Myself, Writing

Fraud

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.”

 

 

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?

#30trust, Writing

Wholly Strange And New: A Blog Post

Janss_Steps,_UCLA
Image via Wikipedia

Wholly Strange and New by Bridget Pilloud
When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.

(Author: Bridget Pilloud)

I remember the first time I started free style writing, it was under a timed essay for NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English), where we would write about anything.  We had practiced many themes and topics in preparations but when the test started, I began to write about the time pressure, the room, describing my reasons for writing and it was then I truly knew I would win the contest.  At that moment, my grammar was perfect, the words flowed, and although we had 5 page minimum with 2 hours, I ended up writing almost 12 pages about my life with my horrible handwriting, but it was bliss.  It was clear.  It made sense. I knew I would end up going to UCLA and win the only scholastic award in my life that meant anything.  I don’t remember erasing much and at that time typing was not allowed yet my hand was sure and steady as I wrote about the room, setting my future in motion.

#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.

 

 

Myself

Alone

Cover of "Conversational Spanish (Living ...
Cover via Amazon

Today, I hit 204 pounds, only 14 pounds away from my idea goal.  I am also on Lesson 4 of Pimsleur’s guide to Spanish. almost halfway through beginning conversational Spanish.  Today was also the last day for my online UCLA class of Bringing Characters to Life. To top of all this, we have finally begun discussion on wedding dates. I should feel satisfied but I am not as it hit me that a lot of what I am doing is being done alone.  I have failed to share my passions and victories with the ones I love but worst of all, it does not appear that it matters to them.  I am lonely but motivated.  Sad but looking forward to life ahead.  Angry because I am suffocating with frustrations and old hurts

I know I probably exaggerating but I can’t seem to let go of that feeling, and thus I am still blowing up over absolutely trivial things. I also know that there are some I should avoid, some I should handle gingerly, some with love but most of all some with caution as whatever comes out of my mind, seems to end up on their plate.  I have no privacy or at least it feels like it but more than anything else I just cannot believe how I have treated some who are dear to me especially her.  I owe her more than an apology, I owe her my life.