my quarter-life crisis photo :P
I hope you are all doing wonderfully, no matter where you are! I am in India right now and haven't been able to write an update because....well....I've been having a mid-life (quarter-life??) crisis. I'm sure many of you can identify with me! :) As you know, I took a break from university this past year to explore a little. My exploration took me through several internships....and also to several meditation retreats! And believe it or not, through all the introspection, I've actually found some answers!
While at college, I had a hard time connecting to many things....sometimes my fellow students would spend hours creating elaborate legal and philosophical arguments about how someone should be punished if they knowingly gave someone HIV. While these classes were fun as thought experiments, I always struggled with how they could possibly help people who are truly affected by these situations. (For example, my stepfather gave my mother HIV...does this mean I want him in jail or want to see him punished? Isn't HIV punishment enough? How would punishment HELP him?)
My midlife crisis was about exactly this....will my college education make me better suited to help my community? Or would these fun thought experiments lead me farther and farther from the ground reality of where I grew up? My time off helped me finally decide that the one thing I am truly, truly passionate about and committed to is working with my community. As a result, I've decided to leave Bard and attend a program at Watson University in Boulder, Colorado which is for social entrepreneurs. For years, I've had a dream of starting a cafe/community center in the red-light area to help the local kids get early access to all the things I never had in childhood. This includes computer and English skills, but also things like music, therapy, and meditation.
I've decided I finally want to pursue this dream, and I'm attending the program at Watson so I can learn skills like creating a business plan, pitching to investors, working with stakeholders, etc. I'm incredibly, incredibly excited to attend this program, and I've received a 2/3 scholarship! So....please know that any donation you make from now on will go towards supporting my education in Boulder, not in New York. :)
Please believe me that all of my crises have only helped me become more and more grateful for all of the amazing people I have in my life, including all of you, who have helped me throughout my journey of self-discovery. As with any college student, I've had a lot of things to think through, but I've finally decided that I am most passionate about working with the youth in my community. I know I'm also very privileged to have so much time to explore, and I can't thank you guys enough for making it all possible. I can't promise that I won't "disappoint" you, but please rest assured that I am doing my absolute best....to be the best student and the best person possible, and to spend my time (and your money!) in a way that positively impacts as many people as possible. :)
Also, my stepfather passed away a couple weeks ago, which has not been such a struggle for me, but it has deeply affected my mother and my sisters, as well as the entire Kranti family. But this has convinced me even more that my community is where I want to dedicate my time and my life. Please do feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to learn more about my program at Watson. And again, THANK YOU for all of your ongoing help and support. When I look back years from now on how I got through college, please know that I will be thankful to each and every one of you for everything you've done for me, especially those of you who have never met or known me. (Insert something about may you be well and happy! :D)
My Meditation Crew
My Beautiful Meditation Center