Life with Chinami: What I do.  ちなみとの生活:私のやっていること。

When people ask what I do, the short answer is: I'm a mom.
But the long answer, is so very long.

I have been an active, spartan, workaholic since I first broke free and set foot in Hawaii ten years ago. I love meeting new people and being a part of my community. Looking back, I now realize this explosion occurred because I realized that in the real world outside my dysfunctional household, people actually have some respect and genuine kindness for one another. When I got my first job, I was so happy to be helping people and getting paid for it. In the few situations where I did make mistakes due to my naivety and inexperience, I wasn't berated and insulted for it, but I was taught with patience and respect. My coworkers and bosses admired my work ethic and that I never would complain or consider an aspect of the job "below me", and I was always willing to learn and build my skills. As I stayed in Hawaii and Japan one thing was constant...I was always looking to fill the gaps in my day. Food service, working with businessmen at a convention, hotel internships, tour guide, tutor, secretary, babysitter, English teacher from pre-K to adult, translator, English pronunciation coach for a Japanese theatre troupe putting on a production of RENT, sample girl in the supermarket, passing out flyers, karaoke singer, I did it all!

After I came back to the US in 2011, I spent a boring but enlightening time at my "parents" house, in which Yasushi and I did not work and kept our travel to a minimum. Then we came back to Hawaii and despite a growing belly, off I went again. Cosmetics salesgirl, pre-K tutor, dancing in Gagaku at 5 months pregnant and bon-odori on my due date. I laid low until the recommended 6 weeks after having Chinami, and then I started up again, going bon-odori, and looking for jobs, but now running into a big challenge: balancing my workaholic tendencies with my attachment parenting philosophies.

So, here's what I am doing now.

I do translations and transcriptions at home as a freelancer for a few companies. I am not very experienced in either so my workload is still pretty light and the payout low ($20-50/month at most) but it is interesting and stimulating work.

I also take care of a middle school student with special needs for a few hours a day. Since I don't drive (yet, when I get the money I will start going to driving lessons) I pick her up and take her to my house via the bus, and her mother picks her up from my house. I help her with homework, and then she can play on the computer or play with the neighbor's 4 year old if she is around.

Recently I made an acquaintance with the owner of a cosmetics shop in Waikiki, hoping to get some translation work. Instead, he called me out of the blue one day telling me that by the way, he has a 2 year old daughter from an ex-girlfriend, said girlfriend is in Japan and her grandmother is sick and can't look after her, can she stay at my home for a week or so overnight? She went to school from around 8-5, so from evenings I welcomed her into our queen bed and had a very busy few days suddenly acting like a mother of 2 (the child was also half-Japanese, half-Caucasian) This also fell during Spring Break, when I had to take care of my special-needs student during the day when she was off of school, some days from 9-5.

I also made acquaintances with the owner of a Japanese home child care facility for children ages 0-3. She needed someone suddenly, so from this month I have been taking Chinami with me and working mornings. Since I have to take Chinami with me, the pay is low, but it's something, and more than anything Chinami seems to enjoy playing and interacting with everyone.

And about a month ago, I got a job working at a booth at the KCC Farmer's Market. I use my Japanese skills, and I can leave Chinami with her Daddy while I do it, it's not too long of a shift. I look forward to it every other week, it is a great transition to go back into the "working world".

I also reconnected with an old friend, a famous Chinese chef who had me working for him as his secretary when I was at UH. He is retired now, but still puts together tour packages, cooking classes, and charity events using his name. He is up in years and never learned to use a computer, so I basically do any computer-related stuff for him. He pays me because he believes in paying someone for a job well-done, although he also has treated me to so many wonderful meals I would help him for free in a heartbeat. Someday I will repay him for his kindness, he is always one step ahead of me, but someday...!

If I am not working mornings, there are playdates, story times, and kids/baby time at the Japanese church. I also seek out other fun community events like free movie showings and invite friends along.

So there is my "long answer."  I am a Jack-of-all-trades, and a master of none. But my favorite job of all?  Of course, it's the one that only pays in smiles and a healthy baby.












1 件のコメント:

  1. Hey lady, just wanted to send you a message saying I've watched your videos for a long time and I love your blog - sending late congrats on your lovely baby!