This past weekend, my personal land mermaid Tiffany came to visit Boston for a total of 24 hours. Setting the scene: I was already sick for a week and a half with a deathly cough (don’t worry I’m still living, this is not a message from beyond the grave) so Tiffany chose to take on the sickness for herself after coming here. I cannot and shall not be blamed.
She caught a bus ride over on Friday afternoon and we immediately went to get quesadillas after because they’re her life-blood [read: my dad used to make her quesadillas any time she’d come to my house and that’s what she associates with a Pandya feeding her now, it’s like she’s conditioned] and she was hangry. We went to a local Amelia’s taqueria (a favorite of my treasurer, Amy) where the quesadilla is more like a burrito. Not like the Taco Bell quesarito (or whatever) but definitely equally as challenging to eat. Naturally, I didn’t tell Tiffany the recommended method so I could watch the quesadilla fall apart and had to deal with death glares for the rest of the afternoon.
Then, we went to ~*rehearsal*~ for a talk I’d be giving later that evening. It was on ‘Identity & Community’ and run by our collegiate group “Northeastern Changemakers” in honor of the university’s designation as a ‘changemaker’ campus. A few other students and I took on a stage to give a Ted-style talk about our own experiences and share with Northeastern. My biggest fear was coughing on stage, sickly as I was (and arguably still am), and then having to step down after freaking everyone else out as the sicko on stage. Tiffany came specifically to hear this talk, which I am eternally thankful for because not only did she get me Starbucks tea prior to the talk but she kept me hyped the whole evening.
The talk was essentially about taking ownership of your own achievements, breaking down ‘imposter syndrome’ because that’s not a thing, and just encouraging others to be themselves. Basically 10 minutes of “you do you.” In the end, the only thing that matters is your voice in your story as you choose to tell it. The key word is ‘you’ and should never be forgotten. It’s been a while since I’ve given a speech, let alone one that I was able to pseudo-extemporaneously deliver like the good old days, in front of so many people. And it was the first time I’ve talked about myself in a speech, pretty much exclusively. Glad I did it though, because it helped me take ownership of my own authorship and practice what I was preaching. And shoutout to Eesha for helping make my speaking a thing; I needed a dance mom (speech mom?) and she gladly accepted and rocked that role.
After the talk (that Tiffany sent via Snapchat to people, as was the theme of the weekend) the two of us went to Kashmir Restaurant on Newbury St. and had a #candleLIT dinner for the South Asian Association on campus. Everyone there was so supportive of my talk, and I think my heart’s a little fuller hearing them all acknowledge my voice too. Bonus points for having a full Indian meal. Much needed.
The next day, we went back to Newbury St. for brunch at Sonsie (yes yes, sounds fancy, no?) where I had some incredible French toast that I still miss. I want some now. Then, I took Tiffany to Primark (!!! we have one in Boston!) right before her bus back. We did not have to run and catch the bus because Tiffany wouldn’t have any of that business on her trip back. “Suit yourself,” I said.
24 hours, literally 24/1, were too little to spend with this wonderful person but I’m glad she made the trip up, even more so just to hear me speak. That, to be sappy, meant the world to me. And this time, she got to step into place with my life and just roll with it. No real touring or Boston sightseeing business. Just being us, in a different place. I guess that’s what growing up looks like, huh? Next time I’ll see her is probably going to be in New York, with the rest of the French models since they’re all there at the same time [read: FOMO] this entire summer. It’s okay guys, I’ll be over here, clearly in the better Northeast city.