Brownness

Celebrations

This past weekend I had the chance to celebrate a dear friend, and as always we shared a good many laughs, some deep conservation, and the usual comfort of feeling heard with each other. There isn’t a time I have not had a blast when we are together. It got me thinking. What is it about shared experiences, vulnerability, and a sense of accomplishment that allows some people to share more deeply, to care in a way for them that is instantaneous while it takes a while to create intimacy with some others?

Nik has been in my life for over 20 years, and with year passing, our friendship has matured, gotten deeper like a fine wine that gets better and better with each passing year. I thought I’d made all my close friends when I graduated UCLA, but I was dead wrong. A casual meeting at a family gathering led us to having some of my best trips to date, and each time I can’t wait for us to get together and do something else. He not only pushes me, but has allowed me to learn things, share stories, and generally feel accepted. He has that unique ability to make feel surrounded with love and attention.

Celebrating this milestone made it all the sweeter as we are now both in the 50s club, and yet we don’t feel any older, instead we are hungrier, more curious, wanting to partake in more things, and that’s what I find we have most in common: a passion and a willingness to experience all that life has to offer. Its fitting that we now live even closer than before which makes me excited to look forward to the coming years.

Yet another reason Nik and I get along is his willingness to be blunt, to not let me get away with being judgmental (a trait of mine), to question some of my beliefs, forcing me to really think things through. He is not an easy person to deceive or come to with shallow thoughts. And that’s what makes our friendship even dearer. I can’t wait to keep celebrating him. Happy 50th Nik!! I know this year is going to be the best one yet!

Brownness

On Connection

This past weekend led to several unplanned late nights spending time with dear friends and family. I cannot help share the blessings from these night outs when plenty of thoughts, laughter and joy are shared amongst loved ones. I know it is easy to bemoan the terrible things or upsets that we face, but I am determined to memorialize the good times because those are the memories that that help me move forward.

Too often, we allow the dips in our lives be the navigators when the truth is that the ascents are where the real action is. Life can overwhelm you with down moments, or things not going as planned, but that’s okay because you get other times to make it right like this past weekend. Connecting with others allowed me to know that just like the bad times, good times are always nearby if I am open to the possibility.

And in that, there lies a challenge because there are times I don’t want to get out of bed, to sleep a bit more, to wallow, to feel the hurt of the day rather than appreciate what I have. There are days it takes a conscious effort to snap out of it, to not hide behind the blanket, to just feel the emotions. And that can be fine if it helps in the healing. Where it gets complicated is when that’s all that I want to do, or when I just notice the things not going right, that’s when it can turn into an issue.

And so this past weekend became a reminder of the possibilities for connection and for that i am grateful. I hope there are more weekends of that rather than me just focusing on the things that disconnect.

Brownness

Light in Our Lives

The sun slowly bathes my culdesac in warm light. Contentment courses through me as my gaze catches the wonders of a new place. I can imagine a new car smell in the house, and excitement accumulates as we have people over. One of the joys of a home is hosting. Both the wife and me love to host, but we also love opportunities to spend time that we don’t see often. This past friday, we had a chance to connect with my wife’s cousin and their entire family. What made it great was the instant connection between the kids, but what was better was having deeper conversations with the cousin and his wife; something that hadn’t happened before.

Another perk was the spending time with his father who I liked immediately when I met him over a decade ago. There are some people that come into your lives, and the intimacy makes sense, like a missing piece you didn’t know that makes the relationship a great one from the get go. Each time we see each other, my heart feels fuller, eager to hear his thoughts, and just being able to spend meaningful time together.

Another weekend of blessings, and I cannot help but be touched with gratitude. To be able have so much light in our lives makes the sunlight touching the streets like its reaching inside my heart. I cannot help but express thankfulness to the one above who allows me to experience all the varying emotions not just negative ones, who shows me that life isn’t always an ordeal, but something to experience joyfulness in.

Shukar. Shukar. Shukar

Brownness

On Making a Home

This past weekend, we were able to have friends and family over to experience our new place, but for me the biggest emotion was pride. Pride for my wife who endlessly worked to make our place a true home. Her touch is everywhere, including giving me a writing space that I said I didn’t want and now can’t imagine my mornings without it. A place for me to gaze, to have the sun bathe me in its light (hopefully giving me inspiration, and to wonder how well she knows me and supports me in her quiet ways.

She takes my writing as a part of me even though I don’t share as much as I could with her verbally, but she knew just as she knew what our house needed. Each area turned into something special, and I admit I feel guilty as my contribution was minimal due to work, my shoulder and just not being around during the times she could have used the support. But not only did she not complain, she took joy in molding this into our home. Countless trips, so many touches that still astonish me as I could have never imagined them. I am still in awe as to how much joy she has already created and we haven’t even been here a month.

Joy becomes easier when shared with others and this weekend we shared with the ones we care about, and I can’t wait to have others over, to have them appreciate as she has done. I make no claims except that my wife made us a home, and for that I am truly grateful, and it makes me excited for 2022. Almost three months in, and it looks bright, hopeful, and I am eager to see what we create.

Thank you Babu!

Brownness

Pushing Through

One of the exciting things about being at a new place means decluttering, organizing, and setting up spaces as you imagined them to be. I was happy to say that we brought over a lot less stuff that we have accumulated over the past two years, and even now have been ruthless of what gets to stay and what gets to go. It is nice to push through even as exhaustion sets in, and you promise yourself you are not going to move again for a long time even though the whole point of this exercise is to determine when we will find our permanent home.

And so we push through to new environments because that is the only want to find out what works and what doesn’t. Thankfully, I am paired with a very smart and talented wife who not only knows how to make a home, but knows exactly what pairs well with what while I just scratch my head, unable to make any design contributions, well because I have the taste of a two year old. So she makes do with me, but it has been a blast doing this with her.

It’s a way to reconnect, to recommit, to build a stronger foundation as we push through together and make our new home. I wouldn’t want it other way.

Brownness

Fear

This weekend I lost to fear, but luckily I did not do as much damage as I could have, but what little I did shows me I still have a of work to do. I won’t get into details because it would show me to be a scared little boy, and really the point of this blog has always been about expression not gossip. This past weekend I reacted when I realized someone dear to me tested positive, and while the pandemic is an old story, it has now struck home first with other loved ones, then my heart, and then finally a parent. And fear gripped my heart in such a way that I lashed out in blame when really it is what it always has been: a pandemic.

We got too comfortable too fast, or maybe we needed to in order to survive mentally. I don’t care if I get it, but to see others close to me suffer has been truly painful. I kept my fear in check until it hit too close to home when I wondered would I lose another even though the symptoms were mild. I projected onto a barren future with no parents, to being an orphan when that was not the reality but my mind made it one.

I went into a dark future, and it hit me that others had suffered the same fears and I had said nothing just the same noncommittal “I am sorry” not taking in their fear, just being a bystander. I get it. That is our coping mechanism because if we keep feeling fear, we won’t be able to function, but it does mean that I get to me empathetic, to learn to be present, to focus on what is actually happening to going to the worst place.

I went there this weekend, and it was not a pleasant place, and so I get to keep doing the work of not leading my life with fear, to being present, to take care of loved ones not spread emotions that don’t serve them or me. To not make proclamations filled with anger, threats, and needless worry to others, sharing a weaker part of myself that does a disservice to who I am as a person.

This weeked fear won, and it probably won’t be the last, but it doesn’t mean it will win everytime. It just means I get to do the work so I get better at taking it on.