Monday, February 7, 2011

Namaste India

As was stated in the previous post, I applied for the internship of a lifetime, in what I think is one of the most exotic locations in the world. INDIA! Before getting into what the internship entails, and why it is so perfect for me, I should address one question that keeps popping up. Why India?

It all started with a movie; a life changing, fantastic, heart warming Hindi film that impacte my life beyond anything I could have ever imagined. If you know me at all, you wouldn't be surprised that India wasn't even on my radar as far as places to travel to. I only wanted to be in an Arabic speaking country (no matter the dangers), and I was hell bent to not change that plan. I kept trying to make programs fit my needs, even one's that clearly wouldn't give me the type of experience I so desperately desired, just so that I could live in a place where Arabic was spoken. And then I saw My Name Is Khan... life changed... I was suddenly exposed to a vibrant, colorful, musical culture that swept me off my feet. From then on I not only fell madly in love with Shahrukh Khan (the star of the film), but I fell in love with India; the colors, the music, the dancing, the traditions, and so on. I don't know what exactly it was, but I knew from then on that India was the only place that was going to give me the kind of experience I was looking for. I tend to thrive when I am thrown into situations and places that are completely foreign and unfamiliar, and, well, India is just that; completely foreign and totally unfamiliar. My friends all tell me that I have an ethnic soul, so I think that it is marvelously appropriate that in August I will be moving to one of the most ethnic locations in the world.

As silly as it might sound, it is easy to feel far away from God in the good ole' US of A. Though I will be the first one to argue that America is the best place in the world to live (and we as Americans are so incredibly lucky to enjoy the freedoms and luxuries that we have the privilage of enjoying), there always feels like something is missing, like religion just isn't so important on a national scale. After coming back from Israel, a holy land to some of the worlds most prominent religions, I felt so connected to my faith and so close to God.  Religious holidays shut the major cities down, celebrations were held in the streets, walking around you would hear the Muslim call to prayer, followed by Hebrew chants coming from the inside of synagogues, while nuns and monks walked around inside the walls of the old city. God and religion were everywhere. This is something that is, for better or worse, foreign to the modern west, and the spirituality of India was just as intoxicating to me as her vibrant culture. I'm goint to India to find myself, rediscover my connection with God, learn about new religions, and, God willing, find my path in life.

Now about this internship. Like I said, it all started with a Hindi film, so it is extremely fitting that I will be spending my time in India interning in the Hindi film industry (a.k.a Bollywood!). I have never been so excited for anything in my life! I will be starting in August and will go for a 6 month internship. The exact details of the internship won't be known for another month, but my goal is to intern for 6 months, and then hopefully get hired so that I can stay abroad for at least a year. I am buying an open ended ticket and seeing where life takes me!

Stay tuned for more internship details, along with stories from my trip to Berkeley, and in a week and a half I will be visiting one of my grandmother's best friends (who is Indian), and we will be eating a home cooked Indian meal along with teaching me how to tie a Sari!


A lifetime in 6 months

And so it begins again:
I have been thinking about this blog a great deal over the past few days, especially with everything that has recently gone on in my life, and at first I was hesitant to start writing in it again because of some comments made to me about very heartfelt and personal previous posts. So, I will say this once, and early on in the post so as to avoid further annoyances from certain people. This blog is about my life; my feelings, my desires, my adventures, my passions, and whatever else I may deem important enough to write about. I apologize if anyone is ever offended by what I write, but know that nothing is written out of malice or ill will. If you read something you don't agree with I encourage discussion and the free expression of opinions, however, if you read my blog and feel you have the right to invalidate my experiences or feelings by comments such as "get over yourself", "no one cares", etc, then you probably should spend your time reading other things. With that said, onto the blog!

Each passing day brings with it new adventures, new feelings, new ideas, and new excitements, so one can only imagine what a time span of 6 months can bring an individual. My last post on this blog was back in August when my life was a whirlwind of not-so-high highs and very low lows. It's a funny thing to, at present, read back on past writings and realize that what used to make you sad now makes you smile, and what you thought was so awful at the time  has enabled a change in your life that might never have occured had outcomes been different.

Since that last post so many things have happened it's almost overwhelming to think about! Writing about it all in one sitting would make for an extremely long post that probably no one would want to read, so I will break it up into multiple posts and attempt to do the last 6 months of my life justice.

The Calm After the Storm:
It should come as no surprise that in order to understand how drastically my life has changed, mention needs to be made to a specific event, and the healing process that changed my life. All one would have to do is read the previous posts to understand that a huge change occured in my life last August. If America is the melting pot of cultures, I was the melting pot of emotions. I was sad, then I was angry, then I was sad and angry, then I was content, then I was happy, then I was sad again... well you get it. It also didn't help that I took every excuse and opportunity to keep the wound completely open. I was like a herione addict that knew what I was doing was bad for me, but who couldn't face the withdrawl that comes from change. Then, of all people, my father gave me the talk that changed everything. He told me that I was holding onto smoke; something that was no longer there. The relationship that had made up a huge portion of my Berkeley experience, was now just as over as my undergraduate career. I began to think that though I joked about wanting to be the female Van Wylder, and fail all of my classes so I could stay an undergraduate forever, I never would have actually done so.  Well if I wouldn't do that with my academic career, then why was I doing it with my personal life? I was failing myself, failing my dreams, my goals, my true wants and desires, to hold onto...well nothing. Literally the next day, after marveling at how pathetic I was becoming, I cut off all communication and, no exaggeration, my life took flight.  Just like that, in a span of 2 or 3 days, that chapter was completely closed and sealed off as a distant memory, and I started working on the only relationship I have any business being in; the one with myself.

A week after ties were cut, I applied for the internship of a lifetime (read next post), was accepted into said internship, and am working hard to save as much money as possible to fund what will inevitably be one of the greates adventures of my life. And, like I said earlier in the post, this may never have come about had circumstances been different. I thank God everyday for the blessings he has bestowed upon me, but most of my thanks goes to the clarity that I was given to see that my life is limitless (and for a person with big dreams this is not something you forsake or take for granted). The sky is truly my limit, and the fact that, prior to the cut off, I wasn't doing everything in my power to soar to the heights that I truly feel I'm destined to reach, was a huge personal abuse. So, now that one chapter is closed, another begins, so stay tuned for all the great details of my soon to be had adventures in INDIA!

-Jordana Simone