Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodbye, O

I don't think Oprah has a bigger fan than my sister. She sucked me into watching the show as well. The past three days of the show have been so emotional....and I gotta admit, I've shed a few tears along the way. This very last episode couldn't be any more perfect. I feel like I've spent an hour of the day with a really great friend who is taking the time to give me really good advice.

It's funny...earlier today, I was talking to BF about finding a job that I love. I've always worked jobs that left me wishing away Monday -Thursday. My blogs posts from 2005 were merely rants and raves about me hating my job. I don't think God wants us to live that way. Each day should be lived to the fullest...not wished away. It was as if Oprah was listening in on that conversation...because on her show today she talked about "purpose" She said that each one of us have a purpose and we have to go about the business of finding that purpose and pursuing it. She defined purpose as doing something...and knowing in that moment that that's what you're supposed to be doing...that that's what God created you to do.

I have definitely had moments like that in my my book reading in NYC or when I got to speak at a symposium for writer's conference in OKC...probably the most memorable moments in my life...when a lifelong dream was achieved. Sometimes I wonder where that girl went? Life should be filled with many moments like that, but for some reason, I've just stopped actively pursuing my purpose in life. Today, Oprah made me realize that fulfilling my purpose doesn't mean that I have to have a job where I get to write/create things all day. long as I still do those things after my 9-5...the problem is, I always had a way of letting the grind get to me...and stifle me from pursuing my purpose.

I guess you can say, I had my Aha moment. Thank you, will be greatly missed!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So tonight was a little scarey...The weatherman reported several tornadoes spinning through the state of Oklahoma. This happens every year, I was out with friends, and suddenly it started storming and everyone at the restaurant said a tornado was on the way. I left and raced home because my mom was home alone. I was driving towards the house, and I could see the twister coming down the street...right towards me. I got home safely, and the twister went right past us and never touched us. Somehow we've always managed to escape the fury of mother nature. But, I wasn't so sure I'd be as blessed this time.

I knew I couldn't stay home...I live on the second floor, so it's just not safe. I decided to take Mousse and head over to my mom's. I looked through the apartment and thought about whether I should take anything with me. I'm not going to lie...I was veryyyy worried about the decorations I had made for an upcoming bridal shower. But, I realized that it didn't matter if I left them at home or took them to my mom's...either way, it'd be destroyed....all the hours of cutting and gluing would be all for not!

I tucked the decorations safely in my storage closet...although I know it wouldn't be safe there...and looked around the rest of the house to see if there was anything else I wanted to keep safe. Of course there are dozens of pictures framed around the house, but I realized most of em' were on line and could be re-printed. So I packed my favorite jeans, my favorite "I love Canada" t-shirt, and a sweater...and left my apartment...after saying a simple prayer..."please Lord, I know these are just things, but please keep my home and my things safe."

Thankfully, God kept us safe...and our homes safe. But, not everyone in the state was that fortunate. It is painful to see how homes have been stripped down to the foundation...and it's even more painful to know that those people have nowhere to sleep tonight...and tomorrow they literally have to start all over.

I thank God for His amazing thankful for his protection and provision.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mousse and I have an afternoon ritual...we watch Dr. Phil...and we typically fall asleep halfway. So, I usually tape the show and watch it later. Last night, I was watching an extremely intense Thunder game. The were playing against the Dallas Mavericks, and all I could think about was their win...and me gloating to CCL...(who probably wouldn't care anyway seeing as how she didn't even know OKC had a NBA team). The intensity was killing me, so I decided to stop watching it...a part of me thought that perhaps I was bringing them bad luck by watching it. (yes, I have stupid thoughts like that) So, I decided to catch up on Dr. Phil.

His show was about bullying...and it really struck a cord with me. I was bullied in school...puhhhlenty of times....for reasons known and unknown. I remember when I was in first grade. My gramps used to pick me up from school, and we'd walk home together. One afternoon, I was waiting for him outside, and this kid came up and started kicking the crap out of me. My gramps walked up just in yell at him in Malayalam (our language) and pull me away from him while a teacher pulled him away from me. I never did understand his random act of violence. He was in my class, but we never spoke. I hardly ever spoke to anyone because I was really shy and quiet. To this day, I think about that kid and wonder why he did what he did...and wonder what ever became of him.

Then there was Jr. High and & high school in Oklahoma..."Cowboys vs. the Indian." Being the only brown girl in my predominately white class wasn't the best experience of my life. I not only represented India, but also the Middle East...because they were ignorant and didn't know better. I heard evrything from "camel jock" to "does your father operate the blueberry squishie machine" (in a thick faux-Indian accent). Oddly enough, the cowboys didn't bother me too much. I knew they were ignorant. But, what did bother me was this one boy...who was a grade younger than me. He picked the things I already hated about myself and made fun of me for my uncontrollably frizzy hair... my far-from-fashionable clothes... and my oversized cheeks. He criticized me for wearing Dexters instead of Cole Haans...and made fun of the way I french rolled my jeans. I tried to stay off his radar most days, but we shared a few classes together, so it was difficult to do.

I don't think he emotionally scarred me...but, I do think that he is the reason that I question my fashion sense to this day! Through the years, I've often fantasized about becoming a prolific, NY Times #1 best selling author and bringing him on Oprah to demand an apology. But, that was definitely a pipe dream! However, a few years ago...our paths did cross again....via Facebook. He had a fancy job in a big city, but was moving back to Oklahoma for grad school. He wanted to hang out some time. I was nervous to say the least. I arranged a night out with a group of our mutual high school friends. I made sure that every strand of my hair was stick straight...and made Matt double and triple check my head to make sure. I also made sure that my jeans were an appropriate length and my overall outfit was fashionable...I put blush on my cheeks hoping it would somehow give the illusion that they slimmed down a bit. Those childood insecurities came back to haunt me.

He was friendly and kind...bought me a drink...and we started talking about the old days. It was interesting how his memories didn't include the daily tormenting of a certain little brown girl. I wasn't about to let him get off so easily. So, I reminded him. He looked ashamed. He admitted that he had thought about his behavior over the years...especially when watching the movie "Flatliners"...which always reminded me of him as well! And then, the unimaginable happened...he apologized. He admitted to being extremely insecure...and that caused him to be a bully. I was shocked....he never seemed insecure...over confident, yes...cocky, yes...but insecure?!? I gotta say, it felt good getting that apology...even though I had to wait 17 years.

It taught me a few never know what kind of pain and insecurities people are hiding inside of them....and also you should never measure your own self worth (or fashion sense) based on other people's opinions. Bullies are just insecure people...who use their words or physical strength to make other people feel as crappy as they do.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Me and my papa in 1980.

You can't see it, but my t-shirt was made by my dad's best friend, and it said "Daddy's Girl" on the front. It was my favorite shirt for years...until I could no longer squeeze myself into it!

Although today marks 24 years since his death...I choose to remember his life and be grateful for having 12 years with an amazing father.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I've never been one of those girls who used my feminine wiles to get what I wanted. Let me just be frank here, I've never even had the opportunity to use my feminine wiles. Hell, I didn't even know I had any. But, I've often marveled at girls who batted their eyelashes a certain way and thus manipulated situations to their advantage. I never thought that I had that in me. Until...

I was working a wedding last Friday night. I was short on my one trusty assistant. But, things were behind...and I needed ten more trusty assistants to make up on lost time. We were at the reception site and an old, bald, Egyptian man fancied us. Since we were sweaty and disheveled...I'm pretty certain he was just one of those types who see Indian girls and automatically think they're beautiful because they're things like sweat, dishevelment, and steam coming out of my ears didn't dissuade him.

He was ever so eager to be at our beck and call. "Oh, I pick this up for you, mam." "Let me move this box for you, mam." I found it a little creeperish because wherever I turned...there he my service. "I cook good biriyani, mam." I was short-staffed, short on time, and short tempered. So, I wasn't really in the mood to deal with this overly helpful, overly informative creeper. My assistant and I did our best to ignore him, make as little conversation as possible without being completely rude, and get the heck back to the church in time for pre-wedding tasks!

After the wedding we raced back to the reception site to make sure everything was set up properly and ready for show time. By this time, we were parched. It was now 8 pm, and we had been working since noon. As soon as we entered the ballroom....there he was. It was as if he had been waiting for us to return since we left. But, this time, he had a cold glass of tea in his hands for us. I had never been more excited to see unsweetened tea in my life. I took it from him...appreciatively....and drank it as if I had been in the desert for the past 40 years.

And that's when it hit me! a ton of bricks! I could totally use my feminine Indian girl wiles to get what I wanted. And what I wanted...was more assistance! "Mo, can you carry this box out to the foyer?"..."Mo, can you please get the sound guy some water?" "Mo, can you please find a to go box for me so I can take a piece of cake home to my husband?" I's horrible....but it was wonderful all at the same time! I've never had someone so eager to do everything I asked! Now, I'm not a complete wretch...I did say thank you and good bye.

Don't worry...I very rarely run across people who think I'm gorgeous just because I'm this feminine wiles thing won't get out of hand! And if given another opportunity to try it out again...I will only use it for good and not evil! =)