Happy Monday :)

As the world gets more strange, I’m happy with some of the familiar. Released Peekaboo! on Spotify and it went live today. I’m so happy I finished the song. It makes me happy every time I listen to it. Hope you’ve all found something that makes you a little happier today.

Much love,

S.

“And It Was All Yellow”

The wildfires tinted the sky yellow on Monday, and I was inspired to wear this dress to start the week off right.

I actually had a wonderful Monday, which was a nice break. Then on Tuesday I found out I probably got scammed via Instagram to become a brand ambassador, ended up running into a major issue and working 16+ hours trying to solve it, still haven’t fixed it and today was another long day at work. I feel worn out, but at the point where everything is just sad and absurd. 🙂 So I’m still able to laugh, which I’m grateful for.

I’m weirdly calm, because of a complete loss of hope, I think, lol. I read an article reviewing a book written by a Buddhist monk, or maybe it was an interview? The main gist I walked away with was: in order to truly find solutions and achieve peace, you need to stop hoping for something better.

This is reality, peeps. This is what we’ve got. So what do we do with it? I’m grateful tomorrow’s Thursday. I tried to take vacation tomorrow and Friday, but I’m swamped and will probably end up working through some of my PTO. Really hope I finish the week launching these, because I really like our partners/clients. They take a lot of pride in what they do, and I want to make sure we really give them the value they’re looking for. It’s how businesses grow.

Will find out on Friday, I guess. Is it weird that I’m looking forward to my dentist’s appointment tomorrow? I really like their office and the people who work there. 🙂

When a loved one passes…

My grandmother on my father’s side passed away today. She was 92 years old when she died, and her death was peaceful and calm and she was in no pain. She’s – she was – a complex person with tons of facets and sides, incredibly strong willed and sharp witted. She lived through so many difficult and defining events in India including WW II, Partition, the Bengal Famine, Indian Independence.

My father just sent an obituary of sorts to my mother’s side of the family and it was beautiful. The family is coming together to help and support each other get through this. I’m really grateful for that, but I really wish this year would let up for a bit, you know?

I cried for what felt like hours this evening and I’m glad I finally stopped because I had a pounding headache after I was done. I sang some of my grandmother’s favorite traditional Carnatic Classical songs in my repertoire until my voice gave out after. My cousin called late in the evening, and we were reminiscing about our grandparents and going through a treasure trove of stories. It really helped.

I’ve now lost another person I was close to, who loved me unconditionally. The world feels a lot more cold, harsh and lonely now. I feel like there aren’t a lot of people in a person’s life who can give that much unconditional love. I wish I’d appreciated and understood that better while she was still with us.

Rest in peace, Patti. We love you.

The Worm That Destroys Your Peace

I had a wonderful, lovely quick chat with my father this morning. He and I had had a big argument a few days prior, and I hadn’t talked to him since though I’d called my mom. It took a lot to pick up the phone to try again. My parents were in the middle of a movie, so the call was brief, but there was so much love and affection and happiness in his voice. He was really glad I’d called.

After I jumped off the call, I enjoyed my peace for a few seconds before going down the negative thought spirals that so often consume my waking days now. Anger at the system, anger at the bad leaders I’ve been exposed to at the international and smaller level at my company. Anger at the sexism and racism that I and so many of my friends have faced. Anger at the lack of repercussions and accountability at the very top where it matters the most. The burdens of some of the biggest problems are always borne by the people who can least afford to bear it.

To break the cycle, I brought myself back to my dad’s voice over the phone. It made me smile. Time for a list of things I’m grateful for:

  1. My family’s love, despite past disagreements. Right now, I choose to focus on our togetherness and unfailing love.
  2. I just finished a delicious cup of hot cocoa I’d made with spices that I really enjoyed. 🙂
  3. It’s a soft, foggy, humid, contemplative day in San Francisco. While I love sunny days, these types of days bring me peace because it slows my pace of thinking down if I allow it to sink in. If I allow myself to be present in the now.
  4. I’ve been getting tons of rest during the night this weekend. All the emotions, frustration, feeling trapped, anger, sadness and disappointment have been taking a toll on my sleep, so I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to get several nights of wonderful, rejuvenating sleep. It was much needed.
  5. I had an awesome Saturday. I was happy most of the day yesterday even though I mostly just ran errands and worked out and sang as usual. I got to hang out virtually with my brother and we watched a movie together on Netflix and then chatted about it on Skype.
  6. I’m grateful that technology still allows me to be close to people who are far away, who I really miss.
  7. I’m catching up with other close friends today.

Happy Sunday! I hope you find things that bring you peace and joy today!

The Void, The Darkness, And The Chosen Path Towards The Light

The past few months have left me stumbling, sometimes with tears streaming down my face, sobbing helplessly. There were many moments when I found gratitude, peace, joy and connection amidst heartbreak, questioning the future (my own and the world’s), and what I would find on the other side of all this in myself. What would be left of connections, systems, and the lives and dreams we have painstakingly built, piece by piece.

And then the police brutally murdered George Floyd, highlighting how much change is needed in this world. I was lost at sea, horrified and stunned.

As an immigrant, I chose to come to the US. Because it seemed like a great place to be, a place with different kinds of people and attitudes coexisting, where you can find culture, art, and intellectual curiosity in its amazing cities. A place with beautiful, vast landscapes to explore. A place of excitement and growth.

I didn’t really grow up with racism, though I understood racial prejudice growing up in Asia. Racism was something my grandparents and great-grandparents had fought against the British over, and won the fight in a magnificent show of civil disobedience. (I’m remembering the 9 year old version of it, which is how old I was when we left India for the Philippines.) It’s a chip on my shoulder in the world, but it was relatively small. Until I moved to the US.

I remember remarking to a close friend during college that I was becoming more and more aware of racism, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was getting older and more observant, or if it was because of my time in the US. My friend and I agreed the latter likely had a significant impact, and now I firmly believe it did.

As a teenager in Hyde Park, Chicago, I was part of a vibrant community that I absolutely loved in all its facets. Barack Obama had just starting his political career. I felt so much hope for my time in the US. I knew it was going to be amazing despite its challenges.

Over the past four years I’ve been left questioning if I made the wrong choice, if I chose the wrong country. Family members have bluntly told me I did. Being an immigrant and a person of Indian descent comes with its burdens in the US, but it also comes with the freedom to know that I chose to be here, and I can choose to leave if that’s what I really want to do. I built a life here from scratch, I can do it again somewhere else.

With that thought, however, I’m also reminded that I’ve lived here longer than any other country in the world. This is the place that feels most like home. I’ve worked hard to become a part of this country’s fabric and rather than running away, maybe I have a responsibility to see the opportunities for doing the right thing.

We need to change. This is the time when the pain has, once again, become unbearable and with this destruction and chaos there is an opportunity to get a fresh start, a clearer understanding of what needs to be done, and do better.

I hope we’re all able to find some peace, compassion, and growth as we crawl towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The darkness is always temporary, my experience tells me this. This is temporary, and will pass.