laughed, we ate and we played; not once worrying about what the future holds for either of us, although it was in the air somewhere at all times. My only regret going back this year is of all my friends I didn’t get a chance to see. I met with only a handful, who after all this time, still accept me for everything I am.
I did a lot of shopping. Every time I imagined going back during this vacation, shopping was the only catharsis strong enough to relieve me of that depression. Sounds shallow, I know. I’m going back with double the amount of luggage that I brought, only to realize that there is no material in the world that can rid you of this feeling of ultimate loneliness. I did only purchase things that I would have bought anyways had I been in America and not, there, you know. Needless to say I had a great time! Absolutely splendid.
Like all good things, however, this too must come to an end.
Not all that many hours left in my departure now. As the moment of truth nears, the darkness creeps slowly back into my mind. I get the strangest feeling. Like the feeling of a trapped soul, screaming, pounding her fists against cement walls and scratching at them with her long, dark and rotting nails. Begging to let her free. Screeching howls, pleading to let her bleed. Questioning every single movement, catechizing every decision, searching frantically for a way out so it can seize the body to which it belongs and engulf the being that has put her through so much pain and never be put through it again. Little does she know, she has no other choice.
So with a smile on my face and a hop in my step, here I go frolicking off to the land of the Indus River which flows from the Himalayan & Karakorum ranges to the Arabian Sea. The Indus River Valley was once a birthplace of civilization, little of which is to be found in that land now a days. Luckily, the vibrant, educated and open minded population of Pakistan is statistically in the majority, to none of whom I have any exposure unfortunately.
Well, except for one. 🙂
It’s like I’m 5 years old again! She is the reason I go to school. She is also, the love of my life. I can’t wait to see her when I do.