We tend to label some people as spontaneous, others as planners, sometimes both, and I am fine to such classifications as long as the comparison is not a hard line through the middle. In my estimation, spontaneity is partly characteristic, but is also situational. I tend to overthink and plan on a daily basis. That is my character. But that night, as I sat in my room reminiscing of the 20-hour journey from New York to Mumbai, and how it came about in a matter of a days, it was something I could not comprehend. This ladies and gentlemen is my tryst with spontaneity.
To take it back, I have to explain how this came about. It was my parents 25th anniversary celebration earlier this month. All my cousins, aunts and uncles (all millions of them) were going to show up to this big event. For obvious reasons, I could not attend the event because I was over 3000 miles away, just started my spring semester and the wheels were already in motion to start the year with a bang. My future lack of presence at the event was obviously scrutinized and to a certain degree there was a somber sense, that this party would not be right without me attending. My mom would say things “This is the last function in our family until your wedding” or “We won’t be able to enjoy the party without you.”
In my mind, it did not make sense for me to spend all that money, time and energy just to attend an event and leave the next day. So when my dad gave me a call asking if I could afford to miss a few days of college I said yes, not realizing his intentions. Ten minutes later, I get another call from him, this time letting me know that he has found a last minute ticket to India and that I should take the next flight out.
Now I must admit, that conversation didn’t go as well as my dad planned. I vehemently opposed coming to India, just for a few days and I wasn’t about to drop everything on a phone call.
My decision was clearly a reflection of my character, but as the day progressed, and I sat in my dorm room showing my friends a video montage of my parents’ anniversary, my family had put together, I broke down in tears. It occurred to me that, everything I had previously thought about i.e. the money, time, energy, missing a few days of college were inconsequential to the larger picture which is family, togetherness and being there in that moment!
By midnight I booked my plane ticket to India and except for my dad, nobody in the family knew I was coming. Picture me entering the house with a cake in one hand trying to surprise my mom and my brother. The whole experience, in that one moment where my mom and I were balling our eyes out, and my brother (a man of many words) frozen to see didi in the living room. After the shock wore off, he gave me a big hug and said; “Didi, after you left for New York, I realized, you are all I need in my life.” I was absolutely floored. My emotions were through the roof, and I understood how special this was for us all.
The party was a great success and I am glad I had the opportunity to attend this major event in my parents lives. This spontaneous trip to India was the best thing I had done in a very long time. It also didn’t hurt that I was pampered, and taken care of; something I used to take for granted until I started living on my own.
So to all my readers, I urge you to try breaking out of character from time to time. I understand that we are preoccupied in our own world, and our daily routine can become monotonous. But from time-to-time, try surprising yourself, you’ll be glad you did.
Until next time,