New beginnings, new returns Jun 25
After almost a year away, I return to work next week. Zoya will be starting daycare early in the week, and both L and I start work shortly after that.
No ideas to explore May 30
I’ve been sitting on this list of links for weeks now, waiting for inspiration to strike so I can write a nice preamble before posting the links, but I’ve come up empty. I have nothing to say.
Five nice things Apr 23
Five nice things that passed through my mind this morning as I sat in front of my iPad and started to type.
People are getting vaccinated Apr 09
Depending on where they live, friends and family are starting to receive their COVID vaccines, and I couldn't be happier for them. The faster we all get vaccinated, the closer we all are to resuming some kind of life where in-person social interaction isn't verboten.
An inbox of newsletters Mar 12
At some point in the past few years, everyone started having a newsletter, and personal sites and blogs started to disappear.
Sparkles in the snow Feb 19
Some nights, when we look outside onto the front yard as part of Z's bedtime routine, the snow shimmers in the moonlight, as if someone had dropped a jar of sparkles all over the yard.
Every day is not the same Feb 05
While the big patterns of the day never change, while we do the same things over and over again, the little things are different, and are important.
Uni uni rotli ne karela nu saak Jan 08
There's one lullaby in particular that I sing to Zoya every day; it is in Gujarati, and I'm almost sure I don't pronounce all the words right. All I know is that it is soothing to our little one, and it is soothing to me, too.
A cup of chai in the afternoon Dec 04
L makes chai most afternoons when we are home together. She uses the recipe for quick chai that my mom showed her some months ago, and the resulting cup is warm and milky and delicious.
A name as a reminder of who we can be Oct 23
I've been thinking a lot about names recently, probably mostly because many people have asked us why we chose Zoya for the name of our child.
Going for walks with podcasts Oct 12
When Zoya won’t settle, or when she needs a change of pace, we walk.
Self-doubt before the grand adventure Jul 19
Over the past few weeks I've had terrible self-doubt surrounding the arrival of our daughter. Have I done enough? Have I bought the right things? Have I read the right books or taken the right classes?
A collision, a reminder Jun 26
Sometimes, the world leads you down a path that departs from what you had envisioned; unforeseen changes of plans force you to look at things with a different perspective, make decisions you hadn't thought of making before, and express gratitude for small graces that are often forgotten.
“The limits to your ambition were thus expected to be settled.” Jun 05
A few words from the pen of James Baldwin.
Out too early? May 22
I can't help but wonder what many things would look like if I stopped taking them out, or pushing them out, too early.
Forgiving myself for not being able to focus May 15
Over the past few weeks, my ability to focus has completely disappeared. I set my timer for 25 minutes and then stare at it, not doing work, for minutes at a time. I do a burst of work and realize only six minutes have passed.
Wednesday afternoon coffee breaks May 08
I think I'd like to try something, and need your help in figuring out if it's a good idea.
The cities and towns we have around us May 01
In many ways, quarantine living has put our cities on an equal level. When we spend most of our days in our home, when we cook instead of going out to eat, when we interact with people through the screen instead of in shops, when poetry readings are done online instead of in a bookshop, it almost doesn't matter what city you call home.
Words are how I understand how I feel Apr 24
I don't make things with my hands, that often. Apart from the time I spend in the kitchen crafting meals, I'm not really someone who "makes" things, especially tactile things, when I have time to spare. What I do, however, is write.
Third places after the pandemic Apr 10
One of the questions that comes up often when we're having video chats, either at work or in our personal lives, is about the first place where we will go once the world returns to some semblance of normal.
The sounds of the tea kettle Apr 03
I have taken to listening, with conscious intention, to the sound of the kettle as I make my tea.
Finding it hard to write Mar 27
During these pandemic times, not only have I not been able to write for public consumption, my writing in general has stopped.
Pandemic panic Mar 13
It's hard not to panic when the state of the world is changing by the minute.
To quiet the racing mind Feb 28
There are so many things flying through my head this morning; what is it about some mornings that the mind just won’t quiet down, allow you to focus?
Finding the things that you love Feb 14
It's hard for me, sometimes, to say that I love this city, but I do, and events like last week's supper club remind me that I need to voice that love, express that gratitude, more often.
That’s okay Jan 31
Some days, you have so much on your mind and can't figure out how to get it all out in a way that makes sense. And that's okay.
An orchestra outside Jan 17
I'm not sure when I became someone who wears headphones over his ears every time he ventures out of the house.
Ferry breakfast Jan 03
Today, on the third day of the new year, I woke up thinking of ferry breakfast.
Slowing down at the end of the year Dec 13
I'm going into the next few weeks feeling a little more settled, a little less scrambled. I'm hoping to enter 2020 not wheezing, but breathing deeply.
A haircut, and a chance Nov 22
We all need someone to take a chance on us in order for us to grow and learn and become who we want to be.
The physical design of our neighbourhood acts against the creation of community Nov 08
We didn't have any trick-or-treaters come to our door last week for Halloween, so I've taken on the formidable task of eating all these chocolate bars myself.
An abundance of apples Oct 25
Every year, by mid-October, our home is filled with an abundance of apples.
We didn’t have a TV set, but I still had Sesame Street Oct 11
We didn't have a TV set when I was really young, but I still got to watch some television. More accurately: I watched Sesame Street.
Conversations, thoughts, and hope Sep 27
A few disparate, unrelated, unedited and unrevised reflections from the past two weeks, and a whole lot of links.
First responder Sep 06
Cleo, our cat, has become my first responder when I am feeling the onset of a panic attack.
A mile in someone else’s shoes Aug 30
That the world looks and feels different when you walk in someone else's shoes—metaphorically or literally—is a reminder I give to myself often these days.
Suspended at the top of the world Aug 16
At the top of Scex Rouge, as part of the Glacier 3000 experience, there's a suspension bridge between two peaks that sits 9,800 feet above sea level.
You—each and every one of you—have my endless gratitude Aug 02
Thank you all for the immensity and enormity of your love, kindness, care, and compassion. It means so much to me.
Severed cable Jul 19
Our internet connection at home went out earlier this week, a byproduct of the work being done on our driveway and some severed cable lines that really weren't supposed to be cut.
On the sun deck Jul 05
Upon leaving the ferry terminal, the motion of the boat is barely perceptible when you are on the vessel, and the expanse of sea in front of you feels endless.
Slowing to a crawl Jun 28
Here's something I had forgotten since the last time I had a major relapse of my depression and my anxiety at the same time: my cognitive function suffers, and continues to suffer months after I've re-set my medication and have started to feel better.
A promise kept Jun 14
The Raptors title win wasn't just a celebration of a sporting achievement, but a celebration of a community that found their identity in a team that really saw them.
Autonomy in a world of restriction May 31
Earlier this week, I had my final appointment with my psychiatrist before he moved to a new city.
The hopefulness of the bloom May 24
The magnolia tree in our front yard burst into gorgeous flowers about two weeks ago.
Prompted, noticing, grateful May 10
Some days, even when I feel like writing, I am at a loss for things to say. It's on those days I turn to writing prompts, finding little questions that help me find my voice.
To lie on the table is to be vulnerable Apr 26
To allow someone to have access to your body is to be vulnerable, whether that access comes from someone giving you a massage, someone pushing your body to go further as you lift that barbell, or any other circumstance.
Capturing memories Apr 12
When I travel anywhere, I'm always torn between the desire to snap photos of everything interesting I see, and to put my camera away and just experience the moment for what it is.
Reading, a quarterly update Apr 05
As part of my commitment to reflection, I’m looking back at some of the books I've read over the past three months.
A new, new year Mar 22
This year, more than most, I'm looking at Nowruz, the Persian New Year, as my real beginning to the year.
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون Mar 15
How do you grapple with the fact that though you are shocked, you are not surprised: the world has been spreading its hatred of people like you for so long that you knew it would come to this?
Who killed the weekend? Mar 01
What did my weekends look like when I was younger? What do they look like right now? What do I want them to look like?
Atlas, carrying the world Feb 25
Atlas was condemned to hold up the sky on his shoulders by Zeus after the Titanomachy. Since then, Atlas has borne the weight of the heavens, has endured the heaviness of the world without letting up, even once.
A list of small solace Feb 15
As a small coping mechanism, my doctor has suggested that I make a list of the things I have done in the past month that have brought me some solace when I was feeling at my worst.
On being bursty Feb 08
I spend all my time sitting at the starting line of the race, and only leave the blocks once I'm ready to sprint—when most people are already halfway down the track.
The paralysis of being overwhelmed Jan 25
There is a feeling that often overcomes me, a feeling of having so much to say but being completely unable to say anything.
Everything is too loud Jan 18
Everything is too loud. Because of this, I have lost the ability to really listen: to listen to what is good, to listen to what is right, to listen to what is necessary, and to listen to myself.
Choosing the right word Jan 04
I have spent the past four days heavily contemplating what my guiding word for the year ahead would be, and still have not settled on a single one.
Sounds of the season Dec 21
Early in the mornings, a few hours before sunrise when everything is completely dark and the mountains are invisible in the windows, I listen to the world around me and feel at peace.
Joy is not made to be a crumb Dec 14
There's a solace in reminding ourselves that no matter how many times we slip up, everyone else around struggles with wisdom and kindness, as well.
Surprising our future selves Dec 07
What are you doing to surprise yourself, minutes, hours, or days from now?
Predisposed towards kindness Nov 29
I believe that we all are predisposed towards kindness; some days we just need a little nudge to find our heart and humanity that can be easy to forget.
Clothing optional Nov 16
When it comes to exposing our vulnerabilities—both in the clothing sense, or in any other analogous way—we are left to decide from among an array of options as to what level of comfort we have to be who we truly are in front of others.
A few days late, and that’s okay. Oct 28
Today, I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to need time, to allow myself to listen to my body and mind instead of always adhering to self-enforced timelines.
The unbearable sadness of home Oct 12
There have been two instances in the past year where I have seriously questioned whether or not we chose the right neighbourhood in which to live.
Preparing for the fall. Sep 28
More than dates on a calendar, there are certain pieces of life that mark the end of the summer and the arrival of autumn.
The cicada’s dry monotony Sep 14
This past Monday, I was on the Micro Monday podcast talking about micro.blog, civility in online communities, and the massive potential of online spaces that are focused on building civic discourse rather than simply growth.
The violence of language Sep 07
Have you spent your whole life being told to ignore those who work hard to make sure you don’t matter?
Summer cold Aug 31
It took until the last day of August, but I have finally succumbed to the dreaded summer cold.
What’s in a name? Aug 19
One of the biggest honors—and responsibilities—I’ve had in my life was to lead the naming of my brother.
A moral imperative Aug 03
This is, after all, what I feel we should all be doing: making life better for those around us, and paying forward the grace we have received in our own journey through life.
I don’t say I love you as often as I should. Jul 20
When was the last time you told someone that you love them? Not a family member or a partner, but someone you work with, or a friend?
Fireflies in the garden Jul 06
Unlike stars, who remain fixed in the sky as I float in the pool in the middle of the night, the lights of the fireflies are fleeting, transient.
Sunday puzzle Jun 27
We have taken to completing the crossword puzzle on Sunday evenings.
Where to find more? Jun 15
Without a stream of links, shared by friends, appearing constantly on the phone screen, where do people find things to read and explore?
A place where we belong May 25
Making people feel like they belong is one of the most important things we can do, in no matter what context.
Go back to your country May 11
If I had a camera with me every time I was told to go back to my country, I’d have enough footage for a very long feature film.
Thinking about sunk costs Apr 20
Because of the sunk cost fallacy, too many of us sit through movies we don’t enjoy, complete reading books we find uninteresting, finish eating meals we find the opposite of delicious.
Not so young anymore Mar 31
The transition from “young and excited public servant” to “mid-career public servant who tries to empower, enable, and mentor young and excited public servants” happens slowly, then all at once.
I am just so tired Mar 16
Next week, perhaps I won’t be so gosh darn tired. Until then, forgive me for sleepwalking through the day.
Staring at the cosmic canvas Mar 02
I’m lucky to live in a part of town where I can see stars every night from our window.
Tomorrow feels like a day of quiet Feb 22
Tomorrow, I will reflect on what it means to be thirty-six years old, and think about what I’d like my next thirty-six to look like.
Maybe I haven’t gotten wiser as I’ve gotten older Feb 09
Maybe I haven’t gotten wiser as I’ve gotten older, but instead I’ve just found new spaces in which to exist.
Finding the right place, becoming a regular Jan 26
Being a regular is a wonderful feeling: finding an external space where you can be you, your whole self, and be recognized and relished for that, is liberating.
Public transportation is more than just getting to a destination Jan 19
In light of the new investment by the provincial government in London’s proposed new rapid transit system, I’ve been reflecting upon how the transit systems have shaped my favourite cities in the world.
It’s easy to complain about the cold Jan 05
It’s easy to complain about the cold: talking about the weather, especially extreme weather, makes conversation less awkward, more relatable.
At the end of the year, we slow down Dec 22
It snowed in North Vancouver this week, reminding us that perhaps it was the time of the year to slow down, just a little.
We were never really welcome. Dec 08
The travel ban reminds us that exclusion is not new to America, and that in the end, we never really were welcome here at all.
Leaders who shape us Nov 24
However you define leadership, it’s clear that good leaders possess a je ne sais quoi that is often elusive.
A new editor-in-chief, elation, and representation Nov 16
The decision to replace Graydon Carter with Radhika Jones at Vanity Fair is a momentous for many reasons, but minority representation in arts leadership is the reason that stands out most to me.
Learning about building better teams. Nov 03
I’ve been thinking a lot about building diverse and inclusive teams. I don’t have all the answers, but I am convinced that we all can be doing better than we are right now, no matter how far ahead we may think we may be.
Going for a jog. Oct 19
What motivates people to put on special shoes early in the morning on a cold day just to run in a circle and come home again?
Changing times. Oct 13
Starting the work day at 5:30am may be unpleasant, but having afternoons free for exploration is delightful.
Mental illness and its intersections. Oct 06
Here’s what I know: my experience with mental illness is a privileged one.
Back on my medication. Sep 26
After almost a decade without them, I have recently gone back on my medications to treat depression.
These days, I don’t understand. Sep 13
As I’ve grown older, the world seems a lot more perplexing to me. Things that seem so evident, so obvious to me are often seen in the completely opposite way by others.
Timing. Sep 07
I’m in the process of drafting some essays to share here, but in the meantime, here are some things I’ve been reading recently.
Weekend processing. Mar 10
I’ve learned an important truth about myself over the past few years: I need time to process.
Vacation reading. Feb 20
We returned from our vacation to Barbados late last night, and have spent the day unpacking, doing laundry, and getting settled back into our regular routine.