I came to the American- English speaking country in the year of 2002 in August. Boy, my stay here has spanned a decade?! A decade. 10 years. From a teenager to a 30 year old. From a single person to a married woman. From a free-bouncing girl to a family-bound individual. Those 10 years have packed in so much.
I have always been a very outspoken person. In Nepal, among friends and family, I used to be known as a ‘frank’ person. You know, “Prasha is really frank.” The word ‘frank’ meant not just a a candid person. It meant someone who is smart, friendly, an achiever, and a number of other variation of its kind. I used to bask in that expression. I am frank. People surmised that one day I would do something worthwhile. I made myself look larger than life. And coming to the United States then added even the more grandiosity to that feeling.
So in 2002, I landed here in America. I thought I was pretty darn frank. I thought my English was great. The disappointments started unraveling pretty soon. My British English, not so much the cool pronunciation/enunciation, but the vocabulary had to be widely revised. The slang and expressions were so different. My ‘frankness’ took the back seat real quick. My frankness and the grandiosity about myself started dwindling. I was not a hip person to begin with, but the clothes I wore seemed pretty dated in comparison to others. Though I came from a pretty affluent family in Nepal, so much in me reeked poverty. I will not go into the details of this. I was a pretty “different” person. Different as in weird. Different as in, ” I do not live by the hip standards of the world.” Even though my family might have been one of the first families to own a computer or a car in the vicinity, or a family who carried cell phones, I lived pretty humbly even back home. And I did not choose to live humbly, I just did not know how to display the wealth that was at my disposal. My dad used to pride in or maybe was sarcastic about my humility. He used tell me that my friends who did not have relatively much showed off more, but I who could, lived a simpler life. Not that I did it intentionally. I just was not a fashionista.
Perhaps, simplicity and the depth in life and relationships may have always been my pursuit. In my circle of friends, I never chose friends who were superficial. My friends are mostly not my age either. Though I can navigate in conversations among a wide range of ages, I choose to hang out with the wise folks :). A contemporary friend of mine once told me that I get misunderstood because I choose to hang out with age groups that I do not belong to. True perhaps, who knows!?