Essays

On a Night Like This

Right now I am staring at the window in my bedroom that I have stared at the same way on a night like this seven years ago when I moved into this house. I was reminded of it because Facebook showed me the picture I posted on 2013 and I counted the years in my head and I was startled when I realised that seven years have already passed since I moved in here and started from scratch.

I would sometimes have nights like these where I would feel a lightness of being because I know with a euphoric certainty that things are going to be okay and that there is no need to fear the future. It is not just the usual, shallow positive thinking that everybody talks about that borders on self-deception, and that we are all sometimes guilty of. The certainty that I feel has a particular ring to it and it sounds true and it makes me feel light and airy, like all the emotional baggages in my chest were somewhat cleared in the mean time and everything is just right and where it is supposed to be.

I remember seven years ago, on a night like this in January, when the Northeast monsoon was blowing its cold winds down the empty streets and into the sleeping homes of people, I was shivering in my new house because I didn’t have curtains yet to cover the windows and to somehow block the chilly January winds. The only pair of curtains that I have were in my bedroom and I had to split the pair up to cover the two bedroom windows. The house was quiet and nearly empty because I didn’t have that much furniture yet and the walls were bare and blindingly stark white. As the years went by, I accumulated stuff for the house and began buying furnitures that I really liked. It took years and years to build the life and home that I have now and I will never forget how I started everything from scratch.

I was broke then but I went to sleep peacefully with a gleaming hope and certainty in my heart that everything is going to be different from now on and that everything was going to be all right. It was a new beginning. That was seven years ago, if my “new beginning” back then were a kid she’d be in first grade now (or somewhere near first grade, I’m not sure, because of K-12).

Tonight, I feel hopeful again, and at peace because I know that everything will be all right and that I have nothing to worry about even though I will be called upon to start from scratch again this year. This year, I will start a new life and for the first time in a long while, I feel excited about my life because I felt stuck and directionless for a long time. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere. At last, the train that I got myself into is finally moving away from the station where it has been stranded for a long time.

The wind is chilly tonight, and with it comes the memories to remind me that it is never too late to rebuild your life and to start from the bottom again. It scares me sometimes when I think about it, but on a night like this, when the sky is clear and the moon and the stars are peeping through and the air is crisp, I remembered how I got through it and I know that I can do it again if that is what is being asked of me at this moment.

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