This is the technical blog of Keyvan Nayyeri, a 29 years old software engineer at Match.Com, speaker and author. You will find content about computer science, programming, and technology on here.
Despite my high visibility on social networks and many things that I publish about myself like teenage girls, there are many aspects of my life that I’ve kept as a secret, aspects that almost nobody knows about, and I grew up learning that they must remain a mystery. If you thought you know me by reading my crappy tweets or Facebook updates, you have some serious problems! Up to this point of life, I never wrote or talked about one of those aspects (the most important one) that I’m going to write about here, but I’m punishing myself with this so I come back in years and remember the mistakes I made in life. This doesn’t have anything for you as a public reader unless you’re curious to know some personal things about me. You do not know how painful this one post is to write for a person who kept things like this a mystery for almost 29 years!
I was born in an average family in a middle eastern country in a middle-size city in middle of a war, a war that left hundreds of thousands of deaths, many more disabled, and millions and millions of lives influenced forever, including mine. I was born in middle of a crisis and right then many good things happened here and there. With that, the older members of family decided to call me a gifted baby, and they had these fairy tails that one out of every three new-born babies is selected by God for himself and no matter what, he will keep him/her around (that’s always funny how these older generations related this hole to the other one to make something up, isn’t that?). They believed I’m one of those. Some of those people, at a very old age, stood by that belief to bring this baby what he loved to eat every Friday morning in those harsh days of war in hot and cold. Now I regret why he died before I become old enough to go back, thank him, and apologize.
For the first six years, we had to live with my mom far from my dad in different cities to stay away from our hometown, a city so close to battlefield that they could destroy the second story of our house at some point, and it was a piece of cake for them. My mom kept telling me “God is with you, don’t worry about anything” as I was waking up with any train or airplane passing by frightened to death thinking that there is yet a new strike coming our way.
Surviving that, we had to leave everything behind to start a new life in the capital. With both parents employed leaving me and my sister alone for most of the day, I started school with a teacher who believed that I can go much further than where most other people can go, and yes, she was right. For 12 years my parents and teachers kept telling me that I can if I want, and they taught me how this invisible power in this world will hold your empty hands and take you far far away if you just ask, just ask!
Flash-forward to the end of high school, I’ve destroyed my passion for professional soccer to follow what everyone believed I have to do. I enter my undergraduate program with a clear vision of where I want to be in 10 years, where I am today exactly. At that point, that vision was more like a joke to everyone and how harsh the next 10 years were remain a part of the mysteries I’ll take to my grave. All I had was two empty hands, a totally healthy body (never underestimate this one in your life), an exceptionally high IQ, a unique diligence, and more importantly, a friend who had been carrying me all around no matter what. I told him I just want to do these things to prove, to prove that you have kept your promise for every single element in this universe that justice is there. I want to sacrifice who I am to let others live better. With that mission, I dedicated 10 years of my life, the best years, day and night, to this one single mission, and I finally did it.
As I was getting closer to the end of this journey, I started to feel bad about what I did. I kept telling myself what a waste this mission was in my life, and how I missed many opportunities in life. I was mad at myself and that friend for all these because I thought I lack big things in life, things that others have, but I don’t because I focused on useless things. I didn’t see how everyone’s jealous to who I am and where I am. With that, I got mad at that friend and left him behind to go far and retrieve those things, the same friend who had protected me for years and took me with my empty hands to build everything brick by brick. I actually told him that I don’t want to hear anything, anything, about him and my past life anymore.
So I went to find things that I wanted to have, and as I went on this mission, I saw a different part of this world, those lost people who are drown in the darkness they have planted, those who were actually jealous to who I was. I was turning into one for my own, a dangerous and huge one in fact, until something happened.
A few weeks ago I was sleeping like the animal I was turning into when I had a dream that woke me up scared and confused, and then a second one. Next morning, I was on a return path to a totally different person, the same person I was for years, and I’ve been converging back.
Love is an abused word especially in our world and in the current time. Those who don’t know what love is, keep loving things and persons while in fact, all they do is taking advantage of a harmony of chemical compounds in their bodies to feel good about what they desire to do, not what the other party deserves to have. But love is my secret, the secret that is burning me from inside out every single moment now. Once again, I look at everything and feel like I want to cry of happiness and excitement for this creation, one single integrated creation to perfection. Yes, that’s another secret I have: I can start crying at any point even when I’m laughing to death. Controlling these high emotions is what makes you a man.
So I’m back, back to where I belonged in the first place, and I’ve started a new journey for him. At some point you learn that “I” ends in others, and you have to find everything in others. That’s all he wanted from me, and I’ll give it to him in turn for the masterpiece he has built because he deserves this, and I don’t deserve a single thing I have. As a part of that journey, I’m going after that perfection also, I’m completing and filling all those flaws and holes in myself one by one. If I couldn’t do one thing before for any reason, I’m going to do it this time. With that comes pain, a pain I embrace, and becomes my every moment’s fun and true happiness.
It doesn’t matter what others think, it doesn’t matter really. Being who you are, that simple childish baby who could run around and do whatever he wanted to do, is the most important character you can become. It also doesn’t matter if you love everyone and try to be kind to everyone. Yes, in fact, your kindness will be so thorough that nobody can feel specially loved, but who cares if you’re in love with somebody who keeps his end no matter what? All those people are lost, so lost that there are people like you put in this world to help them, remind them, that they can still come back.
Death is the ultimate beauty of genesis, something to embrace, something I missed for a few years. Death is the moment you become perfect, truly perfect, as you detach from time, the only thing you cannot control in your life. That night I dreamed of my death, that was me dying in the worst way I could. I always had the phobia of dying with no value, no use, so hollow, like a normal person. You know what is real when you know it, and I knew what I saw crystal clear, just like the other dreams I’ve had since then, like last night.
When I was 20 I was given the opportunity to make three wishes to God that were supposed to come true. It’s a joke to pretty much every single one of you reading this, but it’s for real. It’s these little personal experiences with God that make us believe in him not all the crap taught to us in schools or by families. I had many of these little experiences here and there, but I was so dumb that I ignored them all.
So I thought a lot what I can do with this opportunity. First thing was wishing for money and comfort in life but then I said “nah, that’s too typical”. Second thing was wishing to have a family, my own family, something I’ve been wanting with passion since I was 16-17, but then I thought it’s too much wishing for me. So I sat with a guy who taught me one of the biggest lessons of my life. I didn’t see him again ever, it was just for one night and one night only to the early morning and we talked so much and didn’t sleep. He told me to wish for something that others want because if I’m here at this point at this age, I have everything I’m supposed to have, and he also told me to wish for one thing: to have God as your friend no matter what because if you have that one, this whole world cannot move you a single bit.
So my mom had a young widowed colleague with a very young son who was struggling with cancer. That was all she had remained in this world. And my cousin had gone through a divorce and was under too much pain and pressure in the society and by the family that she kept begging me to pray for her as she was committing suicide from time to time.
In a few months that young boy recovered, my cousin fell in the so-called love and married again, and it took me more than 8 years to realize that he stood by me as a friend no matter what I did …