Some time in 2012, I suddenly found myself disillusioned and (almost) depressed with my life. I was content, yes. I was working as an architect in a small firm, after graduating from college the previous year. I had a wonderful boss and an amazing set of colleagues, who were more friends than just ‘co-workers’. I was spending a lot of fruitful time at the gym. My relationships with friends and family was, as usual, great.
Yet, every morning I woke up dreading the day. I was ‘happy’ in office, but I was not waking up every morning joyful about the prospect of going to work. And that is something that I have always wanted. I spent the entire week looking forward to Friday, and then wasted my entire weekend dreading Monday and the following week.
After a 2-week vacation to England, Wales and France with my family in the summer, I never could bring myself to settle back in office. What was painfully bearable for the past several months, suddenly became intolerable cruelty after the little holiday. I needed a break, and I needed it soon.
Of course, nothing could justify me quitting work and doing nothing while I figured out what I wanted from life (long periods of uneventful unemployment had made me realise that another spell of ‘doing nothing’ was not going to reveal any enlightening prophecies of my shining future).
Just about then, I decided to study abroad. I was happy with architecture, I love being called an Architect. But I DEFINITELY didn’t want to study more of it. I did a ton of research, rejecting a whole bunch of universities for reasons like ‘The course is too long’, ‘I don’t like the city’, ‘I don’t like the cuisine in that country’, ‘They colonised us’ etc etc etc, till I finally found the Master in Design course at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy.
The first time I laid my eyes on the website and the course description, my mind was made up. Studying Design in the fashion capital of the world! Add to that the country of pizzas and pasta (AND COFFEE!!). Little hearts lit up in my eyes, and I quickly sent in my application and waited with my fingers so tightly crossed that I have figurative bruises all over my knuckles!
Over ten days after the expected response time of two weeks (by which time I had pretty much given up hope and started to wallow in the self-pity caused by rejection), I received my acceptance letter. Bigger hearts lit up my eyes and I did the happy dance
and went into READY-STEADY-GO mode!
A few months of preparation later (during which I quit my job and had a wonderful chat with my boss *BEST BOSS EVER!*, traveled a bit, attended a few weddings, went through an existential crisis and almost decided to chuck the entire Milan plan), I was at the airport, finally bawling my eyes out at leaving home for the first time (I hadn’t cried a bit before that) and waving goodbye to my parents and little sister.
I was really and truly filled with anticipation and apprehension. It wasn’t an unpleasant feeling. Much as I hated the idea of leaving everything behind, I was looking forward to an interesting new life. A really humongous change. A kind of lifestyle I had never experienced before. Complete freedom. For the next one year, I was going to be answerable to no one.
With those positive thoughts in mind, in the wee hours of 7th January 2013, I boarded my KLM flight from New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport to Milano Linate Airport via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Italia… Sto arrivando!!!