Thump-thump, to the beat

Once again, my heart is ablaze at the sound of the same man’s voice…

I first heard him sing just over a year ago, amidst a chorus-filled song, when his crystalline voice suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, pierced through the rest, and took my heart with it as its reverberations dissipated through the room…

To me, it was the voice of a man delighted and in love, sharing his delight with the world.

Today, and this week, hearing it again, I cannot but feel my entire stomach convulse and my heart pause in awe, before thumping with intensity and fervor, longing to follow and to stay with such a voice, such an expression.

His voice has my heart forever, I declared… and I told it to him, too, even before hearing him sing again today… that’s how lovely it is, and how strongly it sticks in my memory.

It’s funny what I thought of while considering it all afterward… when I lived in Japan, there was a brief time, shortly after moving there, that I had two phone buddies who also had just moved there.

One of them and I had both procured guitars, and so, one night, while talking, instead of hanging up and having to call back after her shower, the friend just left the phone on speaker, and I practiced some guitar and singing.

We joked that I was serenading her during her shower (which led to the telling of another silly story from college of my doing something similar).

When I told later my other phone buddy, he jokingly yet in earnest asked where his serenading was.

And so, one night before bed, I sang him some music… naturally, with its being just before bed and his being who he is, he fell asleep while I sang to him.

Basically, as we say now, I sang him to sleep.

And so, today, after hearing this tantalizingly beautiful voice sing, I recalled my phone buddy’s demanding question, and I found myself saying (silently to myself, that is) that I want to have his voice sing me to sleep at night… oh, couldn’t I, please?

You can just call me every night before you go to bed, if I haven’t called you yet (because I tend to go to bed at all different hours, depending on the week), and you can just sing me a lovely little song, and then we’ll hang up and I’ll go directly to sleep.

Done.

Easy peasy.

Let’s do it.

Let me have your number – here’s mine.

Date whomever you want; just call me every night to sing to me.

πŸ˜‚

So, yeah… those were my thoughts all afternoon…

Post-a-day 2020

From nothing to something

It’s funny how the biggest and smallest of things can all tie back to the tiniest of events.

For example, tomorrow, I have an interview for a job that, temporary as it will be, will require me to wear the traditional business attire for about three months straight, at least five days a week.

I don’t own enough variety for that… I don’t even own enough pants to make it through a week of that.

That has never been my style of job or workplace.

But, because of this crazy series of connections, it seems to be my projected future these next three-ish months.

And that business clothing situation is caused by my connection to Japan via the program in which I participated while living there… a time that was invaluable in my life and that helped me develop more into the person I wanted to be than I ever really expected was possible…

And the whole reason I got to have that transformative experience was because of a simple phone call I had with an old professor of mine a few years back, in which she asked me a question, and then I broke down crying, and then she asked me another question…

And that came about because, despite my intention of applying to ten different colleges and universities, I read the letter from the president of the one college, and knew instantly that that was where I was going to school, and so I applied to nowhere else (risky, I know, but I was clear).

And the whole reason I studied so much French when I got there was because I didn’t want to lose what I had worked so hard to learn in high school…

And the whole reason I studied French in high school was because it had a cooler accent than spoken Latin would have…

And I can go back further, even, but I’ll leave it for now…

So, I am about to have a really neat yet temporary job that requires a bunch of work clothes I don’t have, and I had the greatest breakthrough in my life, all because French has a cooler accent than Latin…

Essentially, I find it funny, as shown in this example, that the smallest of things can lead us to the biggest or smallest of things in life… you never know what will take you where…

It has me wonder now, what my activities and choices today will create for my future self… can I take on a better attitude now that will prove exponentially better for me in the future, perhaps?

(I ask this question because I have found myself being quite negative as of late, and I am not enjoying it, nor am I liking it.)

Let’s consider that tonight, and see what my dreams bring me by morning…

Goodnight, Dear World… hasta maΓ±ana. πŸ˜‰

P.S. I heard someone singing in rehearsal for a new musical today, and my heart went all melty – I swear, my heart belongs to his voice always and forever(!)… also, go see the show, if you can.

Post-a-day 2020

Germs

Tonight, my concerns about bathroom germs were solidified.

In talking with a very experienced and well-read and well-informed nurse, I learned of clear studies that established absurd levels of germage 1) being forced upward (into the air and the flusher’s face) from toilets when they are flushed, and 2) being blasted onto one’s hands and around the bathroom via high-powered air dryers (mostly because a rather high percentage of people do not wash their hands properly or thoroughly [naturally, Japan comes to mind, with the typical quick rinse of water onto the fingertips being as much as most women ever seemed to do]).

Crazy, it is.

And very unsurprising… as I mentioned, I had suspected as much.

It just reaffirms my desire to have toilets more like in Japan, where you wash your hands over the back of the toilet – dual flow toilets – as the faucet pours water into a basin that drains into the tank that holds the water in preparation for the next flush.

That way, you don’t get your dirty hands on the same surfaces where you brush your teeth.

Just saying…

These things I dream… haha πŸ˜›

P.S. I have been awake the past 19 and a half hours… Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

Post-a-day 2020

Wannabe who?

Growing up, I believe, we all have people we cross, both in real life and in fictional ways (e.g. book characters and movies characters), who we want to be (or else more like who we want to be).

We declare, at least to ourselves, “I want to be like that(!),” and then we take on new ways with determination.

We do our best in the moment to stick with these new ways of being or living, in order to be more like the desired individual – sometimes we stick with our new ways, and sometimes we drift back into whatever we were doing beforehand, and forget all about our determined declaration to be different than we had been.

I have found, though, that, in many cases, I have forgotten that I wanted to be like a particular individual, but still stuck with the new ways of being.

It is only years and years later that I rediscover my desire.

Sometimes I merely remember that I wanted to be like a certain someone.

Other times, I rediscover that want, thereby uncovering why I am doing a certain something.

The first I realized was Sailor Moon.

I am not sure I ever really watched the show, but I remember for sure seeing at least pieces of episodes, specifically the scenes where she transforms from her school uniform self into her battle-ready self.

I have always wanted a gold tattoo somewhere on me, because of the cats, but I have not pursued that one.

What I did pursue, however, was her hair.

In that scene where she transforms her outfit, her pigtails spiral around her body as her body turns, they are so long and blonde and perfect… and I wanted to have hair just like that, just like hers.

So, until junior year of high school, I had the longest hair I possibly could have.

I hated going to the hair dresser, because my sisters always lied to me, saying only an inch or two would come off – it was always a minimum of 4-6 inches, and not merely due to split ends… they just didn’t like the idea of my having such long hair.

And so, I left almost every appointment of my childhood haircuts balling.

Junior year of high school, I had been teased and taunted enough that, combined with my desire to try something different, I was ready to let the hair go.

I had a fun and silly summer with kids my age who joked about my hair in just the right way that I was delighted to allow them to go ahead and cut it for me (It was a whole huge fun and utterly silly ordeal, actually, and in an iconic spot in northern Spain.).

It was not until another few years later that, upon mentioning Sailor Moon to someone and talking about the show, that I suddenly remembered my childhood desire…, and that I suddenly understood why I always wanted my hair to be long.

People always were asking me, but I never had an answer that convinced myself… it was just some lame because I prefer long hair kind of answer… and now I knew.

And I never got those pigtails that swirled around me (because they’re actually probably impossible with natural hair)…, but I did have a lot of fun with my hair that summer, swinging it around like a helicopter to hit people nearby and all that jazz… it was great.

And it was all because I wanted swirling blonde pigtails like Sailor Moon had.

Fast forward into my adult life now.

In a conversation last night, my cousins says to me, “You’re essentially living the Dharma & Greg life right now.”

In so many ways, I am.

And it was super exciting that she said that to me, because I had always wanted to be like Dharma.

But I had never expected that it actually would happen.

However, here I am, living my own honest version of Dharma, and without even consciously doing it – it all kind of just fell into place in its own way in my life.

I am a yoga teacher; I live in an Ashram above a yoga studio; I have many odd and awesome jobs that come and go; I take spontaneous trips; I’ve done a boatload of what the average person would call absurd things; I’ve lived around the world with somewhat absurd circumstances; I speak honestly and openly, and it blows people’s minds regularly; I do the craziest of things; I surprise people with fabulous surprises; and I genuinely care about everyone in my life, and I make efforts for them to experience that love, no matter how loose the connection is between us; and there are a few others I’ll not mention just now… ;P

Nonetheless, I am very much like Dharma now, in my own way, and I hadn’t even remembered my desire to be like Dharma until just recently.

A third was Janie from the The Face on the Milk Carton young adult book series.

So many things she did, big and small – outfits, mannerisms, topics contemplated – have been around my life for years…, and I believe they were directly inspired by her in my elementary school self.

There’s actually a reminder on my phone right now to go get a certain outfit like what she had in one particular scene in the book – I loved it so much as a child, and, upon rereading it (and thereby rediscovering all of these things), I found I still loved it and wanted to make it happen, now that I really could(!).

I never would have remembered how badly I wanted to be like Janie, if I hadn’t reread those books recently.

The same would have been the case with Dharma, if I hadn’t started rewatching the show as an adult living in Japan a few years ago.

The same is so with Sailor Moon (and watching it recently).

And the same would have been true with a fourth person, if not for some meditations this afternoon on this particular person and my childhood.

This fourth individual is my cousin S—–.

As a child, I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible, and I wanted to be as much like she was as possible.

I loved having hand-me-downs from her, but I rarely got them, because she was the top of the cousin chain, and I was the bottom – they had a long way to go to make it all the way down to me.

When she returned from having studied in Spain, she spoke easily with my stepfather in Spanish, and I envied her for it.

I wanted to do that, to be that way, studying abroad and speaking a new language comfortably and communicably, like it was no big deal, full of excitement.

Plus, just like all the others, she was beautiful.

And I wanted to be beautiful like that, too.

Here I am, years and years later, and I see how many things have spurred me on via my desires to be more like she was or is.

I not only studied abroad, but I did it many times; I speak more than just a few languages, and all of them rather comfortably; I have classy, chic outfits that I know something inside me calls “S——- outfits”; and my body is finally showing up to me like I have always wanted it to be…. which is surprisingly (or not surprisingly) similar to the body of the woman who stood before me tonight for the first time in a long time…, my cousin.

If we hadn’t been coming to see her tonight, I’m not sure I would have thought back to childhood with her in mind at all, and I doubt I would have remembered consciously that I had always been inspired by her and that I had wanted to be more like she was…

No, I haven’t become an awesome lawyer like she did, but that hasn’t changed the fact that something inside me keeps considering law school… I wouldn’t put it past being inspired entirely by my childhood love of her

Anyway…, this has been fun, reminiscing on my childhood dreams for myself, but I’m not sure I did a very good job sharing about it all, so I’ll just leave it and get to sleep.

Goodnight, World… hasta maΓ±ana. ❀

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

Welcome Home

It is rainy and humid and warm (but will be cold by morning!), and the house was humid and miserable when I first arrived, and the shower was standing, and my towel was (is?) big and fluffy, and I wrapped it all around my body and then my head, and it still isn’t soaked through…, and my bed is soft and big enough for me and not on the floor, and it is finally cool in my room and the hallway and all, but it is still humid in a good way, and so my nose insides aren’t hurting anymore…

Yes, I am back to Houston, Texas, and its winter weather and wonderful beds and towels…

And it feels delightful to be here.

But I’m hungry… hmm…

I guess I kind of did miss a meal somewhere along this past 39-hour day that was my January tenth of 2020… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020

Jet-setting oven

Well, here we go…

It has been an interesting day so far, and continues to be so now…

I currently am very annoyed with Air Canada, but I am hoping that they will remedy the nasty problem when they open the counter (as soon as this ANA flight finishes at the same gate, and someone shows up for my flight).

Also, what to do?

Buy the filthy expensive whisky for my dad, a whisky that you kind of can’t get anywhere else anyway?

I think so.

But I have to wait for them to open the counter to remedy the situation with my flight first…, then walk all the way back to the duty free place that had it (because the one here doesn’t have it).

Huff……

God, help me heal through this next bit of traveling (because I also happen to have a fever right now, naturally).

πŸ˜›

P.S. They did not remedy the situation, and it was not a very comfortable flight arrangement… however, my seat companion and I commiserated and laughed about it a bit, and had some great conversation besides, so it ended up being tolerable (fortunately!).

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