When I was 16, I was visiting Delhi with my family. It was my first time in INDIA. I didn’t speak the language nor did I dress like the people there. But during those days, my hair was still black and everyone referred to me as a coconut. Our second day in this massive very unfamiliar city, we decided to go shopping. Shopping in INDIA back then was very different than what I was used to. Who knows what Delhi is like today. Most shops were free standing stores, streets of bazaars.
One minute I’m walking with my family and of course I was distracted by all the shoes as usual. Next thing I knew, I was all alone. I turned around and I couldn’t see my family anywhere. They couldn’t have gone far, I thought. So I started walking down the street, in my fancy dress and high heels. It was mid afternoon, the sun was blazing and it was very hot. They were no where to be seen on the streets. So I proceeded to the next and then the next. I could see the sun descending, I had no watch, no phone, no purse, no money, nothing on me. I was lost. I was surrounded by a sea of people that watched me walk alone, I feared I’d get killed or rapped, maybe both. I couldn’t ask for directions because I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t even know the name of the hotel we were staying at, but the only thing I knew was how the hotel looked.
Fake it till you make it. I roamed the streets for quite a bit til I found my hotel. The sun was now beginning to set. I sat outside the hotel steps, no keys to even get inside. My feet ached, I looked down at my heels and saw the dirt of the streets on them. What a day I thought; when I finally saw my mom walking towards the hotel, something inside me broke. It was now almost dark. I had no time to be afraid all day and then it suddenly hit me, I could have died today.
Essentially this is still me today. Maybe most of us. Faking it till we make it, trying to make sense of the circumstances we are in, when all the roads seem to look alike and everyone around seems to be talking gibberish. I have no clue what I’m doing, I don’t even know if half the time I’m making all the right choices. Everyone has advice to give, opinions to share, but is this going to get me to where I need to go? I am surrounded by a sea of people, all who are on their own journey.
That night I was very tired. And though I had no resources, no means of getting through this city that has left me with nothing but horrible memories, I had one thing that I never realized I had. HOPE. Hope that I wouldn’t die, that my feet would have strength to walk, hope that I wouldn’t get too hungry, hope that the sun would not set until I made it, a hope for safety. It was that hope and faith that kept me going until I made it.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”