Monday, August 2, 2021

Heat Waves

(Just a quick update, but I wanted to include this song lol) I heard Rafa was coming to play a tournament in D.C. for the first time and normally I wouldn’t think twice about it (too much effort, hard to get accessible tickets, etc). But because of yes year and all that, my brother, sister-in-law and I decided to look into it. The more we learned about it, the more excited we got. From the food by Chef José Andrés to the perfect Friday night session we could attend, it seemed to be just for us. But unfortunately, as soon as Rafa announced he was coming, tickets sold out and tickets on resale sites were going for $1000. We tried messaging and tweeting at everyone on Rafa’s team who we had met two years ago but no luck. There were still thousands left on the waitlist so we had all but given up.

Then, my dad randomly entered us in a giveaway for two free tickets for the Friday night session, and somehow, wait for it, we won! So I guess the world did decide to meet me halfway. I said yes to the world so it said yes to me. I know this is small and frivolous, but it’s something. Now, let’s hope we miraculously catch Rafa’s eye and he somehow remembers us. Sometimes all I think about is you…

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Mr. Brightside

How am I still an optimist? You would think that the world would have beaten every last bit of positivity out of me. But no, it’s still there, sticking it’s annoying head out at every opportune moment - whispering it’s affirmations, as naive and bright-eyed as ever. These corny whispers totally ruin my street cred when I’m just trying to be a realist, or even a cynic who manages her expectations. I’d rather be happy when things surpass my realistic expectations rather than disappointed when things fall short of my needlessly high expectations. So after all the many colorful disappointments in my life that always leave me bare and broken, how have I not learned my lesson?

I’m working on some writing that’s required me to read through my old blogs on this site. Most of them follow a similar formula - they’re really raw, honest and tragic for most of the post and then it takes a somewhat abrupt turn to sugary sweet positivity. The hopeful endings never sounded quite authentic so I always assumed that I threw in a little positivity for my readers because otherwise, my posts would be too much of a downer. But I’m realizing that it was for me.

Even now, I have some wildly dangerous thoughts. They start off pretty innocuous: “Why is my daily life so much harder than all my friends?” to which I don’t have an answer to and never will. “I would kill to have their problems.” But it inevitably leads to the dangerous one: “I’m tired of this life.” I know it’s a useless, unproductive thought that only shows it’s face during a fleeting moment of weakness. But I know it’s unhealthy to sit with negative thoughts like that. As soon as I feel those thoughts creeping in, I throw on some T Swift or Friends, and get back to a more familiar headspace of loving laughter and lyrics. But if it progresses to tears, my dog sprints to my side and licks my face forcefully until I start laughing. So I’ve got all my bases covered.

So I guess I’m still an optimist as a self-preservation thing. I need to keep my expectations high and keep swallowing the disappointments, because the alternative, having low expectations, would keep me in such a negative headspace and I don’t want to know how low those thoughts can go. This is just the price I pay, so that one day, my reality will match my high expectations, or maybe even surpass them. But I think I’ve always been an optimist and that never really leaves you, no matter how hard you, or the world, try to destroy it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Waiting on the World to Change

“Your best days are not behind you,” said Nik, my good friend from college a few weeks ago. We were at our friend Ankur’s wedding, catching up and reminiscing like we always do. We had way too much fun in college and we know my memory is creepy-good, so it’s always wildly entertaining. But this time, he stopped me. He said that he actually hated that whenever I saw him, I only talked about our epic, old memories. He wanted us to make some new ones. So that we did. 

That night, we laughed hysterically and made new memories that will last us each a few lifetimes. But my favorite part of the night was everything we ended up talking about. “Your best days are not behind you.” It’s such a simple, beautiful sentiment but so hard to wrap my head around. I try to visualize it and speak it into existence, but I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes every time. I mean, what’s going to top my once adventurous, nauseatingly happy life full of friends, boyfriends, white coats and wild dreams?

Several years ago, my big, big Chaya made an intriguing promise to herself. She said it was her “yes year” where she decided to make herself say ‘yes’ to everything she would normally say ‘no’ to such as a blind date or a new activity. I always admired her bravery and boldness in most things, but especially in this endeavor. It’s like she was taking a proactive role in writing her own story instead of waiting for the world to act. She let her curiousity and open mind be her only guides. l think, starting with the night of Ankur’s wedding, I decided this was going to be my “yes year,” in an attempt to be brave, to be bold and to get out of my own way. To continue making new memories. I need to be open to the possibility of better days instead of being trapped inside my head, replaying my past on loop. But I can’t keep waiting for better days, I have to start creating better days.

Last night, I was in a weekly Zoom writing class with Chaya and about forty strangers from around the country. I love hearing other people share their work but I prefer to stay an invisible eavesdropper - on mute with my camera off. But last night, I swallowed my insecurities, ignored the terrified voices in my head, and texted Chaya “Yes year!” Then, I switched on the camera, unmuted, cleared my throat and recited a few lines from my piece. It didn’t go as planned - it was scary, emotional and embarrassing but so freaking exhilarating. (Ironically, the same feelings on the night of Ankur’s wedding lol). So ok world, I’m ready. Surprise me, delight me, challenge me, amaze me, I’m ready. But this time, I’ll meet you halfway.