Day 98

So close to day 100, so reluctant to end this project, so deep in reflection for all the incredible gifts this project has given me, so grateful to have my writing back, so busy with work, family, visitors and taking care of myself, so consumed with physical manifestations of ❤️ all around me. I’m almost done but wanted to post this gentle reminder, along with some personal memories of the last few days, all of which overwhelmed me with gratitude. In no particular order:
#1 don’t 4get to love
#2 angel formerly known as moloch descends from the heavens
#3 it’s been too long, but the company of a mango-sniffing, cream-watching freak is the best kind of company
#4 RADHA PADMINI IN SAN FRANCISCO WHAT IN THE WORLD – my kartik buddy/ Radha Raman lover made it to my city!
#5 my mother, style queen, shade master, I owe her everything
#6 daddy-o, his sheer presence makes one grin so hard
#7 baby Kavi, his chunky thighs and drooly smiles capture the heart ❤️ 

Day 97


For the majority of my conscious life, I’ve chased the idea of close friendship, coming close to execution of said idea but almost always foiled by that pesky thing called distance. One of the greatest drawbacks to homeschooling can be the lack of a subset of similar-aged little people to select from as friends. As a child, I pined for friends of my own age and I went to great lengths (in retrospect) to maintain whatever semblance of friendship I could. I didn’t understand the “why” then but a side effect of my near constant contact with my parents and their adult world led to a rapid maturation. I spent my days surrounded by adults, reading texts and hearing about subjects far beyond my “reading level”. As priests and spiritual counselors, my parents were privy to some of the most intimate details of peoples’ lives, details that I overheard, without much understanding, over the course of my childhood. I remember having conversations about parenting, yes, parenting at age 9 and walking away from this conversation with the woman saying “I can’t believe you’re that only 9”. I talked theology and philosophy with adults at the annual AAPI conferences my parents would attend, often befriending doctors in their late 20s and never knowing how to respond when they’d back away, shocked, that I was a pre-teen.

So when I met someone I clicked with, who happened to be my age, suffice it to say my imagination went into overdrive. I dreamt up a closeness that mimicked the book versions of true friendship I read about. I was willing to give and to give and to give and exhaust myself giving to preserve the sanctity of this beloved bond.

In the last few years, especially this year, I’ve lost a number of friends. Considering I barely had a consistent group of people in a single place until college, this pain is foreign and the experiences even more difficult than I could ever imagine them to be. You see, when you fall as a child, your distance from your emotions and your lack of benchmark allows you to spring back up.

As an adult, I’ve begun to wallow, finding it harder to spring up and easier to replay the events in my mind over and over, reopening the wounds and veritably picking until they bleed all over again. Some of the losses have resulted from clear communication of unaligned goals which results in the clearest break of friendship. Others, the more muddled ones, are the direct result of ghosting, when friends have simply stopped corresponding to a point that they feel like ghosts, haunting me with questions of what went wrong and hypothetical alternate conversations or outcomes. Still others have opted for the clear stab, “let’s not be friends anymore”, largely for reasons unknown to me but perhaps springing from newfound relationships in which my presence seems unnecessary. In many of these situations, it’s easy to be told to “get over it” or to feel better by creating the us vs. them dichotomy in which your support group props you up as better or more deserving than them. Sometimes this ego boost can feel good. With friendships though, you’re agreeing to let a non blood relative in to your life, confiding and creating with them a set of memories, conversations and emotions to attach to your relationship. When that’s all gone, it takes a portion of your identity as well.

Today I’m grateful for the resilience of the spirit and the depth of the heart to feel so deeply pain that cannot always be expressed. It’s not easy feeling so much but it certainly makes life a much richer and rewarding experience.

Day 96


Today I’m grateful for my body. I’ve never been naturally skinny or super fit but through a combination of occasional exercise and a decent diet, I’ve skirted through the majority of my life at a relatively constant weight. While that hasn’t kept me from comparing myself to so many of my friends who did prioritize their health, it wasn’t a big deal until recently. Over the last few years, courtesy of a deeply sedentary lifestyle, the stress of adult responsibilities and many unhealthy choices, I depriortized my health and blamed my image issues on my metabolism. As clothes began to tighten and I noticed an extra inch here and there, I began to toxically criticize my body for my frustration. The ironic thing is the entire time, I knew exactly how to deal with the root of it (a cleaner diet and exercise) yet it felt so much easier to constantly fat shame my own self. Last night, I pushed through an arduous hike, huffing and even slipping on my way up, but I made it. Today, I finished an hour of sunrise yoga, no breaks, with so much gratitude for my amazing body. I felt so balanced and in touch as I moved from pose to pose and was so proud of my ability to focus. Despite not giving it the attention or nutrition it deserves, my body continues to sustain me, ground me and support all of my endeavors (no matter how ludicrous). I suppose you could say it has no choice, but as I completed each posture today, I was in awe of its adaptability and strength. Our bodies are so loving and kind to us. It’s never too late to repay that favor, starting with our words.

Day 95

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95 and a few days ago I didn’t think I’d make it here. It is really terrifying opening up so much of myself to a largely unknown audience of readers with very personal anecdotes of trial and tribulations. I am overwhelmed by how positive the reactions have been – you’ve all been my community, cheering me through the halfway and now home stretch, checking in when I’m MIA and most importantly, engaging with me in such beautiful ways. Even if some of you haven’t read each post all the way (😉it’s ok, they be long) I have been genuinely surprised by all of the serendipitous interactions – I haven’t spoken to some of you in years, some of you are new friends and still others are family members I feel so reconnected with! The power of gratitude is immense; you can feel instantly wealthy, your endorphin levels can rise and it can make depressing periods seem surmountable because it puts your shit in perspective. I’ve always been protective of my writing, choosing to contain it until it feels perfect. Having this medium to share even a little bit has been so freeing and has allowed me to get back in touch with such a big part of who I am.
The other day, a good friend of mine, Hari Priya, led us through an exercise of gratitude in her yoga class, where we collectively took two minutes to think of all of the things we would be grateful to wake up with if we woke up tomorrow morning with nothing else. As my mind raced, taking inventory of the minutiae struck me hard – when did I last think of the privilege of flushing toilets, able bodies, access to yoga classes and fresh fruit and veg? All the little things – those are what make all the difference in the long run. Today, I’m grateful for what this #100dayproject has given me – perspective, a happier heart and a chance to share with so many loved ones. You are all such inspiring and giving souls and your readership has made this all the more exciting. Little PSA -it’s not always easy but there’s always the option, like this little flier plastered on the Berkeley English department bulletin board reminds us, to take a chance. What will yours be?

Day 94


Grateful for the weekend when your college bestie makes it up north to take you out of your head, onto your annual girls’ trip and off to Napa. Oh and magical pictures with all the flare of our beautiful Californian sunshine by random tour buddies 

Day 93


Last Friday I returned to the origins of this project; so much was happening and I was feeling so much that I walked up to one of my favorite little gardens and took an hour to just write in my gratitude journal. The words were finicky at first as my mind, distracted, fixated on anything and everything that caught my attention. But as I started to write out what I was feeling, how I was feeling and confiding why I was feeling the way I was feeling, I started a conversation between my book and myself. I realized that one of the most beautiful things about this project is the fact that it forces me to look at every moment in my day as something that I’m grateful for, yes, but also something to write about and share with a larger group of people. At the end of each day, or a couple of days, I’ve taken inventory of what was the highlight and shared it. But in the process, some of the more personal details, the aches and heartbreaks and interpersonal interactions are very much shuttered inside. How deep can I realistically go? In my social media world, I struggle with jealousy, envy and resentment amongst a host of other emotions but combating it with public displays of gratitude leaves a lot of the personal work of asking why, undone. So I decided to do just that and focus on the act of pratyahara, or turning inward, sharing my most vulnerable self (all the why’s) with my diary, my family and a few close friends. For my diary, which sometimes reminds me of Tom Riddle’s diary without the mental manipulation, I’m grateful. On your pages are the traipses of my heart as it grows and breaks and evolves and adapts to allow for me to feel so much more.

Day 92


Today I’m rejoicing because summer festival season is upon us which means catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, spending even more time with family and feeling all those happy summer vibes. Grateful for this overwhelming happiness even as astrologers say the planets are losing their minds. Apparently this feeling, dancing on tall chairs and my proclivity for thick kajal are not new, evidenced by this now 24 year old photograph (🆘 where has the time gone 😱)