Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

A Quiet Memorial

Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash

In high school, college and most of law school, I treated Memorial Day weekend as a holiday that got me an extra day. I realize that speaking about sacrifice or appearing patriotic may appear strange from someone like me, but I have become blessed to meet many who have served, and and are currently serving, and it’s been made me wide awake how truly great my crossfit family is. Their quiet participation and acknowledgement of others has made my world a bit bigger for the better.

The word family, tribe are thrown around, yet until one shows up, really shows up for others when they have no reason to, it hits home that’s what the people serving abroad and domestically doing. To willingly accept an assignment that could lead to death and those who have died protecting this place I call home is humbling, awe inspiring, and frankly needs more than just a holiday.

So today, I thank all those who have served before, serve now, sacrificed their lives so we can exist, I can only say thank you, but also try to find new ways to be in gratitude for those who do so much for us, and perhaps I have taken for granted.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

John Wick, Rocky, The Matrix

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

What is it about certain movies that I can watch over and over again? Specifically, the new trilogy John Wick, most of the Rocky’s (excluding 5 but including Creed 1&2) and The Matrix (just the first, the other two are hard to sit through). I could watch them while they are ending, or midway through, but the excitement of seeing it from the beginning baffles my wife. Especially Rocky IV which I probably have seen a few hundred times. The David and Goliath motif has always intrigued me, and more so when I’d like to think I would perhaps one day do the same against impossible odds.

The movies represent the what if’s in my life. A life where I not only stand up to the challenge, not over overcome it, but kick the shit out of it. Yet I also know that’s not exactly true as I know I have overcome a lot, but the movies represent a flashier way to get things done. The truth is, life and overcoming challenges is not always pretty or involve killing or punching someone, but pushing through your own demons, and self-pitying stories. It is taking the same step over and over towards the same vision. It is doing the boring things that you don’t want to do (like be on a treadmill for over and hour) or being  mentored by others. Giving up your ego. That resonates because in each of those movies, the hero gives up their pride. Goes to work. Learns the ropes. Then kicks ass. I do the same except no one want to see my life again and again.

But maybe just maybe, they might.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Daily Celebrations

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

One of the privileges of celebrating Mother’s Day and Fathers Day or any annual event is the chance to give gratitude and be present in days where family matters. Yesterday, I felt immensely blessed to celebrate so many women in my life who represent the best of what it means to be a parent. It hit me that each day presents us with a chance to do that. Yet, I think it makes sense to have special days because, too often, in our daily grinds, we forget to recognize the important people in our lives.

There were so many birthdays for my father and aunt that I know look back with affection, and I am glad I got so much time to continually tell them I love them. I know when they left here, they knew they were deeply loved. And now in some ways, I celebrate them daily through these special days for others. Because of them, I now know how much these events mean.

Yes, there is regret, a tinge of grief, but there are also moments to smile, laugh, share happy tears and joy with so many who work so hard on a daily basis to make it better for others. And I realize now that it’s good to acknowledge people who do things unconditionally not for them, but to be inspired by them. To be around their positive and loving energy. To love learn from them, but mostly to love on them.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Roiling Within

Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

From the social media pics, it looks like an amazing weekend. Yet within, emotional ache boils my senses. Each thought about what ifs, could’ve beens, should’ve beens. Roiling inside me over and over, grief, loss, loneliness, abandonment. Each moment turning into another and it makes me wonder for what. Yet the smiling pictures, the food, the drink, the smiles all shared to the public to show happiness, fun, light when within I choke in the darkness of sadness and hopelessness.

There are bright spots, small smiles, remembrances of the past, a time with a lot of emotional baggage, and where just got to be. A time before losing Ziba music, my father, my aunt, and others. A time when it felt that life would go on forever. So much shared laughter, fights, silly arguments, but fun. So much fun. Friends who befriended anyone that they met from me, and before long they had their relationships with them. Gratitude fills me to have people in my life who take time to get to know others. Who think its enough that I brought the person to their attention, and forms a friendship.

Thoughts and feelings all over the place, this monday. A beautiful weekend on pictures nothing more than pretence, illusion that I am living a happier life than I am. But there are moments, far and few between, there are moments, yet those brief moments don’t make it a happy life. Just a lived on.

Roiling within, I put these words out so others many no, no it wasn’t a good weekend, it just looked that way. Curated. Captioned. But not the full story. Not even close. I look back, and I wonder when regret and loss stop choking me, making me roil.  When will it go away? Or is it just a new reality where loss is part of life, and letting go of things that don’t serve you the new reality?

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Legal

Immigration Court and Mentors

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Today, thanks to my Immigration Law mentor Surjit Singh, I experienced a full trial, and I got reminded of my parents journey to the United States when they left Tehran, Iran. My grandparents on both sides lived in Iran, and that’s how my parents met.  Sitting in the courtroom today, it hit me how blessed I am to be able to do what I do now. Filled with gratitude with so many taking the time to guide and teach me. I realize that not everyone is so lucky, but I also believe that with each challenge I take on, I also grow, and one day, maybe one day, do the same for others.

Now I admit, it is never easy to teach because one has to put their preconceived notions aside, and be a picture of patience as they walk you through things that are agonizingly simple for them. Yet that’s what great mentors do. They take their time, they make sure they answer all the dumb questions, but most of all they empathize with you. They remember the terror of getting up to the front to speak to a Court Clerk or answer a judge.

The other part that scares me is the starting over. The fear of not knowing what to accept, and doing it anyway. The one thing I am comfortable now is being uncomfortable. No longer do I allow myself to freeze and convince myself not to try something new, foreign, scary. If I am not growing, then what is the point of life?

And so I ended my work day in gratitude, eager to keep growing, to keep learning, to never say enough. Because that is the day I die. Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Morning Quiet

Photo by Erik Nielsen on Unsplash

In the morning quiet, there is an ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings. The incense stick fragrance comforts but also tells me time is running out. The sense of urgency to DO rather than BE so overwhelming that it suffocates, and yet I still force myself to sit. To be. To take it in, to slow the mind down, to not go on to the next thing, to not become so task focused that I lose sight of my vision. Yet there is also an undercurrent of sadness and grief that I dare not expose. Acknowledging that pain feels dangerous like I am naked, and no protection,

The morning quiet looms, and flashes of so much to do races through my mind, but I wonder what’s the point of checking off one more to do item. What is the point? The mind continues to race past the station of awareness. Stopping at the pain not an option. Diving into the sadness and loneliness feels like self-pity. And so I watch the incense burn away just like dawn, and light comes into the room, hiding my pain.

The hands tremble as I write the Morning Pages, and I try to envision my Artist Date, and it feels as if I am stuck in a life of pretense and pretend that all is well while the mind and heart swirl in indecision, and fear of failure.  Each moment, a struggle to understand this moment in my life, how i get here. Then the morning light hits, the darkness recedes from the house, and as the room brightens so do my thoughts and feelings.

The house fills with small noises, the dog jumping off the bed, her paws clicking on the hardwood floors. In the distance, the garbage trucks beeps as it picks up cans. Muffled chirps from birds. All seems right, yet the mind churns and churns. The deep pain streams inside, but for the moment, the  morning quiet brings a quietness inside, and another day starts. I sit there, taking it all in, then a deep breath and begin another 24 hours.