Trust

I regularly wonder, whenever a seemingly crazy scenario arises, why such a thing must be happening.

There must be some reason I am not meant to do such-and-such.

And, oftentimes, at least when I ask the Universe and God, “Why do you need it to be this way?”, something crazy comes out of it all.

Like with crazy traffic lights that won’t let me get to practice on time, despite my leaving early enough and at the usual time… I wonder if there is some cray accident that happened right where I would have been, had I been on time…, because I tend to get situations like that, and often…

Something goes crazy out of whack and just doesn’t make sense… until it suddenly makes perfect sense, due to some crazy scenario on the other end of it.

Today, I ended up stupidly sick – it appeared out of nowhere last night, as I was going to bed around 9pm, so I could get up early to attend the 5:15am workout class – and so missed going to Galveston for the day, and missed seeing my morning workout buddies at the early morning class, as planned.

I have been kind of avoiding the afternoon classes, because I didn’t really want to be around all the gorgeous and fit people when I’m feeling so unfit and fat-filled after my trip – I wanted to get some classes in in the mornings first, and then start seeing the afternoon gorgeous folk all again.

Nonetheless, when I got horribly sick, I knew I wouldn’t make it to the morning class today.

I had said that I needed to attend class every weekday this week, so I needed to go, but this sickness had me concerned I wouldn’t be able to go at all today.

When, around 2:30pm, I felt myself in extremely high energy, compared to the rest of the day so far, I knew that I was going to the 4:30pm class… it was during sunlight hours, so I would be riding only in the sunlight and not at night, when it would be loads colder, and I wasn’t guaranteed to feel alive and able for more than just a few hours, anyway, so waiting for a later class was just plain stupid – I needed the very next class possible, so I could get the workout done and, if needed, get back to bed ASAP.

And that next class was 4:30pm.

As I considered this fact, that I would be attending the one class I had kind of purposely been avoiding the past several days, I asked the Universe and God why they were determined that I attend this class.

I guess it’s meant to be, I thought.

The moment I walked into the gym, I knew that it was.

The friends I had met last week and whom I had invited to come check out and hopefully join our gym were standing in the gym.

The husband was talking right in front of me to the super sexy guy, and the wife was across the room, talking to the owner, but facing me – I saw her immediately as I entered, and she saw me… we both smiled huge smiles.

Okay… I get it.. thank you…, though can we acknowledge that this sickness totally sucks?… But yes, I know it had to suck so badly in order to keep me home this morning and until now…::sigh…but it still totally sucks… ugh…haha

***[Gross warning: avoid this paragraph, if you are sensitive to bodily function stuff]***

I mean, I was crying and choking and gagging from all the burning throat and horrible huge masses of golden and bloody mess that kept being (purposely) drawn down my nasal cavity and into my throat to be hacked out… and then I would gag again at what lay before me in the sink half the time… it was terrible

Anyway…

So things did work out beautifully by getting sick and then going to that class today.

And it was a great time and a great workout; plus, super sexy guy was, as usual, super sexy and lovely. πŸ˜›

And my friends seemed really to like the workout – I can totally see them joining and totally loving it.

As for the sickness, it is still hurting me, but in an improved state of pain from last night’s and this morning’s states, which is good.

Here’s hoping for a super restful night that leaves me incredibly capable all day and evening tomorrow (when I have school class).

Peace

Post-a-day 2020

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.

πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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

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 πŸ˜›

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. πŸ˜‰

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… πŸ˜›

… anyway…

My old coworker said to me that she can tell I am very ε…ƒζ°— 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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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

When you understand but don’t (but do)

Mother hands her a piece of food, placing it in her outstretched, flat hand.

Food piece promptly rolls off her flat hand, the moment she moves the hand, and plummets to the floor, under the table.

γ‚οΌγ€‚γ€‚γ€‚ε€§δΈˆε€«γ€‚πŸ™†β€β™€οΈ ι£ŸγΉγ‚‹γ‚ˆγ€‚γΎγ»γ γ‹γ‚‰γ€‚

Ah!… daijoubu.. taberuYo.. Maho dakara.

Oh, no!… It’s okay.. I will Eat it. Because I am Maho.

Maho is her name.

Discussing herself in the third person – like almost always – is her game.

Probably around half the time (40%-ish), I don’t really understand what she is saying.

About 98% of the time, however, I get the gist enough to understand the general picture and, quite clearly, her sentiments regarding the situation.

I found it hilarious that this particular situation was one where I understood every word.

And it had me wonder what on Earth was up with her, eating food confidently off the ground, referring to herself in the third person yet again, and confidently declaring her action as odd but normal due to the fact that she is who she is.

Yet, before I really could even finish the thought, I realized that I actually do get it… I’m really the same way in a lot of situations, so I totally get it.

And so, in this odd situation, I understood even more than just the 100% of words used – I understood all of it.

And that was silly, but totally cool.

Much like all of today and last night, spent hanging out with an old coworker and her two girls…. silly, but totally wonderful.

Post-a-day 2019

Fish for dinner, but not to eat

At a friend’s home tonight, I had a homemade dinner combined with a spontaneous private lesson in Japanese Kanji (Chinese characters).

The lesson was mostly about fish and how, even though the pronunciation is different for different fish, they all have the same first character in their name: fish, sakana 魚 🐟.

What was extra fun about it is that some of them actually helped me learn what on Earth the fish actually are.

For example, saba ι―– is the word for mackerel.

It is a combination of fish and blue.

Aka “blue fish”.

Did you know that mackerel have blue all on their backs?

I do now. πŸ˜›

It was definitely a fun lesson, and it all started with her showing me the kanji for shark, and my saying that it looks like a shark on the right and a fish on the left.

(It really does!)

And then she got all into how “fish” is in the kanji of all the little fish dude names.

It turns out that shark is made up of “fish” and “crossing” (and not something like “fish” and “monster”, like I was imagining).

Shark calligraphy

I guess it makes sense: the thing that crosses fish…

But “crossing” still totally looks like a shark to me.

Post-a-day 2019