23 Decmarriage has a nice ring to it.

balloonsonce upon a time (like, 10 months ago), i was hanging out in a local coffee shop with my good friend.

she asked the dreamy blue-eyed boy next to me about his beverage.

he said something snarky.

i was intrigued.

four hours after talking non-stop and annoying everyone in the coffee shop (including my friend), he left with my phone number.

and now…


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14 Julwritten.

ink“tattoos are trashy!”

that’s what i said when my high school bestie decorated his arms (and later his back and legs) in permanent ink. ignoring the fact that i had two teeny tiny (and hidden) ink marks of my own (hypocrisy at it’s finest, folks).

i blame my dad for my perspective on body art. he despised it. one of the most terrifying days of my life was telling my dad that i had marred my body (incidentally it was also the day that i ended my engagement, but that’s a completely different story)…

in my defense, my ink was not visible (unless i was in a state of undress, which i never was in front of my dad…so, i’m no longer sure why i even told him – something about honesty)…

i digress.

i think the biggest reason a visible tattoo never appealed to me is because i’m not that good at committing to anything long term (boyfriend, if you’re reading this, it doesn’t apply to you). for instance, every time i’ve considered cutting my hair, my impending anxiety attack has stopped me before i’ve made it to the salon chair.

also, i’m a realist. if i were to get a tattoo everyone could see and regret it, i can’t just wait for it to grow out like a haircut. tattoos are for always. and i much prefer the concept of “forever. for now.” (again boyfriend, not applicable to you)

forever” is a long time, so i don’t use the term lightly. however, something happened in my life that forever altered the fabric of my soul. my dad was my hero, my best friend, my confidant and my trusted advisor. he was my shopping buddy, my partner in crime, the person with whom i most often both laughed and cried. moreover, he was a generous, loving and caring father to my brother and me, as well as our children (read: dogs). in short, he was the sunshine of my world.
…until the cancer overtook his body. then, swiftly and cruelly, baba’s light was snuffed out.

following his passing, my brain stuttered as i repeated, like a broken doll, “i don’t know what to do.” i was paralyzed. unable to move. to think. to sleep. to breathe. tasks that once seemed easy were now difficult. and those tasks that were once difficult now seemed impossible. moving forward without my dad in my life was a monumental chore.

in baba’s profound absence, i lost all sense of identity. who was i without my dad?
i wasn’t sure.
as a result, my universe turned disjointed and unstable. week on week, i muddled along, but i wasn’t really living. i certainly wasn’t embracing or enjoying life because i think i forgot how.

then, i came across something he wrote. it was my name. in farsi.

several months prior, i had asked him to write my name and i kept it tucked away in my wallet, though for what i was never really sure…


ding, ding, ding!

it was as if a bell went off inside my soul.

since baba had passed, i felt like i had lost the rhythmic beating of my own heart, but suddenly a thumping returned in my chest.

i felt like a kid strolling the toy aisle, spotting a coveted treasure on the shelf and declaring with breathless anticipation, “i need that!”

i knew that every second of every day for the rest of my life, i would feel that baba was missing not only from my world but also from my being. suddenly the notion of having a “forever” that was linked to him inked on me sounded like a fabulous idea.

i opted for a wrist tattoo (in white ink) because i wanted it to be easily visible to me and rationalized that i could also easily cover it with a mass of bangles if i ever felt like it. it’s discreet enough that people don’t notice it unless i point it out. and yet, it’s always in plain view.

three years later, i still admire the heartfelt sentiment scrawled across my dainty wrist and it frequently evokes a fast, fluttery sensation to tumble through me when i remember my dad.

and even though baba was vehemently anti-tattoo, i like to think that maybe he would approve of this one.

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10 Julwhy didn’t i meet you sooner?

peastoday while going through some old writing, i discovered that i had jotted down a little snippet of conversation that occurred several years ago while out at dinner with an old flame.

like most things i find amusing, i decided to share this tidbit with my current boyfriend:

waiter: how is everything?

me: my dad died.

(dirty look from my old flame.)

me: he said “everything!” not just the food.

naturally this facilitated a chuckle from my (real-time) boyfriend (he’s as funny as i am).

which prompted the subject question thought…

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22 Junlove has no limits.

alberti don’t think it’s a conincidence that i found this on the day after father’s day. during my dad’s first long stint in the hospital, we started a tradition of me reading to him while he was bedridden – something that happened far too often in the years following. we started with one of his favorite scholars: einstein. and so in honor of his favorite..and mine (read: baba), i share this letter that einstein wrote to his daughter. it reminds me so much of my own baba: part mad scientist, part adoring father, and all love… it is nothing short of genius.

When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.

When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.

This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.

To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.

After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer!

Your father,
Albert Einstein

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23 Aprgood grief.

  it’s been almost three years since my dad’s death, and most days, I’m happy.

truthfully, i’m undoubtedly happier than i’ve ever been…which makes my next admission seem a bit ridiculous. in light of my ‘happier than ever before’ feelings, (there might a boy involved..a dream of a boy, in fact – one that I had hoped existed, and am beyond grateful to discover truly does), there also exists a slight melancholy. it’s dim, it doesn’t take away from the magic of what I’m feeling right now (which is so sickeningly sweet…)

it seems so silly: wanting more when i already have exactly what i want. and have wanted. which leads to (inevitable) feelings of guilt. i am so fortunate. in SO many ways…and still, this one thing – bigger than words – is always missing.

i accepted my new normal years ago and love my life and i do my best to live it for what it is. and it’s pretty amazing.

…and yet there are still moments when i break down crying (or want to), and there are times when i want to scream about how unfair it all is.

being used to something doesn’t mean it’s always easy. and those who love me understand these moments may forever be a part of who i am.

most of the time i just miss him. i don’t feel sad or unhappy, i just feel a void. i picked up a postcard on my last international adventure and said “i’ll send this one to my dad.” the thought was out of my mouth before i was able to process and subsequently, stop it.

i sheepishly set the postcard down…

my dad is still the first person i want to call when i gaze at the moon or see a sky full of stars. he’s the one i want to talk to when i meet someone i can imagine spending my life with… my dad is the person i want to complain to when my brother and i bicker (his fault, naturally).

suffice to say, he is missed.

now, my dad wasn’t a perfect man.
he was awful at giving straight answers.
he applied the laws of psychics to practically everything.
i am pretty sure there are places where his photo is up…and not in an honorary/good way, but because if he walks in, someone is supposed to alert security immediately.

no, he wasn’t perfect. he raised his voice from time to time (never at me); he got annoyed when i played with glitter (because it ended up everywhere); he didn’t get me a barbie dream house (the largest tragedy of my childhood existence). there was advice he gave that i probably didn’t need, and other advice that i wish he had shared…

so, he wasn’t a perfect man. so what?

for me, he was the perfect dad, and there’s nothing i wish he’d done any differently expect perhaps linger a little longer on this side.

i remember him imperfectly and completely.

…because it gives me hope. maybe someday someone will remember me the same way i remember my dad?
perfect in his imperfections.

as my third year without baba rolls around, i realize i will probably always miss him.
and even more around the holidays…

i’m learning that grief is ongoing. i may never stop grieving over the loss of my pop-sicle because i continue to love him. acknowledging that is somehow validating. and i’m accepting that there will still be moments amidst the happiest times in my world when the memories and the tears come.

grief knows no depth. as an emotion, it is perfect ~ if you’re bold enough to describe perfection in this light – i am. to some that may sound morbid. or even, depressing. but those of us that know this “perfect sorrow” understand.

you are perfectly, exquisitely sad when you grieve over the loss of someone close to you.

grief, sorrow and sadness are like any other emotion; you feel it, you let it move through you, then it moves on and out of you.

the burden of feeling a certain way, because it’s more comfortable for others, is just too enormous for me. so i let myself feel whatever it is i’m experiencing without any resistance.

the good news is: allowing yourself this freedom to feel without resistance, allows you to feel the profound joy that is the other side of grief. that’s just how the equation works. the memories of joy and grief go hand in hand.

…that silver lining, it’s always there.

and maybe you didn’t get the barbie dream house because you’re lucky enough to live the dream in real life…

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30 Marreckless.

recklessbecause sometimes, the most reckless thing you can do with your heart, is not being reckless with it.

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27 Marnothing good gets away.

lettersi’ve come across this letter from john steinbeck to his son so many times.

and i love it a bit more each time…

maybe it’s because i miss my own dad?

and maybe it’s because it’s bursting with brilliance…

or maybe it’s because it’s about my favorite topic ever?

in any case, here it is in all it’s glory:
New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



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25 Marshut up & dance.

i’ve been writing…but more importantly, i’ve been dancing.

and this. is. everything.

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26 Octunsaid words.

coffeei sense the weight of being the only one with unsaid words. words that press urgently against my heart. words that need to be spoken.

this past year, your big ideas, your worldly view and experiences, your easy presence drew me in as we sat for hours talking, drinking coffee.

more than your experiences, i was intrigued by your candor and passionate beliefs, your firmly held views. that was attractive to me. i knew the stories you shared were a cover for something deeper; of course, your wild tales would usually work as a great introduction, a type of foreplay … i was sure most girls fell for that … and i knew almost instantly i would too.

i wanted to know more. not just what you did or where you traveled, but what you liked and what you read and why you did what you did. i loved watching you…sitting calmly in your independence, your head gently bent over a book….

initially, you said you were taken in by my warmth. over time, you felt disarmed that i could see beneath the layers and scratch under your veneer. there wasn’t any real trick to that: i just listened. maybe you needed that?

who knew coffee and hours of talking would change my life?

those coffees led to a strong friendship; love; travel; adventure; dreams and ultimately: separation.

from that first day we met, sitting in balboa park, you said you didn’t know if you wanted your own children. you valued your independence and freedom above all else. when the topic came up again months later, i watched you struggle putting those words in your mouth. that never changed – the struggle.

there were times when you tried to swallow them – all those words whole. you tried to be one kind of man and then another kind of man and tried to make sense of it. i kept being me and attempted to hold it all with both palms open and my heart wide, but cracking, because neither of us could keep the opposing, pulling sides – forever. not within the constructs of anything resembling conventionality.

not to say that we were conventional. (neither of us are.) and i loved that about you. about us.

there was so much that we understood and that was good. that kept us friends. we didn’t fight. we didn’t yell. or call names. but the wind wasn’t calm and i wanted something more raw – while you needed grounding. this conflict, our weather…
we brewed high pressure. that hurt you. it hurt me.

yet, i have a lot for which to thank you. we have a year’s worth of words. you gave me your heart, your stories, your adventures, your friends and i gave you mine. it was beautiful.

you opened a whole new world of dreams to me…dreams i will always carry in my heart…and adventures that have changed who i am.
i’m better, stronger for it.

my appreciation and my desire for travel was re-invigorated because of you. that door will never close.

thank you for loving me in your ways. thank you for allowing me to fully love you and experience being your best friend. my life is richer.

thank you for mexico city: sabor; mezcal; tripping over cracks in sidewalks; never-ending turibus; late night endless giggling; triumphing over successfully navigating mexico’s subway system; singing in the dome in houston airport; pyramids; spring breaking; the way you became angry with me after too much mezcal because you felt like you were just another guy in my life – a rebound; my postcard that never arrived.

thank you for puerto rico: secret beaches; hamil’s; roosters; coquis; ribs so large and delicious that they deserved a photo; surprising me with that lovely pink purse; vieques; our love shack; ICE-Y; sol food; peppermint; wild horses; the cargo ferry; secretly hiding coquis all over my place.

thank you for cabo: dancing with me; secretly loving resorts; playing in the ocean; laughing at all the sand in my hair; your lovely friends; wild horses.

thank you for indonesia: elephants; balinese coffee; writing our story; kopi desa; vespa cafe; rice terraces; roosters; tim tams; jellyfish; kissed by a rose; magic; eat, pray, love; the gilis; yogurt; barracuda; sunsets; fireworks; sitting in my exit row seat.

thank you for tahoe, zoo trips, persepolis, long walks, great talks, books, writing, book sales, libraries, sextrology, harry potter, arcade fire, coldplay, stranger than fiction, salmonella on your birthday, losing at every board game, ouija, scramble, dicecapades, risk, derelict row, hummingbirds, dandelions, sunsets, tickles, kisses, and most of all – your love.

for pulling me out of my literary snobbery.

thank you for sarcasm and wit. for perspective.

thank you for telling me that you envisioned yourself marrying me someday on a sunday morning last november on the beach … even though, now … things have worked out completely differently. i know you meant it then.

thank you for really deciding who you need to be and saying so. you told me the truth even when it was brutally hard; but it was the truth. and my heart knew it. and for telling me the truth, i found compassion and forgiveness.

thank you for asking me to let you go. because i loved you, i did. and i know you asked me to let you go because you loved me, too.

by letting you go, i have reclaimed part of myself, a freedom. by letting you go, i have moved – in many ways – towards a new life with a new set of rules and principles that are my truth. ones that work for me, that shift and soar. this feels good and right.

we are both on separate journeys; yet, you will always be within me: i owe part of the woman i am now to you. without you, i would not have had these experiences. i am stronger, clearer, braver.

you gave me much. even the tough, the feeling of brokenness (which has healed), for the parts you fell short and i fell short: i’m thankful.

now, i know what i need.
what i want.
what i’ll accept.
what i deserve.

i know how to be better. different.

thank you for supporting my dreams and believing in me.

you’ve given me the opportunity to learn to forgive, to practice love unconditionally, for understanding love alone does not make a relationship work.

sometimes love means letting go to allow room for a new growth, a new life, to take root.

thank you for the coffee. for this last year.

no regrets.

i wish for you what it is you wish for … with my whole heart and much love.

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20 Octlove & books.


treat love like you do books.

when it gets boring, or too complicated, put it down.

…skip to the end.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
~ John Green

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