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Thursday, July 7, 2016


Police lives matter, Black lives matter, White lives matter, Chinese lives matter, Muslim lives matter, dog lives matter, your life matters, my life matters.... we all matter.

I'm in no way shape or form racist.  I'm married to a Japanese man and my friends come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.  I live in Hawaii where I have experienced being discriminated against for my color more times than I can count on two hands.  I've been called a "Haole" while being ran off the road, I've been cut off of waves by local women plenty of times, them obviously wanting me to say something so they can lay into me about how I should "go back to the mainland".  Before I say what I'm about to say next, I just wanted to be clear that I know what it's like to be discriminated against for my color.  I don't harp on this and I'm not asking for a white history month, I'm not asking for someone to create a caucasian scholarship, I'm not asking for politicians to join a "white lives matter" movement as part of their political campaign.  I'm asking that we stop separating ourselves by color, by uniform, by nationality.

There are good and bad people everywhere.  There are bad Caucasians, Hawaiians, African Americans, and Asians.  There are also wonderful, upstanding Caucasians, Hawaiians, African Americans, and Asians.  There are police officers, firefighters, priests, and teachers who do bad things.  There are also police officers, firefighters, priests and teachers who save and change lives.  Not every white cop is out to shoot a black guy.  Not every priest is a child molester.  Not every black person is a street thug.  Police officers don't join a department so that they can shoot up a certain race, in fact, I'm pretty sure that most of them would take a bullet for a person of any color or affiliation, but when they're shot, (and officers are assaulted on a daily basis), they don't get international media coverage and a president addressing their shooting.

If one cop does something wrong, then all police must be bad, right?  If one black person is a criminal, all black people must be criminals, right?  NO.  The hate circle has gotten out of control.  We've been given the opportunity to be free of this hatred, discrimination and exploitation, and yet we continue to victimize ourselves.  We continue to be drawn into the media and join up in armies against uniforms and armies against color.

Please stop with the hate.  Please stop adding to the media mongrel that's turning us all against each other.  Stop protesting and instead make a change within yourself to recognize that ALL LIVES MATTER.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Adventure 31: Surfing into Thirty.

The signs have been everywhere, I look at the clock and it's 3:00.  My change from the recycling center is $3.30.  When my coffee needs a quick reheat and I hit the automatic start button on the microwave, it pops up with :30 seconds.  It's like the universe is poking fun at me by placing a 3 and a 0 beside each other at every opportunity to remind me that I'm turning 30.... TOMORROW.  Don't get me wrong, it's been on my mind without the Universe's little numerical prank.  There is something bittersweet about leaving the twenties for me that is making this birthday a little harder to swallow.  Not just that the 2 will be missing from the front of my age, but that my twenties contained the worst and the best experiences of my life.  When I say "worst", I believe the better word choices might be "most educational".  In honor of turning the big 3-0, I've separated this blog into two pieces:  Three things I learned in my twenties, and a bit about what thirty looked like when I was sixteen.  :)

3 Things I Learned in My Twenties:

  • I deserve to be happy and IT IS OKAY to let go of people and it's also okay NOT to "forgive and forget".  This was the hardest lesson for me to learn because I am a people-pleaser and being self-less with those I love brings me the greatest joy.  I used to assume everyone was just like me because making the people you love happy is the best feeling ever.  I got very hard and shocking doses of reality from someone in my childhood into my teens, and then another person in my twenties. I believe in the phrase "Do onto others as you would have them do unto you", but when that comes at a cost of your own happiness, you just need to step away from that friendship, relationship, family, etc..  When I find that someone is constantly negative, or dramatic, or self-absorbed, or breaks their word, or they're deceitful, or criticizing.... or even that our relationship is not even close to balanced, (i.e. I'm giving 90% and getting 10% back instead of even a 60/40% balance), I back off.  Jim Roth said, "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with", that's why when I find myself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, negative, self-conscious, drained or down-right shitty whenever I'm in a certain person's company, I've learned to quickly cut ties and I must say, I'm a happier woman for it.  With learning the worth of myself and my happiness, I have developed the best relationships, (while letting go of plenty), and I also have the most amazing and supportive family.
  • The "invincibility" feeling ends, especially when you have children.  I do think that young people, (OH MY G.... Did I really just say "young people"?), should embrace that feeling while it lasts and use that courage to have awesome adventures and learn activities that require balls, (yep, it's the only word I could think of).  I now have a fear of heights which may keep me from ever sky-diving, and I'm more cautious on surfing bigger waves, because as you get older, you do get "wiser", (meaning you put your mortality into closer perspective).  I also consider my daughter with every single thing I do or risk I take... Which means her safety and my own safety are now of the upmost importance.... Which brings me to:
  • When you have a child, you will learn a side of yourself you didn't even know existed.  I may look and act like a gentle, loving lady... but cross my child, (or my husband), and I will turn three kinds of crazy like you've never seen!  I also will never put myself first again, which means, if it comes to the last slice of the best pizza on earth and we are all starving, I'd risk my life to make sure that my child gets every bite of that slice of pizza.  I already know that this will last until I'm dead and gone.  She's not even three-years-old and when Jun and I talk about retirement, we already say, "We'll just have to wait and see where Reise wants to go after she graduates high school."  The love inside of my body and my bones is more than I knew was fathomable.... Literally to the point where I've looked at my daughter and wondered how I was not physically combusting with the love that I feel for her.  Having her has also made me love my husband more, (which I didn't know that was possible either).  I would do anything for them both.

What Thirty Looked Like to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

I remember writing "30 Things I Want to Do Before I'm 30" on a sheet of paper as a teenager.  I was in my painted orange, psychedelic bedroom, and at that moment, (while sitting on my hand-painted mini-trampoline like some comeback hippy-child from the 70's), 30 seemed like a lifetime away.  Heck, I was just over halfway to it back then!  I very clearly remember feeling like, "Man, 30 is when you are REALLY grown up.  Married, children, routine, and the beginning of wrinkles... the exciting part of life is basically over when you hit 30!  I better come up with my bucket list and knock it all out before then!".  So I wrote down everything my adventurous teenage brain could come up with and I folded it up and put it in my desk drawer.

Now I know I've toted that list all over the place and it still exists... I just can't find it right now, but I've memorized most of the list.  It included things like:  Swim in clear blue water like you see on TV, get my pilots license, learn piano, bungee jump, sky-dive, visit a foreign country besides Canada, etc. etc..  When I reflect on that crumply yellow piece of paper with it's eager and ambitious handwriting, I may not have achieved them all, but I've achieved the ones that matter and more.  I now LIVE and swim in that clear blue ocean "like you see on TV" nearly everyday.  I've traveled to Peru and Costa Rica and road tripped across the USA in a van for 50 days.  I learned guitar, banjo, and ukulele instead of the piano.  I bungee jumped in Peru, and as it turns out, I HATED it, (I honestly can't imagine anyone liking that feeling like you're diving to your death and then being snapped around by a 300 foot rubber band).

I still keep a vision/bucket board where I dream up everything I want to achieve, and then toss the picture into the bucket when I've achieved it.  As it turns out, some of the "30 Things Before I'm 30" don't even interest me anymore, (like my recently developed fear of flying that knocks the pilot's license off the list).  I think there is a shift as you approach the big 3-0, and I imagine there will be another one when I reach 40.  And since I've seen how there can be such a shift in desire in 10 years, I'm going to just keep on using my vision board to pin-up and take down my dreams and desires as they come to me.

Here's some stuff that I've recently knocked off my vision board with before and after photos:

This is straight off my vision board... It was my desire to learn to SUP surf well.

And this is me.

This is the picture that I had up for "learn to brew beer".

And here is my first batch of a delicious brown ale I home-brewed,
(Thank you Tutu for the home-brew kit).

A little compilation of pictures in my bucket.  The ones on the left
were on my board, the ones on the right are my own pictures of my successes.
(A Mother's ring with Reise's name carved in it from Jun, kombucha brewing, and
throwing pottery... I was 9-months pregnant when I took the pottery class with Jun).

Currently my board has things like home/farm ownership, getting
barreled by a wave, lots of hikes and travel dreams, and more.

My vision board/work space.

Here's to the next adventure!

With Love and Aloha,
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