I have one year.
That’s the goal I have set for myself in terms of changing things and becoming more proactive about what’s happening in my life. To keep myself accountable, here’s one of my goals:
I want to have met new, non-Indian (specifically people within my small community) people.
There was an interesting fact that I just uncovered this past weekend while I was talking with some friends.
When my parents had my sister, they were not around (in other words, bombarded) by the Indian community. Sure, they had some Indian families and cousins around, but it was nothing like it is now. They encouraged my sister to be friends with kids outside of the Indian community, and go to their houses to hang out. She grew up with a healthy upbringing of becoming friends with other people, beside just Indians.
Then, my parents moved here.
They moved here for the sole purpose to be around more Indians.
And, boy, did they get that.
Currently, in my parent’s housing edition alone, there are at approximately 10-15 families within walking distance. 2 of which live directly across the street from them. My cousins live two streets away, while three other families live in a neighborhood across the street.
Yeah. So, you can imagine how differently I was brought up.
I grew up thinking that I should ONLY be friends with Indians. When I was young, I was allowed to play with my neighborhood friends, but to go to their house? Hell no. Sleepovers? Not unless they were our cousins or my Indian best friend from church. All my life I carried that with me. So while my sister has easily made friends outside of the community, and struggled to find her place within the Indian community, I have easily made friends with the Indian community and struggled to make friends outside of it. Even in college, I lived with the aforementioned Indian bff, hung out with Indians, went to church with Indians, and like Indian boys. It wasn’t until I entered the workforce was I able to befriend people outside of the Indian community. Granted, I had friends in college and high school, that was all good and well, but none of whom I could really call lifelong friends. My sister has allowed me to tag along with some of her friendships that she’s made, but how long can that go on? I feel like I’m Ramona while she’s Beezus and all her friends are Henry Huggins. Not that she, or her friends, have made me feel that way. They’ve been nothing but kind and open towards me. But I think I need to start standing on my own.
Now that I’m older, I feel like I’m drowning in Indian people. Not that they’re all bad, please don’t think that. I know the more you read my blog, the more you’ll think that I hate my culture or hate being Indian, which both couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am, in fact, VERY proud of my culture and VERY proud of being an East Indian woman. But, I’ve grown up in this smaller subculture of Indians all my life and the people within this community can be very…..stifling. Suffocating? Overbearing? Cliquey? Judgmental? …. all of the above.
So I’m forcing myself to get out of it.
One way I’m doing that is by joining a Book Club here in the city. I tried to figure out how I could meet people and make friends — and after beating my head, refusing to befriend coworkers (that’s a whole ‘nother soapbox), and even GOOGLING it (yea, I sure did), I finally came across a meetup of avid readers. So in a couple of weeks, I’ll be meeting up with random women to discuss a book (that I still need to finish).
I’m nervous. I’m uncomfortable. I’m worried. I’m really anxious. But, I need to do this. I have to try. I can’t keep whining about not having friends and not having opportunities to meet new people if I don’t put myself out there.
What’s the worse that could happen? I don’t meet anyone interesting? I don’t like the book club? At least I can’t say I never tried. Trust me, since RSVP’ing to the meetup, I’ve tried to come up with several excuses about getting out. But if I keep doing that, I’ll never do it. I don’t want to be here, six months from now, making excuses about my life.