Dec 5, 2012

Dreadful risk

I was welcomed officially today at the Colorado State University after about two months since I joined here as a postdoc research scholar. The orientation program welcoming all the newly recruited faculty/staff started with complimentary breakfast snacks and coffee/tea. Presentations were made explaining in brief various benefits and resources CSU has to offer. Presentations which has the information I was looking for for the past couple of months; the vital information for which I ran from pillar to post to understand and apply.

My wife's medical report came a day before we were planning to leave India to join as a postdoc in CSU. Her report confirmed that she is pregnant. First trimester risks due to extensive traveling, fatigue due to sitting for a long time in the same posture, nausea, and vomiting because of pregnancy hormones were some of the things my near and dear ones talked about at this time. With such a situation, traveling within the country was not recommended, leave alone the question of flying abroad. I had a decision to make then; take up a new job in my country and take good care of my wife with the support from family and friends, or leave abroad with the wife to accept the postdoc offer.

I was aware then that whatever decision I take would change my life forever, a change that would eternally reflect in my personal character in future. It would have been a lot easier for me then to choose the "right" path, a path that was suggested by my well-wishers. After all, they care about our well being, don't they?

I questioned my destiny trying to find which path to choose. One thing I like about destiny is it never commands. It allows us to take a pen and paper and write it by ourselves. Often, we aren't bold enough to take a pen and paper and ask someone else to write our destiny. The ones who take a bold step to explore the path less traveled are the ones who have experienced life. Success is only a nickname given to this experience.

I decided to take the path less traveled, a dreadfully risky path though. Taking a path less traveled would give me an opportunity to clear off the obstacles on the path by myself, molding me into a more responsible person. When I made my decision, my bank balance was just enough to apply for a visa and buy tickets to travel. A thought never occurred to me then to save some money for a return, just in case something unexpected was to happen (Cortés would be happy to hear this!)

With not enough savings to return, we started a new life from scratch. I ran from pillar to post and found procedures to apply for insurance, finding a doctor, filing new papers for paying taxes and lot more. There were some moments during this phase when I felt it's worth going back and take the path that has no unique footmarks. Those were the testing moments which I could overcome successfully, thanks to the love and support from my wife.

Has my decision changed me to a more responsible person now? Is the destiny that was scripted by myself kind enough not to punish me harshly for my actions? It's too early to find answers to these questions now. But what I do know for sure is that the path less traveled is not as dreadful as I thought earlier.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, our complimentary lunch will be served at the Long's Peak Dining Room", a personnel from training department made an announcement concluding the orientation session formally. With that announcement the crowd dispersed, and so did my reverie.