Myself

Best Friend: A Blog Post

by Jemal Yarbrough

Sometimes, just looking at an image reminds of you the possibility of life, specifically on how a day can do.  My best friend Jemal managed to do that for me today.  I don’t know if he realizes how much of an influence he has been in my life.  We started as law school colleagues, part of the SCALE program at Southwestern School of Law, not realizing that we would still be keeping in touch more than a decade later.  Our days are Thursday as I happen to have a weekly meeting in morning near his house, and in those few hours we manage to keep each other sane.  I think I get the better end of the deal as he has to hear my incessant whining about something or the other.  As much as he will hate this blog post, I could not resist the opportunity to acknowledge his brilliance as an attorney but also his creative side.

If you follow this blog in any sort of way, you will notice that a majority of the images are by Jemal’s amazing photography.  His images manage to always move me with their intense focus and simplicity.  He manages to say more in one image than I can with a 1000 word post.  Each of us have something that is uniquely ours to own, and Jemal has made photography his bitch.  Sometimes, you have to let the ones close to you know how much they mean to you.  Love ya bro!

#30trust

Facing and Fearing: A Blog Post

Lost: Missing Pieces
Image via Wikipedia

1) The cost of inaction is not much truth be told if I accept my life as it is.  I have amazing friends, family, wife and work yet what is missing is my creative soul.  I feel I traded that in somewhere in my first marriage and it has taken me decades to realize how much I miss it.  As materially wealthy as I am, my soul is poor and starved for action and the more I have done this writing exercise, the more I see how it is to get out of inaction.

I have so much more to gain by trying that the only failure that will string is the lost chances to write.  I see myself writing regularly and lately my visions for work and love have gotten clearer as if I was in a fog and until writing cleared away the cobwebs, I was merely content.  Now I am full of energy, working out, writing, loving, planning things, it’s as if I am running out of time, and I want to get it all done and now.

#30trust, #trust30, Writing

Fear: A Blog Post

Cover of "Fear of Writing"
Cover of Fear of Writing

Fear by Lachlan Cotter
These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?

Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?

Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?

Now Do. The Thing. You Fear.

I knew it would be difficult to take on the 30 challenge more so than anything  else because it would require me to face my fear of writing regularly and perhaps on some sort of schedule.  The stories sit inside me cobwebbed, yet I feel great anxiety when I start to dust off the past to write about it mainly because I have not dealt with the emotional consequence as well as having a turbulent present.  So where do I begin? That’s the question I am stuck or similarly whenever people ask what I want to write about, I say Ziba but to be quite honest, I do not if that’s the first story I want to tell.

As I witnessed a good friends wedding from UCLA, and being around other UCLA friends, I realized how much I miss that perfect time when all that mattered was scholarship and friendship.  It was a perfect time when writing came to be easy and words just appeared when I sat in front of the campus desktop computer.  Yet more than anything else, I was not alone.  I remember spending nights on my friend’s couch when I had no money for dorm housing, and benefiting greatly from the generosity of true friends who I see now 15 years later, and it is as if nothing has changed.  We all have spouses now, and we are older but just for that one night, we felt like we were 21 again, laughing and giggling about the dumb things we did at UCLA.

Yes the insecurity returns when the 39-year-old me sits here and wonder what to write about and it hits me that more than anything else, I am fighting about my own story.  I do not who I am anymore.  Years ago, I had a defined personality and name away from Ziba Beauty but now I am just a co-owner and while the opportunities are endless, there is a sense of betrayal to my sense of what I should be doing: which is writing.  So more than anything else, as I sit in this hotel room in New York, I am determined now to keep writing regularly and hopefully have something published next year.

Divine Idea by Fabian Kruse
Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

Currently, I have a tendency of copying and pasting my own old writings and not really creating anything new so I need to stop “killing” myself and just sit down and write.

 

 

#30trust, #trust30

Afraid to Do/Personal Message

In the midst of a humid and hot as hell New York, I stayed away from the laptop just taking in the alone time with her and some old family.  So far, it has to led to mixed results as we have become rusty at truly being alone together.  The constant calls and texts from others do not help sometimes only because we have become new at being with each other. Sad truth is, we are struggling more so because there are some old habits we have that are hard to break, and are creating constant friction.  Anyways, that is my long winded way of saying sorry, I didn’t get to the prompts for these reasons/

Trust30-Day 9-Afraid to Do

Afraid to Do by Mary Jaksch

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.

Writing for me has always been personal but recent comments by others in my family and others close to me have now made me scared to put down anything “real” or “off the cuff” for fear of offending them as well as coming off as harsh.  I feel as if I can no longer vent bout the issues that are affect my due to friends and family.   Unfortunately, I am in a position that I cannot blog about it but I did manage to find another outlet which is to write a blank document, rant and rave and then deleting so I don’t have the stress that I will offend someone. 

Your Personal Message by Eric Handler
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say?

My message would be a copy and paste of Pema Chodron.  To let things be, let emotion flow around you and don’t waste time on things that do not matter, spend time on the ones that make you matter. 

My Past, Myself

Leaving

Aerial view of Niagara Falls, showing parts of...
Image via Wikipedia

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…