when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear

when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of “Friends,” which is kind of ritualistic in my household.

Tonight we mixed up our normal TV watching routine and threw in some baby videos from my sixth birthday party. My family works tirelessly throughout the semester and sort of collapses into our living room couches for two weeks during winter break. Last year, after freelancing for Indianapolis Woman for a few weeks, I spent the remaining three weeks watching the entire Entourage series from season one through five. I don’t know what it is about my house, but something in the air makes it okay to become a couch potato and block out any sense of responsibility.

Cuddled up in our Snuggies, robes, and throw blankets, we saw our relatives stare back at us in 80s style hairdos and kids with big eyes and curly hair. Two identical twins hid under a pile of presents and two individualized birthday cakes. My Iranian relatives  even came into town and sang “Tavalodet Moborak.” I had it pretty good.

I found out that I had a love for being on TV at a young age. I seemed to crowd my dad around the camera, yelling “cheese” with my gaped teeth. My sister and I were also obsessed with blowing out birthday candles, whether for the wishes or the joy of extinguishing the flame. Of course, my sister and I were dressed in matching blue “Alice in Wonderland” dresses as we simultaneously spat on our Barbie cakes to blow out the candles. I wonder what I wished for back then.

Later, we went outside to build a snowman (I guess it snowed in October back in 1992), and my six year old self pointed out each part of the snowman in Farsi. Most of my childhood videos are in Farsi.

“Nachordi!(dont eat that)” I heard my dad yell at me as I shoveled snow in my mouth. I responded in a way I don’t understand now.  Later, I made fun of how dirty my mom’s car was in Farsi too. It’s rare when you’re jealous of your childhood self for more than just the carefree happiness we got from things like one armed snowmen.

Seventeen years later I still love watching these videos. I see little hints of what I’ve become today through my on-camera antics. Many videos show my sister and I writing stories in little white notebooks with crayons (most plots revolved around animals). I also loved creating characters, nicknames, and new words for my dad’s camera. My sister and I were still best friends and partners in crime against my little brother. Most importantly, it showed me how much my parents put into giving me a loving childhood, and one I would be able to watch for the rest of my life.

A new decade beings in two days, and in the distant future I’ll be watching the videos of myself at age 23 taken by my dad this past Christmas. Every year I give myself a new years “wish” rather than a resolution, and every year since I started the new years wish, what I’ve asked for has manifested itself in some way. Last year I asked to be successful in my graduate school pursuits, whatever that means. I’ve finished my first semester at American and can say with certainty that I made the right choice for me at this time.

What’s coming next semester? An overbooked schedule, more life choices, and more lessons to be learned. Last year I was fortunate enough to survive my last semester at DePauw, make it through a rigorous (and not to mention sweltering hot) summer program, and make the most of my grad school experience.

Has it been my day, week, month, and year? I’ll say.

I know I’m especially lucky because I didn’t lose any family members (and in fact, gained one), nobody lost their jobs to the economic crisis, I’ve kept my great friends in my life and I’ve added tens of others after moving to DC. At the same time, I still have things I could’ve done better and hope to accomplish in 2010. I’ll be finishing up my masters, looking for a job, a new apartment, learning new programs, new languages, and taking new risks. All I can hope is that my luck continues and I can make my next new years wish come true.

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