Auld Lang Syne

January 1, 2011

Well, It is hard to believe that another year has passed and we have stepped into a brand new year. Like so many people, I have made resolutions on past new years that have for better or worse fallen by the wayside sometime during the hustle and bustle of the year. SO…this year i decided to try something different. I only have one resolution for the whole year. I am going to make a resolution to live my life. Now, i know what you are thinking: LaBi, that’s not a real resolution. Are not new year’s resolutions more specific like moving, losing weight, going on a trip, or finding that special someone? Well, my dear friends, my resolution can be ALL of that and more. My resolution is tied to only one thing: That God allows me to make it to December 31, 2011. If this happens, I will have kept my resolution.

The more I think about 2011, the more I see my life is going to change without me having to do very much except keep living. I am moving for medical school somewhere (as of now my only option is Memphis). I think every year since i hit puberty one of my resolutions was to lose weight. However, last year i said i would be healthy. Although I was not always perfect at this task, it was less pressure to live healthy and lose weight gradually than try to lose 50 pounds in one month with some dramatic lifestyle change. I feel that in order to live my life, I have to be healthy and losing weight will slowly come with that. I don’t know God’s plans, but I have been going on more trips this past year than i have in a long time. So far, I am planning to go St. Louis next week, West Coast sometime this summer, and my parents (not-so-secretly) have planned a graduation cruise for me out of the country! (I am really excited about that one!!) And like I said before, I do not know what God has planned.

Speaking of not knowing God’s plans, I have no idea about finding a “special” someone. I had a long heart-to-heart with one of my best friends last night/year about this subject. In our life circle, everyone we know our age and younger is getting seriously invovled with someone or married (evident by the fact I am writing this entry before and after my friend’s wedding at 5). So, to reach this point and not even have options is a little discouraging at times. However, the rest of the country believes the average marriage age is 26 and not 20 as it is in the “Harding Bubble”. Now, I have nothing against marriage. It is ordained by God, many of my friends and family are doing it, and I hope to do it someday. Nevertheless, I have never been a fan of anything being thrown in my face including something as sacred and wonderful as marriage. Yet I continually have moments where i wonder if it will ever happen for me. I don’t believe that 2011 will be the year i find my soul-mate, but I DO believe that if i live my life as myself someday I will find someone who wants to live life with me.

So, TO NEW YEAR’S:

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

William Arthur Ward

Happy New Year!! Whatever your goals for 2011, I challenge you to live life to the fullest.

Black Or White

December 29, 2010

Due to getting a month off from school for Christmas break, I have been watching more movies the past couple of days. I just watched an incredible independent film about race, family, and life. The movie is called “Shades of Ray” and it stars Zachary Levi from NBC’s “CHUCK.” Now, I will admit that I only rented this movie because: 1. It was practically free (I  rented from Amazon.com after earning $5 credit to Amazon’s Video-On-Demand) 2. I LOVE Zachary Levi (He is a talented actor who is adorable! haha) Regardless of my motives, I am glad I watched this movie. With a “some language” disclaimer (the Pakistani father loved to curse), I would recommend this movie to everyone. I cannot believe that this film was only shown in festivals and not brought to the mainstream. Oh Well, maybe I should just tell you what I loved so much about this movie.

Not giving too much away, the film explores the dynamics of race in the identity of a mixed race individual. The races in question were Caucasian and Pakistani, which is a new combination for me. However, I loved the writer’s use of this new interracial relationship that is not as often explored as some others are. Throughout the movie, the protagonist, Zachary Levi’s character, is searching to find a mate and really himself. His character wants to please everyone, especially his overbearing yet well-intentioned Pakistani father. His father ironically disapproves of his son taking a wife that is not Pakistani. There are many family relationships explored through this film. So many times, we do things to please others, but really all we need to do is follow our hearts. I will not give away the ending, but I thought that the writer did a wonderful job of taking us through the journey of Ray Rehman (Zach Levi) to find himself and true happiness. I walked away from the movie believing that no matter who we are we cannot reject any part of our heritage or ourselves. The best thing is to embrace all of us including the things we might want to forget.

Although I am not a half-white, half-Pakistani American, I found myself relating to Ray. As an African American, I am a mix of many different backgrounds. Of the ethnicities I know of, I am part Native American, Irish, and African (of course). I have felt lost and confused at times like Ray. Wondering, “Should I be looking for a mate who is my “kind”?” On the other hand, should I completely reject that part of my heritage that is painful and even shameful to think about? I do not have any answers, but this movie has given me a lot to think about. My dad has shared with me a great deal of black history. We have talked about the triumphs, victories, and defeats that fill the past centuries of colored people. Although I still don’t like to think about it, I know a lot about the enslavement and injustices on my ancestors. Thanks to GOD that African Americans have come a very long way in this country. And I now live the dream that Dr. King said in his speech that hot August day that: “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.” This still does not mean that everything is perfect racially. Moreover, I still struggle with the thought that maybe a white man cannot find me truly attractive or maybe an interracial relationship would not work because we are too different. “Shades of Ray” dug deep into those thoughts and feelings. In the end, I believe the message is not one way or the other, but truly seeing yourself and others for who they are completely. I heard some
one say once that we are NOT supposed to be colorblind, but accepting of a person as a whole. This includes their ethnicity.

Well, that’s my thoughts. Nevertheless, don’t take my word on it, formulate your own opinions. Have a blessed night!

Hello world!

December 27, 2010

I am still trying to figure all of this out. I will talk more about the book “A Virtuous Woman” later in the week, but it was the inspiration for my new title: “A Work In Progress”.

Uncharted

December 27, 2010

I am not the best at keeping up with journals and blogs. I usually start really well, but the motivation to write ends as mysteriously and quickly as it began. But as before, i only write when the inspiration hits me and time allows me. As i look forward to 2011, i see a lot of new things in my future. I feel that if i were ever going to start a “grown-up” blog, it should be now.
I struggled with what to name this blog and it might still change at any point in time. But for now, i chose lines from the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”. I feel that it somewhat sums up my life at this point. I am a unique, complex individual, but i hope you will get to know me through my blog. Upon receiving an acceptance to medical school late last week, i feel like my future is going to be an interesting and fun ride. So the “road less traveled by” is meant to be my life and hopefully it will make a difference to me and the world.

Let’s start this new year right.