Achilles

The-myth-of-the-Achilles-heel.png

2015 I ruptured my Achilles. I was dancing for a Bhangra team and during practice I jumped up, went down to a squat, and when I jumped back up I heard the infamous pop. I’ve stepped away from Bhangra teams now — I still dance, but not on that competitive level. I’ve slowed down and found new hobbies. No matter what I do, in the back of my head I know that the rush and excitement I felt of a crowd going crazy will never match what I do now. It was my drug. It was my go to and my best friend. I have so many memories attached to it. Yet that damn pop ruined so much, and sadly that’s my last real memory of it.

I’ve been religiously going to the gym now. I eat cleaner and I’m trying to fix a lot of my bad habits. A few weeks ago while doing stretches and my warmups, I felt a pull, that same pull, and that instant fear took over my mind. I remember sitting on the yoga mat trying to “man through the pain”, but it was too much and I went limping over to do upper body. I finished that day’s workout, but I was scared.

The pain has been on and off. Even when I am enjoying myself I have to remind myself to take it easy. It’s almost funny how injuries and internal pains have so much overlap. With any injury it either leaves a scar and that scar becomes a story or you have some type of pain that stays with you; in other ways it’s never the way it was before the injury. Relationships work the same exact way: sometimes our habits scar our partner or us. Then when someone new comes around we keep that “injury” in the back of our minds so we can never behave the way we used to.

Just like our bones and muscles, constant pain to our heart causes damage. The damage I felt was from, of course, relationships and friendships and situations that life put me through. The added pain came when I felt like no one saw the areas they were wrong in. The other level of this pain came when I realized the people who I would take a bullet for probably would not do the same. I think the nail in the coffin came when I felt misunderstood — and this isn’t some Bollywood version of “I am misunderstood.” I mean literally when I got into fashion, I became “materialistic.” When I started going on dates, I was looked at as a “fuckboy.” When I did things with good intentions, I was told I have a fucked up personality. When I messed up, it became a huge issue, whereas if someone else made the same mistake people made excuses for them.

The problem with physical injury and words is that they stay and linger.No matter what apologies I have received and mends people have tried to make, it will forever stay with me. I guess just how I finished my workout that day at the gym, I am going to have to do the same with weight in my heart. With time things better, but they probably won’t go back to what they were.

Fukra

IMG_1127.JPG

“Fukra” means cocky or arrogant in Punjabi

Growing up, I had zero knowledge about fashion or style. To be completely honest I didn’t care much about it. Then one day I remember seeing some kids in middle school — you know the “cool kids” — I saw how people treated them and I really wanted that. I slowly started getting into fashion, but it was a lot of trial and error. When I say a lot, I mean it. I then found my style in my early twenties, which became a more minimalistic style. Fashion has now become a part of my daily life. I genuinely enjoy buying new clothes and piecing together outfits. It’s to the point where people have started messaging me to join them at the mall to help piece together new looks for them.

As I was building a new style for myself, many of my childhood friends didn’t change much from the exterior. As each year passed I changed my hair or my style. Now that I am in my mid-twenties I have found a style that I enjoy and like when I look in the mirror, but in the process my friends don’t recognize who I am. Often times when I go out with them people will be surprised that they are my friends because they don’t dress a certain way. Personally to me it never mattered, I always stood up for them even behind their backs. Friendship is not about the clothes you wear, it’s about having each other’s back through thick and thin.

Just like an old shirt starts losing its proper fitting, that’s how us friends weren’t the right fit anymore. My taste in things changed, my views on life changed, and slowly my presence wasn’t needed in hangouts. After months of being pushed to the side I confronted the group about what the fuck is actually going on. The responses I got after still fuck me up mentally to this day — “bro you are materialistic,” “all you care about is clothes,” “you are arrogant and cocky,” and a bunch of other shit that had no correlation.

I tried changing a little to fit in for my friends; I tried dressing down, I tried making plans, but I was always shunned out. I was convinced it was my fault that the friends I considered family pushed me to the side, but last night I realized it was never my fault.

A college graduation gift that was given to me in 2016 was used as ammo and a way of making me feel guilty, so I could participate in someone’s gift that I did not want to be a part of because I had already given a gift. The fact that someone has to stoop down so low to say we gave you a $500 gift and we have never have seen you use it really shows you someone’s true character. I don’t know about how his parents raised him. I was raised to give a gift and never bring it up and show off about it. A gift is from the heart and should never have any strings attached to it.

I think it’s only fair to tell you a little about me. If being cocky and arrogant means having a hobby, which includes styling, shopping, and trying new looks then I am the cockiest of them all. Respect is the number one rule in my book — I will never compromise on that. For over a year now I beat myself up for ruining my friendships with my childhood friends. I’ve come to realize friendship is a two way street and I will not be put down for the things I enjoy. When you start giving free passes on the things others say or do, you are providing a coupon to people to disrespect you. Be true to yourself and the things you enjoy. Even if people think you are a “Fukra.”


Galliyan

WE OFTEN HEAR THE TERM “THE PAST IS THE PAST” BUT THE REALITY IS THAT EVERY PAST ROAD AFFECTS HOW WE NAVIGATE THROUGH OUR CURRENT ROAD.

 

            AFTER A 3-4 YEARLONG RELATIONSHIP ENDED I WENT ON THIS WEIRD JOURNEY. I WOULD MEET BEAUTIFUL WOMEN WITH EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL SOULS, BUT I WOULD END UP FINDING A REASON TO NOT TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. AFTER YEARS OF EXCUSES I CAME ACROSS A REALIZATION: IT’S NOT YOU IT’S ME (PUN INTENDED).

            YES IT IS ME, BUT MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES HAVE SHAPED MY THINKING TO RUN AWAY FROM TRUE FEELINGS, LOVE OR ANYTHING SERIOUS. SMALL THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THE PAST ARE SEEDS BEING PLANTED TO BLOSSOM INTO BIGGER ISSUES DOWN THE ROAD. CALL IT COMMITMENT ISSUES, CALL IT BEING A FUCK BOY OR CALL IT JUST HAVING FUN — ALL THIS STUFF STEMS FROM DEEP-ROOTED ISSUES AND MAYBE PAIN YOU DO NOT WANT TO FEEL EVER AGAIN. IT’S OUR WAY OF TAKING THE DETOUR OR YIELDING INTO FEELINGS, WHICH MAKES A VERY NATURAL PROCESS VERY PROCESS LIKE. LOVE HURTS WHEN IT’S NOT RECIPROCATED, BEING ALONE SUCKS WHEN YOU SEE HAPPY COUPLES AROUND YOU (TEAM THIRD-WHEELER), BUT HURTING PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU WERE HURT IS FUCKED UP. TO THE ONES I’VE HURT, I’M SORRY FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH AND TO THE ONES TRAVELING ON THIS ROAD. SIT BACK AND JUST REFLECT, HAS YOUR PAST CHANGED HOW YOU SCOPE LOVE? HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE YOU DAMAGED ON THIS JOURNEY TO MASK YOUR OWN PAIN?

            THE PAST IS THE PAST, MOVE PAST IT, MASK IT, BUT EVENTUALLY THE PAST CATCHES UP. WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING AND YOU HIT A POTHOLE, YOU DON'T STOP DRIVING. YOU QUICKLY ADAPT, SO NEXT TIME YOU ARE ABLE TO AVOID POTHOLES. WITH LIFE YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND THE RIGHT PERSON TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THIS ROAD OF LIFE WITH — MAYBE SOMEONE WHO HAS THE ABILITY TO RECONSTRUCT THE ROADS YOU’VE TRAVELED AND MAKE NEW MEMORIES WITH YOU

 

Reading An Old Book

BOOK.jpeg

“Raah teri tak takk, Thak gaiyan main” which literally translates to, “I’ve been looking on the paths you used to travel and now I’ve become tired.”

            Often times, looking down a path you used to travel with someone will only bring you exhaustion. Sometimes it’s the memories, and other times it’s the things that you could have done differently. No matter what the reason may be, looking back is often more painful than the journey on that path itself.

            It’s crazy to think that someone who was a complete stranger can come into your life and rattle you from within. So much so that you start talking like them, listening to the same music as them and can’t imagine a better person to compliment you and your lifestyle. You and that individual become like the summer in June: it just works.

            Now imagine that stranger who became your all and then suddenly they left you; but soon you watch them walking back on the same road they left you on — do you walk further away or lessen the distance? It’s a battle we’ve all faced at one point or another. Call it ex-issues or someone creeping back — the fact of the matter is that they left you and now they resurfaced. The worst thing a relationship can have is ego: this actually does more damage than good.

Relationships are supposed to be humbling and a way to learn about your partner and yourself. I used to give examples to people about the similarities between books and relationships — once you turn a page you don’t go back.

After seeing a few of my friends go through similar situations, I realized my own metaphor could be wrong. A book that you enjoyed can be read again; maybe while reading the book, you missed a line, an important line that could have changed the ending completely.

            What would you do? Would you turn the page and never look back or give that book another chance?

When Someone Is Around

FullSizeRender 3.jpg

“Jab koi hotha hai thab kiso ko uski kadar nehi hothi.”

“When someone is around, we don’t have much value for him or her.”

         Why is it when we have someone, we don’t value him or her? Why is it that we push away the ones that care for us the most? As a guy I’m not going to make excuses, we’re dumb and we don’t value the women in our life, but I’ve been noticing a recent trend. Both men and women have become so conditioned to assholes and rude individuals that we don’t value the good people.

         I caught myself fighting for people to stay in my life that wouldn’t fight for me. I caught myself countlessly getting hurt over the people I would take a bullet for. The scary part about being with someone romantically or even as friends is that you never know what’s going on in their mind. The person can give you any bullshit excuse to pull away from you or push you away; only for you to feel abandoned, used and taken for granted. See, in a society that makes things simpler, we have over complicated love. Now due to our over complications we have made it hard to get close to someone, but easier to have someone completely destroy us from within.

         Failures in friendships and love should never define who you are as a person, but they slowly make you have trust issues. These issues start from others but in the end you are left questioning yourself. Which is why I stopped writing and blogging for almost 6 months. I met a lot of new people, traveled and then realized not everyone has the same intentions as you. Not everyone is pure and real as you, but I I know that’s just how the world is now. Not many people care as deeply for you as you would for them. My father always said start walking on your journey and others will join you. This is my road and whoever joins me will do it because in the end when I walk away, that’s when you’ll realize how lonely your road really is.

Its All Made Up

imagination_by_akiraalion-dawk529.jpg

            We always hear about the ideal man or woman, and why shouldn’t we? The ideal individual has everything to produce a long healthy relationship with very minor flaws that could cause issues. Now, this ideal man or woman has a degree, is family oriented and has a high paying job. In simpler terms, they have the right tools that can help two people grow in many aspects.

            What do I look for? Well, exactly what an ideal woman should have. A degree, a career, family oriented and someone who can be my best friend; and I found just that last year. Yet, I realized I wasn’t happy with those qualities alone because they didn’t excite who I really am from the inside. Do I really care about what research lab you are working in? Honestly, I don’t. Do I really care that you are on the road to a six-figure job? I actually don’t. What I actually long and care for is someone with depth — the ability to make me laugh, someone who knows when to be serious and someone who I can vibe with on every level, not just the levels I have made up in my mind.

            What I realized through my personal situation is that we as humans have made up someone in our mind that we see ourselves with. So naturally our list of people on our radar is very small. What about the people who don’t quit meet your “qualifications”? Now, I’m not saying lower your standards, but maybe try someone who you wouldn’t usually give a chance to. There’s no equation in this world that can help you find the right partner, but don’t shorten your own list with made up things that are highly unlikely or impossible (such as one of my friends who wants a 6 foot 4 inch man, works in IT, loves  animals and is a gym rat). I’m not saying that doesn’t exist, but shit, that’s very particular. You aren’t baking cake guys, you’re trying to find someone you can connect with.

            What’s your ideal man or woman? What qualities do you hold important and what can you sacrifice? Next time you bump into someone, ask yourself one thing: does this person meet the qualities I have made up in my mind or do they truly excite all of my senses from the inside out? Nobody is perfect and nothing in the world will be 100% to your liking, but you have to learn to love it.

Knives Dipped in Honey

knife.jpg

I have sat away from my computer for a few weeks now: thinking what can I write about now? What new approach can I take on these topics I have been talking about? After many weeks I have come to realize that the most pain caused is not by an intimate partner, yet the ones who are closest to you in other ways. It’s the ones who laugh with you, break bread with you, and are apparently understanding of all your pains. In Urdu we call these people “Mithi churiyaan” which literally translates to “sweet knives.” These people will become really close to you and harm you when you least expect it.

I read a quote a while ago on the back of a car and it always stuck in my mind: “The higher you go, the lonelier you get.” Reaching new heights can be anything. For example, getting a degree, landing your dream job, falling in love and getting married. It can be anything that can help you start a new chapter in your life. The sad reality is that this new story often sets you apart from the people who you consider to be close. I remember when I got into university I lost a few high school friends because our mentalities and life goals didn’t always match. When I graduated I lost people because we went towards different goals and passions.

So what do you do when you’ve known someone your entire life who isn’t happy for you? What do you do when someone you’ve held so high is waiting for every opportunity to see you fall? What I have come to learn is to be lowkey and not tell everyone about where I am and where I am going in life. With time, the people around me will find out the things they need to know. It’s not a beauty pageant, it’s my life and it’s truly nobody’s business where I am. At first this transition was very difficult, but now I rarely let anyone into my intimate circle. Call it trust issues, but I’d rather be alone instead of being surrounded by people who will find any excuse to cut my wings. It’s always the ones closest to you. It’s always the one who you thought had your back, but it turns out they were just knives dipped in honey.

Food Coloring

 

 

food coloring.jpg

 

“Katray katray se deryah bantha hai” which literally means “through drops an entire river can be made.”

 

The way food coloring shows the nature of relationships is absolutely beautiful to me. Now here's what you need to do in order to see what I mean. Get a clear glass, fill it with water and then carefully put in one drop of food coloring into the glass. Then observe how that one drop cuts through the water and then slowly changes the color of the water. It's not instant, but rather slow. With each drop the color of the water becomes deeper and stronger. No matter how much clear water you add into that glass, the water is tinted. That's exactly how negative energy works in a relationship. At first, that one drop slightly cuts through you and then, with each drop, the relationship drowns before your own eyes. The reality is, all relationships go through ups and downs, but the ups should always outweigh the downs.

The moment a relationship starts dropping “food coloring” on you and into your relationship you will only have two choices. One, either have a talk and fix the issues that you are having before the food coloring ruins you any further. Secondly, walk away because your water (relationship) is already tinted.

We all have been in a toxic relationship or witnessed someone who has been in one and it’s exhausting. The person visibly looks stressed, unhappy and worn out because of the mental strain. It’s painful to go through and even worse to see someone you love suffer in silence.

As I said earlier, with each drop a river is made, but the choice is yours on what you want the river made out of: negativity, toxicity and a tint of “food coloring”, or a basic understanding that you have to sacrifice, compromise and be willing to have the lightest tint in your glass of water.

Give and Take

“The energy you put into the world is the energy you will get back.”

While I was growing up I had a hard time accepting others who were doing better than me in life; whether it was school, how they dressed and especially those who were doing the things they loved. Others being happy made me very uncomfortable and it made me put this fake cocky mask on to feel better about myself. A few years ago my energy was too negative and because of this energy I pushed away so many people and presented the wrong version of myself to others.

     My cockiness didn’t provide me comfort when I wasn’t included into plans with friends or when I wanted to do things with others. My words would often be hurtful and stung the people around me. I was the guy that would find a way to rain on someone's day because if I can't have it, nobody can. The further I went down this road the more internal damage I took along the way. Saying I was sad is an understatement, but I knew I had to work on this internal issue because I was pushing away positive people who could teach me a thing or two.

     After much thought I realized my internal issue is not being happy with where I am in life. So my easiest way to get rid of the internal guilt was by blaming everything and everyone around me, but myself.

     After much trial and error I became a magnet for the people around me. I became confident enough to do the things I love to do. Since I started following my own dreams I became confident enough to not let someone else's success make my personal accolades fall short. I started tasting success when I graduated from my university because I realized I am a different individual and I have a lot of talent to give to the world. Which is why, when someone around me succeeded even if it was more than me I felt internal happiness for them. If someone needed to vent or needed a shoulder I became just that for them. A few years ago I was negative so what I got back was negativity and now I promote love, care, positivity and growth. I swear those exact same things are being thrown right back at me and I can't express the happiness I feel nowadays. This didn’t happen overnight and to be honest I didn’t realize that the change happened until this morning when I was reflecting on my life. Every morning we are blessed with a new day to start something new, to try new things, to be better than we were yesterday. So the choice is yours, what will you throw at life today, but be careful because that's what you will get back.

Guarded Fences

 

 

“How long will you stand within a fenced area when you are able to see an open field as far as your eyes can see?”

After 2 years following my breakup from a long term relationship, I can finally say I am ready to meet new people and see where my vibe and energy takes me. I want to make a ton of friends and if somewhere along the line a friend becomes something more, I wouldn't mind. Through these two years I have accepted my own flaws and worked on them to be a better person. The biggest thing I have come to realize is that my internal happiness will never be through another individual, and the amount of time I spend with them has no correlation with the strength of my relationship. One would think that accepting and improving your flaws is a plus. Then understanding the fundamentals of a healthy relationship is also a very important thing to understand, but lately I have been very confused.

I will become friends with someone then a month into it I will hear the cliche line, “sorry I am very guarded, I had a tough past” and as always I have to say “Oh it's okay, I understand.” Truth be told I actually don't understand and I am tired of people using that as a scapegoat to not open up. I get it, being vulnerable is tough because you literally are taking your armor off and letting someone you do not know into your life, but at some point you need to open up. The question is, how long will you talk about your favorite color?

The reality is we all have been fucked over in one way or another. The reality is we have had our heart broken and we’ve broken a few hearts, it’s life and it happens. So to use your past as a wall to keep people out could hurt you down the road. Good people and good things do not always come knocking on your door. It’s an opportunity you have to know that is rare and without you opening the fence up and walking out to take a look, you might miss out on it. If you don’t then you will have to watch from a distance at the flowers of the field you see start to blossom and look happier than you have been feeling.

You can either stay within your own fence and push everyone away that comes your way or you can be open to the idea of making new friends and seeing where it goes. The foundation of a healthy relationship is a solid friendship. Make your foundation strong, lower your walls a little, open up the gate to your fence and just walk out. Set yourself free from your own fences and I promise you, everyone around you will notice a new vibrant version of you.