My Past, Myself

Emotional Writing

an-opportunity-to-rebuild-yourselfI have been blessed to be part of a great writers critique group (The Long Beach Writer’s Critique Group) that has helped me to want to continue writing.  One small change that I made last year was to submit more often to the group. Initially, I was hesitant because like most writers, I had the fear that my writing was not good enough. Although the feeling has not gone away, the feedback I have received from the group has made my writing exponentially better.

That still has not changed the fact that I am a “pantser” (one who writes without an outline) or, in my case, someone who looks at a blank page and has no idea what is going to come out. So last week, I volunteered to submit a piece, and at first, it started with me describing my brain bleed which then got me to a dear mentors death due to anesthesia which took me to the deeper hole about my stroke then to my jaw surgery in high school and then to my cornea transplant, and suddenly I had pages and pages filled in and I couldn’t take a breath. The words poured out, and what started out as a simple essay about a simple surgery (I thought) suddenly choked me, and I froze.

I have heard about emotional writing, but never experienced it in this manner until now. What seemed easy suddenly became the hardest things as it hit me that there is so much I have not dealt with. So much stuff I just bottled up and treated it as if it was in the past, and then the old quote came up(paraphrased here): “those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it..” So hit me that as much as it hurts, I have to keep writing. If for nothing else, just so I can finally know what emotions are still there.

 

Food For Thought, Inpsiration

Mini Break

breaktimepup690x400There is nothing like stepping out of my routines that reminds me of how much I have to look forward.  Taking occasional breaks can also show new perspective and also can give me the space to sort shit out. As many have noted, I can be task oriented and can sometimes miss the big picture. When I break that up, I often see what others already pointed out.  This is a long about way of saying that breaks are good, mixing up one’s life allows for new ideas or old ones to percolate and come to fruition.  Yet there is more to that.

I see now that whenever I step out of routine, it allows me to take pause and reground myself for what is important. This weekend proved that as much as tasks are important, it is just as important to do nothing. To soak it in, and count my blessings. The amount of gratitude I felt this weekend showed me how lucky I am to be living the life that I am. Best of all, I got to do it with my wife, and showed me that even a good time can be made better when you are with a loved one.

Brownness

What Do You Mean I Need a Lawyer? Legal Reasons #10

“I don’t need an attorney. The insurance company is going to fix my car.” The guy confidently said to me when I asked him why he didn’t get an attorney. He recently had gotten rear ended so hard his car was totaled, and he had already missed two weeks of work. He complained about some back pain, but “taking tylenol seems to help.” I winced inwardly because I hear this too often from people who do not realize that more often than not, they can be made whole.  They also seem to think that getting an attorney is too costly.

Look no one sets out to have an accident, and when you are involved in one with injuries, it doesn’t hurt to call someone who has dealt with insurance companies. Most don’t realize they can get their lost wages, time and any costs incurred due to an accident.  And all it takes is a simple call.  And it doesn’t cost anything. If you have a valid claim, the costs are borne by the insurance company not you.

So pick up the phone after an accident. Those few minutes could save you a lot of time and aggravation.

Food For Thought

Fulfillment Week

close-friends-love-you-for-who-you-are-ted-rallEarlier this month, I sat down to write my goals for the quarter in eight key areas of my life. Relationship, Family. Career, Fitness, Finance, Community. Recreation and Spirituality.  Previously, I had done it annually, but it hit me that in order for me to remind myself to stay on track and to know if my goals are realistic, I needed to review them more often. For now, quarterly suits me.  It hit me that one area I tended to fall behind on was keeping in touch with friends and anyone who I wanted to get to know better.  I often failed to reach out or remember to call my friends, especially guy friends.  The worst part was that it was that the time in between meetings grew longer. Before I would call or get in touch if a few weeks went, but now it had turned to months, and there were consequences. I felt disconnected, unmoored with my thoughts, and it hit me that when that continues for too long, I feel empty. yet it has the simplest solution: picking up the phone.

I am blessed to have men in my life who are caring, intimate, vulnerable, loving, and brutally honest. That’s not to say I don’t have women in my life, but it hit me how special I had it when I see other guys with their friends involved in sports, drinking and clowning around. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, but as someone who is not very athletic and not interested in professional athletics, I always felt like an outcast at those times when others were so vested in the game on television.

Last week, I am proud to say was a fulfilling week From a long phone conversation with old college friend who lives in New York, checking in daily with my best friend,  to meeting up three different friends I had not seen in a while, I had a full week.  It is not a coincidence that it was also the most grounded I felt in a very long time.  All it took was reaching out.

Family, Inpsiration

Differing Paths

af21ff902f0a8f8fc11d813ad28741c5 I often wonder what it would be like if my parents were like other Indian parents that I hear about. They never pushed me to go to a field, never told me not to read or be lost in movies and comics. Never told me what school I needed to get into. Never pushed me to be the best or make lots of money. Never taught me to love others as they are, not as they should be. Never hesitated to tell me how much they loved me. Never stopped encouraging me even when they disagreed with my life choices.

On days like Mother’s and Father’s day, I always feel this extra joy because it just means that perhaps, just perhaps, everyone else expressed the love and joy I feel for my parents daily. They did not push me on to a particular path, but rather let me stumble around for a while. I am sure it was like watching me ride a bicycle for the first time and they resisted the urge to come help me up whenever I fell down (which was often), but they trusted me enough to let me fail on my own so I could learn the lessons that I needed to for the future.

So I guess all I have to say is: Thank you.

Brownness

A Beautiful Sunset

download (2)Yesterday,  I took Preeti to go see the sunset, and it was nice to see so many people out. A brisk breeze made jackets necessary and Bella hopped around in excitement as Hilltop Park in Signal Hill slowly filled up. It struck me how easy technology made it for me to find this place, all because I chose to type in best sunsets near me. Yet it was also interesting to see some absorbed in their phones, recording the sunset rather than just looking at it.

I admit I took pictures too, but I also watching it slowly go down and reveled in how brilliant nature and it cost us nothing more than our time to see a light show that perhaps has been going on for millions of years. I know as I watched the sun go down that I need to see this light show with her by my side. It made sense to pick a random day to see how much beauty surrounds us when I open myself up to it.

I took it in and was grateful for that moment. A quiet moment.  Just me, Bella, Preeti and a gorgeous Sunset.