I always did like that picture. I don’t think I was five yet, and certainly not pleased with the idea of having pictures taken of myself but now, 14-15 years on, I’m glad these pictures exist. That’s me, in all my thick-pig-tailed glory, in front of my old house in Lahore, a house I lived in for almost ten years. I remember living in places before we moved into that house, but nothing felt like home the way that house used to.
Used to. I’ve always had a love affair with Lahore but this blog post isn’t going to be Love Letter to Lahore #53 or whatever number I’m at now. If anything, this is an embarrassed, tail-between-my-legs confession: I’m not the little girl in that picture anymore, continued fabulous fashion sense notwithstanding. That house isn’t home anymore. I’ve grown up and grown out of the house; my bitterness at being taken away from Lahore has been replaced by finding a new home on my own terms (I have always been a fiercely independent, slightly prideful person). The hollowness I used to feel has been so thoroughly filled that Lahore feels like a first love; an old friend, a best friend, a passionate flame that has been put out since. But there is so much of the world to traverse that you cannot cling to what once was, and I’m starting to learn that. I’m making my home elsewhere, finding my life elsewhere, and though I feel ashamed to say it aloud I have to admit…it’s a huge weight off my shoulders.
One day I’ll return to Lahore. That has always been endgame. But until then, the world is large and full of wonder and opportunities and I’ve discovered a thirst in me that cannot be quenched by pining for what once was. As strange and exhilarating as it is, I think I’ve unlocked a wanderlust in myself and I can’t wait to foster and nurture this evolution, in Boston and elsewhere.