30 Years Later

Where did the dreams go?


30 Years Later
by Niloo Soleimani

This writing is not about my life but about a generation of Iranians between the ages of 45-55 who left Iran around the revolution. It’s the naked truth about an entire generation of exiled people who have lost their identity, their hopes and dreams, feel alone and lost and for the most part live in severe undiagnosed depression. As Karim Sadjadpour said in an article: “Alireza Pahlavi's generation of uprooted Iranians -- young adolescents at the time of the revolution -- were often affected more profoundly than those who were too young to remember, or old enough to cope. Three decades later, many still struggle to find their bearings. They negotiate what Brazilians would refer to as saudade, a deep longing for something that is unattainable. Their lack of rootedness has often prevented them from forging stable emotional relationships and fulfilling their professional potential.” //www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/07/persias_little_prince

To Memory of Alireza Pahlavi – 44, Boston, Leila Pahlavi – 31, London, and all those who silently endured and finally gave up the fight and their lives. May they finally rest in peace.


This month on 4/7 I became 47* years old. 47 in I-Ching is Adversity - It says, in short, it will take extra ordinary will to succeed and your major difficultly is that your words will not influence others. Ah, so that is what the problem is.

I look back at my Berkeley years, 30 years ago I remember how full of hope and passion I was? I had so many dreams. I was going to make the world a better place.

Thirty years later, I never ever imagined that I would be empty of love and passion, wishing for non-existence. I've been there, done that bought the house, got the title, made a lot money, lost a lot of money, traveled all over the world, collected the trinkets, learned to scuba, to fly a single engine plane, organized fundraisers, created a beautiful flower garden, cleaned gutters, learned Tai Chi, meditated in a Tibetan monastery high above the clouds, fixed the kitchen sink, fell in love with Lao Tzu, Hafez and Rumi, and became a mother.

And yet, all I wish for is death, well non-existence is a better word, since death would mean re-incarnation and who the hell wants that? Back to Non-existence. Why is that all I want? I don't get it. How did I go from where I was then to where I am now?

I look at my Berkley friends and they all lead normal, successful lives, except for a few of us "ab-normals", or as my friend likes to say, "atypical" people living a confused, depressed and mostly dazed life, thinking "what the fuck!!"

So much has happened in the world too, the Iranian Revolution of 79 which ended in brutal and bloodshed brought on by Islamic republic, the official end of South African Apartheid which well didn't really changed the experience of black people, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the fall of communism and breakup of Russia which killed all of our socialist dreams, end of North and South Irish conflict which has not changed the hatred between them, rise of the internet and "thank god!" Google, several wars and now more wars. The number of children dying of hunger is one every 3 seconds which has not changed in 30 years.And we are now witnessing the fall of the American empire and with it the American dream.

What was it all about? What is it all about? Going to work, getting home tired, raising kids alone and without family which is mostly torture and suffering, wars, killing, hunger, abuse. What is it about? What is it for? Some say this is it, this is the way it is. Well, I say fuck that! Some say there is beauty and joy and life is precious, well, hell, I don't see it or feel it. Mostly, I'm tired and don't want to get out of bed. You say it is depression? I've tried just about every "happy" pill there is out there and I still feel the same. My psychiatrist doesn't know what to do with me. "Exercise, go for walks, you feel better!" she says.

Tried it. As I was walking I remembered the movie I had seen, Cove, about massacre of 11,000 dolphins/year in Japan. It had made me wail like I had lost my own children. Son of the bitches. Yeah. How could people be so inhumane. But you know there are people being massacred all of the world, In Iran, In Libya, all over middle east. Okay enough. What can I do? I've got my own shit to deal with? I'll be homeless pretty soon.What am I going to tell my daughter. Oh, there are so many who live in Shanty Towns all over the world. Yeah I know. That is so sad. What can I do? What can I do? Shit? I don't know. tears start running my face. Forget about it. Who cares? They are on the other side of the world. I do. Why? Because I do. I care. It is not fair that there are so many suffering and dying and so many that have more than they deserve. But that is not your concern. You have other things to deal with. I have other things to deal with. Yes you do. I have other things to deal with. But the children. Why do they kill the children? Why so many children have to die of hunger. So you saved one of them. But that's not enough. It never is. Nothing makes a difference. Misery just goes on and on and on. So why bother? I don't know...

As I walked, the war in the world spilled over into my life and my body. I had an anxiety attack right there in the park as I tried to smell the roses. What roses? Wake up and smell the stink! The world is fucking ugly. Their ain't no roses!!!

Are the "happy" pills created to numb us to our real existence? To make us live the capitalist life that sucks the soul out of you? Really, what is it all about? What is the meaning of this? Some one said "life is empty and meaning less but it is also empty and meaningless that it is empty and meaningless." Go figure that one!! Life is what meaning we give it? Shit I've done the spiritual, the financial, the physical and mental meanings and none of it filled the hole inside, this feeling of death that like a shadow follows me where ever I go, in my deepest moments of happiness and misery. There must be something else?

Where did the dreams go? Where is hope? Where is God? My friend says "thank god any way! It could be worse, he'll stick it to you even more, if you are not thankful." Truth be told, I am thankful, I have everything, and yet, I have nothing...I want nothing. The spiritualists say that's the best pace to be, the ultimate goal. Well if I'm in nirvana, I don't feel happy or fulfilled. Any way, I want nothing, well except non-existence. I want to end this fight…


*47 is the quintessential random number., there is even a site called the 47 Society with dedicated followers. the size of the galaxy is 47 billion light years in radius, how about that!!!!

Visit //niloospond.blogspot.com



  Not too far back I too

by Parsy on


Not too far back I too was asking similar questions, "there must be another way" desperately seeking the answer for the secret of what this life is all about and was pretty convinced of a hidden secret.  After years of searching and talking to numerous individuals from all walks of life; I finally came across an old man from a very very far away land over many seas and mountains who said this to me "son, there is no secret to life and there is no secret answer for life, you know the secret already and you had the secret all along."

You must understand this fact that You Are in Control of everything goes inside you and sooner you realize this fact then better you will be able to cope with life and all its surprises and contents within it;   whether it is negative or positive emotions, you control everything…. by control I mean you are the one who give it a meaning and importance to all your unique life incidents and experiences, incidents that effect your life and your emotions both as happy or sad… you can control what is important and what is not and by doing so you can have a grasp on your feelings and emotions thus create a happier life if you chose to do so, this life that we are living in can be full or empty, sad or joyful and it all depends on you and nobody else, it all depends on what kind of emotions you are feeding your life with and then in return gives you back the same, so don't you ever forget, You Are in Control…..


Menopause or Mid-life Crisis

by bahmani on

You have one or the other or both.

It's not your fault, it's natural, but it's what you have. What I have at 51. Got it a month before I turned 50. My solution was a trip to Machu Picchu and a bucket list. (See Below)

What makes it worse for us, is we have "unfinished business" that we are only only now realizing we should have finished years ago.

So make a bucket list of "unfinished business".

This is not therapy, or walking or Yoga, this is serious mistakes to make right, omissions to add, apologies to make, redemption to deliver, scores to even, as it were, and start knocking them down.

A) It will occupy your mind with something positive to do.

B) It will resolve the pain.

Above all, stop reading fashion magazines. That is the most damaging thing a beautiful intelligent, witty and mature woman like yourself, can do to ruin an otherwise apparently productive and positive life.

Make the list, knock them down, one by one. especially, even the scores. Those are really fun.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/

Do Not Shoot Me

Stop being such a crying baby!

by Do Not Shoot Me on

Life starts after 50 and that is just HAFLWAY to 100. Find yourself a lover and enjoy life to the fullest. 




by oktaby on


I have the perfect 5 cures for you

by jamh on

1. Stop worrying.

2. Don't read the news. 

3. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

4. Enjoy the physical world that surrounds you.

5. Accept anything that comes your way.

That's it. There is nothing else to it. The color blue is preferable to black, no?

maziar 58

30 yrs down .........

by maziar 58 on

And 30 more yrs to go  Maybe.

how strange the lives !

To be borned,to grow, to suffer and then die.    Alberto Moravia



Here you go dear Niloo

by aynak on


 Hang in there:



Some are like water, some are like the heat

some are a melody and some are the beat

Sooner or later, they all will be gone

why don't they stay young

its so hard to get old without a cause

I don't want to perish like a fading horse


so many advaentures couldn't happen today

so many songs we forgot to play

so many dreams are swining out of the blue


Unfortunately we can't stay young forever, to see that it finally has a good ending.   We despair may be more because we see things not getting better, but it will ....  I hope



Soosan Khanoom

This pain is too real.

by Soosan Khanoom on

I think our generation grew up overnight because of the events that happened at the time.  We never got a chance to enjoy our teenage years.  Right from childhood we jumped into the adulthood. Now that we look back we sadly realize what a loss it was. Something that can never be replaced. I guess we have no choice but to look at the glass half full rather than half empty otherwise the feeling of despair will soak us in deeper and deeper.

Thanks for posting your inner most thoughts ... the common feelings that we all share. 




Azin Izadifar

From the heart and very touching

by Azin Izadifar on

and dreadfully honest. I'm your age too, 4/12. Only that I escaped Iran just 4 years ago, So all the things you did Idid not have the chance to do, the scuba and flying thing I mean. I'mnot sure if it's our generation though. We, as a nation, are traumatized, all generations each have their own story. I'm not trying to give u an Rx, but I think it's more about a midlife crisis, I suggest you read Carl Jung on this. He suggests that some people, actually those who had the chance to develop a nice ego, will face this crisis as a stage in the personality development, preparing them to go to the next stage which is about giving up to SELF. Please don't take this as a Spiritual thing. I dislike Spirituality and all the easy answers it gives to people with real questions. I prefer science, as scientific as psychology and personal development can be, though. At least you are getting" real" whilst most people are still faking it. Right there with you. Take care.