2017年4月18日火曜日

Spring!!

It's already Spring, which means Ostara/Spring Equinox for us Pagan leaning people, Passover for the Jewish, and Easter for Christians. In March, my husband acknowledged that he has officially been an executive chef for two years. We solemnly noted that it had been six years since that tragedy on 3/11. We joyfully celebrated our son's first birthday on 3/16 with a small BBQ attended by beloved friends and family. 3/21 was officially the first day of Spring, and not too much later, cherry blossoms began to bloom in Japan.

Time is flying by so fast....I can't believe it's already been a whole year since I gave birth to "Kyle" in our home, with my husband, daughter, best friend and fairy god-midwife-mother by my side. I feel so happy and blessed to be able to give him a stable home, a loving family, and a good healthy start in life. He is a sweet, funny, active boy who already walks, dances, gives kisses, and responds to his name with an "ah". He also, just like his sister, spoke his first word just a few short weeks after his first birthday...except while hers was "Thank you" his is "Douzo" (Here you are in Japanese). These two continue to surprise and amaze me with how well they mesh together.

Coincidentally, on my son's birthday, I also recieved an acceptance letter for Chinami to a local charter school. Chinami starts Kindergarten in the fall, and since we don't live in the best school district and don't have the finances for private school, I have been applying for charter schools and geographic exemptions on her behalf. The school she was accepted to goes up to 8th grade, so barring any unforseen circumstances, I won't have to worry about more applications until then. It's also walking distance from home, which makes things a lot easier for all of us. And lucky for her brother as he will get priority in the lottery when he's old enough to enter.

The past year being a mostly stay at home mom has been kind of lonely at times and every day is a challenge to myself to stay active and stay positive. I have consistently been keeping my resume current and staying in the job market, and I have had to turn down a few attractive offers due to the circumstances of having to raise 2 children. However,with Kairu turning 1, it's time for him to prepare to enter daycare as his sister prepares to leave. I've already been putting myself back out there, making more and more connections in the community, and starting some interesting things, one of them strangely enough involving a renovation of an enormous mansion in Hawaii Kai. It will be a relief when I start getting more income, and I love challenging myself and furthering my abilities in Japanese and other fields. And one more thing I'm looking forward to with Kairu becoming more independent is being able to zip around on my bicycle more and more!! Well, at least I can do it all year round! Happy Spring to everyone not living in the tropics!


2017年1月2日月曜日

#2006vs2016

This hashtag has been going around on Twitter for the last few weeks, and I feel that a picture, or 140 characters would not be nearly enough to sum up what #2006vs2016 means to me.

When 2006 started, I was living in Japan, doing the third year of what would be 4 1/2 short years culminating in a B.A. in Japanese from University of Hawaii. Soon into the year, I got engaged to my long time, long distance boyfriend. I also lost my future father-in-law in a tragic accident, and the resulting stress made my already overworked system break down, and the anxiety and depression I had been wrestling with since my early teens went into over-drive, and I started having regular panic attacks. I made a trip back to the US to reset my visa before staying in Japan for the summer. Over the summer I found Youtube and began what would come to be known as "vlogging". After summer, I went back to start my 4th year and started living off-campus with a few roommates.
 I was 19 turning 20, engaged to a man living in another country across the ocean, a full time student with 2 jobs or more, dealing with what I thought was just a bad reaction to stress and grief.

In 2016, I am in Hawaii after a few amazing years living in Japan. My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years now and we welcomed our second child in March. I work part-time for one of the biggest Japanese tourism companies in the world, at an easy low-paying job with benefits. The hours work well with being a full-time stay at home mom, and when the kids get older I will work at another place or two again. I also live in a condo we own, and we rent out our bedroom........to one of my roommates from 2006, who sadly never took the advice and opportunities given to him way back then and is still paying for bad decisions he made and continues to make regarding his finances and his own physical health.
I have been working on my anxiety and depression as much as I can with the help of therapy, supplements, and living a healthy lifestyle in general. Getting diagnosed with C-PTSD and really finding a root cause has helped a lot.

The past 10 years have been amazing, and I am excited for the next 50, or 60, or however many more I have left.