Someone said it right; change is the only constant thing in life. Well, it holds true in my life atleast. Change of places, people, schools…have always been a part of my life. By the age of 18 I’d studied in 10 different schools. Yes, you read it right! Not because I was kicked out or anything, we just kept moving because of my dad’s job.
Then once I was in college, I thought ‘This is it, for three years I won’t move anywhere’. But within 6 months I left that college and joined another University. This time, outside India. The change was tough especially since I REALLY loved my class and teachers there. But I bucked up and soon found myself in the tropical jungles of Semenyih, Malaysia. Kidding, our Uni is just 30 kms from the city (Which feels more like 500 kms)
But this change was definitely for the better. I made lots of new friends, from different countries and backgrounds. I was exposed to a whole new side of academics, which I fell in love with. And I absolutely loved what I was doing (Still do!)
One year and a semester later I packed my bags again and this time found myself in the UK for an exchange programme. This time I knew I was getting back to Malaysia so it made things a little easier. Initially I spent a lot of the time complaining about the weather (which continued till yesterday) and pining over Malaysia. I really missed my crazy friends and couldn’t find anyone crazy enough to be with me here. I still remember, as if it were yesterday, sitting at the orientation and wondering how I would make through these 5 months in this foreign land.
Before a blink time has flown by and my time here is up. I’m writing this as I travel from Nottingham to London, where I’ll spend a few days before I fly to Malaysia. Sitting here, whizzing through the motor way, I can’t help but feel sad about leaving.
Today I woke up early, without an alarm. After the last minute packing I went to my University here for one last time. While walking till there, with each step I felt this heaviness in my heart, knowing that this would probably be the last time that I’ll be walking through these streets. And a weird thing about leaving a place is how when you know you are going you suddenly begin to feel attached to the smallest of things. Walking to Uni, I knew that I was going to miss the small yellow wild flowers growing by the side walk, I’ll miss the noisy geese picnicking near the lake, the fresh smell of grass as I near Trent building…These things which I’d taken for granted over the past 5 months now suddenly seem so important. I feel like holding on to something and then just stay there. ..
Today Allah gifted me with a wonderful day with the bluest sky and the fluffiest clouds, maybe as a parting gift. And I grabbed this gift, holding on to it, savouring each moment, ever grateful to my Lord who gave me this opportunity to come here and experience a different life. Really, he has blessed me in so many ways that an entire lifetime’s worship cannot even begin to cover what I owe him.
It’s not just the spaces that I’ll miss, but also the memories with each place. And these memories were obviously created because of certain people who were with me there. I’ll miss our kitchen at Broadgate Park. I’ll miss seeing Yoonhee, Michelle or Taylare cooking up something delicious. I’ll miss peeping into Farah’s room, while walking to the kitchen, to find her cheering for some F1 driver. I’ll miss Sabine coming up to my room and asking some random question about her essays. The walk to Wollaton park, seeing deer up close, exploring the ‘Bat Man Mansion’ wouldn’t have been as much fun if Farah and Mac weren’t there (Bullying me). Waiting 3 hours at old market square, amongst 35,000 people, for the queen would have been a drag if my friends weren’t there with me, cracking royal jokes.
My weekend trips to Widnes were made worth it by spending time with the most adorable family ever, whom I got to know so well in the span of those few days.
If there’s anything I regret about this stay then it’s not spending more time outside, exploring the place. I regret each wasted day, lazing in my room, when I could have walked around the lake or gone to see deer at Wollaton Park. I regret the hours spent in front of the laptop when I could have been meeting more people, making more memories.
The people and places together made my stay here in the UK so memorable that leaving this place upsets me. It’s like leaving an old friend behind, not knowing if you’ll ever meet her again. I certainly hope that in the years to come I’ll get another opportunity to come back to my wonderful friend and fall in love all over again. Till then these memories will suffice.