Where is home?

I have been thinking lately more and more frequently about my upcoming trip to Japan.

It is now only two weeks away (not even, actually), and I am nervous but excited, and somewhat stressed.

But the stress isn’t about typical things, so much… not typical for most people, anyway.

It is about feeling a need to make plans for my trip.

Have you ever been busy and away from home for so long, that all you want to do is just go home and do nothing in particular other than be home?

Well, this is kind of how I am feeling about this trip to Japan.

I don’t really want to have to plan anything, because I feel like I am just going home and want to be home for a while before I start making any plans… plus, when we are home, we have time to figure out when to do things, because we live there…’we aren’t going anyway anytime soon.

But I am only visiting for a couple weeks…, about three weeks all together, I suppose… I don’t have all the time to schedule later.

Or do I?

I think I might just…

Anyway, I find it odd that going back to Japan feels like going home… like I’ve been off at college for the semester, and am finally returning home for the winter break…

But my semester has been two and a half years this time.

I wonder if it has to do with the fact that this was the first place where I was entirely on my own, as an adult.

I couldn’t go have lunch or tea with my mom, or ask her to help me do something or other, or go to her house for dinner and a movie… or anyone else who had become part of my staple people in life… I was on my own in my day-to-day.

And I built a home for myself, even though it became all too clear that the culture was not one in which I wanted to stay living and working long-term… I had said that I wouldn’t have to be paid a lot of money to go back to working in and living in Japan…, and that still stands.

However, a visit to Japan, as I always said, is a great idea.

And I am delighted.

I will test this idea of not scheduling anymore for now… I think it might help significantly for me… mhmm…

Post-a-day 2019

Swiping bubbles

My cousin pulled a can of beer out of the garage the other night.

It apparently tasted like metal, and nobody liked it… it had been out there for a very long time… and it might have come out of a dumpster just before it ended up in the garage…

Since nobody liked it, I offered to use it.

For what?

For my hair.

I told them how I sometimes use beer as conditioner – it is great for hair, plus it always smells great!

“So, you don’t drink beer, but you put it in your hair…”

Exactly. πŸ˜‰

That was all yesterday.

Today, the beer was still on the counter, because I’d forgotten to use it last night in my shower.

The conversation somewhat repeats itself among the family who are gathered here today – and who happen to be all different from yesterday, except for my mom (and no, this is not our house).

In the middle of their doubt and unbelieving, my grandma confidently joins in, “Oh, yeah!… We used to sneak beers from my daddy’s, and use them… use them in our hair… oh, yeah,” she nods.

We all can’t help but to comment and ask her questions while she’s still talking, and she manages I answer our questions by the end of her two sentences.

Then my cousin says that, well, he, too, used to steal his daddy’s beers, but not for that, not for his hair…

We all laugh, processing the fact that Grandma user to steal beers… and that she poured them in her hair…

I mean, I‘m all about it, but I still think it’s a somewhat abnormal thing to do… too hipster for most these days, perhaps one could say…

‘I was stealing them for my hair, too… I was conditioning it from the inside… at the roots,’ my cousin adds.

Obviously, we love the nerdiness and the cleverness of the comment, and delight in our collective nerdiness.

Also, it felt nice to have my crazy idea actually sanctioned by someone considered not only sane but to be one in a place of authority within the whole family… that was great, and totally fun.

So, who knew that my grandma and I had ‘sneaking beers’ and ‘using beer in our hair’ in common?

Man, that’s cool.

Early risers vs the nots

I asked my mom what time she needs me to have breakfast ready for tomorrow.

I asked her to find out a better eta for the family driving down.

She didn’t understand why, at first, but eventually got it… somewhat…

I wanted to know what time breakfast needed to be ready to serve tomorrow.

But she just kept telling me that it was okay to have it ready at 9am…

Family won’t event be arriving until ten at the absolute earliest, based on their most recent check-in with us.

AND my mom doesn’t like eating breakfast until closer to lunchtime than breakfast-time…

I don’t see a need for me to be up early tomorrow just because my mother is… I am not a morning person unless I must be… which is almost never.

I don’t care if it is Okay for me to have breakfast ready at 9am… I care about knowing when it needs to be ready, so I, therefore, am able to sleep as long as is possible tonight…

I have been to bed way late, and then up super early… I need to sleep in for once, especially if I will have little girls running around me all day… hmm…

(Fun fact: I just realized that I might be able to do some photos of the kiddos…that would be awesome!)

Anyway, goodnight. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Accountability Partner?

What would happen if I had an accountability partner?

My room would be cleaned, completely organized, and kept that way – it would be glorious.

I would write quality pieces, just about every day (maybe something like an average of five to six days a week, with about eight days off per month).

I would take photos every month, and have them ready within a week of taking them.

I probably would take photos about once a week.

I would meditate intentionally, and often.

I would do laundry weekly, and put al my clothes away almost immediately.

I would be working actively on writing a book.

I would learn the extra details of sewing clothes that I have wanted to learn for years now.

I would paint.

I would bicycle-ride.

I would teach my art and yoga class I have wanted to teach.

I would read an average of 30-40 books per year. (Actually doing well in this one without a buddy, but the official book challenge on GoodReads has kind of been like an accountability partner…. so yeah…)

I would play music often.

I probably would do some acting and performing.

I probably would wake up early on most days.

I probably would spend more time with friends.

I would be doing all sorts of wonderful things I have only imagined and haven’t even imagined yet, and it would be awesome.

Yet I have no accountability partner.

Perhaps it is time to find one, already…

Hmm…

Post-a-day 2019

β€œGentlemen Prefer Blondes”

Aka “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”

I watched this movie today for the first time.

It was with my aunt and cousin and my grandma.

The movie was silly and not necessarily something I would watch again.

However, it holds a place of significance within our family, despite the fact that only my grandma and cousin had ever seen the film before today.

What is its significance?

The wedding dresses, of course.

That quick scene at the end of the film, about a minute and a half total, in which the women appear in matching wedding dresses… that is what is significant about the film to our family.

The movie released July 1st, 1953, in the USA.

My grandma went to see the movie in the cinema with a friend of hers.

At the time, my grandma was engaged to be married to my Opa.

And she was struck by the wedding dresses at the end…

So much so that she wanted her own wedding dress to look quite similar to these two dresses.

However, in 1953, there were no smart phones, no point and shoot cameras, and no imdb.com.

There was no way to have her mother see the dresses except right there in the theatre, for that minute and a half.

And so, when she asked her mother if she, her mother, could make this dress for my grandma, her mother agreed to check out this film.

She brought a notebook for sketching the dresses, and she and my grandma went to the cinema together… three times.

The film cost, for each of them, about “a dollar and a quarter,” according to my grandma, which was somewhat hefty at the time…. especially for two people to go three times to the cinema.

Her mother sketched furiously, my grandma says, and had to spend a whole visit working on figuring out the sleeves of the dresses.

Eventually, though, my grandma was handed a better, badder, and much improved version of the dress.

And it looked gorgeous on her, of course!

Could you imagine doing that?

P.S. Since she worked so hard to see and draw and create the dress, I’ll leave the easy modern-day task of finding the dresses to you – you can manage it, I dare say. πŸ™‚

P.P.S. Okay, I couldn’t resist sharing the photos:

Post-a-day 2019

Why so blissful…?

Last night, I even slept quite blissfully – I didn’t wake up until well after seven this morning… not even to use the bathroom.

That’s kind of a big deal.

Anyway, so why was I so blissful and confident last night, going to bed?

Well, because of our lovely time at RenFest yesterday.

I told my mom a few months back that I wanted finally to take advantage of my age, and to wear an outfit for RenFest that showed a little (meaning a lot) more skin than I had always been accustomed to showing.

In essence, I wanted to share the beauty of my body with the world, I told her.

And so we strategized a bit, and planned out an outfit for me.

And then, due to her lack of making time for it, our plane changed entirely, I ended up buying some leather skins from a leather place – she did help me find them and pick them out – and then I made the outfit myself.

However, I very clearly told her that she needed to handle the cloak part, and so, very begrudgingly at first, she did.

And the outfit turned out great.

I even messed up entirely by using the top piece for the skirt, and so had to recreate the top out of a totally different piece of leather than originally intended (and planned out).

But, when I saw myself at RenFest, in one of their glorious massive bathroom mirrors, I discovered that I actually looked really cool.

I wanted people to see me and to think, “…Wow…”

As for myself, anyway, that’s exactly how I felt, seeing myself in the mirror in my outfit.

And so I smiled a lot, and was proud of myself for being comfortable in such an outfit, and delighted by my confidence.

Also, I took pictures with people and was in photos for people…, and was happy about it.

I overheard one girl saying quietly but fervently to her boyfriend, “I want that outfit,” indicating subtly me.

At one point, one of the workers thought I was a worker/actor, my outfit was so well done and worn… and that is cool (to me, anyway).

So, that was one part of the day.

Outfit shown here:

The second of the three main parts of my blissful confidence is connected to my outfit, though a different approach to the outfit: It is my gratitude for and acknowledgement of how far I have improved and developed mentally, emotionally, and even psychologically regarding my body in the past year.

When I had that conversation with my best friend just over a year ago, the one in which I let go (finally) the rest of what had been holding me back regarding some rough and tough and rather terrible past events in my life, I knew that, at long last, things were going to transform for me in terms of my relationship with my body, and my body’s relationship with the world.

Yesterday, I saw – actually, it was mostly last night, when I was reflecting on the day that I noticed the whole of it, including the part where I had been so comfortable during the day, I had hardly noticed that this was a new and formerly-terrifying-and-impossible scenario for me – how huge this was, how these two relationships had truly transformed over this past year.

And it brings me practically to tears every time I become present to that fact again… I finally am getting to be the woman I have wanted to be, body, confidence, love, and all.

(Okay, so I don’t have the partner yet, but I am being the person I want to be, even without him, and that’s a darn good start!) πŸ˜‰

Now, the third thing is something that branches off of the first two: because of my transformation and because of my awesome outfit, I was ready and able to admit my goal and to embrace it when it presented itself to me.

I have always wanted a kiss card, ever since I first learned of them at RenFest.

It is a simple paper business-card-like card that reads, “One free kids from any willing man, woman, or beast”.

I have remembered that ever since I first read one of the cards.

Yesterday, near the morning, I admitted to myself, “I really would like to get one of those cards today,” meaning the kiss card, of course.

And I left it in the air around me, and offered the World to present an opportunity to me, if it saw fit to do so.

I then forgot about the kiss card for the majority of the day.

That is until, just after sunset, my mom and I were heading up one row on the far side of the property, aiming to check out that set of shops before heading home.

Just as my mom is beginning to turn her gait to a shop we were already passing but that had suddenly caught her eye, I heard up ahead, someone coming towards us, announcing rather loudly, “Free kiss to any willing man, woman, or beast!”

With almost no hesitation whatsoever, I told my mom that I’d be right back, and I headed toward the voice of this yet to be seen individual.

As he came finally into view – remember that it is dark, since the sun has set, and so only a few feet ahead are visible at any time, thanks to the lights coming from the insides of shops – I asked, “Are you offering or asking?”

(Meaning, is he offering a card for someone simply to take, or is he wanting to cash in his card and receive a kiss?)

We both came to a halt, facing one another.

“Either,” he says, after a few moments of consideration.

I consider.

A man across the way announces to the guy and me that he thinks they have a taker (of the kiss offer, that is).

We turn back to one another.

“Either way, I accept,” I say, nervous with excitement, but calm and at ease as a whole, smiling calmly.

“Okay…, So?” he says in response, and raises his eyebrows and lifts his hands to the side, asking clearly which one I would like to select – he is allowing me to choose if I simply want the card, or if I want to accept the request of a kiss, and we both know this.

“The kiss, then,” I say, after full consideration and acknowledgment of the fact that this is what I genuinely want – to kiss this stranger.

He smiles, “On the cheek or on the lips,” he half says half questions.

Momentary pause… I shrug to my left shoulder, “Lips is good… on the lips,” I declare.

“Okay,” and he steps toward me, as I step toward him.

He is taller than I.

He also is younger than I.

But neither is a concern – just something I have noticed.

He leans down slightly and places his right hand behind my head – and unexpected gesture of intimacy – and we kiss.

As I felt the pressure of his lips and teeth against my own, I felt the same sort of feeling of positivity running through my body as I feel with hugs – I wondered in that moment if the brain reacted similarly to this lip pressure as it does to our chest pressure from hugs… happy hormones releasing and spreading in the body, taking care of the body in their own unique way.

As we comfortably step away again from one another, he hands me the card in ‘payment’, I thank him, and we both smile, before heading on our ways.

I Got my card – and I Earned it!

I find my mom in the shop that had grabbed her attention – an amazing shop with handmade instruments of many sorts, and feel my delight increasing…

That kiss was exactly what I had wanted… this was yet another of my life dreams-turned-goals come true.

It was only a dream at first – I longed to be a woman who would kiss a stranger like this, in a friendly and fun way…, but I didn’t really expect I ever could be that kind of person.

Yet, as I have developed over this past year, I have grown to be so comfortable with my body and my womanhood that I not only could accept such an offer, but that I was willing and able to seek it out.

Sure, he was offering the kiss, but I was the one who went out of my way to go ask him about it and accept it and embrace it.

And I could have just taken the card for myself, with no kiss – he allowed the option for me.

And I could have accepted giving a kiss on the cheek, if I’d wanted to be fair for the card, while still keeping myself safe (I think that’s what the concern had been in the past: safety in preservation and avoidance).

But I looked at it fully, honestly, and openly, and I saw very clearly that I wanted to kiss this stranger, and that I wanted to have the card for having earned it, not for having played one of the games and been given the card as my consolation prize (which is how people typically obtain them in the first place).

I wanted both parts of that, and the former much more than the latter.

So, with mutual agreement and desire determined clearly, I kissed him.

And I am incredibly grateful to myself for having not only been able to do it, but also for having done it.

Go, you, banana!

It was great.

πŸ™‚

And many people probably would have had no issue with such a situation, but it was big for me, because I was never one for such things – I don’t kiss people who aren’t family almost ever… I have only had one boyfriend, and only a small handful of non-family people I’ve kissed… it just hasn’t been a thing in my life.

I love physical contact, I love holding hands (even with friends and little kids, not necessarily with a boyfriend), and I love hugs…, but always and only from people I love and trust.

Otherwise, it has kind of turned out that I need to be not touched at all by the rest of the world (a fact of which I was not entirely conscious until my aunt commented on it a few years back, “As long as nobody touches you, you’re fine,” at which point I began to give much consideration to the matter.).

So, for someone to be allowed to touch me is kind of a big deal.

And for me to be willing to allow someone to kiss me is even bigger.

Even if it is just a single kiss on the lips.

πŸ™‚

Going to bed last night, this third point was what mostly was on my mind.

However, it was in gratitude and in celebration that I considered it, knowing how my development this past year was what allowed me to grab such an opportunity, as well as for me to be open to and even desiring such an opportunity.

Thank you… I am so proud of you… you are beautiful and amazing…

πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019