The Real Abhinav
My Quarter Life Crisis
Updated: Apr 26, 2018
[This Thought Is Currently A Work in Progress, Trying To Express Itself]
Purpose is : To help someone who is hurting worse than I am/was and help them.
Here's how I would describe my quarter life crisis...
The following words in Power by Kanye West, summarizes everything that I felt and went through in my own life during my absolute low, deep dark point, the words spoken by #Kanye have a much deeper meaning for me and makes me think that I'm not alone in this. It grows me closer to all those whom I can feel #empathy for. #mentalHealth is just as important if not more than #physicalHealth.
"This is way too much, I need a moment"
Identity is a double edged sword, we use it to define ourselves, create our characters and labels, but it's also the root of our suffering, what we identify with, whatever we say "I am _" is all that we have chosen to identify ourselves with.
"I embody every characteristic of the egotistic 'He knows, he's so fuckin' gifted' "
I was born and raised in India for roughly the first 10 years of my childhood. We owned a sizable home, had maids and servants and overall were living a very blessed middle class life by Indian standards. When the family decided to move to California all of that disappeared. We suddenly became an immigrant family where my parents worked 12 hours a day to afford squeezing 5 people in a small 2bd apartment in Irvine, CA. I saw my parents give up everything they had built their entire life at that point, all the luxury and comfort, family and relatives, all to bring a better quality of life for me and my older brother. Primarily because my brother has muscular dystrophy and the quality of life for a handicapped person in America is much nicer than in India.
Growing up as a kid in America, coming from India was rough, getting bullied for my skin color, my deliciously tasting Indian food, which smelled different than everyone's lame PB&J, and generally feeling out of place. I began to develop a guise for my survival. I had to seek significance, I sucked at school because I could never focus on studying I looked at music. When we lived in India, I was still a poor student, every teacher would complain about me to my parents but my mom knew that there was something special about me. She would send me to a music/arts school in the summers to learn and play music every day. Here I picked up how to play congas and quickly became exceptionally good at it. Every time I'd play i would get recognized for being good and it gave me significance and approval. Since I was struggling with school here and I had a difficult time making any friends I thought maybe I should start playing drums in school! We certainly couldn't afford music lessons but I was set on becoming a drummer in the school band. After a lot of fighting with my dad I was able to get a pair of drumsticks and one of my neighbors who happened to be a drummer gave me an old drum pad ( which I still play on till this day ). In retrospect "seek and you will find" played a huge role in my life...Since we couldn't afford lessons, I started watching videos on youtube, I would watch for hours and copy the way drummers would hold sticks and play them. I became exceptionally good and listening and playing what I heard. Even till this day I can barely read music but it didn't stop me from playing in Carnegie Hall, DisneyLand, Angel Stadium and for many more audiences. I even became a the youngest Drumline Captain at my high school. #ego started to increase. I was always getting average grades in classes but was above average and considered one of the best drummers among my peers. This brought positive attention to me and feed my need for significance and certainty in my abilities to be good at something. After all I had accomplish something I had envisioned as a kid. I became a drummer, I became a leader and I found a place to fit in.
High School is over, because I wasn't focused on getting good grades I didn't get accepted to any colleges. This was definitely a hit on my confidence as all my friends were getting ready to leave for college and I'd be stuck in the same place attending rejects community college. To make matters worse, my father lost his vision from a poorly planned surgery and his negligent health and lifestyle. He soon became unemployed. His health started to decline and 18yo I realized that I will need to step up and possibly be the man of this house. No more stages for me to perform in, I now needed to get my shit together and focus on getting a real career. Swallowing my dreams of joining a drum core and traveling the world. I chose to enroll in community college and pursue computer science, why? because I knew I could make the big $$$. But I had never been a good student in the past and that created an identity for me which made me believe that I can never be good enough to get through these classes the traditional way. So now my next goal became to do whatever it takes to get this degree. I believed that I could never learn anything on my own so I would become friends with anyone willing to help me in completing the required coursework and transfer to a UC to get my degree. I quickly realized that I was struggling very hard in college courses. I had no outlet to have 'fun' I didn't have any friends really and the shock of my dad's health made me realize that I wanted to start taking care of my health. I asked my mom for 18th birthday to get me a membership to 24hr fitness gym. I found myself getting obsessed with building building muscle. YouTube taught me a lot and just like drumming I began to copy professional athletes and watch countless hours of videos on training and different exercises.
I started going to the gym almost every day after classes and it became my escape from my terrible day of feeling stupid in college classes and not wanting to go home to my family stresses of financial and emotional pain. I found myself spending 2 hours at the gym at night time and in a matter of months I started to see some changes. #ego started to grow... something I started doing was giving me results. I got caught by the bug of wanting to pursuit health and fitness. before #fitfam and #instafit were a thing... No matter how terrible the day was I could always look forward to coming to the gym and forgetting about everything else in my life. After my workouts I would go sit in the sauna and steam room where I began to build rapport with some regular night time gym goers. These were working class middle aged men who became sort of my 'gym family' I saw them almost every night and we would laugh and have good conversations while competing to see who could stay in the steam room the longest as one of them poured buckets of cold water on the sensors to drive the room hot beyond any comfort. Among this group I met a man named Steve.
"I just needed time alone, with my own thoughts"
"Got treasures in my mind but couldn't open up my own vault"
"My child-like creativity, purity and honesty is honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts"
"Reality is catching up with me, taking my inner child I'm fighting for custody"
"With these responsibilities that they entrusted me"
"As I look down at my diamond encrusted piece thinking... No one man should have all that power The clock's tickin' I just count the hours"
"stop trippin' I'm tripping off the powder 'Til then, fuck that the world's ours"
“So goodnight cruel world I'll see you in the mornin'”
"This is way too much, I need a moment"
Finally I began to realize I had to implement lifestyle changes..
"I'm jumping out the window I'm letting everything go I'm letting everything go"
TBC - This is a work in progress.. start date last edit date 4/26 2018 if anyone is reading this right now, hold me accountable to fill all these out!
4/17/2018 - I got the outline of the thoughts and their summary statements, next step is to start by filling in the details that relate to my life.
4/26/2018 - I'm not sure about the story and how much depth to go but wrote up some outlines of events up to the beginning of bodybuilding. Lots of details an stories to follow up with in videos/other posts in the future. Specifics about challenges and how I overcame them.