A spine-chilling breeze hums in my ear. Rainfall touches my shoulders and caresses my face; I am sitting on the windowpane of my room that overlooks the balcony. Every so often, I like to sit by myself and think. The rain gives me serenity, for few minutes I am transported to a utopia. Sitting in the rain helps me escape all the chaos and inner turmoil that has been engulfing me lately. I have a decision to make. A decision that will determine the path I have to embark on.
My father’s words still echoes in my mind. He trusted me with this. This might probably be the biggest decision I have ever been subjected to make in my nineteen years of life. The one that will forever stay with me. He summoned me to his room earlier today and said, “Asmita, you have a decision to make.”
For many, this decision might be easy to make– effortless, even—but for me, it is tough. Fear of the unknown, the fact that I might mess things up, scares me.
I reminisce about all the things I have done with my family, my friends, my siblings here in this very place I call home. It feels like yesterday that I was playing hide and seek with my brothers and screaming at them. My eye falls upon my window pane–the pane of memories. As I look through the windowpane, I see old markings. I look at the different colors I used to draw, each portraying a story of their own.
The red crayon, I used to draw the ludicrous picture of my brother when he was mad at me. The way I used green to draw a sad personification of the grumpy old tuition teacher of ours to cheer my brothers up when our tutor got on our nerves. I look at the windowpane and I smile. I smile thinking about all the we were and all that we will someday be. Each and every corner of my house holds some sort of beloved memory of us.
Us as a family, us as siblings, us as people slowly trying to morph from naïve childhood days to adulthood.
I recall fighting over something as small as who gets the remote control. I recall mistakenly smashing my brother’s fingers in the door when he tried to get inside the television room. I recall blood dripping down his fingers and the murderous look he gave me.
I drown myself in memory lane so deep tears start to stream down my face. It is bittersweet. I have spent nineteen years of my life in this house. I have grown with my brothers here. I have learned from my parents here. I have grown emotionally and physically here. I have never known life outside this house and outside the love of my parents. I have never known anything but to be a caring daughter to my parents and a pain to my brothers.
I look at my dog that is now wagging her tail and is trying to get my attention. I remember the circumstances under which she became a part of our home. I was heartbroken when my first dog Bruno passed away. I cried a river mourning his death.My brothers, and my parents made sure I was okay. They were my rock at times when things were tough. As soon as I recovered from Bruno’s death, they got me Lucky my new dog. Bruno will forever hold a special place in my heart,but the void that he left behind was gracefully fulfilled by Lucky.
“Asmita, your future is in your hands. Either you stay here in Nepal with us and pursue your higher education in the prestigious Kathmandu Management College that you qualified in, or you go to a foreign country, be independent, and enroll in the college that you qualified in, too. What will your decision be? Which college will you pick? Where do you want to go?” my father asked.
Coming out of memory lane, I observe my surroundings and see that in the blink of an eye, the night has been swept away into the dustbin of the past and a new day is upon me.The sun, like a great golden disk, rises across the sky to greet me. It shines in my hair and glitters in my heart. I see the overcast fog of my clouded mind fading away.
The decision now doesn’t seem to be as daunting to make now as it was a few hours before. I steal one last look at my room, my windowpane, and my dog. I inhale the sweet air of my country and decide it’s time. Time for me to get out of the bubble of protection my parents have always given. I decide it’s time for me to break free and be liberated. I will carry my loved ones with me in my heart always, but I decide it’s time for me to break the mold and embark on the journey of the unknown in a foreign country without anyone to look after me every step of the way.
This is not just my journey. I think this is a journey of every international student who leaves life as they know it to explore the great unknown in a foreign country.We all need to be mindful of that and always make them feel at home or as wanted as possible.
Asmita Koirala is a senior at St. Cloud State University. She is originally from Nepal, and she moved to the United States three years ago to further her education. Her major is Liberal Arts, and she chose Liberal Arts because she doesn’t want to be limited within a major and thus wants to pursue different avenues and know a little about everything. She spends her free time reading and writing. She also enjoys the outdoors and likes to go on hikes as well as snowboard during the winter. She is a dog person through and through. She wants to make a change in people’s lives through her writing. She basically wants to empower women to be the best version of themselves because life is too short to be mediocre. Editor.