Since Last July

Hi WordPress. It’s been a while. How are you? I’m doing well. Experiencing 50 hour work weeks but at the age of 22, that should be the norm right? Work while you got the stamina before your body says no more, right? Coffee has become my ally to keep nice and perky all day, but sometimes even that works against me. My body tells me “Go To BED!!! Get Some SLEEP!!” throughout most of the day but I’ve learned to ignore that and power through.

I’m still searching for my career path. I have so much to offer and I want to learn so much. Who is going to give me that chance to prove myself worthy for their business? It’s unnerving to think about the competition that may be out there. But you know, there’s always going to be someone that is more credible, and those who fall short. I do my best on each and every interview I go on and show them what I have to offer.

I’ve been interning with Hawaii Business Magazine for the past couple of months and it’s been great. I actually learned that I love working in an office environment where there are many sources for me to use and people to connect with. Unfortunately, my time here ends in a couple weeks so I better soak up all I can get from the people I admire.

I’m not sure why I worry so much about my future at 22. I always viewed myself as more mature than most people my age. I want a career, I want that salary, I want a routine schedule. To some, that may sound boring but to me it’s a relief. A relief to know where I’ll be each day, how much I’ll be paid, what I’ll be doing for the next few years or possibly for the rest of my life. It’s great to have someone under my belt and not have to rely on freelance. I’m ready for that real life job, those real life experience that I so long for. As long as I am meeting people who are positive and are willing to be patient with me and other new comers, I will love coming to work. I just have to keep searching, I suppose. Who is going to give me my chance in the corporate realm of communications? We shall see…soon, I hope.

I know I have the commitment and dedication. I just need a chance. People say I have a bright future ahead of me, I hope they’re right. All I can do is keep a positive mind, send good energy and the right position will come.

Novel?…or No Novel?

It’s rather easy to write a post on WordPress. I write what I want, when I want, how I want…But when it comes to thinking about writing for my novel, I think about who’s going to criticize it, how much I’ll have to rewrite after it is torn apart with red stains that the novel will bleed through. I know most people aren’t supposed to think about that kind of stuff until after it is written and finished and you’re actually trying to get it published. No first draft is perfect, I know that. I even have my idea ready to be written. The keyboard is just waiting for every letter in the alphabet to be typed into intricate puzzles of words that will create a story…

Why is it so hard to begin? Writing is easy. Thinking about how to write the story first is difficult. What will be the first word? What will be the first letter? First person? Third person? How many characters will there be? How many chapters? What will be the last word? What will be the last letter?

I really do want to write. And I want to create a story that everybody could relate to. But the competition with Harry Potter can’t be beat. Even the Twilight series is tough even with its incredibly easily written structure. Not that I want to copy something like their genre with vampires, witches, warlocks…Although I do love folklore and mythical creatures…hmmm…

No, my idea is a tad different. No words have been written because I don’t know what direction I want to take the story and who will be the main character. I don’t want to make it myself because that’s just tacky. But it’s so much easier to write a story on non-fiction. However, I’d really like to write a fictional story and create a character that everybody wishes to be. Young, Old, Senile…anyone could be my character as long as they know how to close their eyes and imagine. But who deserves such attention? What kind of character should be worshipped into the spotlight?

*sigh* I just gotta start writing don’t I?….Crap.

Nervousness vs. Excitement

When I first got back to Hawaii from my college graduation in New York, I was actually extremely confident in myself. I thought I would find a job immediately in my field and all would be fantastic with a smooth pavement under my feet. Of course, nothing worth fighting for comes easy. I couldn’t find a stable job in writing for any magazine and all that I found was freelance. Maybe I was expecting too much of myself? I knew that the economy was down but perhaps I was in denial at about how badly the economy is being affected.

I’ve gone through several interviews and I keep hearing the same thing: “You have a great portfolio and great writing. It’s just that we’re not hiring right now. The best we have to offer is freelance.”

That won’t hold me over. I love to write just for the sake of writing, but living in Hawaii demands money after money for living in light, privilege of internet and oh yes, the need of food to survive. I did get one offer that was to be the “editor” of a magazine called Kauai Lifestyles but they haven’t gotten me the stories that I would be writing. So, that’s probably something that I shouldn’t hold my breath for. Right now, I’m doing web editing work for a store called Sedona I worked at for the past 5 years. I love my coworkers and working here. But I’m starting to feel stuck since it wasn’t my passion to be writing about stones and sprays and oils…not really my forte. I love to write about people, their life and their journeys. Not product. But I am extremely grateful to have this job, otherwise I’d be in BIG trouble financial wise. But of course, I’m still searching for my real path.

Then I remembered that my brother Stephen knew someone that worked at KITV. I never really thought about working for television but I figured hey, why not give my old bro a call. So he called his friend and she said that there was an opening. I applied and next thing I knew, they called me in for an interview.

At first, I didn’t think this was something I really wanted to do. But after I talked to my brother’s friend about the position, it was RIGHT up my alley. That’s when I became extremely nervous about my interview. But at the same time, it feels exciting to have the opportunity to be working for something completely new. Who knows where it could lead and what doors it could open.

The interview isn’t till next week…wish me luck!

No Matter What I Say, It’s Wrong

Do you ever feel like every word that comes out of your mouth, it’s the wrong thing? Even if it’s just a question, it’s something you shouldn’t ask?

I’ve been in a long distance relationship for 9 months now and it’s starting to wear off. I am getting sick and tired of being 5,000 miles apart from the person I love the most. When you’re that far apart for that long from the person you love with no way of having any physical connection, all that’s left is the verbal. At first it was fine because we had a lot of things to talk about and a lot that we had to learn about each other. We were great. Sure, there were minor tiffs here and there but we got over it and moved on. But sooner or later, the tiffs turn into arguments, and the arguments turn into fights. You start yelling and cursing at each other when you don’t mean any of it but you’re just too stubborn to apologize for any of it.

Is it necessary? That’s my question. Is all this arguing necessary? They say that all couples fight and argue but there should be a limit when you say “enough.”

Any word that I say can turn into the wrong message. People end up interpreting words in a way that you had no intention of happening. And when you say that that’s not what you meant, and they say that’s what it sounded like, what do you do? Do you apologize for “sounding” wrong? Should they apologize for interpreting the message wrong? Who’s at fault?

When I get into arguments and I just want the tension to stop, I apologize for the things that I know I did wrong. He comes back with “I don’t want you to apologize, there’s no need for you to do so.” Really? If we’re arguing, isn’t there something that needs to be settled? Or do you just brush it off? Even if you are able to brush it off, that tension still remains. It didn’t go anywhere and sooner or later, it’ll come back. It always does. It has been for the past 4 months. So what do I do? I haven’t got a clue.

Mercury retrograde is a bitch.

This distance needs to go from 5,000 miles to 5 inches. Even though I’m sick of being in this situation, and we both are for that matter, all those months we’ve spent apart will go to a waste. All that pain, arguing, fighting would’ve been for nothing if we broke up. So, I stick with it. You know why? Because he tells me that everything’s going to be okay once I’m back in his arms… And I choose to believe his words. Even though I’m scared and I don’t know if the arguing will stop or continue, I’ll believe the man I love and stick by his words. I just hope he’s right.

Continue Praying and Recovery Will Emerge

Let’s keep on praying and soon we’ll see stories of recovery.  The Japanese tsunami was devastating and I still have nightmares about it till this day. Although I didn’t see the actual tsunami, feeling the earth quake beneath you was terrifying enough. Here’s my story…

Sitting quietly in front of the television with my mother at the kitchen table as if it was a normal day just the way it started. I was visiting my parents in Sagamihara, Japan, a city within Tokyo, for spring break. I was particularly excited to be with them because I have not seen them for seven months prior to this break. My mother and I were at home eating lunch minding our own business. I was enjoying some Japanese television shows when I started to feel something very peculiar.

The ground felt as if it was vibrating under me and I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I looked up to see the ceiling fan shaking and hearing it make an awful noise. The television went blank. I looked at my mother and said “mom, the house is shaking…” and with her eyes widening she quickly told me that it was an earthquake and to run outside. She grabbed our dog Milo and that’s when things started to fall off the shelves.

Friday, March 11, 2011 was just like a normal day. I couldn’t exactly comprehend what was happening to the house until my mother said the word “earthquake.” While we were outside, I could see the earth shaking from side to side, the cars bouncing up and down and my mother and I not knowing what to do but to stand still until it’s over. I have never felt an earthquake before and it was the most terrifying experience that I have ever had.

As soon as the earth stopped shaking, my mother and I went back into the house and saw that the news was already on. They quickly told us that the Miyagi and Iwate prefecture was hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and if that wasn’t terrifying enough, a massive 23-foot tsunami was heading their way. The people in the city of Sendai and Tohoku had between 30 to 15 minutes to get to higher ground. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I watched the news as the massive wave was heading toward Miyagi and I remembered thinking that this can’t possibly be real. My mother and I watched and listened to the broadcaster saying over and over to people watching the news in Miyagi to get out of there. That they would not survive if they stayed. Unfortunately, now for over 9,000 people, that was true.

About 10 towns were severely damaged by the tsunami and minor damage was reported in other prefectures as well. Whole towns were swept clean from its surface and washed away into the ocean. We continued to watch as the tsunami destroyed houses, cars, trees, streets…civilization. We watched people running for their lives, their houses and cars being washed away. Large ships were tipped over and washed onto shore and resting on a sidewalk. It was as if we were watching a movie. We just couldn’t believe what we were seeing.

Soon the news reported that the tsunami was headed toward Hawaii and California. This was just another worry to add on to this horrific tragedy because I live in Hawaii and have friends and family there. However only very minor damage appeared and no one was injured.

It felt like hours have passed by while we were watching the natural disaster take away whole cities and many lives of its citizens. After the tsunami had settled, things became eerily quiet. My eyes were glued to the television hoping that it was some kind of sick joke. But it is all too real.

Many people lost their lives on March 11, and till this day I couldn’t believe that it happened. Where I was in Sagamihara, which is about 200 miles from Sendai, I felt about a 5 magnitude earthquake from the 8.9.

The news was on every channel and devastation was the topic. Trains stopped working and people had to sleep at the train station. Survivors were taken quickly to shelters. As if the tsunami wasn’t enough, March 12 also was a day of extremely bad news.

Fukushima’s Nuclear Power Plant Daiichi Genshiryoku Hatsudensho has exploded causing radiation to spew into the air. This scared my mother more so than the tsunami. If affected by radiation, it could cause the possibility of cancer or worse health conditions in the future. People living within 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) from Fukushima power plant had to evacuate. My mother already refused to go on trains at the risk of it stopping, but now she grew extremely wary of even stepping outside the house. My father told us that we are not affected by the radiation and told us not to worry, but that was not enough to calm my mother’s nerves.

Over the next few days, the news dominated every channel and stories from the devastation arose. People walked back to their destroyed homes to see if anyone survived. People returned to see if they could find people they were separated from. It was heartbreaking to see people yelling out names of their loved ones. We saw that people in the shelters only got one rice ball a day to eat. Families were separated for days until they found each other. And so many people are either missing or dead.

Although my family lived 200 miles from Sendai, people were still panicking. Stores were sold out of toilet paper, water, bread, dry foods or anything that could last a long time. People are anticipating another evacuation if necessary. Every register at the store had lines of people that went through the aisles and didn’t stop. Tokyo is still affected by the tsunami because of rolling blackouts to conserve energy for the nuclear power plant. My family is still getting rolling blackouts today.

We watched the news, bad news, day after day of the tsunami devastation and the radiation scare. There have been over 800 aftershocks including a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on Monday March 28 (Sunday March 27 New York time). To rebuild the cities is anticipated to be in the billions of dollars to repair and is said to be the most expensive disaster in world history and will affect Japan in one way or another.

When it came for the day I had to come back to Marist, the last thing I wanted to do was leave my family. I’d rather stay with them and work through this disaster with them. But, unfortunately, that was not an option.

When I came back to New York, and searched for news online, I saw that the main topics were about the nuclear explosion. I couldn’t believe that I had to search for more information on how the city of Sendai and Tohoku are dealing with the disaster. It seemed as if the reality of the tsunami was phased out by the radiation scare. The media automatically gave primary concern to the radiation because of the possibility of it traveling over to the U.S.  It’s sad to see how blinded people have become because of the radiation scare and almost seemed like they have forgotten about the people who are still not able to contact their mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers and grandfathers.

The devastation is still very real. People are still suffering and are frightened. I have heard so many heartbreaking stories from the tsunami and still wish that it wasn’t real. My family is grateful that we didn’t know anyone living in the Miyagi prefecture. But we are still rubbing our eyes in disbelief from this tragedy. I was born and raised in Japan and I have a very close connection to this country. Knowing that a country you love so much has experienced this natural disaster is a lot to take in. The people of Japan will be forever scarred by this disaster. But they just have to look up and keep their head high.

Every single commercial that played between news stories were about helping each other and helping the community. I heard someone say that they were surprised to see that no Japanese people stole anything from stores much like people did during Hurricane Katrina. Because of the collectivist culture of Japan, in no matter what kind of horrible situation they are in, they will always help each other and do what is right. You don’t see people shoving in line when they wait for food and you don’t see any stealing. If they continue with this mind set of helping each other and keeping their head high, Japan will recover and the tsunami will be a thing of the past.

Looking Foward…

So I finally got confirmation that I could take two of my midterms early so that I can go to Japan for my spring break for two weeks instead of just one.  I’d be missing a weeks worth of classes but my professors seemed to be okay with it.  I finally get to see my parents after being away from them for nearly 7 months…wow, that long?  Shit.

I get to see my little Milo and the vase that holds Cocoa’s ashes.  I do a ritual my brother Terry taught me in which I light a white candle, an incense graciously given to me by my friend Gregg, and present a bowl of food (either dog food or rice).  I light the candle, light the incense and stick the incense in the food.  When it’s done burning, it means Cocoa is done eating.  I do this for her every Monday.  I could tell she appreciates it and it makes me feel better knowing that I’m doing something for her since I wasn’t with her at the time of her death.  But she’s always with me.

Mondays are my hectic days for I have three back-to-back classes and then another one later on that same day.  I leave my room around 10:45 a.m. and don’t get back till about 6:30 p.m.  As I walk home, every Monday, I could feel Cocoa’s presence in my room just waiting for her offering.  I could sense her jumping up and down on my bed waiting for the food like she used to when she was alive.  Her spirit is always in my room and she appears when I need her the most.  When I’m freezing from the winter’s unforgiving breeze, I feel Cocoa’s warmth right beside me.

It’ll be extremely weird to only see Milo when I visit my parents in Japan, but I know that Cocoa will be waiting for me there.  Who knows, maybe she’ll even ride with me on the plane.  She’s always there and I never forget that.

I look forward to the two weeks I spend in Japan and I have just about a month to wait till that day comes for me to get on the plane.  Once I get back from my trip, it’ll just be two months till graduation.  Others fear graduation because they’re going to step into the “real world.”  What the hell are they talking about?  As if the world surrounding us in college is its own orb of protection of what’s really there?  Is what we’re living right now in college not the “real world”?  That’s just ignorant.  This is the real world whether if you’re in college or not. My outlook is that college is a place to gain knowledge of what comes ahead of you and to not be afraid.  One way or another, we’ll survive.

I made a countdown list of the days left till graduation.  I’m left with 107 days.  It seems like a lot but it’s really not.  Some days I’ll beg to differ when I’m missing my friends back home so much, but I know as soon as I step off that plane and step onto my home I longed for, I’ll be like “Oh…It’s over…Really?  That’s it?”

I’m ready world.

I am not going to take your negativity New York

I just had a realization that is extremely important.

Yesterday was just about the worst day I’ve had in a long time.  As soon as I got back to my dorm at Marist, I just could not stop crying.  The thought that ran through my head was simply “I don’t belong here…Why the hell am I here???!!”  My whole life is in Hawaii and I just left it behind.  What is wrong with me?

I got to my dorm at 12 p.m. and didn’t stop crying till about 8 p.m.  I cried so much that I started to get a headache and dehydrated from all the tears.  It was like a nightmare that I just couldn’t wake up from.  I hate it here.  I’ll say it out loud, I hate New York.  I hate the mainland.  Hawaii is my home.  I know what most people say is that “why don’t you just transfer out then and stop complaining?”  Trust me, I’ve thought that same thing over and over.  But quitting school or transferring at this late of stage when I’m so close to graduation just wouldn’t look good when I go for a perspective job interview.  I just got to tough it out.  I’m sorry if my complaining is annoying but that is how I get through some days.  If it annoys you then you know what?  You don’t have to talk to me.  And that’s totally fine.

But after all the negative thoughts I’ve been having, I’ve been attracting a series of negative events such as my endless crying phase, waking up my friend just to have someone to talk to about how shitty I’m feeling, disturbing my boyfriend while he’s at work busting his ass, crying to my mother, crying to my father, and coming to no real salvation of satisfaction.

I woke up this morning, got ready, talked to my boyfriend and left for class.  While walking through the wet unpaved snowed, slippery, slushy walkway, I wondered why I didn’t see anyone around.  The campus was deserted and that’s when I realized that I have to remember to call the weather hotline.   I did so and was told my a little automatic voicemail by Marist College..” all day classes are canceled.”

Thank you so much for the “warm” welcome back home New York but you know what I realized?  Because I’ve been so negative, that is what you have been giving me is negative energy and events.  So I’ve decided.  No more negative thoughts.  Just positive.  I am not going to let you get to me New York with your cold freezing winter and unforgiving ways.  I have an amazing man, amazing friends and an amazing life waiting for me back home in Hawaii and that is all that matters to me.  I only have to deal with you for 4 more months and I will not be setting foot into your horrible winter conditions and negative energy anymore for a long, extremely long time.

I love my life in Hawaii.  I did this to myself by moving out here but at least now I know that I do not belong on the mainland.  My life, my man, my friend and my sanity will be there with all support back home.  I will not let you get to me New York.  I just have to keep in mind…

…positive thoughts and positive energy.  Guides–please help me through these last few months.

Okay…Time to sage my room to get rid of remaining negative energy and set a calm positive space.