I am going to be honest. Doing community service is not all fun and games. For me, at least. Yet it is more than just helping people, it is for a very selfish reason. To grow and stretch myself so I can be a better Sanjay for those around. It seems odd to say. In a few days, I will be staffing for a leadership program. The hours are crazy, preparation is key, and we get to be always seeming in control. I am scared shitless. Not just because of the time commitment, but the very real question, will I screw up other people? But then again, that’s always the reason NOT to do something. No more backing off. No more making excuses or finding reasons NOT to contribute. I get to be selfish. I get to be comfortable being uncomfortable no matter how many reasons I find NOT to do it.
It’s not easy, I admit, but complacency only goes so far. I admit it does sting when people mention that I post so many things just to show off when my only reason is to inspire. And yes there is pride. Just like others mentored me and allowed me to grow into the person that I am today, I now get to be in the same position. So what the hours suck? So what I have to put other things on hold? The point is for once do more for others than for me because ultimately it grows me. I would call that a Win Win.
The warm buzz of a complete weekend still resides inside me. Being witness to a couple taking the next step of commitment not only reminded me of how love progresses, but of how as humans we look for connection and a partnership.
What good are achievements if you don’t have someone to share them with? We all need a cheerleader in our lives. Someone who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves sometimes. I admit it’s not easy to make the transition from a lone wolf to sharing all your moments with another. When my natural self is to always just count on myself, it’s a huge leap of faith to surrender myself to another completely.
Yet that is how a fulfilling life occurs. When you know someone has your back. Pure and simple. That emptiness in you dissipates when you know that no matter what, someone is there to listen to you. Quoting my niece’s recent song “You matter,” that’s what marriage means to be. Someone saying to me I matter.
I am sure there will be some eye rolls at my post. After all, it can also sound like you need to be seen to matter. Or that you need to be praised. No actually, you don’t. I just think that just like it takes two to create a human being, it takes another to see for who you are. It doesn’t matter as to gender, race or sexuality. Just that there is someone out there that you have a life connection.
P.S: Congrats Sabina and Ricky Sood. Looking forward to the wedding :)
“What did you do this weekend?” A common question for Mondays. Before, I would spit out the same thing. “Nothing,” “Not Much,” “the Same Ole.” That’s not to say I didn’t do fun stuff, but really, it was usually the same thing. Now I can say I volunteered on Friday and got to know an amazing organization, The Child Abuse Prevention Center in Orange County which does this amazing annual event where victims of child abuse and their families receive free school supplies, education, food so they are less isolated and know where to go for resources.
Then Saturday, I joined a new running club and met 12 committed runners at 6:45am (who knew people wake up early on Saturday?!), and discovered I don’t have to do just long runs to prepare for my running events but can do interval training. I was nervous because I am probably the slowest runner on the planet, and was convinced I would embarrass myself. Instead, I met a group of committed people who were extremely nice and helpful.
Then later on that night, I went to an old friend amazing cookout and learned that I missed the last four years for no good reason. And even later, got to connect with some dear friends.
The point of this post isn’t to brag about all that I am doing (even though it sounds like it), but that ever since I started saying YES to ANYTHING that makes me nervous, my life has changed for the better. There is still so much to say YES to (travelling with the wife, finding new adventures, creating new experiences with the ones I love, and I now realize that uncommon weekends should be the norm not the exception.
New Month, New Week, New Day, New Moments. We get beginnings so often that we can sometimes forget how almost everything we do is a choice. I know personally, I choose to make the ones in my life feel a certain way. For my wife, I want her to feel only happiness and loves. For those in my life. I want to them to feel connection and know that they matter. For myself, I want to know that I am the best version of who I can be. Not to impress others or proves others that I am better than them, but for no other reason but I am on this earth to more than just exist.
So with each passing time, I make choices to do better, be kind, humble, acknowledge others, learn and keep transforming and pushing myself to be more than comfortable. This year’s challenges: travel more with the wife, be active, volunteer, have real friendships, check out more novel ideas, places and things. I am not content just being. That’s well, boring. Each day, I am blessed to open my eyes and know that there is more to do. Always the choices. I choose to be better. I choose to love. I choose to push myself. I choose not to be content.
What are your choices?
It’s great to see marriages that long, and you Sumita and Jagdeep, showed a 18-year-old boy what love at first sight meant. Merely 21, Sumita you knew who you would be with for the rest of your life. You love like you do all things in life: fearlessly. Jagdeep, your calm nature and love of Golf carried the day many, many times, but more than that, it’s how you let my sister be free and be the person she wanted to be especially when her whims were all over the place. For that. I am forever grateful. But that’s what Sumita is best at. Enrolling people into her crazy visions because no matter what, her heart is pure. I have never met anyone who through the force of her energy convinced so many people into how she sees the world. It is a gift that I am truly envious of.
Of course, I picked a blog post to do this because standing in front of loved ones, I could not do justice to how much I love you both. Jagdeep, you are a gem and set the bar to be brother-in-law quite high. Through you, not only has my family grown but so has my heart and for that, thank you! Sumita, you often say you are my second mother, and I have to admit you have been there in that way more often than a sister. Both you and Mom allowed me to figure out what it is what I wanted to do even though most of the times I am sure you wondered what the hell I was up to.
So thank you for being in my life, Jagdeep and Sumita. Together, you have created three amazing children that I love like I breath. Enjoy your day. You two created this amazing thing for all of us. Thank you!
It’s been a strange week. I made some great breakthroughs in an area of my life that’s very important to me while at the same time a streak of procrastination has entered me in that I have yet to go to Crossfit this week. Perhaps it’s the idea that it is closing at the end of month, or perhaps because it just hit me that I will be doing a half marathon obstacle race and a full marathon two weeks apart and thus am frozen. So what’s behind the breakthroughs and the breakdowns? Fear. Always. Which means I get to keep pushing myself to be uncomfortable. I keep going up on the skinny branches, Each time, my stomach or my heart tightens with anxiety, it’s just a signal to keep pushing through. To not just wallow in that fear, but to push it aside and make shit happen.
I am not gonna lie. It is not easy. Sometimes, every single step is filled with dread and second guessing myself, but I keep going. Because more often than not, I am glad I am pushed myself. I get to live on top of the tree rather than under its shadows. Failure is part of the journey, but not the end of it. Because ultimately, I don’t want to say I passed time in this life but actually lived it!
Another hectic week. More days doing things, attending events, experiencing discomfort but also, more importantly, connecting with others. Not just doing things for the sake of doing, but participating. No more just observing. There were some lost opportunities to speak up, but you know what, it’s OK. No more regretting what could or should have been said. Now it’s about living in the moment, and accepting things as they are.
I admit, it’s not so easy. It’s easy to listen to that negative voice in the head, and whine or complain about how things should be. I could get lost in that tone, and miss out on a friend expressing loneliness. Even though surrounded by dozens, he still feels that he is living a sheltered life. It hit me that we all can feel this way. Sometimes, just getting caught up in the monotony of doing same things over and over can feel exhausted. One wonders what’s the point? Which is why I swore to no longer just do the same thing.
To push myself to be uncomfortable as regularly as possible. To not just accept the ho-hum. To do new things. To keep learning. To love deeper. To not just be silent. To listen not to rebut but to actually be present. Funny, how that word keeps coming up. But its OK. I accept it. :)