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.”

 

 

Brownness

Goals (on Turning 40)

University of California, Los Angeles; UCLA
University of California, Los Angeles; UCLA (Photo credit: COG LOG LAB.)

NWA’s ” Straight Out of Compton” turned on, taking me right back to my freshman year at UCLA.  I am at the gym, leg pressing 300 pounds, arm curling 50 pounds feeling like a beast.  I was 18, a wanna be mustache dancing on my lip, Gangsta rap in my blood. I felt bad ass as I pushed out 10 reps.  2 more circuits to go.  That was then, this is now.  I push out 540, and curl 100 but the gut sticks out, and my 40 years feels like 400 on me.  I am not UCLA Sanjay anymore, more like Useless Sanjay but that’s just my self-pity talking.

A few years ago, I had the same goals as I did today, but the only difference was passion.  Whereas, before I just wished to be in better shape, I now WANT to be better.  I know I can get to a six pack, the only regret being that it would be 22 years AFTER the fact, but you know what, it’s how it makes me feel NOW that matters.  Everything else is just mere whining.  Turning 40 can work miracles for someone like me who quite honestly has been quite comfortable for quite a while.

I start each day knowing that one day closer to my goal of being in the best shape of my life.  The real reason: I don’t want to die needlessly. I don’t want to die because of something I could have prevented, but most of all I don’t want to die before I really do accomplish all that I want from my life.  It really is that simple. I want to live my life not live day-to-day.

Why do you wake up each morning?