Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Apple Computers and Other Tales of Woe in 2013

Let's talk about Apple computers for a second.  I'll have you know that I did not have much money to spend on a computer but I bought a Mac Air computer not to be hip and cool, but because they don't get viruses, they start real quick, and they are so light I can travel with them to cafes etc.  In essence they were at the time the best. 

Let's talk about how it broke down like in the first six months and they had to replace the mother board I have no idea what a mother board is, but it sounds important.  I find out later it is everything.  Then it breaks down again and it's something else.

Why did I spend a ton of money for something that wasn't supposed to break down?  Because I'm unbreakable.  Same reason I buy Japanese cars.  I was once in a terrible car accident in my Japanese car and it was totaled because I hit a semi and went under a car tower.  I didn't get a scratch.

My friend who works at Apple wanted to break his computer really badly so he would get a new one from Apple, so he put it in the washing machine without any water and let it run.  The damn thing still worked afterwards.  

So is it my luck that I happen to get the one bad apple?  Pun intended.

Then it turns out when I moved in with my friend in August, it just so happens that my computer's Internet connection doesn't work with her Internet provider, it works everywhere else.  I have to struggle to get Internet service at my own home.  I went to the mad house they call the Apple store and they tried to fix it but failed.  I'm so traumatized by the experience that I'm putting off going back. 

I feel like this is a metaphor for life. You can get try real hard to get the best shit around, whether it be a partner, a computer, a car, a phone or a job.  But if it ain't in your fate for it to behave properly, it ain't in your fate.  I couldn't control the fact that I got a bad piece of a good thing, even then I love the shit out of this computer. 

So when you look back at this year, remember what was in your control and what wasn't.  If you got the best job you thought you could get and it turns out to be a bust, well either make it work or quit.  

I realized this year that I don't know if I want to teach kids, maybe I would rather teach in college so I can teach young adults.  I think teaching is a two-way conversation, a deep conversation that maybe these kids are not ready to have.  Maybe I need more intellectual stimulation than what can be offered in secondary education.  I spent four years in teaching school, does this make me an idiot?

No I'm not an idiot, I mean I have three degrees at this point, two Masters and one of them is from Columbia University.  I'm not saying that to brag but only to point out that you can be over educated and still underemployed and underpaid. 

Just like my computer, I paid out of my ass to get the best education in writing that I could get. This last year, I was a little depressed because I didn't really write.  It was like a little death for me.  I like to write so much that I was writing this in my sleep, I kid you not that this blog post arose from a dream I was having about writing this very blog post.  

Writing and teaching are my two passions, the teaching part may come in a different form than I anticipated, but I can teach with an MFA (it's considered equivalent to a PhD) in college, but I don't think I was ready to do that until now.  I thought you had to have a book published...I thought I couldn't do it.

I don't know why I doubted myself.  You can have the best of everything, but until you have faith in yourself, you can't make it work. 

When I look back at this year I find that I have the best messed up computer, I mean if I was gonna get a messed up computer I'm still glad I have this one.  I have the best phone, OK, it's an I-Phone4 and it's not the best out there, but I'm blessed to have it, I came from a flip phone before this.  I also have a Kindle Fire, not the best tablet but not bad.   

But more than anything I have the best friends and family.  I have friends who would lay down their life for me, and I would do the same for them.  My family took me in and took care of me when I was in the worst shape of my life, and they love me despite the fact that I didn't follow their dreams, I followed mine. 

So I have to change some ideas I had about my job situation, I have to change some ideas about my life situation.  Sometimes you have the best and the worst at the same time and you have to make it work. 

I have the best job ever right now, I mean I sit around bullshitting, hoping one day someone will pay me for these words.

They will, one day it will happen.  

Not because I'm brilliant, but because I believe.  

This year was OK, it had great points and low points.  The most important thing that happened this year was my own personal consciousness, I realized that I can do anything.  I realized that I'm worthy of love and acceptance just the way I am.  

This year I became fabulous to my own damn self.  This year was the year I really found myself.

Now what will I do with myself...To be continued...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Do you Believe in Soul Mates?

Let's be honest I think my soul mate is the international man of mystery.  He's part everything and he's lived everywhere.  The question is does he exist?  Do soul mates exist?  Do you think there is one person for you, and that person is connected to your very soul?  I do and I don't.

The reason I do is because I once thought a guy was my soul mate. It was an unrequited love kind of situation, meaning that I never got to be with the dude.  In my head for some reason though, he seemed to fit.

And that's the reason I don't believe there is only one soul mate for one person.  Because that would mean I'm not with my soul mate and that's sad.  I really truly believe there is someone else out there who will make me feel like I'm coming home.  

I mean the problem with the theory that there is one soul mate is that your soul mate could be in Egypt and be speaking another language altogether, and you could never meet.  All the while you are dreaming of a soul mate when the person you are with in Idaho is actually the person that is meant for you.

I don't think we should necessarily throw everything away in search of the ideal person that completes us. Different people will complete us in different ways.  And maybe soul mates take a lot of work, maybe you can make someone your soul mate by working hard at loving each other, I mean the notion that your soul is connected to another soul could be true of anyone.   Maybe I could connect with anyone's soul if I really tried.  I don't know about this preordained fate stuff.  I believe your soul connects with the souls that will give it the most important experiences the soul needs on this earth in order to thrive.  

The problem with the idea of soul mates is that the notion that our souls are separate from each other.  I sincerely believe we are all one entity, that we are connected.  That we are one.  In some way or another everyone is your soul mate.  However there are still people that we seem more connected to for some ethereal reason, some eternal thing.

I believe that souls travel together, in like groups, and if you meet someone in that group, they may be one of your soul mates.

Where, pray tell, do I get my theories from?  Some of it is from new age thinking, the idea that souls travel together is not something new that I made up.  The notion is in Eastern philosophy.

I have a couple friends that I think may be soul mates.  I have a couple relatives that I feel the same way about.

There are people you meet and right away you feel at home with them, I believe they are somehow involved in your soul's journey.  Every soul you encounter is involved in this journey through space and time, but certain people's soul's seem similar and familiar to you.

I mean I have met people and thought I may have known them in a past life.  But just like my past in this life, it may have created who I am, but it is not who I am.  I have no memory of past lives, or who was in them.  I know right now, and right now I'm single and looking for someone to compliment me, not complete me.  I'm complete.

It would be lovely if I met an individual who I felt was a part of my innermost soul.  It would be lovely if I met a guy who appreciates my soul.  

No one is going to complete my soul.  But someone may touch it.     

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Can Sexual Attraction be Racist?

So let me break it down for you, I was a weirdo in high school and still am.  My nickname on the school newspaper was Metaphysical Vegetarian.  So let me tell you a story about some stuff that went down in the nineties at Troy High.  If you were born during or after the nineties, I wonder if you will be shocked at what went on during this time period.  I've heard things have changed a bit.   

So back to 1993, I wrote for the newspaper and had a crush on a particular white guy who was waaay too "cool" and popular for me, I was nerdy and kinda alternative and hung out with all the Indian kids.  So I decide to set up a "blind" date with him for the newspaper, telling my editor that I'm gonna write about blind dates etc.  Well the guy shows up on the date expecting the homecoming queen I suspect, but he gets me.  I never went to homecoming cause I never had a date. 

It's a bad blind date.  All in all it's weird, uncomfortable and if I had any sense I would have realized we had no chemistry.  So we interview him after the "blind" date and he says he doesn't find girls who are not Caucasian attractive.  In short he only likes white girls.

So let me go over this real quick: I'm Indian and I'm not white.  I happen to like white guys, I happen to like guys period of literally any race.  My crush before him was a black guy my crush after him was an Indian guy.


We didn't publish the article because I was not allowed to date in high school and it occurred to me that if I printed this in the newspaper my parents would slaughter me.  But part of the reason I would not let this go to print was because I was ashamed.  I don't know if I was ashamed of being different, or I was ashamed that someone in the "mainstream" culture did not like me.     

The thing is, the guy didn't say he didn't like people who are not Caucasian, he just said he's not attracted to any girls who are not white.  I was devastated when I found out about this.  It was a different kind of hurt.  I mean I don't know, but I felt discriminated against.  I would have been much happier if he just didn't like me cause I wasn't "cool."  But the first and main reason he didn't like me was because I was a person of color.

But the thing is, one of my Indian friends in high school at the time only liked white guys as well.  So was she racist?  Now she likes guys of other ethnicities  but doesn't find black men attractive.  Is she racist or is she just exhibiting a preference? 

I know an Indian guy who really only likes blond women.  He also told me it was a good thing that I moved in with a white girl.  What?

What am I supposed to make of all this?  I like men of all races, ethnicities etc.  But people's sexual preferences, are they up for suspicion?  Should they be analyzed?  Are their weird factors of race relations at play here?

In the olden days during slavery, many slave owners were married to white women but raped black women.  The reason I bring this up is, the white men were sexually attracted to both races but could not respect the black women.  Fast forward to the present and let's be honest, you don't find many white guys searching for black women, but you do find more black men with white women.

Black women will tell you a black man who chases after white women is trying to find a trophy, a way to sell out.  I bet white men, a lot of them, will tell you they are just not attracted to black women.  And then there is us, the brown people.  We meander through, white men, black men, and brown men.  Since we are a medium color, we get an experience with all of this.   

In this whole weird game, is the white person the ultimate prize?

Is it because we see white people on the cover of magazines and besides the president, we see them in positions of power?  Is the ideal of beauty still white?  In Indian culture, the whiter your skin the more beautiful you are perceived.  If you look at ads on Indian marriage websites, they will often say that they are looking for a fair skinned bride.

It makes me want to vomit and I have fair skin.  In fact my skin is so fair she I am often mistaken for other ethnicities.  But apparently I am not the fairest of them all, because that one guy in high school did not find my ethnic coloring attractive.

Trust me when I say I'm over it...but I wonder?  I got to question myself here a bit.  In my school at the time, most of the popular people were white even though there were tons of Indians and other Asians in my school.  Was part of the reason I liked this guy because he held a position of power by being white and by being popular?  Hmmm.  Was part of my attraction to him about his power? Was part of his dislike for me about my ethnicity not being part of his group which he perceived as superior to my group of friends.   

I also wonder about other things.  I mean are there men who don't find Penelope Cruz or Halle Berry attractive?  Come on?

I mean there is a natural element, people are inclined to want their own "kind" for a whole host of reasons.  A lot of it has to do with familiarity and similar upbringings.  Some of it has to do with being attracted to someone who looks similar to you.  But to not at all find anyone who is different then you attractive is kinda closed minded I think.  I don't per say think it's racist, I think it's stupid.  

I don't want to judge, but I find it suspect, like when people have never tried other ethnic cuisines and only eat one kind of food.  I mean I respect the fact that some people don't like sushi, but there is plenty of other Japanese food to like.   There is a whole world of cuisine out there, you may not know what you are missing.  Just sayin...

Pretty soon people are going to be so mixed in this country that they will be part white, yellow, black, brown etc.  Maybe soon we won't really have a color.  I don't know if that time will actually come, but will we have these barriers up then?

I have a friend who is in law school with some young "kids" in their twenties.  He says that all this work about equality for race and women and LGBT people has really set in their minds.  Something is working.  They are not shocked that there is a black president.  Maybe they don't see so much difference in what races they find attractive.   

I hope things have changed for real.  I hope there is hope.

As for me I used to really want an Indian man in my twenties, I used to find that kind of man the most attractive.  Now that I've grown, I'm open to all sorts of men, race or ethnicity honestly does not matter to me.  I'm not against my peeps, but I'm open to all people.  But will they all be open to me?   

Saturday, December 28, 2013

When is Controversy too Much?

When you are a writer you wonder sometimes, especially in an online forum, when are you revealing too much about yourself?

So I wrote a post that was too controversial for me and I was uncomfortable with it, so I deleted it.  I know a few people read it, and that's OK.  I guess my question is how much can I reveal on a blog without at some point just feeling like I'm standing naked in front of the crowd?

I don't walk around naked, so why would I talk around naked, so to speak.  Why would I write naked?  A good friend of mine told me I need to have a shell, maybe like a candy shell, so that I can protect myself.  I don't want to say anything that hurts me or hurts other people.  I want to speak my truth without revealing the innermost vulnerabilities of my heart.

It's a difficult balance.

Don't worry, I'm not celebrity yet, but my blog is catching on and I get more hits every day.  I wonder though, where do I draw the line?  I know the public is not my friend, they are not out to protect me or love me or support me.  They are simply reading what I write for God knows what reason.  It could be that they are bored at work, bored at home, ultimately amused by me, or they stumbled upon this by accident.  Who knows.

The point is I got really nervous when I posted the blog post that I deleted.  It was a feeling of sheer fear.  I was scared that I was going to be judged.  Judged by people I don't know and by people I know.  I was scared that they were going to make assumptions about me.

Then there is the thing about being Indian, dealing with the Indian community. I'm part of a community that tends to be very inquisitive gossipy and judgmental. 

The truth is I can be very inquisitive and judgmental about myself.  I want to know who I am and I'm not always comfortable with who I am and I don't always want to publicly announce it.

It's hard being in the public eye sort of, cause I'm not at the phase where I'm so famous that I don't give a shit what people think of me because they are paying me regardless of what they think.  I'm not even remotely getting paid or famous. 

But the Internet is so quick and fast and you can make a mistake really quickly, it can go viral in seconds.  It's hard to have a personal online presence where you where your heart on your sleeve.  

So what should I do?

I gotta be real, I got to be careful, I got to be smart.  

But I'm gonna make mistakes, say things I should not say and maybe have regrets.

That's part of this game, part of this profession, part of this new media.

We don't know exactly how to navigate this new way we have sort of a public presence on Facebook etc.  We are all in this together.  So please be patient with me, know that I'm as confused by all this, in a way I sort of don't know what I'm doing.  In a way I do.   

There is a part of me that feels like a coward because I can't read my diary out loud, but there are things that are ours to own and not necessarily share.  

So I will let the world get to know me, in parts and in ways.  I will try not to offend and I will try hard not to make myself uncomfortable with what I reveal.  

I hope this works out.       

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chivalry: Dead or Alive?

I won't date a guy again if he doesn't pay for the first date and I call myself a feminist.  What is that about?  I don't expect men to pay all the time, not even the second time, just on the first date.  It's a little kindness.

Does it mean I'm proclaiming that I'm weaker and need of financial assistance? No.  I just think it's nice.  I don't think it's some sort of symbol of patriarchy, I just think people should do nice things for each other.

I think chivalry to me means something different than it does to other people.  I think we should be chivalrous to older people and kids.  We should be extra kind to them, because it's a nice thing to do.  Not because they are weaker, but because we acknowledge that in our society we have more power than they do.   

Should women chivalrous be to men?  Sure, I think that women should show little kindnesses to men as well.  Does the kindness have to be cooking for them or doing their laundry or other traditionally "female" tasks?  No.  It can be buying them something or in fact paying for dinner or opening their door.

I think we should be chivalrous to strangers, like sometimes paying for the person who is behind us.  Or opening the door for them.

What happened to human kindness?  Why is it debatable?

So is it ridiculous for me to not go out again with a guy who does not insist on paying for the first date?  Trust me, I always insist, and I have paid for first dates.  But personally maybe I think the guy should in some way make up for the fact that he makes more money on the dollar than I do.  Maybe he should have to compensate for the fact that I risk my very life by stepping into a room alone with him, because he is stronger than me and could rape me.

I need him to be extra kind to me because in general I'm a little scared of men I've just met.  They could hurt me.  They could potentially pay for dinner and still mutilate my body, but to me the paying for dinner signifies that they are saying something about our imbalance in society.  They are saying "I know" i know there is a difference in society in the way we treated, what opportunities we get etc.  They are not saying, "I am Tarzan you are Jane."  Or "You are weaker and I'm stronger."

I mean there are men who are saying the Tarzan bit but those men will say it in other ways as well.  They are the men that beat women.  So how do you tell them apart?

You gotta trust your instincts.  My intuition tells me that if I go out to dinner with any stranger, I usually offer to pay.  It's the truth.  And I believe they should offer as well.  I'm being genuine and will often pay for a meal of someone I just met.  If we are old friends and just meeting after a long time, I will also offer to pay.

I don't even have any money people, once I do, I will offer to pay more and more.  But with a guy, on a first date, if he doesn't acknowledge that we are strangers, I'm trusting him enough to sit at a table with someone who could over-power me physically, I may even step into his car, then I think he doesn't get that I'm doing him a kindness by trusting him.

Does that mean that I should think it is extremely kind of him not to objectify or rape me?  No.  It means that there is an inherent kindness in offering to pay for anyone's meal, on insisting.  Especially when that person is literally risking their life by going on a date with them.

Am I being overly dramatic.  I don't think so.  Date rape is so common it's ridiculous.

Whether or not a guy pays for a meal, he could rape you.  But when he pays to me he is saying thank you for trusting me and taking the time to get to know me because my kind, i.e. other men, have made a bad impression in society.  They have pillaged and raped and beaten women, I want to say, thank you for taking the time out to get to know someone who comes from that club. 

He is saying: We are not all like this.        

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Do You Think I'm Pretty?

Let me tell you a story...When I was like twelve, I was overweight and let's be real, not very attractive.  I was kind of nerdy, but I had a sense of wonder and laughter that really attracted some people to me, some people who I still consider my best friends.  I was an insecure little girl, but I had a sense of humor and an intelligence that carried me through that time of my life. 

Well when I turned like I think it was fourteen, I lost some weight and stopped dressing in baggy clothes and put some make-up on and suddenly I was pretty in the traditional sense.  I got unwanted attention from men who were older than me and even a teacher.  But I also got the attention from some boys that I wanted attention from.

Truthfully I became egotistical about my looks and felt I was on top of the world in a way.  Although I knew I was more than my looks and I didn't know I was more than my looks.  My self worth got scarily attached to this new found beauty.  I don't have pictures to show you this, because I've always looked horrible in pictures, you are gonna have to trust me on this one.

Then when I turned like sixteen I got a bad case of adolescent acne, probably because I was wearing very unnatural make up and using really unnatural products on my face mixed with excessive hot water, I have extremely sensitive skin and didn't realize I was damaging it.

I suddenly felt my self worth go down the toilet but I still had my writing, and I clung to that, and tried to cling to anything about me that I could find in order to find something to feel worthy about.  My sense of fun and my depth kicked in again.     

I felt ashamed of my face for a whole year or so.  Then after that bout of severe acne, I had a little bit of sensitivity and some zits, but generally I felt OKish about my looks.  I had red marks on my skin from the acne which I would cover up with make-up and was very embarrassed about.  But from the age of like 17 on I started to feel relatively attractive again, I had gained a little weight but nothing to write home about.  But I started to value myself as a person, as a real strong woman.

When I was in college I felt I could really start to be me, but I was a prude at that time when I first entered college.  I was shy around guys and didn't dress sexy at all and gained and lost weight again and again.  Then farther into my college years I became more comfortable with my looks but never really had a boyfriend because I was uncomfortable around men, I didn't like the way I felt they in some way objectified me.  I wanted a guy to like me for me, but I was too shy to show who I really was.  Imagine me, too shy.  I know.  But the thing was my intellectual pursuits and my creative writing pursuits were extremely important to me, my pursuit of the opposite sex confused me.

Then after college I had a boyfriend who loved me loved my body even though I was a little overweight, and loved my face with or without make-up on.  He actually loved me.  The real me in a way I had never experienced before.  He loved my thoughts and my ideas and my writing.  He made me feel like I was lovable, but that relationship went down the drain because I didn't love him, and that's the truth.

After college I had some unwanted experiences with men who were older than me, and that's all I have to say about that.  I think I became scared of what impact my looks had on men who were bad.  I started to get panic attacks.  Then I gained some more weight.

I did date and had a couple relationships after that, but I felt uncomfortable with my body.  I felt like I was attractive, but not attractive enough.  I wasn't comfortable with my body in intimate situations.  Then during the course of the last seven years I've gained a significant amount of weight.

You wanna know what's happened to me?  I see the way people don't look at me, especially men.  I have to be someone, I've got to be my flamboyant and fabulous self in order to get attention from men.  I can't just sit and look pretty.  I'm not shy anymore.  I mean after college I kind of lost that shyness, but I really don't give a shit anymore.  I mean I come on the Internet and bear my soul.  So much for shyness.

My worth is no longer based on the way that I look.  Yeah I know I don't look as physically attractive as I used to.  And truthfully it does bother me and I want to do something about it.  I've been told I have a pretty face, but in a society like ours it can only get you so far.

It's quite possible that I'm afraid to be attractive because of a few bad experiences that I've had.  It's possible I gained this weight due to a difficult life mixed with bad experiences with a couple of men.  But it has made me a better person.  I swear to god I ain't makin' this up.  It's not about having a lesson at the end of a story.  I'm actually a better person.  I don't have as much of an ego.  At some points in my life I thought I was hot shit.  I just don't think in that way anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I want to be attractive, more attractive than I am now.  But at this point if someone doesn't love me for who I truly am, regardless of my weight, than I'm not in.

I want to feel pretty again, I do.  This older married man who I believe sort of had a crush on me in some kind of way recently said to me, "Pretty is as pretty does."  He was married, but I appreciate the fact that he appreciated me for who I am.

I'm beautiful.

Don't hate me.  


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

So This is Christmas, and What Have you Done?

Another year over, a new one just begun.

It's a time for reflection.  I mean what have I done?

This year I moved in with a great friend of mine, this year I taught for the first time in my life.  This is the first time I've had a job that meant something to me.  I found great people to surround myself with.

It's Christmas day, and what a beautiful day.  Friends and family are stopping by our home, we will drink eggnog with brandy and eat cheesecake and a strata.  It is lovely.  It is festive.  It is good.

Today I want to really be happy.  I want to be happy because life is a big celebration today.  I like to celebrate, mostly I like to sit and talk and laugh with friends and family.  And I don't mind delicious food.

You know there are people who get depressed during the holidays because they don't have real people to be close to during this time.  Some people don't have food or a place to live.

I'm gonna repeat, I don't think today is the only day we should think about these people.  But today I will.  I will say a prayer, I don't even pray, I meditate, but I will say a prayer for those that have less than me.  I will remember there is a god, whatever that means.  And I will be thankful for the people I have in my life.   

Yes I'm thankful for the beautiful home I live in and the lovely wardrobe I have, and the computer gadgets etc.  But mostly I am grateful that I have people.  And I'm thankful that the universe or the goddess or whatever has made my life worth living.  And that I have been sent angels, I really have.  If you are one of my angels thank you.  I will not name you, but you know who you are, I hope. 

Sometimes I'm not sure who my people or peeps really are.  Is it the people I grew up with, or the people I see everyday, or writers, or spiritual people or Indian people or Sikh people? 

But today I want to say, that anyone who cares for me, that person is one of my peeps.  And this is the day we reach out to those people.  I want to say thank you, thank you for taking a moment to read this.  I'm trying to do something here, some of it is professional, I'm trying to get my work out in the world.  And some of it is personal, I have something to say.  I'm so lucky I have people I don't even know paying attention to me.

I love attention and I love love.  Today is a day to love.

If you receive presents than love the person who gave them to you.  If you receive hugs, hug back a little tighter, a little longer.


If you have kids, make them see that they are Santa Clause too. That Santa Clause is a state of mind.  He is about giving and a little bit about receiving.  Teach them to receive his gifts the right way.

Be thankful.   

Remember Christmas is really about  a man who was very much like Rudolph the red nose reindeer, he was ostercized but eventually he led the way.  I believe that Jesus was a beautiful and phenomenal prophet, I'm not Christian but I'm not anything really.  Maybe I'm Sikh but that may be debatable.  But I believe there were and are people on this earth that have and will transform society.  In Hinduism and Sikhism we believe there are ages and we are in the Black Age, and we will transition back into The Age of Truth.

I believe there are saints and prophets now...I'm not gonna name who I personally think is one of them because that may be a matter of opinion.  But there are those who have inspired millions and will continue to inspire us to move to this new age.  There are those who have inspired but one person to live fully. 

If today is a day of prayer for you, than believe those prayers will come true.  Know that what you put out in the universe will come back to you.  


Obviously Jesus Christ inspired Christmas, whether he was born in July doesn't matter.  He inspired all this.  This planet's party.   He wasn't exactly a party planner, but nevertheless succeeded at creating the greatest party on Earth. 

So Merry Christmas!  I hope you have fun!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Am I Missing the Point of Christmas?

You know someone I don't know, posted a rant on her Facebook page about the fact that I called Christmas a party and did not dignify it as the birth of the savior.

Maybe that's because Christmas has become a party.  We go to Christmas parties, not to Christmas religious ceremonies.  We drink, we don't pray.

This is not my fault, I'm pointing out the obvious.  It may be a disgrace, but it has already happened. 

What should Christmas be about?

To me it should be about love, about exchanging love instead of gifts.  It should be about having a beautiful festival in the middle of winter. 

It shouldn't be the only time of year we think about people who are less fortunate than us, or the only time we over tip waitstaff or pay it forward.  The "Christmas Spirit" should extend throughout the year. 

I think Christmas is a state of mind. 

It is a reason to celebrate.  It is a reason to give.   

Christmas brings relatives together and families and friends together.  Christmas brings people home who never go home.  It's about great food and great drinks.

This is all in the Christmas brochure, I'm not creating this, or making it up.  I see why people wish it was more religious or sacred, but let's face the facts, for most of the world it is no longer really about religious ideals.  Let's not forgot that it has become a consumer binge.  I'm not a fan of the fact that Christmas has become about buying stuff.

But would I rather it be about Jesus Christ? 

I'm gonna admit here, I'm not a fan of religion in general.  I have nothing against Christianity in particular.  I was brought up Sikh and I'm not religious. There is a Buddhist saying, "Religion is like a boat, once you get to your destination, there is no need to carry that boat on your head."  For me, my destination is spirituality.

There really are not any parties for Sikh holidays, people pray during these holidays.  Sikhs don't drink, it is against our religion and we don't have a party to celebrate things that are sacred.  Maybe we are mixing our metaphors so to speak on Christmas, we are dancing and laughing when we should be singing and praying.  

Does that mean it is wrong to party it up on Christmas?  You tell me.

I don't know, I'm sort of in Rome here.  I'm doing what the Romans do.

In America we speak American and we have parties on Christmas Eve.  It's what we do.

I will be going to a party and having a good old time!

So for whatever your belief system, as someone put it so eloquently on Facebook this morning..."Merry Christmas or Happy Tuesday!"

Either way, have a good one!    

Monday, December 23, 2013

Manic Mondays and Other Random Thoughts

The thing is...I hate Mondays.  I'm on vacation right now and I still hate Mondays.  It's like some sort of conspiracy or something, it's the get up and go day.  It's the day after the day of rest.  Just Another Manic Monday.

Isn't it funny how we assign feelings to days of the week.  I mean Saturday has to be my favorite because I always have fun on Saturdays.  Sunday's nice because I rest after the fun.  Friday's cool because that night the fun begins.  Thursday means Friday is around the corner.  And Wednesday means the week is half over.  I have nothing to say about Tuesday except that it's not Monday.  

A lot of it is about work being over and fun beginning.

A lot of it has to do with me not being alive in the moment.  The moment of Monday especially.

I mean I want to really suck the marrow out of life, so to speak.  But how can I do that when I spend so much time looking forward to the weekend, hating the week, etc.?

Time is an interesting phenomena, there are those who claim it is a figment of our imagination.  There is practical time, like when you put your alarm clock on.  But the thing is, tomorrow and yesterday are figments of our imagination.  Only right now really exists.

What does that mean?

It means just that, there is now, and then it's gone, and there is more now.  The past happened in the now and the future will happen in the now.

But that doesn't change things, I was thinner and stupider in the past.  Now I'm different.

In the future I'll be different.

However if there is no future, then I'm the same.  There is a thread.  I'm the same person from birth until death, however I still change.

But I wonder if I'm always the same in this way.  Like for instance two people told me I sound a bit manic in my writing.  I do in fact have Bipolar Disorder. I know the two people who made the comment very well and they know me well.  I asked a couple other people and they said I don't sound insane at all, I also know those people very well.  The reason I bring this up is because I was once manic or "insane" and I'm now medicated.  However will the insanity always be a part of me.  Will it show up in other ways?  Will it be there for all of time?

As Seal once said, "Oh we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy."  I mean is there just a an innate part of me that's a little wild, a little manic?

I'm gonna be honest, I think there will always be a part of me that waves up and down, my very self, my feelings move in waves, if that makes any sense.  And sometimes I'm happy to be sad and sad to be happy.

I'm a little different, I'll admit it, I have a strangeness about me.  I like to think of it as a uniqueness.  Let's call a spade a spade, I'm weird.  I'm not exactly bat shit crazy, but I have been.  It's a part of me, of who I am essentially.

Now where does this, and how does this fit with Mondays?  People these are my thoughts and today I'm leaving them as random as they came in my head.  I want you to find the string that connects these thoughts together for a moment.  I want you to feel like what it's like to be me.

You may be like me, you may not.  You may be amused by me, you may not.  You know what, I am what I am.  I'm a little off sometimes, I'm not always gonna be on point.  Everyone has an opinion.  And we both are allowed to have that opinion.  I live in a country and a world, cause believe it or not there are people in Serbia and Thailand reading this, in which I can express my opinions freely.  So I'm allowed to be me.

If you know me as a person, you know that I can be a riot and I can be thoughtful and be lazy and crazy.  If you don't know me, you might just know what I convey through this blog.  And what is that?  Sometimes I don't make sense, sometimes I do.  Sometimes you feel like a nut...sometimes you don't.

I mean that might be a motto of mine.

But let's be serious.  I'm mad.  Both crazy and angry.  I'm mad that I have to justify my existence.  I'm the manner that I'm a little insane.  It's a simple fact about me.

What does it mean exactly that I'm a little, let's say excitable?  It just means I'm not normal.  And thank god for that because most people live lives of quiet desperation, I forgot who said that.  I might not be a regular person but I am grateful for who I am.  I hope you are grateful for who you are, whether you're crazy or not.

The only difference between you and me may be that I know I'm crazy.     

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lipstick Labels-What does Gender Really Mean?

So I was told by a couple of my closest friends that I am the most feminine person they have ever met.  What?  What does that mean exactly and why am I disturbed by it?

As a society we associate weakness with femininity, are they calling me weak?  Am I weak?  The thing is I'm strong.  But I'm intuitive and creative and not always the most logical person alive.  As Lady Gaga put it so elegantly, "I was born this way."

I think the question is what is masculinity and what is femininity?  I think first of all there is a scale, on one end is totally masculine and on the other is totally feminine.  I think I'm somewhere on that scale.  It's true I can't fix anything, I could care less about cars, I'm not technologically savvy, I don't know anything about sports and I'm not aggressive.  I can be assertive, I'm outgoing, I'm sensitive, I'm a dreamer,  I'm artsy, I like to shop, I love fashion and I find men fascinating because I don't always understand them.  Sometimes I hate them.

But labeling me as "feminine" puts me in some kind of box.  And am I worried about that because society does not value what's in that box as much as they value other boxes?  We value aggression and ego and people who are movers and shakers.  I don't even know if all of that can be labeled as either masculine or feminine. 

I am a woman, but I don't like to think of myself as 'girly.'  I like to think of myself as "I am woman hear me roar."  I mean I think about those with gender identity issues and I wonder what makes me feel like I'm a woman?  Is it just the fact that I have boobs?  What are the components of my gender identity, I mean I feel like a woman but maybe that's just because I've been told I am one.   

The fact is why are we so concerned about what makes us different from one another, rather than our similarities.  We live in a society that is obsessed with individualism, but what about what we are as a whole?  We are men and women, we are yin and yang.  As Bono put it, "We're one but we're not the same and we hurt each other and we'll do it again."

It somehow hurts me that I'm being labeled by my closest friends.  They don't mean anything by it, and most of the women friends I have tend to be more masculine than I am.  What is that about anyways?  Why do I gravitate towards my opposite?  I like myself, I swear to god I do. 

The qualities that we traditionally associate with women should be valued as much as the qualities we traditionally associate with men.  Qualities like nurturing, emotional intelligence, intuition and sensitivity.  This is not about lipstick vs. motorcycles.  I will tell you I think make-up is an art, and I believe the same to be true of fashion.  To me they are expressions of who I am, not some sort of frivolity of spirit and mind.

Yes it's true, my relationships are more important than my work.  But that don't mean work is not important to me, it's just that I value relationships more than anything else in my life.  That includes my relationship to myself.  I can buy that I am feminine but how do I own it?  How can I be proud of it?

I gotta stop caring what other people are labeling me as, or what they think.  I'm proud that I'm gentle and kind.  I'm proud that I'm sweet.  That I have a heart.  I'm proud that I don't believe I have a violent bone in my body.  Again I fear labeling any of those qualities as masculine or feminine.

In the end we are here to love, whether or not women are more aware of that is a debatable.  But we were all cut from the same cloth.  We are made from the same substance.  We are one.  Stop constantly pointing out how we're different.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I'm not gonna lie...I lie

So I got pulled over today.  I lied to the officer and said I had no idea what the speed limit was.  I lied and said I don't usually go on this road.  She gave me a ticket but no points.  I looked at the ticket and there was my weight which I lied about.

Oddly enough I told the truth about why I was late to my professor who I was meeting, and proceeded to lie to her face about how I felt about my student teaching.  But then I had a second thought and went back to her office and told her the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  It just so happens that I've never felt freer! And the situation is better because of it.

But will I learn from this?

I've used Cliff notes and said I read it.  I've never cheated since the 7th grade, but I could be lying.

I'm a liar.

I'd like to know who among you isn't?

I mean come on, a little white lie here, a doozy there, and all of a sudden you are a liar.  I lie to my parents constantly because they can't handle the truth.  I lie to people here and there all the time. Some are lies of omission, some are straight up in your face untruths. 

I mean you've called in sick or told someone you couldn't make it for some made up reason.  I know you, you lie too.  And if you don't I applaud you, but I don't understand how you get by sometimes.

I mean I'm not pathological or anything.  Lying is not my language.

Maybe I'm lying to you, I mean how straight up am I really being here.  How much truth are you supposed to relay on a blog?  My friend once told me I should blog about removing my facial hair, and that's where I said I drew the line.  I mean I don't really want to go public about my facial hair removal process.  And here I am doing just that.  Get laser people, get laser.

Anyways, what is the truth?  What is your truth?  Are you speaking it?

I'm gonna answer that question with a yes and no.  There are times when I say what's on my mind, what's real to me, and what is my truth.  There are times I'm not true to myself, other people, and the "truth" at large. 

I've lied in relationships and they've usually gone sour because of it.  I'm not advocating lying here.
I'm just saying I can't live without it.  

The biggest lie though, is the one I'm telling myself.  Sometimes I hear myself thinking I'm a failure. I know it's a lie, or do I?  What else am I lying to myself about?  

There's sort of this big lie that has come up in my life recently.  I've only really shared the truth with a couple people, and I'm not telling anyone until the time is right, if ever.  It's about my life and me and goddamn it I want that shit to be private.

Does that make me a bad person if someone asks me about that situation and I lie to them?

I really don't know.

It's self protection, it's my life, it's not anyone's business.

But what does that make me?  A horrible human being?  An asshole?  What?

It makes me pretty regular I think.  But I always wanted to be more than normal.  Better than the average Joe Schmoe.  I try not to hurt people by lying, if that's any consolation.

I want to ideally be a person whose thought word and deed are aligned.  But I also like to cover my ass.  So there you have it, the truth about me.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Free Falling

It's a long day, livin' in Michigan. There's a freeway, runnin' almost everywhere.  Sometimes I wanna leave this town.  I don't know where I'd go, I don't know where I wouldn't go.

I want to live in a big city where there's action, and not as much Crack (are you supposed to capitalize that?).  Detroit's a little whack.  I know, I know, they are trying but come on...I want to meet intellectuals from foreign countries and watch them drink fake chai from Starbucks and when I offer to make them real chai, they tell me their dreams.

One of my dreams is to travel the world, it has been circumstances and lack of resources that has kept me in America.  I've lived in several different cities all around the country, but I haven't really gone abroad. One of my best friends has been everywhere and will go everywhere, I'm so impressed with that I'm not even jealous.  Go on girl, I tell her!

Sometimes it's hard's cold, life seems somewhat meaningless and my socks keeping getting wet from the snow. I don't know if it's winter or it's my own head that's the problem.  I've had problems with winter and problems with my head before, so I'm not sure what's to blame.

I mean I have some time off and I spontaneously keep waking up at 5:30 in the morning.  What's up with that anyways?  Right at this moment I'm not teaching and writing can be a lonely profession.  I do go to cafes and whatnot, but you know.

What you ask, is the point of this story?  Well I'm a little lonely, a little tired, and I'm waiting for something interesting to happen around here. I mean take tonight I went out for drinks, and then went home and took a nap from 7:30-10:30.  Then I went to Buffalo Wild Wings with a friend at midnight.

There's something wrong with that story.

It's all fun and games until you eat wild wings at midnight.  I'll probably be up until four now, with heartburn.

I mean things are happening but something is missing and I'm not sure what it is. 

Maybe lack of an intimate relationship.  But intimacy loses it's splendor too. 

I think I'm missing the point of the story.                      

The point is not the point goes back to the moment...I got to make these moments count.  I mean I think that I'm gonna to go to bed, and not worry about the moral of the story.  I had a boyfriend once who told me I think too much.  That led me to think about thinking.  You know what I've come up with?  Not much people, not much. 

I think you can't think your way to enlightenment.  You gotta be it.  And what is it after all?  Shakespeare said it best when he said something like it is a story, signifying nothing.  It's a whole lot of nothing mixed with something.  Its the ying and the yang.

I want to live in a big city with a small town feel, I want to travel the world and still have a home.  I want to be fulfilled but still have that hunger.  I want to find peace in the midst of chaos.  

Whether or not I figure this shit out, the world's not gonna end.  Or on the other hand the world will end...someday.  And when it does and we ask God what the point was, you know She will laugh at us.  The point is not the point.

It's whatever you want it to be.  There are no set themes to choose from, the point of my life is that  I got to live.  Whether or not I get to go to Egypt, I gotta learn how to live in Oak Park, Michigan.  I have to learn how to be where I am.  And the minute I'm OK with the snow and dark cloudy days, I'm finally gonna have a relationship with the sun that means something.  And when I'm OK having a flawed life and being flawed, that will be the moment I'll really know what's up.  

I've been down, I'd like to know what's up.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Can You Really See Yourself?

My father once said to me " I want to volunteer to go to Mars!" The man won't go to Kroger but he wants to hitchhike in space.  

My father is blind.  

He's been totally blind for many years now, and he's made me see things.  If that man thinks there must be a better planet to live on, it's because this one leaves much to be desired especially for those who are different.

The truth is Mars needs him.  Everyone needs someone who is able to see through things to see what they really are.

I worship my Daddy.  

I mean I was having a bad day the other day and it occurred to me out of nowhere: I'm not in the dark.  I have 20/20 vision in fact.  I have too much in fact.

He has a genetic disease and at one point in my life I was tested for it.  For that whole day before I got the results, I imagined going blind.  Who would I be then?  Who would love me?  What would life be like?  

Those are the real questions.  My father's life addresses the real truth about humanity.  The truth about who we are.

Once my dad was in the hospital many years ago and I said to my shrink, "I'm worried that my father is gonna die."  You know what he said to me, "Your father is gonna day."

That's the thing isn't it?  My father is gonna die, my best friends are gonna die, and I'm gonna die.  We are all going to be made invisible.  But I'm invisible to him right now, and I'm everything to him.

So the question is, how do I deal with the fact that the most wonderful man I know will one day be gone?  He's never seen me as an adult, he went blind before that.  But he knows me in a way no one else does.  He only knows my insides.

I have a special relationship with my father.  It's extraordinary.  I tell him about dating and some of my secrets.  He guides me about the big and small things.  When I was depressed, he woke me up every morning.  He couldn't see the sunshine but he forced me to look at it.

There is a thing in Eastern philosophy about attachment, attachment to things and people who are transient.  I'm attached to his form but he will still be there when I can't see him.  He sees my essence, maybe my soul.  He forces me to look at it.

I believe in reincarnation and I've always thought I've known my father from a past life.  And I believe he will see me in another life, even if it's the afterlife.  

He never judged me when I had adolescent acne or when I gained weight.  To him I'm beautiful and though I think every father thinks their daughter is beautiful, I think he knows me in a way that others don't.  I think he values who I really am in a unique way.

My mother takes care of my father in every way possible.  There is a possibility one day I will be the one taking care of him and I don't mind a bit.  He worked while he was blind to put me through school and give me all the opportunities of life. He didn't want my life to be limited because his was "limited."

He is my hero.  

So if he wants to go to Mars, I understand.  I support his need to escape this limited world.  He could see for fifty years of his life, and now the physical beauty of life has been taken from him.  

Yet he taught me, that I'm more than this appearance, this body.  That I'm someone.  

It's funny I can't see you and you can't see me, but we have created this relationship through words and thoughts and ideas.  It's much like the relationship I have with my father.  The only difference is he loves me unconditionally.

He's a gentle soul and a spiritual man.  I can only dream of aspiring to be like him one day.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Hypocrite's Oath

The thing is I was a vegetarian for five years of my life. That was many years ago and I believed torturing animals for food was bad.  I still think it's horrific, but why am I not a vegetarian anymore?  Am I some sort of hypocrite?

Sort of. 

I mean when I was young I thought I'd sell all my books for nothing just to get my words out there.  Now: show me the money baby.  What am I some sort of materialistic opportunist?

Sort of.

I admit I drink Diet Coke and they are associated with some scandal, I even admit to shopping at Walmart on occasion and we all know how they treat their employees.  I mean I'm workin on it, baby steps.  I never recycled before and now my roommate is making me do it.

Don't get me wrong I want to do the right  thing, but what's right for me is not always right for the animals or the homeless population, the workers or the environment.  I remember reading a post on Facebook called something like "Black folk don't go green" and I thought to myself wow I get that.  Don't get me wrong I love our planet and I want to save it too.

I guess my thing is, I got to help me before I can help the animals in some kinda way.  Or the poor or whoever else needs it.

I mean most of us eat meat, and most of us don't like the idea of torturing animals.  In the back of our heads we know the meat industry is evil.  So why do we still think "Where's the beef?"  

Because we don't know what to do about it.

I think having a conversation on the Internet about how animals should not be tortured is a start.  I mean if we talk about it we can do about it and think about it.  

I'm a human and in fact I'm an animal myself.  I gotta feed me before I can feed others.  Don't get me wrong I want to help the world, but do it Oprah style.  

It's like I always say you have to put on your oxygen mask on a plane first before you can put one on your kid.

I want to help people thrive, the first step is to thrive myself, lead by example.

But what about the animals?  I am literally  supporting an industry that violates life.  How do I justify that?

Dude I don't know.  I'm flawed.  Maybe I'm helping the situation by talking about it in a public forum.  Maybe I'm just making excuses for myself publicly.  

The thing is, I feel like my heart's in the right place.  I care about those animals.  I care that there are people suffering while I live like a princess.  

What am I gonna do about it?  I don't know.  I feel like this is a start.  We all have to start somewhere.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is Christmas to a Brown Person?

Christmas to a Brown person:  Is it just another day?  No, not really.  Is it holy?  No not really?  Is it a joke?  No way.  We Indians and South Asians, and other people who are not associated directly with Christianity have realized that Christmas means something to us, it's just hard to figure out what exactly.

I will tell you one thing, at least for me, it has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.  It has something to do with, I can only speak for myself, I repeat I am not speaking for all my brown brothers and sisters when I say Christmas is like this party that we crashed.  The party was not for us, and we weren't even invited, but it's a pretty good party.  We will stay and have fun, but if anyone asks us what we are doing there, we really have no good answer.

Christmas Crashers, that's what we are.

I mean of course we are coming to your party, this country has a big party on the 25th of December, I mean even Meijers is not open, I mean you can't even buy a banana if you wanted to on Christmas Day.  That says something about our society, we shut down to the point where you feel guilty if you have no Christmas spirit and you just eat a banana.  There must be a feast...a feast filled with joy!

Let's talk about that for a second.  I think that's what it's really about for us folks who are not doing the Christmas thing for anything remotely religious.  There is something about the feeling in the air, it's about celebration, it's about family and friends and fun and some kind of liquor, let's be real.  But it's more than that, we want to celebrate something...something.

It's got to do with something pretty, like lights in the middle of the dead of winter.  When it gets darker and darker.  For me it's an excuse to be happy, and I need excuses this time of year.

My roommate and I are having a few people over for Christmas this year.  She's not Brown but she has a love hate thing with Christmas too.  

I mean it's a demanding time of year, you are expected to have fun and love, and if you don't have "enough" of it you could be left out.

My mom has in the past made chicken curry on Christmas.  Last year we had Thai food for the holiday.  This year my roommate put up a tree, a new thing for her and she's White.  

I have to admit the Christmas tree by the fire is beautiful.  For me it has nothing to do with baby Jesus or gifts, it has to do with celebration.  I want to celebrate something even if I don't know what that thing is.

Maybe that thing is life itself.  I want to be happy and things like egg nog and Christmas lights make me happy.  

It's also about being an American.  I'm just as much American as I am Indian, if not more.  It's hard to measure.  

I don't personally exchange gifts with anyone on Christmas, so I don't really have any stress in that regard.  But I like the parties and the sales, I take what's good about this holiday.  I need to feel like I'm part of something bigger, like part of American culture, because I was born here.  This is my country too.

I may have a different spin on Christmas than the average American but I still want to be a part of this thing.  Holidays are a wonderful thing and whatever culture you live in you want to fit in, to some degree.

Christmas may not be holy to me but its precious to me.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Cat in the Shat

So I'm currently sitting in my car in the cold, with my sister's cat waiting for my friend to pick me up because I ran out of gas.  The only two good things about this scenario is that I have friends and I have a car.  The thing is you gotta count your blessings.

I could be really pissed because I drove many miles to the wrong address of the vet, while the cat shat in his cage.  I momentarily lost my phone, and now I'm sitting here in front of a Kroger.  But oddly I'm not alone.  I mean I have you, whoever you are. Thank you for being here with me.  I am low on battery power on my phone, it might die so I can't write this for long.

I could say I'm really upset.  In fact when the cat started shitting I did scream "Why is this happening to me?" with my door open and people all around me.

I could really be mad that the GPS misled me and da da da...the truth is...I'm not that affected by this.

I think this means something, cause like a few years ago I'd be cursing at this point.   But when I tell this story it will be funny, I will laugh and remember that I didn't lose my shit, the cat did, end of story.

I mean shit happens, it's a fact.  I don't need to tell you that, I need to remind myself.  And I don't live in a war zone, I'm not being trafficked, I forgot to eat today but it's not even noon.  I mean I'm parked in front of a grocery store.  If I want to eat there are isles of food available to me.  And I'm safe.  

I'm annoyed but that's the extent of it.  The cat's probably more annoyed than I am.  I mean he's the one in a cage.

And that's the thing: I'm not.  I thought maybe I was for a while there.  There were times I couldn't move.

But this is a tragedy in suburbia, as my friend whose picking me up would say.  There is this song it goes something like, "your so called problems, better put them in quotations."  

So I'm putting this situation in a box, a cage if you will.  Someone else can stew in it if they want to.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ain't nobody got time for that...

So I'm kicking back watching Soul Sunday on the Oprah channel and it occurs to me that I wanna be that pure breathing soul, but I got a job to find, student loans to pay off, acid reflex and I'm fighting off the winter blues.  Ain't nobody got time for that enlightenment!  What am I supposed to do, stop and smell the roses as I let the cat litter pile up in my basement?

I got people to see and places to be, and all kinds of problems.  I was teaching at a local school and I had to call security to break up a fight in an eighth grade classroom, the security guard had a gun.  Where in all of this mayhem am I supposed to notice the beauty of my soul?  Or his soul, or their souls when all I see around me are guns and kids?

I go to my parent's house and they tell me a kid tried to kill his teacher again.  I wonder if it's cause everyone in eighth grade has read or is reading The Hunger Games?  I don't want to burn a book but I just don't understand why violence is our preferred form of entertainment.  I want to blame someone, hit someone, and I don't have time to worry about being peaceful.

This is a war people.
Whatever the nature of your particular war, we are fighting to survive here.
I don't believe survival of the fittest is right but I think it's true.

Then there are like a million things, everyday things clogging up my life.  I mean there are dishes piling up, laundry to do, and credit cards eating my money and I don't know how to stop.  Like just stop.
But the thing is I've got time to overeat and time to bitch and moan.  Time to worry about my world.  But why don't I make time to breathe? Really breathe and be like one with the universe?

Why?  I want to know why I should do it.  Why I should put on my calendar: Pay attention to your soul.

I'll tell you why.  Because it's gonna make this ride a hell of a lot easier.  This ain't no Ferris wheel, this is the Demon Drop, life will drop you when you're not looking.  In my experience this whole affair is much more tolerable when you find joy and love in it.  This is not about blowing sunshine up your ass.  On the contrary this is about getting your head out of your ass.

I'm spiritual because I want to get myself out of my own way.

Being one with the moment is about living a real life, one in which you are alive.  There are a million reasons to be dead.  To be miserable, let's share war wounds sometime, I got some real doozies.  If anyone on this planet should be upset that life didn't work out the way she wanted, it would be me.  But I get up every morning and I try.

I try to be all I can be.  Because this is the army.  I have lost a lot of battles but the war is not over.  I just need to sometimes stop fighting, sometimes think about what I'm fighting for.

Look I know there are so many reasons we don't take time to be.  But one day when we no longer are, we will understand that all that was required of us was to exist in presence.  That nothing was required of us at all.  That no one's judging.  That we are free.

Pushing Forty

Yeah it's true, I'm so close to forty that it doesn't seem old to me anymore, it almost seems normal.  And if you know anything about me, normal is not normal for me.  So this whole aging thing, well it's one of the easiest things in life to do because there is nothing to do but be.  You will grow old whether or not you follow your dreams, whether or not you get your shit together and whether or not you want to.  Life happens the way it happens regardless of the fact that you wanted it to happen another way.

When you've been alive longer than Jesus himself, you'd think you might have done something or something.  But I've always felt that this doing business is overrated.  I think it's being that's the real thing.  At 38, am I the person I want to be?

The answer is a resounding yes.  I've actually grown to like myself.  I don't know how it happened or when exactly it happened, but apparently I'm ok with me.  I became a writer because I like to think out loud, in a way that expresses who I am.

But the question remains: Who am I?

It may come as a shock to you, but one thing I'm not is perfect.  I'll give you that I'm unique, just like everyone else.  I'm ok though, I think I'm ok.  It's taken a while for me to be ok with me.  I don't know about you but I used to care what other people thought of me.  Now I care more about what I think of other people.

And one thing is for sure, I'm not done being or doing.  I want one person in this universe to tell me I changed their life.  Just one.  Whether it be through my writing or teaching or just by being me.  That's when I will feel truly successful.

So what have I learned in 38 years?  I've learned how to love me and other people and life itself.  I believe I'm here to love, and I don't always love the shit that life throws at me, but I love that every experience makes me, more me.

You know I could die today, but when am I gonna live like I could die today?  If there is one thing I want for the next 38 years it is to really live.  You know that song "I hope you dance?"  I hope I dance for the next 38 years.  I hope I laugh a lot.  I want the 38 to be better because I know better.