All posts filed under: Transitions

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Boundaries.” I’ve always found torii fascinating, as they mark the transition between secular and profound, or profane and sacred, in Shinto religion. Although it’s human nature to gravitate toward and remain in what is more comfortable or worse, to neo-colonize those distinctly different realms to be the same, the process of going through a transition and stepping outside of ones comfort zone is always a good thing. It reminds us that being spiritual and being human are not mutually exclusive. 

The Witch is Dead

I recently decided to cease my involvement in matters that had left me feeling powerless, frustrated, and miserable. It took me a while to work through the implications of such a decision, but I’m now the happiest I’ve been in months. People have since asked me what made me move from complaining and coping to confronting and changing, so here’s what led me to say goodbye to miserable me: Happiness is a choice. I had gotten to a point where I felt like all the little things in my life were happening beyond my control. Although it might’ve appeared to be true, the bigger choice of remaining in the situation or leaving it was entirely up to me, so I chose to go. Walking the walk. I’ve spent a lot of my life mentoring people and one of the things I’ve repeated over the years is, “Whatever you’re dealing with or coming to terms with is yours to manage and control.” Whether it means actively seeking help or working through everything alone, before doling out such bold advice, shouldn’t I probably do the same? Life is short. I’ve lived my entire …

Iselle and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

It is 5:00 pm (HST) and category 1 Hurricane Iselle is currently 150 miles east-southeast of Hilo. A hurricane warning was issued yesterday afternoon and although we had hoped that it would be downgraded to either a hurricane watch or a tropical storm warning, here we are, 2-3 hours out from experiencing sustained winds of 80 miles per hour with higher gusts. Meanwhile, Julio is 1155 miles outside of Hilo and a classified category 2 hurricane expected to weaken in the next few days. Hurricanes are rare for Hilo. We are commonly known for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, but there is a first time for everything. We did have a close call with Flossie in 2013, but she dissipated before reaching us. Living in Hilo, I had grown complacent about hurricanes being a threat. There is a common belief here that the reason we don’t experience hurricanes is because Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai protect us, sheering through hurricanes and sparing us from their effects. Not so in the case of Iselle and I was jolted into reality with the issuance …

P is for Pablo Neruda

Years ago, I studied Spanish in the language immersion environment of Middlebury College. It was a Vermont summer interacting with Spanish language learners of all levels, from beginners, like me, to graduate level students. One day, I met a 3rd year student who shared the poem she would recite at a presentation. It was “Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche” by Pablo Neruda. The words flowed so beautifully and although some words were recognizable, it did require me to bust out my well-worn Spanish-English dictionary. I fumbled through translating the poem with my beginning language skills and found it to be such a poignant piece of work that it instantly became a favorite. The one line that pulled me in was “Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido,” loosely translated, “Love is so short, but forgetting is so long”. The sadness of a lost love is something most people have experienced and this one line expressed the sadness in moving on. Pablo Neruda’s word choice and imagery reminds me of my worst heartbreak and whenever I read this poem, I’m transported back to …

M is for Muse

What once was an organized and relatively clean home, is now a home full of creative opportunities.  I like to tell my self this when ever I see the clutter of toys, bibs, baby blankets, straw cups, and other baby related items scattered in my home.  When I would find my spouse’s stuff all over the place it would drive me nuts.  Compared to him, I cannot believe how one little person has caused more confusion and chaos, but I am learning to find comfort in our beautiful mess. I have noticed that my baby’s stuffed animal giraffe is the central theme when it comes to playing, eating, bathing, and dressing.  At our baby shower, one of my colleagues gifted me a set of giraffe toys, which trickled into various giraffe like items.  I never thought I would find it amusing to watch my little one interact with her giraffe. When she eats, she wants her giraffe to also eat.  When she is ready for her nap, she makes sure her giraffe is also tucked …

K is for Kittens

It’s been a little less than 6 months since we lost Simon and although we still miss him terribly, it was time to bring some feline company and energy back into our lives. We ended up going back to the Hawaii Island Humane Society, where we adopted Simon, and came home with 2 tiger tabby kittens, who are brothers from the same litter. Although they’re bundles of energy, we couldn’t be happier. Here are Max and Jax, the newest members of the family. April is the start of the A to Z challenge. Check out other blogs participating in this challenge at: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

E is for Expression

Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively? I have a variety of artistic outlets, but my favorite is dancing. I began dancing hula as a child and quit before high school. In the years I wasn’t dancing hula, I tried other dance forms, like jazz, ballet, latin, even modern. I also endured my fair share of dance-related injuries, including shin splints, sprains, and a dislocated knee. 6 years ago, I returned to hula and have been dancing regularly, twice a week, for 2-3 hours each practice. For me, hula isn’t just exercise. It has permeated all aspects of my life, informing my career, my life, and my relationships. It’s taken me to grand and humble stages around the world to learn about new cultures and dance forms, and to be able to recognize and honor their parallels to Hawai’i.  As Maya Angelou has said, “we are all more similar than different” and that truth has been reaffirmed in the connections I’ve forged, engaging with the people, environments, and myths of those locales, all while knowing myself …

Pedi-cure Therapy

SITS Day 24: If you are a parent, how do you make time for yourself? Towards the final days of my pregnancy, one of my friends told me to enjoy each day to the fullest.  Some suggestions were to go chill at the beach or go out on a date with my partner or treat myself to a spa day.  I recall questioning her on these suggestions, as I thought it was ludicrous.  Why would I need to take some free time for myself when there was so much I had to do to prepare for the birth of my baby? I also felt guilty as all of my friends did a lot to help me get ready for the baby’s arrival, too.  I already felt like I was being pampered. Well, fast forward to one-year, and now I totally get what my friend was trying to convey to me.  The days go by with a blur and my entire day is focused on one little being.  I love my baby, but at times I just …

Weekly Writing Challege: Power of Names

I was happy to discover a resource webpage created by Kamehameha Schools compiling the relevant texts and resources about the practice of naming in Hawaiian culture. The two primary resources are standards in Hawaiian culture that I last read in college as a Hawaiian Studies major, Nānā i Ke Kumu Vol. 1 (Pūkuʻi, 1972) and The Polynesian Family System in Kaʻū, Hawaiʻi (Pūkuʻi, 1989). For those of you unfamiliar with naming in the Hawaiian culture, the page offers insight to the importance of names. My parents had intended that the meaning of my name was “calm or open ocean”, which broken up, would be Kai (ocean) and Noa (free of kapu/taboo), but the literal translation of my name means “the name”, Ka (the) and Inoa (name). When I was younger, I didn’t give my name a second thought. It seemed too obvious to be special. It was also a name not many girls had. The older I got, however, the more I began to realize exactly how special it was. One gives life to a name. Children are …

new beginnings…

       I had been unhappy. Well, maybe not unhappy, per se, but not happy. There IS a difference, you know? I needed to make some changes, the biggest and most difficult change being quitting my job. But I was the main breadwinner and had been for the past decade. With the reluctant and fearful support of my husband, I submitted my notice. I knew I had made the right decision when as soon as I pressed “Send” (I resigned via email), an immense amount of relief rushed over me. I had never felt more sure about a decision as big as this before. Especially since I’ve been a mother of three… three little ones who rely on me, my love, my support, and, least importantly but most necessary, my income. As rash and irresponsible as this decision may seem, it was one I had been contemplating for at least two years. So it was time. The timing may not seem ideal (three kids, two mortgages, student loans, bills, etc.), but it was right. …

Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

For this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to explore what age means to you.  Just last month we celebrated my baby’s 1st b-day, and for the next few months we begin the birthday celebration of my posse, including mine.  When time permits, we love celebrating our birthdays together.  I never thought much about this milestone until this year.  I am not hitting a major birthday year ending in a zero, but I am hoping all of my life experiences will help me guide my little one to be an engaged young lady.  I secretly have aspirations for her, but I know it will be up to her to decide what she wants to do with her life. Knowing that she has so many choices and opportunities awaiting her, I hope I will be able to give her the advice to help her navigate through her life journey. I know that the challenges she will face in her childhood will be very different from mine.  In my opinion, one of the biggest differences is that …