Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hashtag Blessed, Basically

I blog less when I'm happy. A lot less. I think that's true of everyone, really. You're too busy experiencing the moment and spend a lot less time moaning about What Could Be when you're enjoying life. Also a lot of my day-to-day expression energy gets burned up on Twitter so you should be following me (@fairlyalarmed) if you're interested the more mundane updates. I kept a pen-and-paper journal in high school, college, all the way through to last year, and then stopped that and this page as well. I'm not the same KIND of happy as I was last year (that kind of unfettered glee is unsustainable and also probably a sign of mental unbalance in the long term), but I'm definitely more centered emotionally and...just...pleased about my life and myself than I've ever been. I've definitely had one of the best years of my life so far. This is different from other Best Years in that I've known it's the best as it's happening, a fact for which I'm thankful.

You'll notice my penchant for vague bullshit hasn't budged, however, hahahaha. Ummm...basically I took a year off between my MBA (from which I graduated last August after one of the most rewarding and fun semesters of my life) and law school, which I start in a couple months. I've been traveling, reading, working (a tiny bit), drinking (...more than a tiny bit), basically just trying to enjoy to the maximum the last period of my life where I can decide to go to Austin, NYC, San Francisco, or Vancouver (to name a few! I've been busy) on a whim because I have no responsibilities and am beholden to no one. Sounds charmed, right? It has certainly felt that way.

So. Law school in the fall! I'll be attending the UofH Law Center for the first year, at which point I'll consider transferring out of the city. I talked a lot about leaving Houston this year but I decided on UHLC for a lot of reasons, not just family needs me here this year due to some other events I might write about later. At first I was kind of irritated that I'm spending YET ANOTHER year here, especially since I'm already pretty sure I want to try and move back when it's time to Settle Down. In the end I've come around to the perspective that one year is a drop in the bucket (I mean, this last year went by pretty fast!), and my parents and I are already looking for apartments so that keeps me positive. After a dark period last year where I didn't know what to look forward to, having all this on the horizon, something concrete to move towards, is a kind of happiness unto itself.

Another thing that's made this year great is the fact that all this free time has given me the space to devote serious energy to my relationships and how I conduct myself within them. I've been thinking a lot about which people are important to me and why, and that's nice in that I don't feel so reactionary when stuff happens between another person and myself. Now when there's friction with someone I try to remember everything we've both invested in the relationship, and the fact that we have an ongoing bond to not fuck up by saying or doing dumb things. This is big for me because I've historically been very into Revenge and Teaching Lessons, which, in addition to being toxic for the soul, sometimes backfires in ways of which I am not a fan. I still get called "intimidating" by grown men sometimes but I'm trying to keep the outright thirst for blood in the professional/academic arenas of my life. I'm also trying to be more conscious about letting the small stuff slide which I'm aware is total cliche but get off me, I'm obviously extremely new to Zen Attitudes. I'm grateful that I got to use my time to make my friends' lives better this year, whether it's by traveling to support a friend going through a divorce, or reading about trans* issues at 4AM because it's impacting someone I know in a major way, or even something as simple and small as being free for happy hour when a friend had a particularly hard day. One old friend plans to have a baby this year and over dinner last week she told me she wants me in the delivery room! A new friend invited me to celebrate her birthday with her and a few other girls at a villa in Mexico in a couple of weeks and she's flying all of us out there IN A PRIVATE JET which I'm obviously psyched about. I'm also happy to say that I got to visit my grandparents and other family members a lot this year, and when things went bad in April I was privileged to say "I'll be there" no matter when, where, or for how long they needed me. That's something I can be proud of no matter what happens next.

I've lost weight, I dress better, and and feel healthier (mentally and physically) and more confident than ever, all without the help of hypnosis therapy! I don't really know how else to put this but I feel optimistic about the direction my life is taking! SEE THIS IS WHY I DIDN'T BLOG hahahaha positivity is so lame. Anyway, I think this post has fulfilled its purpose, which is: accomplishing something despite lazing around in bed all afternoon after attempting to take the edge off my hangover with Chik-Fil-A for breakfast (told you I'm having a good year). No promises about when I'm going to post next since I clearly can't be held to that but suffice it to say that for now I'm doing really well, I'm excited about the future, and I hope you are too. BREAK!

Monday, June 10, 2013

On Fire

SO many bloggable things have happened to me in the last few weeks I don't even know where to begin. The things is, they're all almost supernaturally positive things and I've just generally been on something that feels like an endorphin high for a few days straight at this point, the extent that writing about it in a public space would be bragging. I keep coming here and starting all these effusive rainbow-drenched, hearts-over-all-the-i's posts and when I read it back even I can tell I sound like a drug addict. I can't do that shit right now. It would be rude.

Maybe another time though. Or you can text me and I'd be happy to write you an iPhone novella on the topic.

Oh yeah, I got an iPhone. I guess I can tell you that.

UPDATED: I just saw that this is pretty much just plagiarized from a post I wrote exactly a month ago. So. I guess no news is good news?

Thursday, May 23, 2013


This weekend I went to visit my grandparents in Canada. All four of them are still alive, which was a fact I took for granted until a couple of years ago when my paternal grandfather (my Dadajee, in Punjabi) started showing signs of dementia. I was his first grandchild and he has never made bones about the fact that I'm his faraway favourite (out of four) but suddenly I could tell he wasn't always listening. I'm still his favourite though, and when he had his stroke, when he was diagnosed with cancer, I was still the one he asked for. He still has sharp moments, no doubt, and most of the time he's there, but sometimes he just stares blankly into the middle distance and it kills me. Part of that is his mind...but part of it is the fact that he doesn't like to wear his hearing aids because he thinks they make him look old, so he doesn't hear the conversation that's going on around him. That's the same reason he won't use a cane, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure his life would be a lot easier with one. This past winter he crashed his car into a snowbank and his car stalled. It was 40 degrees below zero that day, and he didn't have a way to reach anyone. He could have died. A Good Samaritan came by and helped him out, but he could very well have been a Bad Samaritan and god knows what I would be writing here now if...the wreck itself gives me chills when I think about it, the "what ifs" aren't even possible to delve into because of the horror they inspire. I mean, I'm horrified as it is, to watch my Dadajee fade slowly. And yet, I would much rather this than the alternative...because I'm cruel, because I'm weak, because I don't have the strength to let an old man rest.

Because he is a proud man and he's aware of his condition, and because his deterioration is as painful to look at as the sun itself, I haven't had very many real conversations with him these last years. Every week we talk about the classes I take in school, what I'm learning, when my finals are over...but nothing beyond that. Finally my grandma, who is still as sharp as a tack and takes her responsibility to him very seriously, told him to tell me about his life as a younger man. He obliged. The story of my Dadajee's life begins: "I was born in a room with no windows."

My Dadajee was born in 1922 in what is now Pakistan. We are Hindu. In 1947, the Muslims of India were granted a homeland, and Partition began. For Indians and Pakistanis alike, the word Partition strikes a certain type of dreadful chord in what I guess amounts to ancestral memory, even for those of us who weren't born for another forty years. The slaughters, the destruction, the hatred on both sides...Dadajee told me that Muslims pulled his male friends' pants down as they tried to cross the border into India to see if they were circumcised...and because they weren't, they were killed (I have little doubt that the mirror image of this atrocity was committed by Hindus on the other side of the border). Dadajee dressed his grandfather and aunt in burkas so they could make safe passage to the nearest Sikh temple, and he left them there. I didn't find out what happened to them after that. He told me he was in a caravan of 90 trucks on his way to India when he made an hour-long detour to check on some relatives. When they got back on the road, they passed all 90 trucks, every person in the caravan had been killed. Their bodies were visible from the road. Dadajee came from a rich family, lived in a house with 6 stories, but they lost everything. When he crossed the border, they took the rest of his money and he lived by buying milk at the store and selling it to fellow refugees at an inflated price. The profit from these transactions sustained them, in that he and his 3 sisters, younger brother, and mother could buy enough chickpeas to eat once a day. They lived like that for years, until Dadajee and his family emigrated to Kenya. When Kenya achieved independence, they feared that there would be a coup, or some violence, as there had been in other African countries that had gone through the same transition, and they emigrated once again, to Esterhazy. My dad only had short pants and short-sleeved shirts, and they got there at the end of the Canadian summer. He got frostbite that made his ears stick straight out from his head. They were so unprepared.

And that's the tip of the iceberg. I don't really want to go into it more but this has been weighing on my mind; the untold epic of every person's life (well, some people's, not mine), the fact that these important histories go untold and for no reason other than nobody asked to hear them. The fact that we can care so much about someone, and yet not delve deeper, never know what makes them tick, never really see them in the context of their lives. That's an idea that's been on my mind lately too, that we claim to love people and never really make the effort to know most of them. It's not enough. We have to do more, just to love properly. I have to do more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


THERE ARE SOME THINGS WHICH I JUST CAN'T BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

When it Rains it Pours

Suddenly the Good Things I whined about so thoroughly not that long ago have started flooding in. Maybe I really did just need April to end.

Anyway, I'm making progress with finals, just turned in one of the best assignments I've ever put together, and I graduate this summer. I am really struggling not to get too poetic about the torrents that have been lashing Houston lately; I FEEL CLEANSED etc. But the rigor of finals and the isolation that rigor engenders, and the's hard not to dramatize it, perhaps because I have gone largely without human interaction (other than my mom, Jesus God give me succor) for almost two weeks and relating to things on a non-hyperbolic level has ceased to be stimulating. I think I'm describing cabin fever? Am I describing cabin fever?

I must be because otherwise I wouldn't even be here. I have some very interesting self-analytic speculations about my motives here but it would be gauche to express them publicly so I will just sit here on my hands and you can guess about the craven nonsense my mind has invented to keep me up at night. I guess my next good thing should be sleeping through the night, a task that NEWBORN BABIES CAN MASTER.

Friday, April 19, 2013