thinking about you makes me think about how unpredictable life can be. within this past week, i’ve found myself googling your name, checking your page and attempting to remember our conversations in the past. other times, i find myself living normally, studying for my exams, planning out my next meal and complaining about work. i feel like i’m split in the middle between what i should be doing and what i am doing. i find myself wondering how your family and friends feel and how they’re dealing with this situation and i’m trying to figure out how i feel. i’ve known you since high school and somehow we ended up in the same college. i’m extremely glad we did. i remember one specific conversation we had together and you told me that you felt like taking care of me like a little sister because we were both in BETA. you also said that you felt like you had to mentor and guide me through my life in bu and if i had any questions then i could come to you. i think at that exact moment, i’ve never felt so blessed in my life. i immediately smiled afterwards and that made my day. i remember our conversation on com ave when we bumped into each other. we talked about your adventure to belize and i talked a bit about india. i can’t remember the last time we bumped into each other and it’s kind of crazy to think that we won’t ever get a chance. i still regret the fact that we never made our lunch/dinner date happen. there’s so many things i wish i did or i could’ve done. i wished we hung out more so that i could’ve learned more about you but that opportunity has passed. but this week has given me an opportunity to learn more about you, your habits and your personality from the stories told by all of your wonderful friends. they’ve shared their stories, pictures and beautiful memories they have of you. somehow, i wished i could’ve turned back time and had been there to guide you, comfort you and save you. i’ve learned a lot from you. time is precious so tell everyone you love them every opportunity you get. work hard for the things you want to achieve in life. dream big. i realized that i let a lot of friends slip away due to petty reasons but you’ve made me realize that life is short and because life is short, make every second worth living. i will always remember and admire your passion for marine science, the glow on your face and your bright smile. you’ve inspired me to work even harder. you were simply an amazing person. i hope we will meet again in the future. until then, rest in peace my friend.
“I’m supposed to be better than I am.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t behave like I’m expected to. But one day I will.”
(San Francisco, CA)
From Syria to Boston
From Boston to Syria
Here are some sneak peaks of the JLT book that comes out in a few weeks!
“I can’t say that I’m mad at you, because I’m not. I can’t say that I hate you, because I don’t. And I can’t say that I’m done or that I’ll never talk to you again, because I know that I’m not and I know that I will. But I can say that I hope and that I pray, that if you really care about me at all, like you claim that you do, that you will stop setting me up, that you will stop saying things that you know you don’t mean.”(via wordsthat-speak)
“It’s important not to rush through life so much that you don’t find time to do the things you really should be doing.”
“What things do you wish you’d made more time to do?”
“I wish I’d learned to drive a racecar. Learned to cook. Followed up with a certain young lady. I wish I’d read more. I’ve got this stack of books I’m going through now, but I should have read them 50 years ago. I’m even reading Harry Potter!”
This man was driving me across Tehran yesterday, when I learned that he’d lived for 8 years in America— incidentally on the same STREET as me in Georgia.
He first crossed into the United States from Mexico— paying $1,500 to be transported across the border. He wanted to go to University and be a dentist, but learned that the idea of America was much more bountiful than the reality. He worked at a factory job for 8 years, without ever being able to get a drivers license. He wasn’t able to find a foothold in society. After 9/11, he said things got much tougher for Middle Eastern immigrants. “I had a great passion for the American people,” he said. “When 9/11 happened, I had no money, so instead I gave my blood.”
Five years ago he spent a night in jail for driving without a license. He decided he was tired of being nervous all the time, and he went all out for a green card. When he was turned down, he returned to Iran.
His fee for a 45 minute taxi ride across Tehran was only $6. I paid him the rate he’d have received in America, and asked for his photograph. He was the kind of man I most admire. The kind that realizes you get one shot at life, and risks everything to make the best of it. I was sorry it didn’t work out for him.
“It was my destiny,” he said. He didn’t sound like he believed his own words though.
“Are you married?” I asked.
“Yes. I met my wife when I returned to Iran.”
“Well there you go,” I said.
As I prepared to take his photograph, he made one request: “Don’t photograph me with the taxi,” he said, “it’s a low class job.”
“It’s not a low class job,” I said. “It’s the job of people who take huge risks so their children can be lawyers and surgeons.”