Brownness, Myself, Random


choice and context
choice and context (Photo credit: Will Lion)

I don’t always do the right thing. I realize that we each face moments every single day of our lives where we have a choice to do the right thing.  We could eat better. We could exercise. We could be better friends, lovers, and the list goes on and one. I know those are choices yet somehow as I get older, I find some choices easier to make than others. There are days I just don’t feel like eating or exercising right, but with people its different. I see now that if I choose wrong then there are consequences. When I choose to ignore my friend’s need to be heard, I take a little piece out of our friendship away. When I say a not very nice thing to a family or a partner, I cut into their trust and love for me.

Choices run my world. And I am lately seeing a pattern that I am not liking about myself. I am less friendly. I make unkind remarks off the cuff. I am not the Sanjay that many have known me for many years.  The only explanation I have is that my recent surgery have made me less certain of who I am. Whats the point of eating and exercise if I still had to get brain surgery? What’s the point of being patient when I see other make the silliest mistakes?  How can I stop loved ones from continuing on the wrong path?  Why are some people continually on the path of getting hurt when all they have to do is step back? On and on in my head, I see so much wrong, and I want to fix it all, but I cannot.

I forgot that it is a choice we make when we are around others. We cannot make others do what we want them to do. Intellectually, I know that but emotionally  I have lost patience. I no longer want to let others be, yet that is not something I should be involved in. I try to remind myself of that everyday.  I know I have to choose the right thing, yet more often than not I am struggling to do that. What was an innate part of my personality is something now I have to struggle to do.  I also know that is my personal battle. I cannot control anything or anyone except myself.

I have to choose to be me even though lately that is the hardest thing to be.


Bridge: A Blog Post

by Jemal Yarbrough

As I look at the beautiful picture done by my best friend Jemal, I realize how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life.  Sure, there were some days when I felt as if I was besieged and just taken advantage of, yet the reality was that no one did anything out of the ordinary.  It’s just that my perception of life has made question some basic things in my life such who are my friends?  I put so much importance in being liked that I forgot that no one can make you bad about yourself without your consent.

I realize now that I was unhappy with myself, and for that the only changed that was needed on my ability to deal with it.  Work has transformed into something I want to expand on, going out on new things a passion, working out so I can get the body I want a habit that I am unwilling to compromise for anyone.  I am now also around people who enable me my good habits rather than regret my past and my new decisions in life.  There are some in my life who are so unhappy with themselves that nothing I say or do can change that.  You know what, that’s their problem not mine.

I cannot change anyone except for myself, and until I do I will constantly be worried or annoyed about things that do not matter.  There are some near me in need of severe guidance but it’s not my job to fix them.  As hard as that is sometimes to recognize, I now know that I can only be there if needed or asked.  I was overly involved or affected by others and their habits when in fact the real culprit was my frustration with my failures or inability to get things done.  I can only be a bridge if people choose to use me as that tool.  I cannot force them to do things that they are unwilling or incapable of doing.  Does that mean I don’t care?  No, just that I no longer will interfere.  Just like the beautiful bridge, I will be here for the crossing when asked. 🙂

Family, Myself, Preeti

An Apology (sort of)

a Sadhu in Vârânasî, India.
Image via Wikipedia


by Jemal Yarbrough


Yesterday was an amazing day.  Full of laughter and a collective sigh of relief as we watched her eat a full meal after many weeks, and actually looking like herself.  It was also the sharing of an important moment, breaking bread with my in-laws as well as my new brothers, and for the first time since her surgery, we were in this together.  The talk flew quickly, the laughter even quicker and I never felt alone, the reinforcements were here!  Our support group got larger, and we finally had begun the healing process together.  The day went smoothly and for the first time I had nothing to complain about, but in fact was full of praise for every single person involved and there were several.  There was my mother in well  as well as brother-in-law, his girlfriend, several friends, along with numerous texts, calls and visits from others.   Every single person taking time out of their lives and heart to share with her as well as me .

I fell in love with her all over again while starting new relationships with others.  No longer am I intimidated with this disease especially chemotherapy, and no longer does it seem that it is never-ending (because it’s only 2 more weeks of chemo to go).  I am not ashamed to admit that I over-reacted, neither am I shy to admit that all of my recent blogs have been about myself as I try to make sense of what’s going on with me.  In that attempt, I managed to hurt several people, and to them I say I am extremely sorry.   To some, it may seem like glory seeking for me to blog about the disease and point out what others are doing or not doing.  It really isn’t about them.  It’s about me.  I realize though that I have certain responsibilities in every relationship, so the fact I am just blogging or expressing my feelings does not diminish the fact that I am doing it publicly.  In a nutshell, if I can’t be nice perhaps I shouldn’t say it.  Ok, I almost said that with a straight face.  No, no I need to be better because not writing for me would be like not breathing.  So what I mean to say is that I need to get better, appreciate more, love more, thank more, smile more, work more, work out more.  After all, I am almost 40 (39 in less than a week) so I need to grow up.  I need to finally accept that life goes on, and I need to as well.  As a dear friend quoted The Tao of Pooh, I need to become a pebble in the stream, and another encourages me to be more thankful, I realize now that God has been sending hints throughout this ordeal, HE hasn’t left me alone, I am not alone.  I have others I can trust with my life including my new family.  And for that, I cannot be grateful enough.

When we first heard about what was going on with her, I never felt more alone and overwhelmed, and that feeling continued because I had convinced myself that it was my punishment for my behavior in the past.  I lost sight of the fact that we are truly loved by others because some hurt us so deeply that we only thrived in that pain.  Isn’t it funny what kind of creatures we are?  We may have everything in the world, yet the moment someone or something makes us feel less deserving, we immediately seize upon that not seeing the 99% of goodness we do have in our loves.

Hard to believe that one good night made me realize this but it isn’t one good night, we have been building towards this. I just had to allow myself to enjoy it and accept help.  I was alone because I had made it that way. When I think of the texts and calls offering to help, I cringe in shame because my stupid pride that made me say no.  I became blind to the outside world just wallowing in self-pity.  I drowned myself in self-doubt and loathing, lost sight of what’s real and what is not. In a word, I was a bitch.  An emotionally unstable whiner.  A loner.  I probably almost all the right ingredients to consider becoming a Sadhu, but even there I would have failed because the first lesson in any recovery is acknowledgment of who you are.  So yes I am a bitch.  I need to slap myself silly for the last few blog posts just because they were very mean, uncalled for and generally below my character.  Ok, but one small thing: it was pretty riveting writing, you gotta give me that, but then it hits me that I am feeding into people’s voyeuristic site and not really adding anything of value so minus that one point (doh!).

I know I need to end this tirade yet I can’t seem to let go of the feeling of fullness and goodness in my heart thanks to so many people.  I am not gonna lie, I am still irked at some but really that’s a minor issue, and I need to make those people minor as well.  I have built up some so loftily that any small misstep by them causes a turbulence in my soul, so like a pebble in a stream, I let it flow through me, and drown myself in her beautiful, beautiful smile  At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.  Except for me as well, duh!  Come on now, you should know by now its always about me 🙂