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A place called home!

After a long day at work, one would find a perfect place on the balcony and a book or maybe music/food/Netflix to materialize the warmth in mundane life. However, it is different for me. Well, I had the book to keep up with the warmth, but the balcony, you ask, was that uncomfortable middle seat in the cheapest airline I could book. I wish I had Superman’s cape. I would just fly by myself to my happy place.

“Anything to drink?”, asked a flight attendant. For a morning person, I am, it was very late — 1 AM PST to be awake at that time of the journey. I didn’t know which time zone my body belonged to. Every time I thought it was breakfast time (PST, UTC -8) when I was in the mid-west (EST, UTC-5), then the clock said, “Fooled you!”

“I’ll take a glass of cranberry juice with ice, please!”, as I emerged from the book, when Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, was telling me to sit at the table in the workplace, the attendant handed the beverage to me and asked, “Is this your first time flying to Columbus?”.

I wish I could tell her — No, ma’am! This is one of several such times when I am flying with this airline to Columbus, despite one time having to sleep at the airport because the connecting flight got canceled, the other time having to go back because I would have missed the connection, and many other casual delays of flights. Sigh! Yet, I choose to fly with you because I can’t afford a flight every month to fly 2000 miles and still get a cheaper deal, so here I am, in a win-or-whine situation.

“Not really, I often travel to Columbus.”, I smiled and spared the lady from my scolding. I knew that even she couldn’t do much but be sorry for the inconvenience I had to go through.

“It’s really warm there these days. Have a nice time.” I nodded and thanked her while she continued her business of asking for the drink that her guests would like to have and handing over it to them one by one.

ch. 2 pg. 35 “One of the things I tell people these days is that there is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”

Pretty interesting. I paused and started contemplating.

“You said, you often fly to Columbus? Do you go to school there or do you have a family in Columbus?” asked a man in his 50s, sitting in the aisle seat next to me.

One of the things I am learning from the past one and half years or so in this land of opportunities is having small talk — a polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, especially as engaged in on social occasions.

I looked at him and said, “It’s a little complicated!” and started explaining the story.

Readers, I fell in love with a guy who originally lived and worked far away from my school at that time. One of the reasons I really feel thankful for technology and the internet is that they got my world closer to me in a real sense. Initially, a long-distance relationship didn’t seem so challenging until we decided to get married. Our parents were concerned as they knew both of us belonged to different fields of work and two opposite sides of the country. How is this going to be a single-house marriage? The answer was simple :  face the challenge. My then-fiance and I had (and still have) one unshakable belief if we have come this far with each other and with whatever baggage of life, as they call it, we had, there has to be something meaningful ahead of us. It can’t be so meant to be, otherwise. So, as a man and wife, we are in a long-distance marriage. We are two different houses, two different states, two different time zones, but the belief got us a tiny hope — we are working in the same field, now. This hopefully would get us to one of everything. After all, hope keeps us alive for a new dawn. Guess what! The darkest hour of the night is just before dawn.😊

He asked me the same question that most of people would ask after learning the situation, be it the Uber driver who is picking me up from the airport, colleagues at work, friends from school, or concerned parents — “How do you guys manage?”. No matter how much I thought he didn’t have to know this, out of politeness and consideration of a passing thought that maybe we would receive one more blessing to mitigate this situation, I explained to him our short-term and many other long-term solutions. More than him, I needed to hear those words to reassure myself that things are changing in our favor.


He replied, “I am not at all shocked by knowing the situation. Long distance is very common considering every individual has a career to build. I am very delighted to know how well you two are managing this. The level of respect and trust is very imperative in a relationship, especially one that is closely tied to the distance.” Such a kind man! I said, “I agree.” and continued updating my repertoire of work-life philosophy and feminism with Lean In. He put on his blinds and went to sleep.

Things take time. Patience is the key. These lines are worthwhile to remember when it comes to consoling someone else. For me, I literally have to tattoo them. But I am absolutely not worried about the marriage part of the struggle because they say, when you learn to love, trust, and respect someone from a distance, you’ll be absolutely unstoppable when you are together.

As an individual, everyone has their own share of struggle and happiness. Ask me about the struggle. you maybe know it now and the happiness? my Instagram posts, WhatsApp stories, and many other not-so-public moments. Despite what life throws at me, I learned to find happiness in it. Earlier I used to complain about this recurring travel. Now, I am so used to it. I make hiking or a museum trip out of it, be it Ohio or a neighboring state. It’s getting on me — the passion to explore new things and unravel new adventures. My travel times are my new solitude or eureka moments along with an interesting read by my side. I also experiment a lot with my culinary skills, for a fact I have my own Guinea pig — my better half. 😉 I took this opportunity of what they call being in a long-distance marriage, to throw myself at various opportunities and creativity out there.

At last, after 7 hours of a 1-stop red-eye flight, when my Uber driver asked me in a ride from Columbus airport, “Is it home for you?”. Grinning from ear to ear and refraining from the small talk this time, I simply said, “Yes!”.

After all, the home is where your heart is!

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