On the importance of people

As the plane circled Hyderabad, I thought to myself, “what have I done?” I had never lived alone and was moving to a city 26 hours of travel away from all that I knew. I was pretty sure I had made a big mistake.

My job in Cleveland earlier this summer put the importance of people in a stark light for me. Every morning, on my way to the Labor and Delivery unit, I would walk past the surgery waiting room. There, I would find patients, family, and friends in various stages of angst. Patients were at their most vulnerable– scared, sick, and overwhelmed, as their family and friends enveloped them in as much support as they could muster. As soon as the patients were taken back to the OR, the friends and family that had seemed so strong minutes ago would collapse into each other and wait. I don’t think there’s a better reminder of our dependence on one another than seeing such display of love, support, and fear play out before my eyes every day. What purpose do we have except to be there for one another?

Given my appreciation for a strong support system, I was a bit nervous to be leaving mine. But during my time in Cleveland, I met a friend who had family in Hyderabad. We got connected via Facebook Messenger the day before my flight took off and they promised to show me around.

Upon arriving in Hyderabad alone, exhausted, and overwhelmed, it was this family who got me water, helped me get a SIM card, took me shopping to buy kurtas, and began to introduce me to the city. I don’t think there’s any greater form of dependence than needing someone else to show you how and where to get water, and this family did that for me.

I helped in my first delivery here in India the other night, and realized the eerie similarities between the newborn baby and me upon my arrival here in India. But the helpless baby was born to incredibly capable, loving, attentive parents that she will depend on for a very long time, and I’m learning to lean on the new support system I have here.