The lives we could have had

Out of the blue Ajay called tonight, and he was with Alka and Shaeneez, so decided to meet up with them at Anderson’s on Niagara Falls Blvd. Have not seen Ajay since MASA Night, and have not seen Alka in forever, until had run into her three weeks ago at Walden Galleria Mall. Su Yen came over later to Anderson’s, and everyone just talked about work and all the issues that come with it.

Being with part of the ‘old crowd’ just brought back memories of the old days, dating back to the first semester nearly three and a half years ago. We were all so na├»ve back then, overwhelmed by the novelty of being away from home on our own for the first time, dreaming of the fabulous lives we could start here. We all arrived with such high hopes, such soaring ambitions and aspirations. And now that everyone has graduated, the dreams have disintegrated and the reality of it is almost heartbreaking: we are all struggling to stay on here, struggling to find jobs, struggling to get H1s.

I came to this country with the excitement and desperation for a fresh start; excited to be on my own without my parents for a change, desperate to escape the terribly monotonous life I had back home and the stormy relationship I was trapped in. And after three years of slogging for the Latin honors, I’m left struggling to find a job that doesn’t involve risking life and limb, struggling to have a sane, healthy relationship for the first time in my life, struggling to stay on in this country, and willing to sink low enough to get married for a damn green card.

And then I think of the life I could have had…

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