Change

“When life changes, success puts on different clothes”

This picture was taken in Minsk, Belarus before our big move to the United States.

Whenever I’m a little doubtful of where I’m going, my parents remind me of all the changes my family has embraced.

This thing called life has an interesting way of showing us that the only thing constant in its game is change.

Joya and I in Moscow, Russia. My confidant and therapist (and soon to be doctor)– your tough love works. Thanks for helping me embrace the changes in our lives.

Here is to growing through what we go through and appreciating the beautiful souls that help us along the way.

I Quit My Job.

Life update:

  • Started my new job in October.
  • l’m on the marketing team for this amazing company founded by two passionate Physical Therapists from Chile.
  • l’ll start treating kids again for speech therapy in about two weeks.
  • l totaled my car on my first day at work. I’m fine. Thank God.
  • Realized that sometimes life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.
  • I finally got the car I’ve been eyeing since l graduated from UT in 2015. Thank God, again.
  • Lastly, I’m more than grateful for this life and the people that are near and dear to me. Thank you isn’t enough.

Love for Van Gogh

When I was helping my parents move out of their house a few years back, I found a note I wrote to myself when I was 10 years old. Not sure if I wanted 21 year old Jasmin to find it, but I did.

To: Jasmin

From: Jasmin

Everything on there was useless expect the following line–

“Visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam please”

I’ve wanted to see his work in person for a while now. I finally got the chance when I was in DC this September.

I’d be bluffing if I said I wasn’t emotional.

VG2

Quarter Century

Age is a loss of youth for many- which is why I think many people are afraid of it. But with age comes more opportunities and wisdom. I remember looking forward to turning thirty for as long as I can remember. Odd, I know. Today, I look forward to just growing- intellectually and spiritually. Age doesn’t matter. It’s just one number that defines your experience in life.

I’ll be turning 25 next week and though I’ve been anticipating this for awhile now, I’m actually more collected about it lately. Maybe it’s all of the changes that have taken place. Or maybe it’s the endless amount of opportunities I have at 25 (like getting my own rental car without dad. My kinda independence). Regardless of the reason, I’ve finally stopped counting towards this magic number thirty. Mostly because life happens.

Anyway, to celebrate my 25 years of life, I packed my bags and traveled to D.C. to visit my best friend. I met this amazing human named Nita Mandar back in 2012 at UT Austin in a random Hindi course I signed up for. Since then, she has drugged me with Benadryl before our written final in Hindi (to say I was drowsy writing in Hindi is an understatement)(in her defense I was coughing nonstop. I would have drugged me too), She has encouraged me to take 13 shots (following her 15 shots) for her 21st birthday celebration (yes, I woke up for my 8 am exam the next day), she has convinced my entire class that my real name is Jasmindar (she even convinced my professor. She’s that good.), she has driven across the country with me (best road trip ever), she has cooked momo with me on Valentines Day, she has been my only ratchet Galentine (team ratchet for life!), she has randomly booked her flight Nepal with me, has gotten the most awkward body massages in foreign countries with me… So many more memories with my “oh wow” girl. “Oh wow” because that is her response to everything. How can I not celebrate my 25 years of life with this girl?

To make this trip even better, Michael Angelo joined me on this trip. Mr. sweet face caught five fish during our Billy Goat Trail hike (or so he says, right neets?). Mikey and I have taken several trips together but this trip was different. Different in a good way. In a way that helps you realize why you’re choosing to grow old with this human. Nine years of dating does that to you I guess. I still remember celebrating my 16th birthday at TGI Fridays with this guy. I also remember sneaking into the movies after dinner because it was passed curfew. Since then, I don’t remember celebrating a birthday without you.

It’s funny to think where life takes you. At this age, I thought I’d be in a different place in life. While I am a masterpiece (love yo’ self, God says), I am very much a work in progress. I’ll be a quarter century next week and I’m currently the happiest. Happiest because, life… It’s a gift— Whether you’re a quarter century or a ten year old Jasmin wanting to be 30. Appreciating your now and looking forward to your future is a talent. I’m definitely on the train to master this talent.

Little Humans

From birth to the teenage years and beyond, communication with a child is crucial. However, so often we hear parents use negative comments and expect positive behavior. It’s important to understand that positive communication can reinforce good behavior, and help children understand and eliminate bad behavior. It can also build a child’s confidence and self-esteem.

🔆

When a child is in the middle of bad behavior, point out something positive.

🛑

Eliminate the negatives (don’t, no, stop, bad) as much as possible.

🗣

Make the time with talk with your child. Talk about anything and everything. Bad behavior is sometimes associated with the lack of attention.

👀

When talking to your child, get down to their level (if necessary) and maintain eye contact. Eye contact is always KEY!

👂

Lastly, allow your child to finish talking and really listen to what they are saying. They have thoughts + ideas and are willing to share it all with us. Encourage it. It’s important not to shut them down by assuming “child thoughts” are less important.

Be Still, My Heart. 

Recently, I’ve started to visit this organization that provides intensive speech and cognitive therapy for stroke survivors.

The speech and cognitive therapy that this organization provides pushes back against the traditional belief that stroke survivors only have a small window of time to recover after their stroke. 

I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to work with this astounding non-profit organization in Austin. I’m able to take the material I’m learning in “Language and the Brain” and connect it with intellectuals who have survived a stroke. 

There a many good days during therapy…and sometimes the good days are followed by the not-so-good days. You know, the kinda days where you question everything in life. 

Take Mr. John (name change), for example. Two masters degree. Never missed a day of work. Loves to fish, dance, and to read to his grandkids. Today, he struggled saying his daughter’s name and then his grandson’s age. We spent 20 minutes on this. The rest of the session? Numbers. Counting to 10. We got to 4. 

Mr. John–he’s a champ. His receptive skills are intact. He smiles and tries again. Therapy has transitioned his frustration to laughter. 

But today, his laughter faded and for the first time I felt sadness through his eyes as he struggled to name his only daughter. 

He smiled and said “I named her, you know? I should know this. She’s my baby girl.” 

Stroke. It sucks. 

I never end on a bad note. Mr. John’s daughter picked him up after therapy. As soon as he laid eyes on her, he looked at me and shouted her name four times in excitement. Yay, Mr. John! 

It’s the little things, right? 

A Day in Austin

So I’ve lived in Austin for about two years now and I might have fallen in love with this place– the people, the food, the ambiance, is just what I needed when I decided to leave Dallas. You’re probably wondering why I enjoy this place so let’s get to it, shall we?

Below I’ll be listing a Austin Do-To list. Places you might wanna eat at and scenery you don’t want to miss. Let’s start with my favorite– FOOD!

10 Places to eat– Austin, Texas:

1. Madam Maams (The one place I HAVE to eat at at least once a month. I always get Pad Se Ew- flat noodles with chicken)

• Location 1: 2700 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757 (512) 371-9930

• Location 2: 510 W 26th St, Austin, TX 78705 (512) 305-3955

2. Habanero Cafe (Their breakfast tacos are so yum even when you’re hung over. Also, my friend ran into Kanye West here once but NBD)

• 501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 416-0443

3. Churro Co (This place changed my standards for a good Churro)

• 1906 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 905-5267

4. Moojo— (Think warm cookie with ice-cream and you’ll get just that here)

• 2322 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705(512) 473-8759

5. Tapioca House– (I spend so many hours here- Milk Tea and fried Tofu is the shit)

• 1906 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705 (512) 482-9880

6. Franklin Barbecue— (just wait in the 4 hr line. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.)

• 900 E 11th St Austin, TX 78702 (512) 653-1187

7. Torchy’s Tacos– (First place I ate at when I was touring UT. I love their queso)

• 1822 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704-3502 (512) 444-0300

8. Home Slice Pizza– (The only pizza I crave)

• 1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704-2434 (512) 444-7437

9. Hopdoddy Burger Bar— (I’m not a fan of burgers but gosh I love their fries. I will say this, my burger snob friends approve.)

• 1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 243-7505

10. Hey Cupcake!– (take the back end of the cupcake and place it on top of the icing to create a cupcake sandwich. You’re welcome. Oh and try the red velvet)

• 1511 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 476-2253

5 places to see– Austin, Texas:

Mount Bonnell– Its also known as Covert Park. I usually seek peace at this place before a college final. It’s a prominent point alongside the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1800s– but today you’ll probably find stressed UT students studying alongside the rocks or something simple like a lover proposing to his gf, no big deal.

Live Love Paddle– This Kayak renting, outfit offering, guided tour place in Austin is a must. It guides you along the Congress Bridge with views of its bat colony.

• 1610 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741 (512) 804-2122

Bat Watching and Sunset Tour- I’m a sucker for a nice sunset. Little creepy to add bats to it but trust me, it’s totally worth it. The Public nightly tours depart approximately 30 minutes before sunset and lasts roughly one hour in length. Bat Watching Tours available March through early-November. Sunset/Sightseeing tours available November through February, (weather permitting) excluding holidays. Rates: $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors & $5.00 for kids 3 to 12.

• Book Here: https://www.reservationgenie.com/patron/restaurants/24/reserve

University of Texas Tower- This is a non-historical tour but information about the Tower’s architecture is provided by a student tour guide. It’s a wonderful opportunity for photos and a full 360 degree view of Austin and the UT campus. I may be bias because I’m a longhorn but this was my favorite tour in Austin.

• Texas Union Hospitality Desk 2247 Guadalupe St. Austin, Texas 78705 512-475-6636

Zilker Park- This is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over 350 acres of publicly owned land. What’s great about Zilker is that its pet friendly, so bring all your fur babies!