Inpsiration, Journal, Legal

October 1

It’s strange to think that in just three months, 2018 will come to an end. It hits me that after 9 months, there are so many goals I didn’t even get to, and perhaps it was a stretch to try to do so much. Yet it comes down to responsibility not as in blame, but in that instead of blaming others, my failure or lack of action was due to the choices I made and no one else.  It’s strange to even say 2019, but here it is. A futuristic sounding year, and I picture what it will look like. Will it be more of the same, or will I make gains in all areas of my life?

Again, it comes back to me. Everything I desire requires work and action from me not wishful thinking. If I want to improve relations with loved ones, I get to be present. If I want success in work, I get to do good work (the referrals will come), if I want to be in service, I get to show up and do those things. Over and over again, I am reminded that if I want change in my life, it comes down to my thoughts and actions. It has never been up to others or circumstances, those are just victim stories I can tell myself to give myself excuses.

Sure, life happens, but how I deal with it is still my choice. So 3 months to, I hope to end it with a bang!

Happy October (and Monday)

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Tasks Versus Goals

In just a few days, March ends. We are 1/4 of the way done with 2017. That boggles my mind. Each month,  I take a few minutes to take stock of the month with the same question: am I living a life worth living?  The answer for this year so far has been a resounding yes. Are there challenges? Failures? Missed opportunities?  Of course, to say otherwise assumes that I am done learning, pushing myself and ensuring I am present for others. There is the constant urge to keep moving, to do more, be of service to others, but there are times I also know that I can get more task oriented rather than goal focused.

Last week, after speaking to my accountability buddy, it occurred to me while its fine to get through my to do list, I get to focus on what my vision is. It is not about lists or tasks, but creating a life that matters and makes the world better than when I came into it. It is that drive that gets me to be up before 6am most mornings because the excuses of “not enough time” no longer works if I truly want change.

Family, Myself


Tomorrow is Tejpal’s 3rd death anniversary. He has been on my mind for a few weeks now.  In a clinical sense, he is my brother in law‘s oldest brother, but in my life he has been a mentor, an older brother, and someone who really got my need to be writing and get things done creatively. I still cannot forget when he stayed up night after night designing my high school magazine Stylus which ended winning us one of the most prestigious awards for high school magazines.  I still smile at the many nights we would sit together and we would bounce ideas back and forth. He read most that I wrote till I graduated from law school.  He ended up being one of the few people in my life who was intimately involved in my writing.  Most times I write, I cannot help feeling his shadow across my thoughts, and I miss him terribly. All of this sounds so selfish in a way because he was more than just a mentor. He was a great father and brother. If there was anyone I knew close to perfection in compassion and care, I wouldn’t hesitate to say his name.

Dearest Tejpal.  I’d like to think that he is at peace, and as hard his sudden departure from this world was, he was genuinely the kindest, most generous human being I had met in my life.  Sure, I still saw him monthly after college and law school, but what never changed was how warm he made me feel. I am sure he probably wondered where I disappeared to and perhaps my only regret is that I never really got a chance to tell him how much he meant to me. I am sure he knows it, and I liked to think that he knew how much he influenced me.  So much of me wishes that I was deeper and better at expressing him.  I feel him by my side just smiling with his gentle hand on my back.  So even though the words will never be adequate, I grasp this stylus tightly and  write for the one of the few who inspired me.

Family, Myself


English: Class of '08
English: Class of ’08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Yesterday, I went to my niece‘s high school graduation. Just writing those words makes me feel old. The entire family went, and boy were we noticed when we screamed at hearing her name.  I have always loved the good-natured competitiveness that takes over families as they try to be the loudest, but I have to admit with our numbers, it was no competition. We were the loudest, and as I screamed I couldn’t but help remember at all the graduations my poor family had to attend because of me. High School. UCLA. Southwestern Law School.  Each time they went with the same amount of enthusiasm and numbers. It was as if my graduations were part of theirs. I realize now that graduations are a recognition of the family’s contributions. Sure. my niece and I put in the hard work, but really it was because of the energy and love given to us by our families.


My beautiful niece face swelled with happiness when she heard us, and in that moment I knew that we were all celebrating her achievement as well as ours.  Sounds a bit selfish perhaps, but there are moments in life when you know what you are doing is not just for you but for the people in your lives.  I also couldn’t help picturing my niece in diapers, and as old as I felt, I was just so utterly proud of her accomplishment that it didn’t matter that I had aged. It just felt right that I got to be there.  Sometimes that’s all that matters.  Being there to see the special moments that you will remember forever. Happy graduation, honey. I love you!


Myself, Writing


I have this need to be read It’s why I have been writing since I was 16, and I often wonder what makes me want to share with others.  What makes me desire to hear the sentence “I read what you wrote” followed by “I liked/loved/laughed/cried/thought about what you wrote.”  I am open to criticism but I am scared of it as well. My biggest fear is not being liked but being ignored. As if I don’t exist. I write because it makes me feel as I exist. It is the only time that I am the uninterrupted. unadulterated me.

All my life. I have fought this nagging feeling of being a fraud, of feeling that I was meant for something different. The reality is that we are all a bunch of choices.  We are where we are either because of our own choices or others in our lives.  The others count only if your under 18 or just not willing or able to make your own choices. As a Punjabi, its easy to point the finger at my parents, but they didn’t force me to write, or go to UCLA or law school. Those were all my decisions so in a way I need to write to think out loud on paper. I have this need to inflict my opinion others. It’s perhaps the only time I feel as if intellectually I matter.

Yet even my writing is haphazard just like my feelings and thoughts. I have been unable to write something original in a long time. It’s as if I am afraid to really put myself out there or maybe just maybe I don’t have it in me. It is that last thought that drives me crazy. If I am not a writer, then what am I?  It’s the only label I have ever really wanted, and its the only that has eluded me now for over 2 decades.  I often the wonder if the feeling I am a fraud is actually who I am.  That perhaps in some way. my desire to be something other than what others think of me is what drives me?

I don’t know, and so I write even though I feel like a fraud.  IMG_1964


My Past, Myself

Three Words

A hoodie with the University of California, Lo...
A hoodie with the University of California, Los Angeles trademark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I don’t know.  The three words I can always count on in my life. I have struggled with who I am for the longest time.  I think that the only time I was sure what I wanted to be was when I won a writing competition in high school (the NCTE) that allowed me acceptance into UCLA. After that, it was one giant slippery slope.  I became unsure if being an English major was enough, then got caught up in promoting and creating events in college (South Asian Youth Conference, Bruin Bhangra,etc) , and I thought I had a knack for it. My family couldn’t afford for me to go, so I took on being a dishwasher as well as doing dorm security to make tuition. I became even more confused. Did I want to just become a write? How will I survive?  So I added Political Science as well, because I thought I was special and could do both. That added another year so I took almost 5 years to graduate.

I still think that college was perhaps the best time of my life because it allowed me to almost figure out who I am, yet in some ways it spoiled me. I avoided real life, and so after college I took on Americorps and ended up in Lexington, Kentucky where I tutored juvenile delinquents in English for a year. Again, I got busy in volunteering, and not really facing myself.  After coming back, I somehow decided on law school at the Southwestern University School of Law, but not in old program, the SCALE program, the only 2 year law program in the country at the time.  I decided to go with being unconventional because it allowed me to avoid real life. So went the story of my life, yet I also know I am not being fair with myself.  I make not knowing seem a bad thing, but what I really mean is my hunger for knowledge has never died.  I like to think it keeps me young. Sometimes saying “I don’t know” is also saying “I want more.”