Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Like ripples on a blank shore...

Some memories are better left hidden in the mind's eye, with no external proof that they ever occurred. Because all that exists then, is the imprint of a pure feeling, untainted by the opinions of others and undisturbed by outside words. And even if the images in my brain change over time, maybe because of unintentional exaggerations or otherwise, what still remains in the end is a permanent and somewhat intangible truth that only I, happily, can remember.

Throughout my life, I've always had an innate desire to capture memories on paper or on screen. But in serious reflection, it seems that the short instances or events that have made the MOST meaningful impacts on me can only be found in a secret file cabinet somewhere in my brain. Tucked into the little folders are the rare vulnerable glances, the quiet moments, the whispered words and speeding heartbeats, clammy hands and sweet smells... all those "senses" that trigger a much deeper connection than what they symbolize on the surface.

I think these things are the music of life. Just like how music can connect thousands of strangers in a crowded amphitheater, its the unique and intimate moments which connect us to each other; it's just a matter of listening. No matter how rich or poor we might be in the material world, or how many photographs and home videos we keep around in order to "validate" our experiences to the outside, the REAL essence of our existence is enclosed in the important memories we lock up in our souls. To hold a feeling inside your soul, is to let it wordlessly ripple into the souls of the people you come across.

I know I may come off as an idealist, with an overly-optimistic view of life. But what it really comes down to... is my belief in people. I find it much more worthwhile to focus on the small things- the emotions that come naturally and can't be manufactured or ruined by anything material. Whether the feelings are good or bad, euphoric or painful, I welcome them all because they make me whole. And it's exactly the way I want to be, because it gives me a purpose that can't be hindered by any other rules.

Even though we'll all meet our deaths one day, some maybe sooner than others, it doesn't matter if our memories are on a piece of paper or behind some thick glass screen, because connections like the ones I've felt linger on in some unseen fabric that binds us to each other. All it takes to feel connected... is to watch the ripples, rather than crash on the shore to disturb them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


The end of summer and the beginning of fall always seems to come with a rushed sense of celebration. So many of my friends, including myself, have birthdays during this time. And maybe, even though most of us aren't in school anymore, there's something about the end of summer that requires some last minute fun, before the cold sets in and things get serious again.

Yet no matter how much older I get each year, I'm glad to say that I still enjoy celebrating. Today is Aleem's birthday. Yesterday was his party at Candlelight Lounge. Despite the overpriced drinks and general bad attitude of many of the bouncers (towards the guys, at least), it wasn't a bad time.

The best thing about birthdays is that we can act as young as we feel. And while strangers may look at us and judge, perhaps jealously, that we're acting immature and foolish, it really doesn't matter what they think.

What matters is that we're enjoying life and remembering to celebrate the good times, even as we grow older...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It's been a rough week.

RIP Eric B.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Something in the air

I started this year with a lot of apprehension about what I thought was to come... or to not come. The last few years have been particularly rough for me because of a plethora of personal circumstances- finishing school, adjusting to some strained friendships, suffering from small-town claustrophobia, and just having high hopes for the immediate future.

But now that I'm 8 months into the year, which have just felt like a tiny blip on my time continuum, I'm starting to realize that I'm exactly where I need to be in my life right now. Despite all the turmoil that's going on in the world around me... unexpected deaths, national political troubles, and the harshness of global circumstances, my personal life seems to be moving up at record speeds.

Just when I was starting to feel anxious about not being in school anymore and getting stuck working for a hypocritically opinionated local newspaper, I was accepted to my #1 grad school in London- one major dream being realized. With some courage and the help of some great people, I've mended a few broken friendships that I now feel REALLY WERE worth all the trouble. And I think that all I needed this whole time... was to remember that I had a genuine desire to be better and a natural need to seek out change, rather than try to cling to the past.

But if any of this teaches me one thing, it's that change truly is inevitable. And it's solely up to us how we deal with it. Positivity is not an easy thing to come by, especially when the people surrounding you are so comfortable with where they are that they try to avoid change at all costs.

Luckily for me in the past 8 months, there really is something in the air that's turning things around. While the world may be in a tough and transitionally awkward place, probably due to the handful of power-hungry politicians making all the decisions, the most important PERSONAL lesson to learn here is that you can affect everything around you by searching for what's real and learning how to be understanding instead of judgmental.

We can't fix everybody and everything, but how are we supposed to get closer to all the good if we don't start with ourselves first?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The sunlight in my universe

Some things never change, no matter how much time passes or how twisted-up outside circumstances get. It's been almost a week since I've gotten back from Asia, and although it took me a few days to recover from the severe jet lag, mosquito bites and horrid chest cold, things have pretty much gone back to normal.

Having been away from some of my favorite people for the last month has really renewed strong feelings of pride and love for what I've got here. I always knew that I had extraordinary friends... but it's never until I'm separated from them and then reunited, that I remember how great it feels to laugh and to be a part of something so real.

Even though some human drama is inevitable when you have such a large circle, where many people tend to come and go, there always seems to be an unfaltering foundation that holds up the bonds between genuine friends. Despite the petty arguments and bruised egos of past conflicts, it eventually comes around full-circle to where it all started - a relationship based on sincere caring.

Relationships like that are what make the mundane things, like going out for sushi or having the last cigarette of the night, that much more memorable. When it's that STUFF... the little things... that you can always comfortably share with your friends, you'll never run short of memories.

And in me particularly, it creates an encouraging sense of confidence that even if I leave home for a year, I'll have something grand to come back home to. It's been a very happy week. I've experienced nothing but an outpour of love and support from the people I hold most dear. They welcomed me back home as soon as I set foot into the country, they told me they missed me, and they told me they would miss me even more when I leave next month. And some, whom I've had some serious ups and downs with in the past, became the most adamant in sharing experiences with me.

It's a really amazing feeling to be loved... in all aspects of the word. And I consider myself extremely lucky for all the great people in my life (despite their flaws and little idiosyncrasies). Because I probably wouldn't be me without them, and I'm not sure I'd have the courage to strive for greatness without their support.

They say that old habits die hard... and in this case, I'm really glad they do.