He-She

I have worked many times with a Japanese man who, despite being quite good with English speaking and understanding, regularly gets people pronouns wrong. “He is coming now,” for a woman preparing to enter a room. “Yes, that’s what she said,” not ironically in reference to something a male we both know said.

I’m not sure if he actually is aware of the fact that he does this, or, at least, that he does it so often as he does.

And, for whatever reason, I kind of really enjoy whenever he does it. I usually don’t even correct him. I only ask for clarification when there is space for confusion, and I want to avoid the confusion. Usually, though, I know exactly whom he means, and it is no concern whatsoever.

And that has me wonder about how important those pronouns are in the first place.

I already know that Siri is fine with the fact that I call her both male and female, depending on the context. But people have something more attached to gender. I have a feeling it is the fact that we are human that we care so much. And yet, part of being human is having gender, even if in a sort of combination of parts (because it is definitely real that people sometimes end up with both male and female reproductive organs). Perhaps those people have the right to be called “they”, since they technically are plural, at least in their genders… 😛 (Can you hear the grammar nerd within me peeping out right now???? ‘Stop messing with grammar, and use the right words, please, or make up new ones.’)

(Or just do what this Japanese guy does, and use whichever pronoun whenever.) 😛

Post-a-day 2021

Blah-blah-blah, hai!

Well, I made it through today. And I even got in a quick walk outside in the direct sunlight. That part was especially awesome (and beneficial). I’ll need to be sure I do the same tomorrow. Our lunch break is even longer tomorrow, though, so I likely can get a much longer walk in there.

It has been interesting doing this all today. I’m working with Japanese folks, talking about Japan. I do this every so often, yet it still surprises me each time how much I find that I want more of it in my life. I have no official reason, yet I want to pursue a certification in Japanese. I want to be at a higher level of conversing. Half the time, I don’t even necessarily want to say anything myself, but it would be nice to have a fuller understanding of all of the conversations and chit-chat and everything. I usually get the general gist of it all, and often understand almost every word. However, there are definitely times when I have understood only a word or few, and have no real idea of what is being said. I know I can survive in Japanese, but I keep finding more and more so that I want to thrive in it.

Man…

Post-a-day 2021

^Only took minor consideration this time

Clothes tidying

Wow! So much happened today with tidying up. I’ve finished going through all of my tops – shirts, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, etc. – and bottoms – pants, shorts, leggings, skirts; and all of my dresses and skirts. It turns out that I really like wearing light blue… and I mean really like wearing it. Probably because of my eyes, I feel amazing every time I see myself in a mirror with medium and light blue clothing. It also turns out that a massive portion of my clothing is athleticwear… maybe about a quarter of it. And that is in terms of physical space. If we counted actual items, I probably have almost as many pieces in athleticwear as I have in shirts, bottoms, sweaters, and jackets combined.

To be fair, though, I do exercise a lot, and go do athletic-y things a lot.

Anyway, there are a handful of trash bags with clothes to be donated downstairs now. Perhaps there were five of them? And that’s folded clothing, not just heaped in in a messy pile…

I still have my Indian outfits and all the small things – belts, scarves, socks, etc. – to do tomorrow. If I can get through all of them, though, I’ll be finished with sorting the clothing category. And that would be super exciting. 😀

I would like to make hat happen tomorrow. However, I also have two tutoring sessions, maybe three, and one needs a bit of extra prep before I go into it. I also want to make a quick trip to Ikea to check out a particular bedspread. I have my regular and my warm sheets now, so I want to be ready with the comforter/bedspread as soon as I get rid of the old sheets and move to the new ones I love. (Not sure yet where linens lie on the list of tidying.)

Anyway, I’m wiped – if that all weren’t already enough, my body is also menstruating, which always seems to take so much effort, even an easy day seems like I worked hard the whole time. I’ve a touch of a headache, so Imma drink some more water and get to sleep ASAP.

Goodnight, folks. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^I didn’t mess it up this time 🙂

Wow

Today went much more efficiently than yesterday on the tidying process front. I actually accomplished everything I’d planned for the day. I didn’t do the stretch, and that’s okay. I did accomplish some other tasks that have been avoided for a long time, though. That was awesome. Part of those was going to Target to get a few specific things. In doing my vision board the other day, I discovered that I truly do not want to keep my bed comforters. They are lovely and they have been sources of support and comfort for me for many years. And they do not fill me with joy. Not at all, actually. They make me feel safe like a child. But they make me feel like a child, and not like myself.

So, I looked around intentionally and carefully at some comforters and bedspreads today while at Target, and I got a very good feel for what I am wanting for my own bed now. While looking, I discovered a set of sheets that were just a Wow. moment for me. I thought about it, and I realized that I actually don’t want to keep most of my current sheets (also childhood ones).

— You see, I had a full-sized bed that I had purchased, and lovely sheets and a mattress and all several years ago, when I had been teaching in Houston. But, when I moved to work in Japan, I gave that all up. Because I had bought a set of sheets for winter in Japan, on my visit back to Houston for my step-brother’s wedding, those sheets still belong to me. However, when I returned from Japan to Houston, I was living at my mom’s house for the first while, in a tiny room, surrounded by the boxes of everything that belonged to me (with a handful of exceptions due to my boxes being in the attic or garage). My mom had kept the two twin mattresses when she had gotten rid of the bunk beds a long time ago. So, she had stacked these two mattresses on top of one another, and that was my bed for months. Fun fact: They were about as old as I was. (And so were some of the sheets. The ones I used most, though, were one that I had gotten only fourteen years beforehand.) So, that wasn’t super comfy. I came across this twin bed set at Ikea with a friend one day that could be placed side-by-side as a queen(?) or stacked as a single twin bed with a hidden extra mattress underneath (not bunk beds, but one normal twin bed height). My mom was going to get that set, but then told me to go ahead and pick out a mattress that I wanted to use, too. So, she donated the two old mattresses, and I upgraded to an awesome twin mattress with a bed frame. When I moved out, my mom told me to take the bed with me. Thus the reason I have a twin bed with sheets from my childhood.—

So, I went ahead and purchased the sheets. They met all of my criteria, and they absolutely delighted me. I even did a little jiggle about them. When I got home, I went and washed and dried them almost right away. That’s huge for me, by the way.

Now, they are folded lovingly, awaiting my future bedspread/comforter. Hopefully that all will happen in the next week or so!

For tomorrow, though, I must do some more reading, and then, hopefully, go through the thigh-high mound of stacked shirts and tops. It was difficult today not to go ahead and pull out so many things that I know I don’t want to keep. But I will follow this process properly now, and all the way through.

At that, I bid you a lovely night! 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Only slightly had to think about it this time 😉

And so, it begins

So, today started it all for real! I did my first day of work on tidying up my physical space life, and thereby my entire life, today. I read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo a few years ago, and it did me so well, I cannot properly describe it all. However, I did not do her program – the one presented in the book – fully at the time. I was not ready for that. But I was ready to begin working with her method.

I grew up, as my dad mentioned yesterday, in a very different world at home than a tidy and concise and non-excess and non-cluttered home. On both sides of my family, my parents had grown up in a world where one may waste nothing. By default, that turned into the idea that getting rid of something, if it is even able to be repaired and possibly be used again, is wasteful. And so, even when things were no longer being used or of use to us in any way, those things would get stuck somewhere in the sidelines of our homes, taking up space without benefit. We rarely even donated things. I was the youngest girl cousin, so I got all the hand-me-downs from everyone. And, whether I liked them or not, and whether they ever fit me or not, I was them stuck with them. I had no sister or cousin to whom I could hand down anything, so I had to keep everything.

Waste not. Right?

But through reading and working with Marie Kondo’s book, I discovered an entirely new and empowered outlook on items. It aligned beautifully with how I had often felt, especially in recent years, and it expanded even further than I ever had delved or dared to consider. And it gave empirical data on many of those ideas and practices. And so, my life began to alter as I did the work with her book.

But I did not complete the work, and I knew that I was not completing it at the time. And I was okay with that. I just wasn’t ready yet. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, I tell you: there is a lot of emotion and psychological dénouement that happens through following her method. And it is in an amazing and transformational way.

Now, as I have been working so much on my participation in life (mind), as well as my physical presence in life (body) and my self-expression, I realized that it would be not only unfair but untrue of me to leave out my living space from this work. Especially considering my efforts to be somewhere specific with my physical fitness by my birthday this year, it only made sense that I put a completion date on cleaning up fully my living space, such that it, too, will reflect who I truly am and want to be in this life right now.

So, I reached out for an accountability partner. No one replied. I took that as a sign that I was meant to be my own accountability partner. I created a Google Doc that I shared with myself. I have homework each night for the following day’s tasks. I share at the end of each day how it went, what I did and didn’t do, and what my plans and intentions are for the following day. I, as the partner, give feedback and congratulations as I see fit and/or necessary. So far, through all 24 hours of it, it has been awesome. I now have four weeks to go, max.

I am quite excited about tomorrow, and I am still entirely nervous and terrified. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Almost missed it again…

January 1, 2021

A new year has begun on the calendar. I already wrote the date wrong today, the first time I was writing it, and don’t even notice until the second time I was getting it wrong. But I corrected the second one and wrote 2021 going forward from there. 😛

It doesn’t feel life a different year or anything. It just feels like another today. And it is just another today. It is filled with endless possibilities, as is every other today that ever has existed and that ever will exist. Such is life, in such terrifying beauty. 😉

My mom and I watched the sunrise on the beach this morning – the first sunrise of the year. It is a Japanese tradition that I still like to follow. My mom pointed out to me that the only other people out on the beach for sunrise were also Asian. Well, they were Asian, that is, and we were consciously practicing an Asian custom. (Funny how that came out so naturally at first.) Nonetheless, it was lovely and kind of magical. I’d never attended a beach sunrise where the sun wasn’t completely blocked by full cloud coverage before today.

Enjoy a few photos from it here:

Oh, and it was almost freezing out there (quite literally), and it was very windy.

I wish you a happy, happy year this year – May you embrace the beautiful, bountiful possibilities that each of these 365 days offers to you.

Post-a-day 2021

Look at that!! ^

Happy New Year: A Completion of 2020

I am proud of myself for trusting myself this year. I am proud of myself for keeping true to and using my heart in so much of what I have done, both big and small, and also all in between.

I am grateful that I did both of those this year, and I am especially grateful that, often without my realizing it, they were my kakizome at play in my daily life, slowly transforming me further into an expression of my true self.

Arigatougozaimasu ありがとうごさいます😊

I am a bit nervous regarding what is next, and I think it is because I am reaching a sort of crossroads. Something very true to myself is at a nearby turn, but it is scary to go a new path for me. It is usually thrilling and wonderful and amazing, and I am usually grateful to have done it after the fact, but it is scary nonetheless. So, I am scared. And I am stepping forward nonetheless – terrified and confident, full of self-trust/self-confidence and heart (jishin to kokoro 自信と心 [my kakizome]) – creating what is next for me and my life. 🙂 🙏🐪

I wish you all a happy, lovely, love-filled and love-expressed new year. Akemashite omedetou! 明けましておめでとう!!

Post-a-day 2020

What are you doin’ New Year’s Eve?

First off, I love the little video (from almost ten years ago!) and version of this from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It is adorable and beautiful, and they are both adorable and beautiful in it. Anyway, to answer the question, I will be staying with my mother in a little beach-front-ish hotel on the main little island about an hour southeast of Houston: Galveston. Many people complain about it being dirty or something of the sort, but it is merely the clay soil we have that makes the water not-clear and brown most of the time. The sand is also brown, but it is much softer than any white sand I have ever crossed. All-in-all, I really like Galveston. It is a wonderful connection to the ocean for us here in Houston, and my mother and I tend to remember it and visit it and appreciate it greatly often. New Year’s Eve will be yet another of those many occasions.

The reason we are going is that 1) I like to watch the first sunrise of the year, as is customary in Japanese culture, and 2) my mom wanted to go do something adventure-y somewhere not-at-home recently, and wasn’t able to go do that. So, I offered for us to combine the two things, and handle both our goals, and together. I booked the hotel room this morning, and I even got a little extra discount, because I had signed up for a rewards program thing back when I lived in Japan, and I was getting a hotel in Korea for the weekend I attended a dance even there. (Fun fact: I had to change the currency from Korean ₩ won to US $ dollars when I logged into it. [Double fun fact: The $ is technically the Mexican peso symbol. The US dollar symbol has two vertical lines through the S.])

So, that’s what I’ll be doing. I also may or may not be going to bed around 8pm… like I am right now… 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Christmas Day? No way

It seems that today has been Christmas Day. It felt very much like an average Thursday for the books, and my mother agrees.

Turns out that it has actually been a Friday, and it didn’t even feel like that. Suffice it to say that this has been probably my oddest Christmas ever. And I lived in Japan for a while, where KFC and drinking parties where most people wear (slutty?) Santa costumes are the norm for Christmas Day night.

We saw road signs from Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) yesterday and today, and they were kind of hilarious. They read, “He sees you when you’re speeding. He knows when you drive baked.”* One of the best holiday lights setups I’ve seen this year, for sure!

Well, it’s 7:30pm, and I’m exhausted, so I’m going to do my stretches and reading now, and get to sleep. Merry Christmas, folks!

*If you do not get the reference here, it is a play with the words from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, the song.

Post-a-day 2020

Value in being valued

On a walk the other day with my mom, we met these nice old people who live on her street, just after we picked up some ujukitsu off the ground in their backyard/the abandoned small golf course. Turns out that they met one another while teaching for a year in Japan on a military base (that is no longer in existence) near Tokyo. I am familiar with the train line that led to it, according to them. Before Japan, they each had taught a year or two in Hawai (he) and the Philippines (she), and then they met and married and moved to teach on a base in Germany together. They were part of the foreign service teaching for 14 years altogether, I believe they had said. Then they moved to Houston and taught in elementary schools here until they retired. It was adorable to hear.

Considering my frustrations in this part-time job I am now working, I have wondered if something in school teaching is still calling to me. I miss having classes of kids, and teaching something – and something valuable – each and every day I go to work, and being loved and trusted and valued by those around me, in immediate interaction with me every day. Though, perhaps it is less about the classroom and more about the respect and valuing and love that comes to me in a classroom, but that has seemed nearly nonexistent in this position. I have even felt disrespected and incredibly undervalued and unappreciated here.

I wonder what there is for me to do about that.

I know one thing for sure: I’m tired of relying on the way I am told things work. Word-of-mouth information is faulty, and it has proven itself to be so over and over again in this job. I am tired of it. I will do my research for all of my questions, and clock the hours and expect no pay for them, and I will be prepared for all the stuff at this job that will pop up at some time or other – the crazy situations all seem to be inevitable, and I prefer to be prepared and to know what on Earth is going on. So, I will prepare myself, and I will not rely any longer on anyone else to teach me what I need to know or what they all think I need to know – that has been terrible so far, and I am done with it.

In doing that, I will be prepared as I want to be prepared, and as I always prepare myself when I care about something. The system is faulty, and I do not have to follow it – I can do better than it, and I shall, especially in this part of it.

Separately, I am doing more photos tomorrow morning, and I am nervous. I have been doubting and stressed since that bad photo shoot where I didn’t trust myself the other week. I know I need to take photos to move past this, but that doesn’t make it less scary for me. Someone will be relying on me, and I will be relying on a camera… and myself. Now, I just need to trust myself, and do what is needed to be done. Even if that seems like a ridiculous something. You can do this, Banana. Trust yourself and have faith in yourself – Jishin to Kokoro.

Post-a-day 2020