Hercules

I have often dreamed

of a far-off place

where a great, warm welcome

will be waiting for me;

where the crowds will cheer

when they see my face,

and a voice keeps saying,

“This is where I meant to be.”

Tonight’s theme is “where I’m meant to be”.

I had a brief but important conversation with an old friend tonight… And it was scary, but necessary, if I am to be true to myself and to speak up for myself.

I shared how my reasoning for being so aloof with him lay in my experience of being unwanted, of not belonging in the crowd with him and the friends that surround him.

I shared how I am working on being the best and truest possible version of myself, and all that that entails in my life – that I want to share myself, my gifts, and my love with the world to the best of my ability.

I also shared that I kind of always assume that people don’t want me around – and I shared that that is something I’m working on for myself, to see myself as worthy of being wanted around – and that I have noticed in the past several years that, though people usually are totally okay with my being around, and they even enjoy it oftentimes, they never seem to call me first to go do something, to participate… or at all.

He understood what I meant, both logically and from experience for himself, his having been in a similar situation.

And he surprised me with the question of where do I feel wanted, that I belong and I’m loved?

Immediately, I thought of my mom, and then of my best friend….

As I searched my life, I realized that I feel that loving and safe and wanted space in the classroom, with my students.

And then, in a slightly different sense, at the gym where I go… there are groups of long-time friends there, so I don’t feel a part of those friendships, but I do feel a part of the gym community itself, and the friendship that that is – each one of us belongs there, we are happy to be there, and we are happy that everyone else is there.

Beyond that, I wasn’t too sure, and still am not.

I don’t have very many places where I feel fully wanted and loved, like I truly belong.

However, I noticed that it is nice that I spend a lot of time in those places where I do feel the love… I go to the gym up to six times a week, and I see my mom or talk with my mom almost every single day.

I am not teaching classes right now, and my best friend lives abroad and has been really busy with things, as have I, so those two don’t happen very often right now, but they are still incredibly valuable in my life.

Nonetheless, I do get to experience being wanted in someway every week… However, I am working on filling my life with people and places that help me be the best person I can be, which includes being wanted and loved by them.

And it is amazing how ever so slowly, but surely, more and more of those people keep coming into my life… Without my doing anything special – so it seems to me, anyway – these people seem attracted to me – to me – and they want to be around me, and they ask to be around me… They are the people who call me, and not someone else first.

And it is beautiful.

And I truly believe that it keeps happening more and more, because I am being more and more my true self, the person I meant to be.

🙂

All that being said, I almost didn’t share about this at all.

But, reading my book before going to sleep just now, I crossed a line in the book that expressed exactly the same thoughts as my conversation today, which is also something I was thinking about a lot yesterday… So it is a current theme in my life.

I wonder what it would be like to be embraced like that. To actually have a place where you belong.

And I totally get what she means. 🙂

Here’s to becoming each our own Hercules!

Cheers!

***First quote is from the song “Go the Distance” in the Disney film Hercules, and the second quote is from the book Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi.***

Post-a-day 2020

By golly

I don’t know what it is that has me always pining after some gorgeously awesome guy, and always wishing hat somehow, someday could he possibly ever be interested in me, want me?

I mean… grow up, right?

When am I going to let go of this little girl nonsense and be a woman about it all?

I don’t necessarily behave like a little girl out in the world – though I occasionally do – but I definitely do in my head.

If I had been being the woman I want to be way back when, I would have told him hen and there: Whenever and if ever you get over your breakup, let me know – I’d love to go out with you… no pressure intended.

But I didn’t do that.

I sopped around feeling unwanted and undesirable – thereby making me les want-able and less desirable – and depressed myself slightly by constantly considering all the ways I knew I was inadequate for him and which made it make perfect sense that he wouldn’t be interested in me.

And so here I am, months and months later, a whole new calendar year later, and he is in a relationship with someone else, and I keep having the same thoughts of inadequacy about myself, still wondering if, even in an alternate situation, he ever possibly could want to be with me, of all people…

I mean… Seriously(!), banana…. wt??

I am amazing as a human being.

People love learning just about anything from me, and I have a plethora of worldwide knowledge and experiences and oddities and silliness and wisdom… I am gorgeous both physically and on the inside – and I’m healthy and enjoy silly jokes – and am an all-round wonderful human being whose main goal is to share her talents with the world as an expression of her God-given love for Creation… I have silly quirks and I love wholly and truly and intensely; I am a natural teacher and communicator; I love myself and am grateful for my life; I take care of people, and have recently learned to start taking care of myself, too… I will not settle in life, and I aim to empower others to go for their own dreams and goals and what works for them in life… I have been through total bull and have come out clean in the other side, ready to use my experiences to help others in the world around me… and I am very smart and rather highly educated, and I am a genius dancer (not joking either)… I accept people for who they are while simultaneously hoping for and helping empower them to be the best possible versions of themselves… I tell the truth…

I am darn lovely as a human being and as a woman.

I need to get over this nonsense of always semi-subconsciously considering myself not good enough.

It isn’t like I actually say to myself, “You aren’t good enough for him,” or anything like that.

I just have all the other comments that show that I think I’m not good enough for him.

But I am good enough.

And for anyone.

I think being our highest and best selves means to be who we are meant to be…

Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.

Teresa of Avila

And I am doing a very good job, especially in this past year or two, at being that person… and my world keeps lighting up more and more…

I have minimal money to my name right now, yet I had someone tell me tonight that I am “lit up”… and I know that I am.

I am terrified at the risk and the newness of a lot of this stuff, and also at the extreme potential I have to be my best and most beautiful and most powerful self in this current world around me… and I am lit up by it.

I don’t know right now what else I want to say about the sulky pining situation… perhaps I just needed to express that I am acknowledging its existence… for now, anyway.

Maybe, just my naming it and calling it what it is, it will disappear… that is kind of a thing in life already…

Yes, perhaps…

For now, though, I shall go to sleep, for I need to sleep and I want to start going to the gym again starting tomorrow (I only just got back home over the weekend and have been sick since then)…

So, goodnight fair world.

May we all recognize fully the beauty that we are and the love that we each bring to the world by our own individual existences…

Post-a-day 2020

Living in the now?

People keep asking me how my trip was… and I keep having to pause to think about it, realizing that I’m not sure what to say, and then I end up just kind of shrugging saying generally that it was good… and not entirely convincingly.

Thinking about it now, I find it to be a lot like Mondays.

People ask me how my weekend was, and I have no idea… That was last week… I’ve already reset for the new week, and last week is all the way I’m the past now.

Being back in Houston again, living in my own house again…, I can help but feel I am right back to where I left off from here.

Second week of December, Christmas is coming, then New Year’s… more cold weather for a while…

Not the third week of January, Christmas over and Nee Year’s over and the weather likely to be ok the warmer side more and more already…

I felt the cool air this evening – love 20s and low 70s – blowing a perfect temperature over my leather jacket while riding, and I realized I expected it to grow colder over the next several days…, and also that it would do no such thing.

This is Houston – it gets warmer from here.

And so, as I look back on my past month, I feel almost that it never happened… not recently, anyway.

It feels miles away (which it actually is) and so long ago…

Just like my weekends feel on Monday mornings.

Looking at photos and telling my cousin this afternoon about part of our trip, I know that t was an absolutely spectacular trip.

But it just doesn’t feel so much like it, and I think that is mostly due to the fact that I have moved onward and am focused on what I have to do here and now, not on what happened last week or the two weeks before that, or even further back than that…

Yeah…

P.S. I keep writing 2019, though…, so maybe I’m not too much in the now, but in a fairyland dreamscape instead… haha 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Dreams

Last night, I dreamed that I was in a live-in minimester course at UT (Austin) with the temporary professor Johnny Depp.

The class began beautifully (though a couple people almost got hit by cars in the road), and was about learning to pinpoint pieces of perfection within one’s artistic expression in various aspects of art and life.

He was a very good teacher and quite a silly, introvert-esque guy who really didn’t seem to be too bothered by anything negative, and who was a good teacher naturally, without really trying or having to think things through too much.

It was a great class and very non-professional-like in terms of traditional school, but the activities and approaches were spectacular from a learning standpoint – he really got us getting in touch with everything within our inner core, and challenged us beautifully.

He commented multiple times about how he doesn’t really have many/any friends, and that it mostly because 1) he was weird and 2) he was busy working on stuff and being silly, and most people had normal jobs and weren’t interested enough in doing something like a paint swimming day with trampolines and dogs instead of going to the office.

They aren’t too interested in hooky…

Thus began my brief time of befriending Johnny Depp…

And then the dream ended, and I awoke wanting donuts…

I still want those donuts…

… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020

Maybe it’s just for me

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about riding my bike on the highway through the cold, winter evening weather that makes me want to arrive home to my husband, have a little romp fest with him, and then snuggle up to a movie and hot cocoa by the fire together.

And, I mean, it isn’t exactly a sexual thing – riding my bike through the cold isn’t an erotic experience or anything.

It is kind of like how a cold winter day just kind of makes you want to snuggle close to a warm mug of hot chocolate or apple cider… only, when riding my bike on these days, I just want to have the little romp fest first, and then snuggle up under blankets with the warm mug.

Just as the hot chocolate just sounds like the perfect next step to the day, so does this little grouping of events sound for me.

Granted, this is Houston, Texas, so we won’t often have fires going anyway, and, besides that, I don’t exactly have a husband at the moment (or anything like one), so my scenario isn’t exactly plausible…, however, the cold weather and wind just somehow make it seem like the perfect way to continue on in the day.

Perhaps, somewhere down the road, that will be the way I end each chilly day of winter.

For now, though, I just smile at the slight irony of the situation and utter oddness about its existence in the first place, and then I feel the chill start to sink into my skin under my ski suit, and suddenly feel slightly sick, my stomach ebbing toward forcing out whatever might be at that moment within its uncomfortable, tightening confines…

Anyway, so that was my afternoon, eh?

How was yours? 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Snuggle bug

The final night has arrived: I return to Texas tomorrow.

It is weird; I don’t feel like saying, “I’m going home…” it just doesn’t feel quite right.

For at least part of me, this is home – I am at home in Japan… in a way.

No, I do not want to stay permanently.

In dinner conversation, the idea came up of my working at an international school or special private school in Japan… and I almost felt a need to quell a rising panic…

But I reminded myself that I am safe and okay, and that I am perfect as I am, and I was able to remain calm easily and communicate nicely – aka I didn’t shout like a five-year-old, “Dame!” (No way!), but instead moved the conversation forward with a different route, so as not to offend.

(Because who wants to be told, “I kind of hate living full-time in your culture, thanks,”?)

Japan is a place for me to visit, that is for sure.

I even could see myself coming for slightly-extended-stays in the future, maybe for photography or something of the sort.

But not living here again.

I am sad to leave, but I am relieved to be going home to Houston, a place that always will hold a spirit of home for me.

I am nervous to go back to my low-budget life as a graduate student slash tutor slash up-and-coming photographer.

However, I actually am quite excited at the terror of what is to come next with all of it – classes and thesis, lots of graduation announcement photos, developing my editing skills, creating my kimono art show, teaching art & yoga (bilingually at that!), tutoring and teaching French and Spanish And Japanese, studying Japanese… maybe even watching some Olympic Games (I did buy some temporary tattoos and nail art to be a Japan fan during them…)…

Yes, I am looking forward to the next steps.

Especially getting even more fit… the gym has been something crazy for me this past month.

I have been totally fine without it, and even eating anything and everything delicious-tasting… and I have grown accustomed to being comfortable with myself more fully…

I am excited to return to the gym as my more-developed self that I now am… more true to myself than before (which was already purty darn good and true).

I am excited to see and to interact with my semi-crush-ish guy, and to be totally comfortable and okay with our being friends forever…

And to have that place be cleared up for something new and a bagillion times better to come into my life… I am ready to take on this life…

Thank you, Japan.

Thank you, Sara, my once-again snuggle buddy (now aged nine years).

Thank you, God.

Thank you, Texas – here I come. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Worlds apart

It really is a different world here, in Japan.

I already knew vaguely about bathing in the home, and I had experienced the onsen system of public bathing, but I had never been in someone’s home for it all.

This week, I had one friend talk me through how to shower (per my request) when I stayed with her at her apartment, I had an old coworker explain to me how bathing worked (also per my request) when I was staying at her house with her and her two girls, and then I again had an opportunity to bathe at the house of my old host family.

(Yes, “host family” suggests that I lived with them, but it was just a one-weekend homestay, and they took me to an onsen, so I never used their bathroom.)

I now know how it all works, however, I wasn’t too interested in the bath part, for various reasons, and so I simply did the showering portion of the bathing, and continued on my way to bed.

And, what’s cool to me about that is how I went ahead and told my host family that I usually just shower.

They were shocked, because, well, it’s winter and is therefore cold here.

However, I explained that it is quick, and I prefer showering, and they were okay with it.

My friend who had explained the showering to me the other day actually has a feature in her bathroom that blows warm air when you turn it on, so you can shower and not get cold (because you really don’t leave the water running for showers*, so it can get really cold soaping up after the hot water isn’t pouring all over your body anymore), which I found to be really cool, but simultaneously really silly.

So Japanese, really.

Also, I have noticed that everyone leaves food out, during the day or overnight…

My guess is that it is because it is wintertime, and so, here anyway, it is very dry and there aren’t really any bugs at all.

I think they would be surprised with Houston’s winters… and possibly would wonder when winter was going to start, and wonder what happened to the winter months when it is suddenly February and the weather still feels like early October… 😛

… anyway…

My old coworker said to me that she can tell I am very 元気 genki (healthy and well and filled with energy) now, and that she is glad for it, that it makes her very happy.

I told her that I believe Texas (Houston) agrees with me very well… thus my being very well.

And it is true: living in Houston agrees with me.

Living in Japan did not.

It broke me down.

Fortunately, I have distinction enough to acknowledge when there is breakdown on my life, and so worked through the total breakdown of myself and my life, resulting in the greatest breakthrough of my life… something for which I likely will be ever grateful.

I am who I am today in huge part due to my time – my horrible, miserable, pain-filled and stress-filled time – in Japan.

And who I am today is someone I love being.

Frankly, she is amazing.

For one thing, everyone lives touching her muscles. ;P

For another, she emits genkiness, the spirit of life, delight at being alive.

And those are both ways I have wanted to be for many, many years…

She is also grateful and graceful.

Double plus there.

I am proud to be the excited, learning being that I am today, and I am grateful for the opportunity to live this life, as well as the opportunity to become the ever-better version of myself that each moment of the future holds for me.

I am here to share my gifts with the world, those gifts that God has given me, and I am finally taking care of myself so that I can do that truly, wholly, and not just in part.

No, I am not sharing them perfectly every moment of every day and night – I don’t believe that I ever will do that.

However, I am sharing them perfectly for who I am and where I am right now, and that, in and of itself, is perfect.

So, tangent coming to a close, thank you, Japan, for being this absurdly different world that only agrees with me on short-term visits, and that pushes almost all my buttons… like every day. 😉

I am grateful for all that you have so far shared with me, and I look forward to our future interactions and exchanges together.

I hope I have offered and will offer in kind. 🙂

For now, Oyasumi, goodnight.

*Oftentimes, at onsen, I have seen (and therefore now do myself sometimes) women sitting on the shower stools, using one foot to keep the water button pushed in while washing, so the water stays on for more than ten seconds at a time – so it runs continuously – and they don’t ever have to feel cold while sitting there, showering.

P.S. I only just realized that I need to be putting 2020 on here now… oops…

Post-a-day 2020