Lessons in leaving.
I’ve always been an adventurous soul with little concept of danger. You know that kid you hear on the loud speaker at a store being paged by their parents to please come to the front desk because their parents turned around for one second and the child managed to dart off into another realm..well that kid was me…”Code yellow, code yellow, we have a child missing, will Amiya please come to the front desk, Amiya Moretta please come to the front desk.” The words of the loud speaker echo in my ear as I write this, many years later. My parents tried everything to get me to stay close to them..except a leash, although I was threatened many times that I would be put on one. I guess I just have always had one of those spirits that saw something and launched after it, at all costs. It could be anything, a sparkly top, a pretty dog, an interesting looking person, but most often it was just the enticement of not knowing what was around the corner and desiring so deeply to delve into the unknown.
Hence, when I told my parents that for my first international trip ever I would be leaving the comforts of Southern California and adventuring the jungle of Sri Lanka they were hardly surprised..Mind you I was also the child that had told them that she wanted to get married under a waterfall in Africa in a bathing suit and ride off on an elephant…every little princess’s “dream” wedding. Although my parents were not surprised they definitely harboured a sense of worry as I’m sure most parents would. However my parents harboured a very particular worry which revolved around the very insatiable curiosity I have been speaking of. See not only was I the kid that was always “lost” but I was also the kid that stared so hard at people and things I found captivating that I could be mistaken for being catatonic ( you can’t do that in Sri Lanka if you want to survive…), the kid that would ask so many questions that my parents began to conclude the answers to my questions with “And don’t ask, “But why?” at the end of this,” and more often than not the kid who knew boundaries existed but became so enveloped in curiosity that they seemed to dissipate the moment I met someone who I found intriguing ( and when your young-everything is intriguing) often asking complete strangers about their entire life histories longing to discover exactly what made them the person they were that moment I was with them.
And the reason my parents worry about me going to Sri Lanka and everyone else who knows me…is that I largely am still the kid I’m speaking about today just in the body of a 20 year old. The wonder of the world entices me and I still can’t help but want to know everything I can about it. However, I feel as though I have developed a new quality-one that for so long was very aloof to me. And that quality is appreciation. I have always been so focused on what is in front of me that I have failed to fully understand what has been behind me. I am so blessed to have boundless amounts of love and support in my life and without it, none of the curiosity that drives the person I am today would have been able to flourish.
And so on these last few days in California, there is much less focus on what is around the corner but rather a deep focus is on what is around me presently-people who I consider myself proud to be in the presence of. People who have taught me endless life lessons, people who have shown me immense amounts of generosity and sacrifice, people who have made me laugh, smile, and cry. People who have given me valuable advice, people who have graced me with their stories of hope and resilience, people who have inspired creativity and adventurousness within my spirit, people who have supported me and encouraged me to follow my ambitions. People who bring me joy and comfort and ignite the wonder I have for life, and most of all, people whom I will truly, truly miss.