I’ve been wondering about the temporary nature of life lately. Ok I haven’t constantly mulling over it like a sage or anything but it definitely has crossed my mind recently.
I was packing for my trip back home to Dubai (I leave tomorrow for 9 days, yeayy!) and I just thought, ‘I do this every 3 months, I go home for a few days and come back here to live in a room that’s not my own’. I realised that the time you spend at university is perhaps the strangest phase of your life, especially if the university is in a country different from where you were originally living. I mean, I live in Lahore 9 out of 12 months every year, and each year I am in a different dorm room. Every September I move in and unpack and try to add a semblance of home to the room and each June I have to clear out the room and move out as if I was never there to begin with. Going back home isn’t any different. Dubai is where I’ve lived for 5 years before starting college so in that sense it IS ‘home’ but being there on vacation feels weird! I feel like a guest at home when my mom asks me everyday if there’s anything special I’d like to eat, and a tourist when I go out and wonder over all the new buildings and malls that have managed to sprout over Dubai in my absence.
That is the life of a college student, staying in a different room each year, and going home to experience how it once felt to BE at home. We live out of our suitcases, and the little shelves that we try to fill up as much as we can with things from ‘home’. It’s a strange existence, really, or maybe I just see it that way. This got me thinking on life otherwise as well, the real one that awaits me beyond college.
What’s going to happen after I graduate? Will I ever experience any sort of permanence or will I remain the wandering-gypsy, moving from one metropolis to the next? I’ll go home obviously, back to Dubai, but what then? Work and the start of a career? That’s another kind of life already, the days of the carefree college student will end and the time of being responsible and truly acting like you’re 22 and not 12 will commence. I suppose getting married follows this stage, and that too is another sort of life, one in which you’ve got this one other person to think about. The time of being the self-centered and spoiled youngest daughter will fade away, with a new maturity taking its place, and suddenly you have another person’s needs to think about and a whole new family to warm up to and try to belong to.
Bah humbug. It doesn’t end there. You’re not newly weds forever and soon you settle into a routine, most often one that’s marked with monochromatic monotony. Soon, you start to procreate and have a baby. A whole new life that you are entirely responsible for. And thus begins yet another realm of temporality in your life. I contrasted this one with the university existence and the results were scary: in college, I have only myself to think about, and more often than not, I can’t even be bothered to take care of myself properly with regards to eating and sleeping. Having a baby is like turning that concept on its head, you’re forced to think about a little tiny new life and taking care of it, making sure its well-fed and well-rested are of the essence. Oh how times change, indeed!
I could go on but I won’t; I think it’s pretty obvious that our life is made up of many different stages. Each phase has a time limit of its own, they’re all transient and temporary, nothing is ever-lasting or evermore. Isn’t that kind of depressing? But I suppose we adapt to the fact that our situation is capable of changing any minute even though outwardly, we do everything we can to make it stop and just…stay.