30 Years Ago

June 16, 2013 ~ 10:30pm

At this time 30 years ago, my parents were bringing my siblings and me into the United States to start a new life. They came with a few suitcases, limited money and 4 kids under the age of 8. They derived their strength from nothing other than the support of their family and their faith in God.

For all the times I've thought my parents did not take any chances or feared risk, I cannot imagine what courage it took to make such a difficult journey. To leave their home, family and friends and travel 8,000 miles to other side of the world. On this Father's Day I thank both my father and my mother for their immense sacrifice. Sadly neither did ever see their parents again.

At times I wonder if I could ever do what they did. Thanks to them, I don't think I will ever have to.

The Little Things Add Up

January 14, 2012 ~ 09:44pm

A year ago today, I quit my job of over 6 years. In the 12 months following, so many things both positive and negative occurred that I can't honestly decide if it was a good year or a bad one. The only certainty is that it will forever influence my life.

When I think about any of the situations I faced last year, I realize that either I was ready or not. Everything I had done up to a certain point prepared me for it. This maybe obvious in a job scenario, but it applies equally well to health issues or personal matters. It really isn't an excuse for someone to say that they didn't have time to prepare. Every day we automatically prepare ourselves for tomorrow.

I don't have any advice or motivational message here. Just that when I pause and look back I know I'm glad I did do some things correctly and took care of myself. And when the situation was bleak, only then do I begin to see the negative things left to fester.

The little things, good or bad, they all add up.

In Memory of a Friend

March 23, 2011 ~ 06:36pm

I originally had decided not to post this, but I now think it will be therapeutic to do so. Exactly 2 weeks ago, my good friend, who I've known for over 15 years, passed away after a 4 month battle with cancer. He was only 31 years old and had been married for less than 6 months.

While I was aware of his condition immediately after his diagnosis, I am still in shock of how rapidly everything happened. For whatever wishful reason I naively thought he had more time, and that I would have had at least one meaningful conversation with him. Sadly this was not the case.

I have always observed life threatening illnesses such as this from afar. Occurring to other people or distant relatives (usually much older). The reality of knowing someone so close both personally and in age, makes me more introspective on my own life (as if that were even possible). All these thoughts, memories and regrets flood my mind.

My biggest regret was that I never spoke to him when he was sick. I never told him that I had not forgotten about him and to let him know that he had all my support. I remembered him. I just hope that he heard me on a voice-mail I left for him or saw one of my messages. ... The only thing I am proud of in some small way, is that I did summon the courage to get up and talk at his funeral. Something I did not plan on doing.

Since he lived across the country, I did not see him often. To his credit, he always visited me when in town and I saw him a few times a year, which is more often than I see some people who live much closer. Being remembered is worth so much more than I can properly quantify. I really wish I had expressed that to him.

At the funeral when his family spoke, his brother's wife said something that stood out to me among all the sadness. She said little by little, each step in his life he pursued a small part of his dream. From engineering, to attending law school, to establishing himself to California and to finding his love and getting married. She encouraged everyone to find their dream - their love - to pursue it and once you have it: hold onto to it tightly. Such precious words from a broken heart. Words to live by.

Grief is a very personal thing. I can't imagine what his wife, siblings or parents are going through. For every word written here, I could speak a thousand more. I can recall the past 15 years quite vividly with all the ups and downs. I can appreciate the changes between us: career, life, relationships and everything else. For the handful of friends who I care about, there is now one less, and that change at the moment is quite difficult for me to accept. In time ...

(a big thank you to all my friends and family, especially my youngest brother)

Rest in peace my friend.

Aashish Kumar Garg
July 20, 1979 - March 9, 2011

A Late New Year Reset

January 31, 2011 ~ 09:31pm

Today started what I hope will be an end to my meandering thoughts on life. The month of January has been quite an exhilarating 31 days. A few weeks ago, in a surprise even to myself, I left the cubicle culture of the "mega-corporation" that I gave over 6 and 1/2 years of my life. (I have plenty of reflections, but I will save those for another post). And this morning, I stepped into a more demanding role at a smaller company where the work is more challenging, the hours longer and most importantly the rewards are much better. ... While I'll still be sitting in a cubicle, the environment, people and responsibilities have little semblance to my past setting.

... I had been planning a trip to Spain (to visit my cousin) for February, but due to the circumstances I decided to go ahead in January as a treat to myself. I came back last week after touring Barcelona, Seville and Madrid. In a sentence: one of the best trips of my life. I could write novels on that, but again, some other day.

So apologies in advance, my inbox has been flooded since December and work/life/etc. has just been a total mess ... my computers are in boxes :( ... I hope to be situated and back in some sort of rhythm in the next month or so.

And to conclude this positive post: the net effect of the recent set of events (trip included) is that I feel like a totally different person. I am so looking forward to 2011 and beyond ...

Happiness and 5 Dollars

December 21, 2010 ~ 03:06pm

If a child got $5 they might be excited to buy them self a candy bar. Or a teenager with $50 would get the latest XBox game? Maybe a college kid getting $500 would pay for their spring break to Mexico? I could go on, but in every case you see someone who is restricted by some cost which, when overcome, would make them happier or provide some momentary gratification.

I'm having difficulty in figuring out what that is for me. I'm not saying I'm rich, but have come to realize that further contentment won't be achieved for me through financial means. Which makes life difficult for me (yeah poor me). In the past few years I've totally curbed my materialistic cravings. Not that I don't "have" stuff, just that at times I almost feel like I'm forcing myself to go for a well deserved splurge. I know it's perfectly healthy to "want" but what do you do when you don't know what to want?

And this "problem" (if you call it that) manifests itself in other ways. It might become easy to care less about your career or your health when you know realistically that continuing your default course of action will still make you much better off than most people. All I can say is that life without some challenge to overcome is almost pointless.

Hopefully I don't come across as some self-medicating blogger. I really shouldn't complain when the truth is that I live a really nice life. But I just know that there must be something I really want to "buy" that I don't have the "means" to pay for. What that is and how to obtain it are a total mystery to me.