It was 22nd Dec’2007. I was sitting silently in hotel lobby in busy downtown area of Salt Lake City (USA) – having my breakfast. It was my last day in the city after a long 3 months project work. I was in no hurry to reach work because most of the office was now off due to Christmas vacations.
While I sipped my coffee and dug into the waffle – I realized that tears were rolling down my eyes. At that moment, I felt like screaming and running away from the place. Why? Because I was extremely home sick and desperate to get back home. I had always told people till that time that I am a loner. I like my own company and hardly ever feel lonely. I was proven wrong beyond doubt. After 3 months of almost staying alone, eating alone, roaming around alone – I was desperate to be with my own people.
I could see all the families getting together for Christmas. The city was decorated beautifully. The hotel lobby which was usually empty was crowded with families meeting their loved ones for holidays. It was all snow outside – perfect scene from a nice Hollywood movie. And here I had to pick up my laptop and go to work. Phew! I was depressed and upset and angry and extremely demotivated. All I wanted was to come back to India. I never knew I could have this desperation to meet my family. It was difficult for me wait for my flight back to India.
This was changing point in my life. Because after that trip I completely dropped the dream to do Masters in the US (along with that my GRE scores for which I had worked really hard). Some people felt I was crazy giving up that dream but I did not want it anymore. I was done staying alone abroad (just in 3 months).
Again in Dec 2016, when I was visiting Netherlands for work – I found myself bitterly sobbing in an Italian restaurant. I was looking at my son’s pictures sent by my parents and could not help missing him desperately. It was only a 2 week trip – not too bad. But still I could completely relate to that feeling of desperation again. Every single night of those 2 weeks I used to sit in one of my favorite restaurants till midnight or so, reading a book or watching a movie. Sitting alone in my hotel room was killing me practically. I could not handle the silence and loneliness of the room – I would spend as much time possible outside the hotel room because I wanted people around me.
What happens to me when I am desperate? Well, to start with I cannot control my tears. I feel like screaming out my lungs. I start to get nasty thoughts a little bit towards killing myself or somebody else. It is difficult to keep track of time – sometimes I would sleep at odd hours and sometimes time would just not go. If I am not crying – I am staring at empty walls with no thoughts altogether. I don’t feel like talking to anybody or working.
What do I do when I feel like I am getting desperate? I act early on. I now know what the feeling of being desperate is. So as soon as I realize that I am getting negative – I distract myself with something very positive. It could be either music, book, movie, people, writing, workouts, photography or something else. I think of positive things in my life. I try to reinforce the positivity of the situation like tell myself over and over again why I am staying alone in an unknown country.
Getting desperate is almost like being crazy. Your mind stops working and you lose your sanity. It is definitely not a place I want to be at. There have been numerous other situations where I have felt pangs of desperation. This is just one of them. Learning to get over your desperation is very similar to learning to get over your anger. It is an extreme negative emotions and with enough maturity one can handle it.