“You can only win if there was ever a chance at losing.” – A.G

Memories are such an amazing feeling.  When one memory from the past finds it’s way to the forefront of your mind, it forces you to stop everything and think about it.  You’re immediately transported back to the exact date and time, and you somehow remember the smallest of small details about the whole incident.  The conversations, the scents, the raw emotion you felt; and just as quickly as it comes, it disappears.  Memories.

The good memories definitely come mixed with the bad ones as well, but there’s just something so sweet in reminiscing about the past.  Each of those good and bad incidents helped shape the person that you are today, and sometimes admitting the past helped us evolve, is a bitter pill to swallow.  Whether you’re a bit more guarded, a bit more romantic, a bit more cautious than you were yesterday; you are a byproduct of your past.

I was recently talking to my girlfriend about how long we’ve known each other, where we’ve come from and where we are.  If I were to rewind my life back to January 2005, I had just moved to San Francisco to attend USF.  Having been raised in the protective shell that are desi parents, I was scared out of mind.  To be completely honest, at that time, I had no idea how to do my own laundry when I moved out yet somehow, I survived and I thrived.

When I read excerpts out of the journals I had at that time, I saw my 19 and 20 year old self looking back at me with wide eyes.  I was afraid for myself, and I was afraid for others.  I strongly believed in love, and I had no idea how to channel my energy so that it was productive for my body and soul.  I worried a lot.  I worried about things I had no control over, and I let them consume me in a negative way.  And if you look at it from a different angle, I found a way to grow up in that beautiful chaos.  Where some relationships may not have worked, I also found the most wonderful, supportive and core group of friends, that are the sisters God knew I needed.

All of these thoughts came flooding back with one memory, forcing me to think about my life in a deeper manner.

That memory was a recent dream I had about an old friend, and as always, it was unexpected.  When I woke up, I was overwhelmed with old memories of the different experiences we shared together and, through the confusion of my mind, I had to remember to thank the universe for bringing him into my life as a blessing that one fine day.

Our friendship had always been slightly different, slightly weird; but he was someone who taught me what it felt like to trust, to hurt and to love.  He was the part of me that experienced some of the greatest joy, and also the part that cut the deepest wounds.  I can’t say I know what our connection was back then, and I can’t say we have a connection now, but I do believe there is a karmic relationship that keeps us slightly intertwined, as we walk separate journeys.

Through him I have learned determination and strength and drive.  Simply saying that you will accomplish something isn’t enough; you have to keep going and keep trying, regardless of how difficult the path is.  He would say, You can only win if there was ever a chance at losing, and he definitely believed it.  I can say, with all honesty, that I am not as strong as he is; I actually don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone as strong as him.  He has conquered battles that would destroy most people, and somehow he comes out stronger than he was before.  It’s almost like he’s invincible.

Although we are both on very different paths, my memories have allowed me to stop and think about how he helped me become the person I am today.  Through those memories of our younger days, I send him positive prayers and beautiful wishes for his well-being.  Regardless of our independent journeys, and paths, I will always wish that he receives all of his heart’s desires.  I need him to know that.

He’s a one in a billion type of guy, who deserves all the secrets that live deep inside his heart because he knows truly knows the meaning of the words sacrifice and strength.

Looking back at the years, I can say that I was able to grow because of the joy and pain.  By walking on paths unknown, and sharing memories with people who I will always cherish, I have turned into the person I am today.  I wish my old friend all the best in life, where ever he is.  He will always have someone on this planet who admires him for his dedication, strength and courage to keep moving forward, regardless of the situation that he is presented with.

As for me, I have learned that, through the highs and lows, I found deeper relationships with the people surrounding me, and they, in turn exposed me to things like energy work and alternative forms of wellness.  And those opportunities have greatly shaped the person I am today.  It’s been an amazing and fulfilling journey, this thing we call life.  And it’s scary to think that a single memory brings the past back to life, but there’s a beautiful chaos in that concept also.

With much love,
Vaishali