Archive for April, 2011

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.