About A Boy

I was thinking about it recently because most of the notes that I have kept on my wall of awesome have to do with me, talking about a boy, and my friends consoling me about my life choices.  Mostly terrible life choices, but you know, I don’t think anybody makes particularly spectacular life choices in this category. If you think about it, you only really need to make one really good life choice about a boy, and the rest are allowed to be really idiotically bad.  In fact, most of them tend to be really really bad in order to get to the one really good one.  Or so they say.

When my stomach is staging a mutiny, as it is right now, sometimes this is what I think about.  Not really about boys, but about how sometimes boys are a way to connect to your friends in a very human way.  I went to a comedy show yesterday and I think the funniest material the guy had was around how he was single and how he got rejected so often.  I think it’s funny because it’s so relatable. It’s so human.  We’ve all been through it.

Sometimes boys and girls and the relationships that exist in between them can break and become really messy (bordering tragically awful), but if you think about the equilibrium of life, most of the time, your relationships with other people probably get stronger.  Maybe with people you didn’t even think about before. Your support network, new and old.

And if you think about it in that way, in the conservation of energy sort of way, the circle of life and relationships sort of way, it all works out pretty neat actually.

Failing on Purpose

Breaking up with dance is a really hard thing.  It sounds so great on paper, but when push comes to shove, I’d rather be doing a lot of other things.  It’s hard seeing everyone else around me get better, while I’m still about the same.  It’s nice because it really is true that if you put in the time, you can get better.  And it’s also very evident that when you don’t, you don’t move anywhere.  And that hurts a bit, in an unrealistic, I’d like to have my cake and eat it too sort of way.

It’s been weird doing something I’m not passionate about for a significant period of time.  Forcing myself to do these things because..I said I would.  I haven’t felt that sensation in…I don’t even know how long.  Probably since college.

It’s weird potentially disappointing people, disappointing yourself.  I don’t know why it’s a disappointment, but for some reason it feels that way.  Like I’m not living up to my potential somehow.  But I guess that makes no sense because that would assume I have infinite time.

I guess it’s weird letting go of an idea of the way life could be.  It seems so final, like you’re closing the door on a possibility. Which in reality, never actually existed.

It’s sort of sad in a way which I can’t put my finger on.  Like you’re doing the right thing, but it doesn’t make you feel any better about it.

I Get Knocked Down

And I (eventually) get up again.  I think this past week was about getting back up again.  It’s funny, I used to get upset at myself when things got out of whack and life got to me, and the dishes would consequently pile up in the sink, I had a backlog of 150 emails, my laundry would sit in the washer for 3 days, I eat toast or oatmeal or pizza for most meals, I haven’t exercised in over a week, and my life is a hot mess. 

But for the first time, this time around, I realized that when that happens, that’s normal.  It’s actually when you need to forgive yourself and say damn.  This week was hard.  Take a minute. Breathe.  Get it together.  One thing at a time.  And it’s ok that nothing is going the way you want.  At least you have your health, your friends, and family.  And you aren’t broke (yet).  Be grateful.

So that’s how I’m starting days now- trying a new thing.  When shit hits the fan (and oh yeah, it was hitting the fan last week), slow down. Forgive. And make a list of everything you are thankful for. Everything you appreciate.  I begrudgingly started doing it this morning and turns out I kept writing and writing and writing.  And after 2 pages (for one entry) I felt pretty good about life. Like wow, I’m a pretty happy camper man. 

It’s amazing what a little perspective can do for you

#TheDatingDiaries : Partner In Crime

Adding to the list of things I am terrible at, lets list down this concept of “dating”.  I am the first to admit that if you had to list all of my strengths, this would be a distant last (I would even say “maid/cleaner” is currently rated higher in my life at this point, and that’s saying something given the usual state of my room.)

There’s a lot of excuses I could make here, but I think for once I’m going to assume responsibility.  I recently came to the realization that the whole concept of having another person in my life terrifies the crap out of me.  Like no joke, makes me want to pee in my pants, I would probably rather eat cockroaches at this point than try to understand this concept of “dating”, terrified.

So of course, as soon as I know something terrifies me, I HAVE TO DO IT.  But I can’t do something unless I know why it’s useful.  Bloody hell, me and my need to understand the big picture.  So I have been thinking a lot about it.  Why would I want this?

I don’t believe in the phrase “You Complete Me”. Damn that Tom Cruise.  It makes me want to vomit and I think it’s so incredibly off base that it makes me want to cry my eyeballs out.  That’s just glorified codependency, divorce waiting to happen ish.  I just don’t believe people are born incomplete.  Unless you don’t have a kidney or something.  And even then you can get a transplant.  But point is, I don’t want to start with the premise that we are born incomplete, waiting for something to come our way, because it just doesn’t make sense to me.  So that train of thought was out right from the get go.

Love.  I believe in it.  But not really in the grand gestures, sweeping you off your feet sort of way.  I really believe that it’s one of the most important things in life, it comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s something to strive for.  I also think romantic love is something you have to work at.  Like all good things in life.  And I just don’t think it happens overnight.  I also don’t think it should take 25 years (unlike the premise of arranged marriage), but you know. I’m not exactly sure what that number is for me, but right now it’s between overnight and 25 years.  Small range.

Sex.  It’s a good thing.  And it’s different for different people.  The commoditization of sex over the past 30 years makes me a bit sad.  I mean it’s cool, and super feminist, but I think now, sometimes, we’re not allowed to have a differing opinion about it (and wasn’t the point of feminism, the idea of choice?) Unfortunately or fortunately, I’m in the camp of, if I’m not in love, I just can’t have sex. I mean I physically can, but I don’t want to.  I can’t bring myself to do it.  And I have been dumped because of it, (how do I know, because they straight up told me) but hey.  That’s just what I believe.  Not in a judgmental, this is how it needs to be sort of way, just more in a, this is the only way I know how to be and I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t live like this sort of way.

Partner in Crime.  I love this phrase.  Not only because I think that’s what Beyonce and Jay Z are (and I’m obsessed with them) but because this is what I have realized is what I want.  A partner in crime.  I truly believe that when 2 people (NOT incomplete, but whole people) come together, really amazing things happen.  I’ve seen that happen at our startup.  That’s when I became a believer.  When I witnessed that magic happen.  And that’s when I started thinking, wow.  What if that was the point of a partner for life? To be your partner in crime? For all the grand master plans that both of you have, Bonnie and Clyde style, making them happen and creating this wonderful thing called a life together?  And then with that Partner in Crime, adding the benefits of love, sex, shared experiences, memories, bun masala, friends, family, the kitchen sink, (kids?!), man.  That’s insane.  That’s something worth working towards.  The possibilities are endless, and really really inspiring.

I think that’s something worth having.  A partner in crime, that you love, and share the good things in life with.

Too bad I’m still effing terrible at this whole “dating” thing.  I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.  But at least I have some motivation.

Le Sigh.   So much to work on. So little time.

Makeup

If you haven’t guessed, I’m sick and I’m kind of quarantined at home (because the doctor said my virus was contagious until tomorrow- don’t know how they got the timeline but I’m going with it) which is the only time I get to spend glorious time thinking about the nothingness of life.  Which makes me think I need to find more unplanned day time.  Anyway, another tangent.

Point is, makeup is something, like dance, I thought hey, maybe I can get into.  So I tried watching a few YouTube videos on it. (Isn’t that the way we’re all supposed to learn nowadays?) I think I’ve realized that if I wasn’t into it before (even though there was ample opportunity to get into it) chances are I won’t be interested in it now.

I think it’s because of my face. Some people look really really good with makeup on.  It’s not like they didn’t look good before, it just looks even better with makeup.  (Hence the point of makeup).  Luckily nowadays, since I’ve been to a few weddings, and the awesome brides let us get professional makeup done, I’ve seen the professionals try and enhance my face.  And I just don’t see it.  I mean I SEE it, but I don’t see the exponential benefit of it.  Incremental, sure.  My blemishes get evened out, there’s some color here and there, but other than that, I don’t see it.

What would be better, I have decided, is if we invented technology that allows us view the world through a Mark III camera so that the world looks like a more beautiful place.  I’m serious.  Nowadays, because I get to work with professional video people and advertising agencies (yes, that sounds weird to say, but it is seeming to happen a bit more than it used to) I get to see myself on really really nice cameras.  Those pictures of me with minimal makeup look way better than the pictures with all the makeup. So either invest in genetically modifying eyesight, or…just skip the makeup thing and wait until human eyesight advances (at some point it probably has to, I mean this whole white and gold dress thing made it popular) because it really doesn’t change my face as much as the effort would require. I think.

Hair, on the other hand, is something I’m really interested in.  I recently colored my hair red (deep plum actually) just for kicks.  I actually like it a lot.  And cut it short.  I’ve decided short hair is my jam. I love it.  I don’t know how people love long hair, it’s so…LONG.

So in a day of goodbyes, I think I’m letting go of my 1 day old dream of becoming really good at makeup.  Never going to happen. Ever.

Maybe the next time I get sick, I can try and tackle hair.

The New Era

So there’s a couple things.

  • I used to equate dance to being on a great team.  I craved being on a team that accomplished greatness.  I first saw a great team in action when I saw The Alvin Ailey Dance Company for the first time at Berkeley.  It was breathtaking.  And after that, the greatest teams I’d seen in person all related to dance.  Little did I realize that…wait a minute.  I’m ALREADY on a great team.  NextDrop.  We’re really accomplishing groundbreaking things.  It’s like my brain hadn’t caught up to my own reality.  Which made me question, again, why I”m doing dance.
  • I don’t know enough about dance to get into flow (decent, albeit a bit dry, TED talk about it here). I think different types of activities have a different barrier to entry to achieve this sort of…immersion.  Some things are a lot easier than others. Dance is not one of those activities.  It takes at least a few years to even get close to that sort of creative process to flow.

Things that I have learned:

  • If you have the right team, work gets done even when you’re not there.  Funny how that works out.  Trusting your teammates is the greatest thing possible.  I was reading this great blog post about it, and I think it’s really true.  If you trust your teammates, each person can focus on the things that are the 3 most important things you need to focus on during that day that moves the entire company forward.
  • I like to work on creative projects, no matter what the area.  I don’t think I know enough about dance, but there’s a lot of things I do know enough about and that’s the sort of stuff I want to focus on.  My roommate and I had started writing a book, but for some reason it didn’t feel right.  Yesterday (the one day we were actually in the same house, mostly because I was sick) we finally realized the problem.  It wasn’t the content, it was the medium.  So we decided to create a YouTube series about starting businesses in India.  I’m pretty stoked about it.  I’m pretty stoked about working with her on a collaborative project.  I think it’ll be a lot of fun.

Dream a Little Dream: Part II

It’s that time again when I go after something that I really want to be doing.  Only to be mildly disappointed.  It’s not exactly disappointed but more…ok.  That’s cool. I’m doing this thing. Now what?

I’ve always wanted to take more intense dance courses, and now that I”m doing it, I really wonder why I’m doing it.  I mean it’s great because I’m learning a lot, but at the end of the day, what am I trying to do here?  I spend about 20 hours a week on dance.  Which really cuts in to the pretty minimal personal time I used to have.  Oh and there’s this thing called sleep.  Sometimes I forget that exists.  And I was just getting to the point where I was learning to enjoy eating food- and not just wishing I could inject it like a heroine junkie.

I think what really kills me is that I was just getting into a good routine with work and everything else.  And the minute that starts going well, I feel the need to introduce this new thing into the mix.  Because otherwise that would be too easy.  Life would be too easy.  I can’t be comfortable. No way.  That’s not allowed.

So now that my life is crazy again, I have to find what works for me so I don’t feel on edge all the time.

Only to change it again in another 3 months when these classes end.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing with my life.

(And by sometimes, I mean at least 3-7 times a week).

Learning to Breathe

I’ve been reading more about this, and I found out that most of the world’s population breathe incorrectly.  Which I am almost positive includes me.  I have realized that I don’t even know how to breathe right.  (I’ve been Googling it and it’s still hard to figure it out- oh wait, yup, this article pretty much confirms it, I suck at breathing.  But probably going to do more digging and ask professionals, because I’m a nerd like that).

But it makes you wonder.  If you don’t even know how to do the most basic function of LIFE correctly, what else are we unconsciously doing sub-optimally?  What else are we doing that we don’t even know could be better?  It’s crazy right?

I’m beginning to think it’s all the little things that we can slightly alter about our most basic routines and functions we perform on a daily basis (the unsexy stuff essentially) that has the biggest impact on our lives.

And at a higher level, I am beginning to think that’s how life works.  Most of the time, change starts with doing something super basic many times over to create powerful habits that really make huge positive changes in our lives.

Calling Fitness Bullshit

That’s been my relationship with Golds Gym since the very beginning.  I think the first time I joined a gym right out of college they required me to have one consultation with a trainer.  It was one of the most terrible experiences of my life (and probably his too).  There was a lot of yelling: him calling me fat and saying I needed to lose weight, me telling him that he obviously didn’t know what he was talking about because THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS OVERWEIGHT SO I CAN”T BE ABOVE AVERAGE SMARTASS.  I was so upset I called my dad and asked him if he thought I was overweight (obviously, no), and then I Googled it to make sure, and then I came to the conclusion that I hated the entire fitness industry because no matter who you are and what your actual needs are, they will tell you whatever they need to sell you their goods.  Even if it’s actually detrimental to your own health.

And that hatred hasn’t gone away.  I went to Golds Gym recently and that happened again.  All I wanted to do was use their machines to check muscle mass, body fat etc… and after the readings, the guy told me I needed to lose 16 pounds.  I told him he was insane.  He looked at me and said no, I needed to lose 16 pounds that’s what the machine says.  I wanted to ask him if the machine said to jump off the 3rd story would he do that too, but I held my tongue and just smiled and said thanks.  I went home and Googled to make sure, and yes, yet again, the geniuses at the gym were incredibly incorrect.

But I think the thing that gets me so upset is that this whole industry (alongside media) is really shaping the way we see ourselves, and they are just exploiting every insecurity every man women and even child has to make a buck.  It isn’t surprising it just sucks because I don’t think I can believe any article I read out there (academic publications the exception).

I mean at this point, i don’t even know what I want.  Health? What does being healthy even mean? Exercising for mental sanity? That’s definitely up there.  For dance? Yoga? I don’t even know.

I guess it’s just back to the drawing books for my own fitness goals.

Coming Home

I love that Diddy-Dirty Money song, I have it on repeat.  It got me through a lot of tough times, waiting for that time to come home.  And to put words to what I felt, was a powerful thing.  I don’t usually take out lyrics, but for this one, sitting at the Chicago O’Hare airport, almost at that destination I call home, it makes me choke up it’s so beautiful.

I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away
All the pain of yesterday

I know my kingdom awaits
And they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the world that I’m coming

I’m back where I belong
Yeah I never felt so strong
I’m feelin’ like there’s nothing that I can’t try
(I’m back, baby)
And if you with me put your hands high
(Put your hands high)

At the place you call home, your sins, imagined or otherwise, are forgiven, you regain your strength, and you gain the courage to keep on moving on.  Doing your thing. Whatever that is.  Knowing that most people won’t understand you, knowing that most people will judge you, knowing that most people will think and say things about you that will make you cringe, it doesn’t matter when you are home. Because home is where people know your truest self, and they see the goodness in you that sometimes you yourself forget.  They forgive, they give you tough love, they make you see the ugly truth, but they give you the courage to change.  Or stay the same.  Whichever one is really needed.

And home doesn’t have to be the place you grew up, and home doesn’t have to be one location. I think the beautiful thing about this concept of home is that if you live life to the fullest, and you get a tad bit lucky, I imagine there may be multiple places you call home.

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