On New Year’s Day I came home from dinner in Santa Monica, got into bed early, and was disappointed by yet again another Lakers loss.
With a minute to go in the game, I hit the DVR button on my remote and started scrolling down, noticing that there was a recorded episode of 60 minutes. I hit play and all of a sudden I saw a story that really hit me in the heart. I saw that doctors came up with a robotic arm that can help the disabled. I watched the story and was flooded with emotion about the possibilities for my life.
The story went on to show a woman who had virtually no movement below the neck control an arm with nothing more than her thoughts. At the end of the story, a doctor working on this project said the magic words. “This will help cerebral palsy.”
I was never the person who constantly longed for a cure or even to get better. My focus has been always to work within the confines of my disability to make my life incredible, but seeing that...
Last year was one of the best years of my life. I got married, I found out I’m going to be a father in July, I traveled, I grew as a writer, and I’m about to finish my second book. There is one more thing that I have to do: get my work out into the world.
Right now, my books are sitting on my iMac and on Kristi’s Macbook Pro. I love what I did last year, but it’s time to put everything in gear. Although I love my position in life right now, there have been two fears keeping me back. The first was that I had not achieved the success I originally envisioned for myself and my company. There were incredible pockets of success, but I could never gain the momentum that I wanted. The second fear was whenever I imagined something for my life, I imagined it as a non-disabled man and there was always a let down. Even getting married I could not whisk Leslie off to a B&B up the coast.
Over the last three years, so many of my dreams have come true. And it has...
There’s a lot to say about this year.
2012 started with my best friend and I sitting on the balcony in Hawaii. What a way to ring in the new year. This year was mostly a year of reflection, writing, and love. If 35-year-old Sourena told 25-year-old Sourena about what happened, well, 25-year-old Sourena would fall out of his chair. I took many vacations. I went to Hawaii twice, the Philippines once, Frisco twice, Tahoe, and don’t even get me started about Vegas.
On September 11th, after I came back from my bachelor party, Leslie arrived…and two months later, we were happily married.
I also had the pleasure of hanging out with my cousin, who I had never met before. She came with her boyfriend from Italy, and they were here for three weeks.
In the last month, I have been thinking about my career more than usual. Here’s my conclusion: Speaking is dear to me. It’s more about excitement than anything. Yes, I want to make a good living. Yes, I love helping...
As I wind down the year, I am already looking towards what I want to do next year. Boy, do I have a lot of plans. Part of this journey is relearning what I already know. It is very important to get what is in the back of my mind into the forefront. I have been watching videos on how to get a book out. I am in Arizona when this blog is published meeting with multiple speakers. I am digging through what I wrote trying to see if there’s something I forgot about.
There is a lot of stuff that I like, but there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t like. There’s stuff that speaks to me and stuff that, frankly, I don’t get. What I have learned is that if something does not make sense to me, I ignore it. While it’s good to have opposite viewpoints in our lives, too many will often give to confusion.
Along this unique journey, I am trying to keep an open mind, use my instincts, remember my mistakes, and hopefully, I will have a great 2013.
I know I said that I would only blog every other week, but this week is exceptional because I don’t want to break the tradition I started back when I was blogging for USC.
This year I had an awesome year. Here are a few things that I am thankful for, in no particular order:
These are just a few things I’m thankful for this year.
Through all my years of writing, I have become very self-aware. My process as a writer is something like this:
I start off by focusing on my raw emotions, figuring out why I feel the way I do. I then think about my friends, movies, other situations—whether politics, business, etc.—and then I write. A classic example is my concept on overcoming obstacles. I first looked at the fact that although I have made strives, and made my dreams come true, the fact is that no matter what, the issues I face never really went away, nor will they. Then I looked at other people and saw a trend.
The problem with this is I’ve become hyper self-aware. I know myself too well. I have an overwhelming understanding of my emotions. The chasm between what I have and what I don’t have is getting wider and wider, and I don’t like it. When I was a teenager, I understood that I could not drive, but it was okay because I was hanging out with my friends.
I try so hard to have a good...
I am a dreamer.
In every sense of the word, I am a dreamer. My dreams are very sexy. My dreams drive me every day.
Many people think of dreams as something that happens to them, but I think that dreams are something that you should chase with everything you have—all your emotions, all your resources, and then some.
The issue that I have is that I imagine life in two parts. In one part, I am normal. I have all the faculties that a good looking, intelligent, brute of a man has. This is my fantasy. The second version is achieving my dreams as I am, in a wheelchair. It’s a lot less sexy, but it’s achievable. Oftentimes, my dreams and my fantasy collide in my head.
Throughout my lifetime, many of my dreams have come true: living on my own, moving out to go to college, buying my first home, and now finding myself on the cusp of marriage to my beautiful Leslie.
Back to my colliding visions….
With every achievement or dream come true, there has always been a letdown...
Two weeks ago, I went to Vegas with my fiancée Leslie and a couple of friends. I went to the bar by myself to grab a drink. I asked the bartender if she had a bigger straw. At first, she said no. But after a while, she came back to me and said, “You know what? I have a five-year-old son…I should have one in my purse.” Then she pulled out a McDonald’s straw–my favorite!
The lesson here is:
Everyone should go out of their way just to make the lives of other people a little better. It was a small gesture, but it meant a lot to me.
A week ago, President Obama was on 60 Minutes and was asked what makes a President great. Obama replied, “Persistence.” Which really got me thinking about my own life. Everything great in my life has been the result of persistence. Over the last couple of months I lost the persistence that I needed to succeed. I felt myself starting to complain—not to others, but to myself.
The main thing that changed is I lost a little bit of my persistence. In order to succeed in whatever you do, you need to become doggedly persistent. Yes, you will annoy people. Yes, you will even piss some people off. But if you’re not annoying at least some people, you’re not trying.
My big dream of getting married comes with dreams within that dream.
The biggest one for a guy like me was rounding up the boys and going to Vegas for my bachelor party.
I always dreamed of going to Vegas with the boys and on the weekend of September 7, my dream came true. I had ten friends from childhood and college, as well as a couple of cousins with me in Vegas to celebrate this momentous occasion.
We had a blast.
It was relatively low key. We just watched sports, shot crabs, and had a nice dinner at a steakhouse. And, yes…I had a few cocktails. Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was staying up until six thirty in the morning with my cousin Babek, who introduced me to my fiancée Leslie.
I flew home on September 10. It was a quick 28 hours. Then I had to turn around and go back to the airport when Leslie arrived.
I can’t believe that she’s actually here!