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.”

 

 

My Past, Myself

Leaving

Aerial view of Niagara Falls, showing parts of...
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The idea seemed simple enough. Got a new BMW, Drive to New York. Got a map, and my eyes glanced over the country and I wondered why just New York…

A Recently broken up fake marriage, lied to for almost 4 years, I wanted to get away from LA fast but no so fast that I didn’t experience anything. Why drive? Simple enough answer: Why not? Nothing was stopping me but honestly I wasn’t sure myself. It just seemed to fit and make sense since not much else in my life really did I think I just wanted an adventure. I felt locked up and had been indoors too long. Behind bars of a loveless and sexless marriage, I no longer wanted to do the normal thing of travel by flying. Truth be told, I didn’t even know what normal was.

I met her when I had just turned a quarter of a century, felt like my gas tank was quarter full of experience, and it would be good to share 75% of my life with the company of another. She was, pretty, Punjabi and in school. She filled out the mold I had set in my head and so we began dating. No sex of course, but we are indian and we don’t do those sort of things. Some sexual foreplay and plenty of time with each others’ families well actually more with hers because she lived an hour away and me being a gentleman, I didn’t want to make her drive so I would go visit her and since she lived at home with he parents (as I did), I thought it appropriate to be the designated driver to her life. A mistake I would pay for the rest of my life.

San Francisco was added for obvious reasons since it hovered about us, and it made sense to pass it as a launch point also because we wanted to touch Utah (for skiing), glance over Wyoming, set up briefly for some steaks in Nebraska (had heard they were famous for them), and then plunge through Iowa to finally get to a city and state where we actually had friends: Chicago, Illinois. After getting our breath back by shoving it with Crown Royal for 3 days, we would then stumble onwards to Cleveland (for a Bhangra competition) and then finally make it to our original destination of New York. However, the thought of going back the same way we came smacked too much like my demolished nuptials so we planned to forge ahead to see the Niagara Falls on the side of Michigan (something I wasn’t aware of until we opened the map and talk to the Triple A agent), gently stop in Michigan and then open ourselves to Lexington Kentucky, a town I called Blue Balls instead of Blue Grass because thats exactly what I had for the year that I spent there. The pattern of our visitations become as vague as our reasonings for going there, we just wanted to keep going, my cousin never questioning or wondering why the hell we want to go anywhere really. The next states happened in a successiong, Atlanta and then Florida (the first place where I was to meet a girl and perhaps no longer be blue balled, and then for some fine dining in New Orleans, Louisana. Finally, we would hit the biggest state in the nation and it would take us 2 full days to cross it so our stops became Houston and San Antonia, and we hop onwards to Phoenix and Tuscon and finally return to Los Angeles, a mere 3 weeks after we began.

The plan seemed sane enough. To be continued…