With a heavy heart I tell you that this will be my last week in Delhi. My 2-year contract with the World Bank is ending, and I will be heading back to the US to wrap things up and say goodbye. Delhi has definitely come to feel like home more than ever, and like I do with every city I leave, I feel like I’m betraying it by loving it and then leaving it. I’ve been loading up on gifts and mementos of our time here (really pushing each checked bag to the limit) and eating all my favorites (again, pushing limits) to try and distract myself from my impending departure.
Taking a moment to think about how full this past year has been, I can’t help but feel pretty darn good. I know it will sound cliche, but saying, “I learned a lot about myself,” “I learned a lot about development,” or, “I learned a lot about India,” sound like pretty incomplete statements apart. The two were constantly intertwined in the chaos that was my experience this past year. After having worked in development for the past five years, I had a lot of preconceptions of what working abroad full time would be like. Yes, I could not have better understood my programs or my clients; yes, I have a much better sense of impacts on the ground; and yes, Evan looks absolutely ridiculous in any crowd in Asia no longer how long you stay here.
But I also learned a lot about myself while trying to accomplish so much professionally in the midst of just figuring out how to feed and clothe myself. It was hard to not feel like a big, overgrown baby at times, but it also made me a lot more patient with myself and others, and made everyday accomplishments both personally and professionally have new meaning. I am surprised to look back at what accomplishments felt substantial, and what in hindsight now seems so trivial.
Over the next few weeks I’ll still be posting about India adventures I haven’t had a chance to share. I’m sad to think that my India posts will begin to thin and eventually be crowded out by wherever life takes us next. This blog truly serves as a small marker of where I’ve been and where I’m going. While I am so excited to see what lies ahead with Evan back stateside, I can’t help but grieve the fact that places, where you learned a whole new life, are the one thing you can’t take with you. Happy last week Delhi.