Tuesday, September 15, 2015

To Hawai'i and Back Again

It’s been a while. A lot has happened in the last several months, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. My life is full of constant change and reevaluating of old ideas and the old me. I’m growing in ways I never thought possible, yet at the same time, some of my emotional issues make me feel like I’m in a backspin and not growing at all. But I know that’s untrue. With growth and change comes a lot of self-reflection, which surprisingly produces tears. Why did no one tell me this? About a month ago, I finally stopped crying. I think my body ran out of tears. This is a good thing. I made it over the first difficult stage of a divorce. I am no longer bound by my own emotions, but able to look beyond myself and pull my head out of my ass, where it has been living since March. I’m able to see the world again and experience life instead of having blinders on and only dealing with what is going on in my head.

I’m writing this post while on a 5 hour 44 minute plane ride from O’ahu, Hawai’i, to Seattle, then on to Boise. It was a five-night trip home to see my family, officiate my cousin’s wedding, and renew my grandparent’s vows and celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. It was probably my busiest trip to the island and the only time I didn’t get to go swimming. I put my feet in the water and walked along Waikiki Beach and the North Shore while I was there, but my swimsuit stayed dry and packed away in my suitcase. That’s okay though, even just feeling the power of the ocean on my feet and watching the waves crash onto the beach was enough to rejuvenate me and give me back the power that I had lost for so long.

As I walked through security at the Hawai’i airport this morning, the security checkpoint guy asked if I was traveling with anyone after checking my ID and boarding pass. I told him, “No, I’m traveling alone.”

“Why?” was all he asked.

It took me by surprise and I felt that I had to validate why I was traveling alone, but I certainly did not want to tell him that it’s because I’m newly divorced. I didn’t need to share that information with him. And for some reason it sounded weird in my head to admit. So, I just told him, “well, I came here to officiate my cousin’s wedding.” As if that’s a reasonable excuse for traveling alone. It’s not. Officiating a wedding has nothing to do with traveling alone. I traveled alone because I CAN. I traveled alone because I WANT to. I traveled alone because I don’t NEED to travel with anyone. I traveled alone because I am an INDEPENDENT woman. I know it’s weird to travel to Hawai’i without a partner, the romantic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But I can have a love affair with the islands. I can have a love affair with myself. I’m not traveling alone. I have me! Besides, I was with family the majority of my time there; I’m only riding the plane alone. That’s a huge difference.

Officiating my cousin’s wedding on Saturday was such a blessing and I am incredibly honored that she would ask me, her oldest cousin, to take on that job. When I saw her step onto the grass and proceed down the aisle with her sister, I started crying. These cousins mean so much to me and to watch them grow up and celebrate such a joyous life change just makes my heart swell. Performing that wedding, then celebrating their love at their reception, was one of the happiest days of my life in recent memory. Before I closed my cousin’s ceremony, we surprised everyone by renewing our grandparent’s vows for their 60th wedding anniversary. The initial look on our Tutu’s (grandmother’s) face was the same look she gave us when we had done something wrong like not take our slippers off before walking into her house. That look in her eye said, “you two are going to get it when we’re done here!” Within seconds, however, her face relaxed and you could see that she appreciated the gesture and loved that we were doing this for her and our Papa. Although our Papa is struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease and has a difficult time remembering and comprehending things, he understood what was going on. And every time I asked him and Tutu to do something in their wedding vows, such as promise to love each other for eternity, and keep each other in sickness and in health, Papa answered, “Yes.” It was beautiful.

I stayed in my parent’s hotel room while I was there and we had a wonderful time together. I’m the oldest of four kids. The last time I was alone with my parents was when I was two years old. Beyond that it’s always been us and the siblings, or us and my ex-husband, which I have no complaints about - that’s what family is - but it was really awesome to spend some time alone with them. Just the three of us hanging out and celebrating life together. I finally saw them as people and not just my parents. They are two individuals with their own views and opinions. I saw them in a new light and I have a new respect for them and everything they have provided for us. I also know where I get my ability to hold my liquor better than most people I know. No worries, Mom and Dad, I cleaned the fridge of all the beer before I left. HA!

My parents left the island on Monday, leaving me “alone” for an entire day before I got on my plane to head back to the Mainland on Tuesday morning. So, I rented a car and drove to the north side of the island, to the country, the part of the island that I grew up on. I stopped at the cemetery that our original ancestors are buried at. I placed leis on their gravestones and said a blessing, thanking them for the life they started and the ohana they gave us. As I drove that road toward the mountains that protect our cemetery, I started crying. The power of the islands can get overwhelming. The energy is intense.

While I was in Hawai’i, I had a lot of work and homework to complete – no rest for the busy – so I took my homework with me to the north. I went to the restaurant/bar on the beach at Turtle Bay and ordered mojitos and an ahi avocado dip with shrimp chips. I sat there with a view of the ocean for two hours to work on a school project. It’s not ideal to do homework in Hawai’i, but if you’re going to do it somewhere, you might as well do it on the beach with a drink. I then drove to the North Shore beach, got out and walked to the ocean. The sand on that side of the island is so different from the sand in Waikiki, where we were staying. My feet sank into the warm sand as I watched the clear blue waves hit the shore. The water was warm on my legs and the salt air cleared my lungs. After I got my fill of the ocean, I drove back to Waikiki to have dinner with my cousins. They truly know the meaning of ohana and I am forever grateful that they are constant reminders of our love for each other. I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for these beautiful people.

My experiences over the last few months have varied from one degree to the next and have sat on opposite sides of the scale of emotion. I have had some amazing moments with friends and family and I’ve had some dark moments with myself. I’m learning to live alone and I’m discovering that the hardest part about not having another human in the house is the loneliness at night. The emptiness of a four-bedroom house can be suffocating, but I’m surviving. I talk to Frodo and the cats as if they understand me and we’ve become closer as a little family. I know that when I arrive in Boise, I will walk into a house devoid of people, but there’s a little part of me that’s looking forward to the fact that my house will be just as clean as it was when I left, with the exception of the cat party. And I am totally excited about that.

I know in my heart that this trip was the second of many -I returned this past February and I’ll return again soon. The older I get the more I realize just how important family is and how I need to keep them in my life. We may live miles apart from each other, but the distance in our hearts is minimal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Just a small update

"I think he's flirting with me," I said to my personal trainer.

"No, he's just asking if you're done with the machine," he replied.

"Oh. Well, I'm not, so he can just wait."

"You really suck at being single. Now give me five more squats."

My personal trainer is cute, funny, and a blast to work out with. I guarantee he's breaking hearts left and right. He's also ten years younger than me and happens to be the only person who's giving me dating advice. I need to be more approachable and also recognize that when a fit, young guy at the gym asks to use my machine, he's probably not flirting with me and only trying to work on his quads, or pecks, or whatever else this young stud might want to expand. Also, chances are, that girl that he's lifting with, is his girlfriend.

Besides, I'm not interested in the young meat at the gym. I prefer older, more distinguished gentlemen who won't walk out the door when you say, "I'm on my period. Ain't nobody touching this shit tonight." Instead, he'll wrap his arms around me and say, "then we can just cuddle."

Ahhh, "to sleep, perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub." (Shakespeare, for those of you who don't know.)

Every girl can have a dream guy (or girl, I'm not picky) who just wants to cuddle...

It's been a while since I've written. Life has been crazy both in a good way and in a bad way. I'm busier than shit (if shit can be busy) and am managing about six hours of sleep a night. Usually less than six, but any night that I can grab six hours is a win for me. Work is awesome, lots of really cool stuff happening like project concepts coming to fruition (look for me in front of the camera soon! I'm so excited!) and a business trip to San Francisco. Which, by the way, I will be taking time off after our conference to live it up in San Fran for a few days! I haven't been back to visit since I moved away back in 2003. I.am.so.thrilled and cannot wait to visit the city that grew me as an adult. It will be a trip to walk past my old apartment where I had to step over human shit as I walked out my front door to go to work. Good times.

School is awesome, but is taking up more time than I had imagined. In fact, I really should be doing my homework instead of writing in my blog, but when inspiration hits...

My personal life could use some work. When I'm not at work, at school, editing my feature film, or at the gym, I am in my yard pulling weeds, or in my house sweeping up dog and cat hair. I try to take myself out to eat once a week, but that is proving to be a little difficult as I can rarely step away from my computer for too long, because there's always work and there's always school. BUT! I try to make it a point to treat myself right at least once a week. I do have time stashed away to take my Frodo dog for a hike every Sunday. This is our mommy-doggy time.

I'm struggling to figure out who I am as an individual. I spend my money and make my meals as if I'm still married. Meaning, I'm incredibly frugal and haven't gone clothes shopping in over a year (I really need to buy some new clothes) and I make enough food to feed a family of six. I guess you could say that I've never learned to cook for less than the family I grew up with - six of us. I really make way too much food. I think my freezer is stocked for at least two months. I'm still just trying to figure everything out.

I have my emotional ups and downs and I must admit that lately, I've been in a slump. I question my life decisions and I question myself. I know that I need to love me, but that's a difficult thing to do at times. I think about my life and my relationships and I see patterns. Patterns that I need to fix. Patterns that can only be fixed after I learn to love myself. I'll get there.

In the meantime, I will take those moments of clarity and those spots of happiness and blend them all together to create a better me. ...and also do my homework. These papers don't write themselves.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Seven days - No Problem

Well, I did it. I made it seven days without touching Facebook. That was a tough challenge. Not the toughest challenge I've ever had to face. I mean, I've run the Dirty Dash, broken my ankle, moved a lot, made a few movies, gotten a divorce. You get the point. I constantly challenge myself to do better, be better, and live better. This Facebook challenge was just all a part of becoming a better me and I'm so glad that I did it.

I returned to Facebook this morning to exactly 69 notifications. Yeah buddy. During this seven day digital abstinence challenge, I did not turn off notifications, so throughout the week my phone would light up with "So-and-so tagged you in a post," and "So-and-so commented on your status." I didn't see what the comments or posts were, but I knew they were there and it was everything in my power to not swipe on that notification and see what was being said about me. Every night as I got into bed, my finger would hover over the Facebook app icon on my phone and I would think, "It's only just a peek. No one will know but me." But I don't give up so easily and the biggest judge of everything Stephanie is ME. So, I didn't click and eventually I calmed down and realized that it simply did not matter what was going on on Facebook. If someone tagged me, I would text them and ask if it was something important that I needed to be aware of. Most of the time I visit Facebook for personal reasons, but I do also have a few Facebook pages for the film production company I run, the feature film I shot, or the film festival I jointly run with friends. It was hard to give those up and I admit that I did visit the film page on Saturday to update that we were back into editing mode.

A little side-note here, while I'm on the subject. Life has been difficult for many, many months. I realize that the Ex and I put an entire feature film project on hold while we dealt with our own personal issues and made the decision to get a divorce in March. Many people are itching to see this project come to a close and be able to sit in a theatre with their family and friends and watch the final product of a summer well spent. We're getting there. One big thing I'm deeply learning through all of this is that life never stops. We finally got together yesterday to continue editing and we both admitted to being extremely nervous to be in the same room with each other again. No matter how much two people want to be friends after a divorce, it's not easy to just continue forward as if nothing happened. I needed a break from him and I assume that he needed the same from me. And while I would have loved to get back to editing sooner, I just flat out couldn't. Not just because I didn't want to see him, but because I also took a nose dive into school and am only completing my first month of 30-40 hours of school work a week, while also working a full time job and attempting to lead a somewhat normal life of taking care of my dog, cats, and house. It's been rough and has taken way more strength and time than I ever thought I had available. Please bear with me as I flounder through life and edit a feature film with my ex-husband. It.is.not.easy.

Now, back to writing about that time-waster called Facebook...

When I logged on this morning, I was excited to see all the posts that my friends had made and look at all the likes on my post about stepping away for a week. In checking every one of those 69 notifications, my heart started beating faster and I started to get a little stressed out. Facebook stresses me out! I tried scrolling through my feed, but that stressed me out even more because I realized that I was spending precious time looking at stuff I didn't need to look at. Almost every single person on my friends list is important to me and I want to know what's going on in their lives. But at the same time, it stresses me out! And I say that almost every person on my list is a friend, because admittedly I have friends that I've never even met in person, we're just friends on FB because of our film connections. It's silly, because if they follow me as much as I follow them - they know nothing about me. But, if they follow me more than I follow them, that means that there are "strangers" running around out there who know more about my life than they should. That's weird to think about, but it is the way our world works now.

While I was away, I did so much more with my time!! Are you ready for all the cool updates?

I actually went to bed a little earlier than normal. I got five hours of sleep instead of four. Sometimes I even managed six hours of sleep. I took myself out to dinner and did my homework at a bar. It was awesome! I learned that I can listen to my two-hour lectures while doing yard work and hiking in the Boise foothills with Frodo. I had enough 4G coverage to listen to an entire lecture while hiking and enjoying the outdoors. I am so glad I've discovered this in my first month. School will be easy sailing from now on... kind of... okay, not really. I cleaned my house during the week instead of waiting until shoving it all into Sunday night at 11pm. I spent more time with Frodo and the cats. I started editing our feature film. I went on a date with someone other than me.

Wait, what?!

Not perusing Facebook for a week allowed me to get my homework done faster, get my house cleaned at a decent time, and keep up with life. I managed to find time to get everything else done because NO FACEBOOK! Which enabled me to say YES to a date this weekend. I went out for sushi with an amazing man. It might be too soon to tell, but I think there could at least be one more date in our future. As long as I keep my facebooking down to a minimum, I'm sure I could squeeze time in for him. We'll see... I won't be pusillanimous about seeing him again either, because I am not a timid dater. I grab life by the balls.

After taking a week-long hiatus from my addiction and feeling my stress levels spike when I finally got back to it, I think I'm going to continue my break from Facebook. I'll probably check it every day, but it won't be every time that I get bored, and it won't be for minutes on end. Or every time I think my brain needs a break. My brain does not need a break as often as I thought it did. And if it does, I'll just get up off my ass and walk around for a bit. That sounds healthier than sticking my nose in my phone anyway. So, Facebook, you addictive asshole, I'm breaking up with you. We'll still see each other around, but I'm not going to live my life wondering what you're saying, or how you're doing. I'll check in with you when I feel like it, and you can keep your stress to yourself. Besides, I've found someone new to be addicted to...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I'm in Love

I've met someone.

I've fallen in love.

I've never felt this way before.

I can't believe this is happening to me.

I don't deserve this.

But it's happening.

I'm in love.

I found me.

For the first time in years, maybe for the first time ever, I've discovered true love. I didn't even know that this could be possible, but I'm here to tell you that it is. It is more than possible and it can happen to anyone. So many people tell you that the first step to loving someone else is to love yourself. I always thought, "I love myself, of course I love myself. How could I not?" I'm discovering that I never truly did love myself. I spent more time hating myself than loving myself. I had no idea how wrong I was until I learned to truly love myself.

And for those disappointed souls who think they've just lost their chance with an amazing girl... I'm talking about me. I'M IN LOVE WITH ME.

I love my thoughts.

I love my brain.

I love my skin.

I love my body.

I love my emotions.

I love how I treat my dog and cats.

I love how compassionate I am.

I love that I care about my friends and family and think about them everyday and only wish them the best.

I love that I can be the most independent woman I've ever met.

I love that I can look amazing in a dress and also mow the lawn and pull weeds like a badass.

I love all my talents.

I love me.

I'm still in the early stages of this love - discovering every little aspect of me. Of course, I run into things that I don't like and down right hate about myself, but I'm learning that those aspects of me make me who I am. It's okay to dislike something about yourself, but don't let it rule your life. We all have flaws. Perfection is a figment of our imagination, but I think that any of us can come pretty damn close to it. I see me and I like me.

I didn't come to this realization on my own. I have a handful of friends who have helped me discover these beautiful things about myself. Who have helped me love my mind and my body. Friends who only point out the good things about me and skip over my flaws. Friends who love me and in turn help me love myself.

Before you can love another, you have to love yourself.

These friends, obviously, love themselves and that is what makes them beautiful and amazing and the most incredible people to be around. To those friends, I say THANK YOU for loving yourself.

Now, it's time to switch gears and stop crying...

Life is kicking my ass. I am quickly discovering that my time management skills are lacking. I work 40+ hours a week (give or take), and am now a full-time student at Full Sail University, studying Digital Cinematography. I am on track to get my Bachelor of Science Degree in three years. My ass is officially kicked. While I am maintaining a 4.0 after only three graded assignments, and also completing all of my projects at work, I am not able to keep up at home. My yard is a disaster and I'm lucky if I get the floors swept and the bathrooms cleaned. I like clean, so not being able to touch those areas of my life (my house) really bug me. I'll get there. I'm only three weeks in to this whole school thing... I'll get there.

...maybe I am good at time management though... The first week of school I was in Seattle visiting with friends and family, the second week I don't remember, and this third week was all about spending time with colleagues and friends from work during a business trip. AND I got all my assignments turned in and my work completed. Although I am going in to work on a holiday (tomorrow), but that is more logistical than not being able to keep up. Construction work near your studio does not make for clean audio. Holidays equal no construction. Yay!

Life is. That's the best way I can describe it right now. Life is...

This past week, an optional assignment has been presented to us students and after much contemplation, I have decided to participate. The assignment was given to us on Wednesday, and it has taken me until Sunday night to finally bite the bullet and go for it. This assignment involves anyone reading this blog via my Facebook post, so all three of you.

We have been tasked with giving something up for seven days. Seven days doesn't sound long, but when you're addicted to something that is not good for you, seven days can be torture. My first thought was, "I'll give up alcohol. I've done it before and I really need to just stop burying my pain in booze." Then, our instructor said that we have to give up something digital.


So, I'm still drinking. And am about one sip away from finishing a bottle of wine that I have consumed while writing this blog. Judge away friends, I still LOVE me.

And the bottle of wine has been completely consumed. So there.

Digital addictions. We all have them. I will fully admit that I am addicted to social media. Most particularly, Facebook. I used to be addicted to Twitter, but have weened myself of that over the years. I like Instagram, but can honestly say that I'm not addicted. I check it once a week if I remember to. And the same goes for Twitter. But Facebook? Fuck. I can't even count the number of times that I visit per day. Our instructor told us that we have to give up something for seven days that makes us cringe. The thought of stepping away from Facebook makes me cringe. I've slowly stepped away from it over the last several months, only checking when I have time (which is rare), but I still check it daily. It's bad. I'm addicted.

I'm giving up Facebook.

For at least seven (7) days.

I'm actually doing it.

Honestly, this is probably the best thing for me. Social media fucks people up. We only see what people want us to see. All the happy's. All the awesome life changing moments. All the vague-booking drama. We see what people want us to see and it doesn't always make us feel great. Facebook aids depression. While I'm dealing with a divorce, I see all these happy couples going on their 10-year anniversary vacations and posting pictures of them kissing in front of iconic places of interest. I am so happy for them and these posts of love just make me swell with love, joy, and pride for them, but it makes me examine my own life and how I couldn't even last in a marriage for 11 years. It's tough and it's not anyone's fault but mine for reading their posts and attaching these posts to my life. They are posting for them, not for me to be envious. That is something we all need to recognize and have a difficult time doing. So to those people posting, keep posting! I love seeing how happy you are, I just might be a little envious, but mostly I strive to be as awesome as you are at love.

Being asked to give up Facebook for seven days, because school, is a godsend. I am not coping well with my ex-husband is posting about all the fun he and his new girlfriend are having. It is downright ripping my heart out, but they are happy and that's all I could wish for. Social media has made breakups and new relationships incredibly difficult to deal with. People have the ability to censor themselves and we as onlookers have the ability to flat-out not read their posts. But it happens. People don't censor and we continue reading. While I have stopped following my ex-husband's posts, admittedly, I still visit his page every other day. I feel like shit when I do. One, for invading his privacy (although it is on a public forum, so I guess there's no privacy about it), but for two because it is difficult to read. We were together for 16 years. This shit is hard to read.

So, as I post this to my blog and also share a link on Facebook, I am saying goodbye for at least seven days. It will be hard to not check those photos that my brother and sisters post of my niece and nephews, and not to follow all the fun my friends are having, but I must say goodbye. It is for the best and maybe I'll come out a better person on the other side of this. I have a feeling that I'll love myself even more for giving myself the freedom to give up an addiction that is negatively impacting my life.

If you want to get a hold of me, texting is great. Calling is better. I do still have some unanswered Facebook messages, and those are fine. I check them on my phone, so just like email, I don't have to see Facebook posts - we can still communicate. Let's keep talking, my friends.

I love you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Still Kicking

It's the quiet nights spent alone in a four bedroom house with two living rooms and a large yard, that truly remind me that I am now divorced. The dog that won't leave my side and the three cats that fight over who gets to sleep by my head at night, remind me that I am the only human that lives here. The stinky cat boxes, dirty dishes, and drifts of dog hair on the floor remind me that I have to take care of all of this by myself. The always rushing with very little downtime reminds me that I am only one person. The trickle of water in the fish tank reminds me that I also have to do a water change and clean the tank... at some point in the near future.

The quiet.

The dog barking.

The cats playing.

The dishwasher running.

The broken heater.

The busted sprinklers.

The fence that needs fixed.

The weeds that need pulled.

The life that needs living.

It wasn't supposed to hurt this bad.

I had convinced myself that everything was going to be okay. That I would get through this because more than half of all couples get a divorce. And I don't even have kids to deal with. But I do have a dog and four three cats. My situation is not unique. But it is happening to me. And I don't know how to handle it.

The Ex announced on facebook that he's in a new relationship. Only one week after we received our signed and notarized divorce papers in the mail. I didn't see that one coming. I knew he was dating, but I didn't know anything was serious. A warning text would have been nice. Instead I found out the way everyone else did. Social media can be a fucking bitch.

Instead of going to a psychologist, I'm seeing a personal trainer. Twice a week for the next six months, me and this young, funny, good looking trainer are going to tighten me up and set me right. I haven't changed my diet - still a pescatarian who doesn't eat dairy, or a vegan who eats seafood - but I'm not being entirely healthy about it. PB & J for breakfast, and sometimes dinner. And if I don't feel like making something, I'll eat a couple of pickles for dinner and call it good. I've lost weight in all the wrong ways. And I don't remember the last night that I didn't have at least two alcoholic beverages. My recycle bin is fuller than my beer fridge. My personal trainer will force me to be accountable for myself.

I've also started choreographing a belly dance solo. I haven't danced since I broke my ankle in December of 2013, and I've been inspired by the beautiful dancers in our community to just take a step and do it. There is such a weight that lifts when I watch myself dance in the mirror. To move my body and understand that I still have to compensate for an Achilles tendon that doesn't quite work. I'll get there. I know I will. My dance is looking killer and I'm choreographing to what I call my jam: "I Lived," by One Republic.

To add more stress and remove time from my life, I'm starting film school on May the 4th. That's right. Film School. On May 4th. This is a three-year fast track to getting a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Digital Cinematography. To prep for going to school, my advisers are suggesting that I start putting away five to six hours every night. This means, that for the next two weeks, I have to spend up to six hours every night doing something so that my schedule and my head recognize how much of a commitment this is. Tonight, I worked on my dance, drank a little booze, and am now writing in my blog. I wonder if that counts...

Life is weird. Life is messed up. And at some point, I have to start editing the feature film we shot last summer, but I'm having a hard time imagining spending several hours a week with my Ex. We're supposed to still be best friends. And I don't even want to look at him right now. How's that for being raw and honest?

Sometimes, your emotions surprise you. And nothing you thought was possible starts to happen.

Despite all of this, life is good. I adore my job. It is really helping me get through this. I work a lot, and it is all paying off. I'm producing the best work I've ever created. I never thought that I could create videos like I do today. I'm actually really good at making videos. Who knew? And people are noticing.

I have a handful of amazing friends who have been there for me through all of this. They love me. They care for me. And they make sure that I'm still kicking. I hope they realize how much they are doing for me by just being there, even when being there is only just a simple text. Even when I say, "no, I don't want to go out tonight," the gesture from them does not go unnoticed. It's just that I'm not in the mood to go out. I mostly just want to watch movies, even though I haven't turned on Netflix in over a month.

And I'm calling my parents more than I ever have. They have really good things to say.

Shit happens and life never stops. I'm looking forward to how this life is shaping up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Re-learning How to Live

For the first time since ever (okay, I did live alone for a few months between the ages of 18 and 19) I am living alone and teaching myself how to be single. In just a few days, I turn 35, and I can honestly say this is a brand new experience for me.

I don't think I'm doing a very good job at it.

It all started this past Thursday, the day before Husband (do I call him Ex now? That doesn't sound very nice) moved out. I'm working on a huge project at work which is taking up all my time. One of my best friends had a play opening on Thursday and that was the only day that week that I could attend. I got off of work shortly after 7pm, not having had any time for dinner before her show started at 8pm. To remedy the situation, a friend at work gave me an already half-consumed bottle of Green Goodness juice and sent me on my way. He truly saved my life that night - it was dinner.

I am an incredible cook. I plan every meal out by the week and pride myself on my ability to experiment and succeed in the kitchen. Look out ladies and gents. But as soon as husband left, that all went out the window.

Friday night, I kind of succeeded. I picked up some sushi and beer at the supermarket before heading to Husband's new apartment. I wanted to buy him dinner and drinks to welcome him to his new pad. We're still best friends and that's what friends do for each other.

Saturday rolled around and again I did well for myself by making a large breakfast before taking the dog for a hike. We had a great time in the Boise foothills, before I took him home and headed off to a tattoo consultation appointment. New changes: new body art. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning this big empty house and rearranging various pieces of furniture and wall art.

At 8pm, I had a date with another one of my besties. About a half hour before I had to leave, the doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anyone. A good friend of mine stopped by with a friend of hers whom I'd never met before. Tall, blond, beautiful, and drunk. I opened the door and this beautiful woman started making out with me. You read that right. 24 hours after husband moved out, I was kissing a chick. She started it! And THAT, my friends, is how you welcome someone into the newly single club. Take note.

And Saturday night started with a bang.

For dinner, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A quiet voice whispered that I needed to eat something more than a pickle. I eat PB&J for breakfast every so often, but I can't remember the last time I had one for dinner. It turned out to be easy. I was hungry and I'm single.

Sunday morning came way too soon - after only a few hours of sleep - and found me at the grocery store early buying shit for our divorce party. Yup. We had a divorce party. Go big, or go home.

That afternoon, the friends came, the booze flowed, and laughter ensued. The awkwardness was kept to a minimum and we partied into the evening. It was a very good way to close out almost 16 years of a beautiful relationship and usher in new beginnings for the both of us. I wouldn't have closed it out any other way.

It is now Tuesday night and I've been working late for the last two days to complete this important project at work. It is helping me keep my mind off of what is going on in my personal life and allowing me to focus on something creative. It truly is a blessing.

Over the last three days, I've forgotten that I've had something boiling on the stove (twice) - please remember, I am typically a good cook - I've eaten left overs, and tonight I threw all the veggies from the veggie tray I bought for the party into the wok and made a stir-fry. I've been taking my breakfast to work - I usually eat breakfast at home - but I have managed to make coffee and lunch the night before. I'm getting there. And I'm taking Frodo the dog for a two mile run every night after work. I think it's helping. Both of us.

Frodo and the cats are so confused right now. There is furniture missing (he ended up with the futon) and there is a definite presence that is absent. They all sit at the top of the stairs from time-to-time waiting for him to come home.

I have music playing every second that I am in the house (with the exception of when I sleep) so that I'm not just listening to silence. I'm discovering just how many chores there are to do every.single.day. And I'm in the process of applying for film school - I'm just waiting for the final divorce paperwork to come through so that I can change my name and complete my registration. I've attempted to sleep naked a couple of times, but have realized that's a bad idea when Frodo has to go potty at three in the morning. I've walked around the house in just my underwear until I noticed that that blinds were still open. I put my shirt on backwards this morning and only discovered my mistake when I went to the bathroom two hours after I got to work.

Life is a journey of constant change and I'm doing my best to keep up with it. One of these days I'll also remember how to cook. And dress myself.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I guess I should probably address this...

I've chosen to blog about it instead of just posting a response on Facebook, because something like this requires more of an explanation than a quick, annoying facebook post that people might gloss over. Plus, I can get pretty wordy and that just never works on facebook. Also, I like blogging. Also, I'm stalling.

...drinking beer...

...answering texts...

...answering emails...

...answering private facebook messages...

...listening to voicemails...

...applying for a passport name change...

...trying to decide what my new email address will be...

...wondering where I'm going to put the bed...

...am I strong enough?...

The tears don't flow as often any more. I think I've finally reached the point that I simply cannot cry. There's too much to do, and although writing takes up time I don't freely have, it is the only thing in the world that seems right at this moment.

On Wednesday, March 4th, I asked for a divorce. I asked. No one needs to wonder. You're allowed to wonder why, but you don't have to wonder who of us asked the tough question. For the first time in years, we celebrated his birthday and enjoyed every second of it. That was Saturday. On Monday, March 9th, divorce papers were signed. On the 10th, we went to the courthouse to file and had someone notarize our signatures. That weekend we went shopping, together, for furniture. I actually bought a couch, for the first time in my life. This Friday, March 20th, the first day of spring, he moves into his new apartment. Alone.

This decision was not made lightly. Eleven years of marriage and sixteen years of being together is a long time and does not easily disappear. It will never disappear - these years we've spent together will always be some of my fondest memories. We made a life together. Words cannot even encompass all that we have done (or all the places we've done it). ...or how we've done it. It doesn't just mean sex.

We told our parents on Friday, and by this morning (Tuesday, March 17th) we'd finally told all of our siblings. No one knows what to say, but everyone knows that love is all that is needed. It comes as a shock to most, and to a chosen few, there is no shock. Life happens.

This divorce is amicable and we are still the best of friends. It is time for a new journey in life, for both of us. It involves us being who we are together and alone. It is giving us an opportunity to discover who we really are and understand our place in this lifetime. It might sound New Agey. Probably even crazy, but this is where we're at.

Our current projects (the feature we shot last year being the most glaring project that is still unfinished) will continue to be worked on. We still own a business together and we are still Two Cats Fighting Productions. Hell, once he is settled into his new apartment and I rearrange this house to my liking, we'll be spending every Saturday together (at least) to finish this film and get it out there for the world to see.

Life doesn't stop. He announced on Facebook this morning, to friends and strangers, that we are getting a divorce. My phone blew up and I nearly ran out of battery life by the time I got home, but I couldn't answer anyone quickly. I was working. Life kept moving forward. I had projects due, meetings to attend, and a really big video project for the CEO that I HAVE to complete. So, texts went unanswered and facebook posts went unliked. Friends and family were left hanging. Because life doesn't stop.

It's hard to imagine life alone, or at least, not with my husband. I don't know what to expect. I don't know how to fix a leaky faucet. I don't know who to randomly text in the middle of the day to just say, "Blerg." I don't know who will understand my Goonies references, or laugh when I call him a vagine. I don't know what side of the bed to sleep on, or if the cats will listen to me when he's not around.

Life is changing. Just like ripping off a bandaid. One.at.a.time.

Friday, March 6, 2015

I Love Film

These last several months have been difficult for a multitude of reasons. In my attempt to keep my head, heart, and life in check, I've neglected various aspects of myself. One of those has been my drive in film. I haven't lost my passion to create films, I've just lost my desire to create and continue to work on personal projects that I started last summer.

Years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, a friend of mine asked me about love. "What do you really feel about love?" My answer came quick and natural. I really feel that I love film. He didn't know how to react to my answer. No one really loves a thing, but when you think about it, people do love things. People love dancing, writing, playing video games, falling in love, eating, drinking, not eating, not drinking, watching movies, creating movies, laughing, crying, singing, playing instruments, running, cuddling, playing with the dog, staring at the sky, I could go on. I love film. I love watching films, but more than anything I love creating films. I love setting up lights and shots, I love adjusting audio levels, I love directing, I love editing, I love creating.

On Thursday, I was walking down the hall at work and my old manager called my name. I stopped by his cubical and said, "hi."

"What are you doing here?" He asked me.

"Well, it is Thursday morning. I am technically working," I replied.

"I thought you'd be in Sun Valley this weekend. I wasn't expecting to see you here," he said.


The fourth annual Sun Valley Film Festival is this year. This weekend, to be exact. Two years ago (2013), we attended the second annual Sun Valley Film Festival. One of our music videos was accepted and shown to an audience of about 20-30 people. It was an exceptional weekend of films, friends, and booze, and I will never forget it. There were seven of us shoved into a two bedroom condo in Sun Valley for three nights. We went to film showings, attended "coffee talks" with Jodi Foster and Steve Gaghan (he follows me on Twitter), went to concerts and stood next to Will McCormack, cooked each other breakfast, and learned a lot of awesome stuff about ourselves as individuals and friends. We lived it up in Sun Valley.

This year, we submitted two films - one three-part music video and a short documentary. Neither were accepted. It is understandable and there are no hard feelings - film festivals know what they want and our work doesn't fit into every festival build. We'll get into something, it just has to be the right festival for our particular projects and that could be difficult to find. We chose not to go to Sun Valley, not because our films weren't accepted, but because there are other more pressing matters to attend to in life and attending a film festival at this time just isn't in the cards. Also, I didn't realize that it was this weekend.

After explaining to my old manager why I wasn't, in fact, in Sun Valley, we had a nice talk about creating films in general. He knows nothing about what goes into making a film. He knows he enjoys watching films and he knows that I LOVE making them - hence the concern over my being at work on Thursday. He knows that I have the day job I have now because I LOVE making films. He managed my original contract, which had me creating corporate videos (I still create corporate videos, just not as a contractor). He knows.

He told me that I should make a Western, and right there, in the middle of work, my brain started flowing with ideas for a new film. It involves the Idaho back-country, horses, men, women, and children. It involves love.

As we closed our conversation, he told me something that made me reassess my priorities:

Although you work in film everyday making videos for this big company, don't forget where your true passion lies. In the end, this is a job that pays your bills - you need to keep creating your own films.

And that's almost all I've been thinking about for the last couple of days. I need to get back to my films. We only have this one life. What do you love?

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Time I Actually Went Home

Life. Love. Time. We can never get enough of it.

Just last week, I was on a plane bound for Hawai'i, my home. I didn't realize that tonight, of all nights this week, would be the toughest... so far. I returned to Boise on Tuesday, leaving at 8am Hawai'i time, spending a 3.5 hour layover in LA (crying, laughing, eating, and drinking), and finally landing in Boise just before 11pm. A few hours later (only two-and-a-half hours of sleep), I was in the office for an early meeting. For the last three days, work has kept me distracted. I love my job and I booked my week up with shoots and video edits - no time for sitting and thinking. Leaving work tonight and taking the slow drive home, it started to hit. I have to deal with the rest of my life now and the first part of that is understanding where I spent my last weekend.

For the last 26 years, I've gone home multiple times. Every trip to Hawai'i has been a great experience. I visited old places, learned about new places, saw my family, and experienced my history. Every trip has been a blessing and every trip always leaves me longing for my next return. This particular trip, however, which only lasted three full days on the actual island, was the most amazing and breathtaking experience of my life. I finally know the meaning of going home.

On Friday night, my youngest brother and I arrived at the Honolulu airport. The air was hot and muggy, just the way I like it. We exited the plane, hit the restrooms to empty our bladders of the booze we drank on the plane (only one, mind you), then started texting family to let them know we had arrived. We felt and looked at home with our tank-tops, slippers, and *slightly* darker skin. Okay, I'm white, but I'm not as white as most of the people who live in Boise. And my brown eyes and dark curly hair make up for my lack of a Hawaiian tan. But I digress. Our dad picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel in Waikiki.

After checking ourselves out in the mirror (my brother is so like me, it's crazy), we headed to a local bar for drinks and a late dinner. My dad had been in Hawai'i for two weeks by the time we arrived and hadn't been to the beach once. So, after getting him slightly tipsy, I said, "Let's go to the beach."

"But it's midnight!" My dad said.

"So?" I replied.

And off we went. My dad, my youngest brother, and me. We put our feet in the sand and felt each grain between our toes. We let the warm salt water splash on our feet. We watched the moon move across the sky and the stars come out one-by-one. Life, in that moment, was pretty damn close to perfect. We knew what the next three days would bring, so we soaked up the beach and started our journey of becoming closer to each other, our family, and our home.

On Saturday, after waking up to a beautiful Hawaiian sunrise and going for a run down Waikiki Beach, we headed to see Papa. Papa is staying at a care facility while he recovers from his recent surgery. Our Papa has been battling memory loss for years. In 2013, when I went home for my cousin's wedding, Papa didn't really recognize me. You could see a glimmer of recognition in his eyes, but he never quite knew exactly who I was. At that time, I understood that life is what it is - it continues to move forward, whether we want it to, or not.

When we arrived at Papa's care facility on Saturday, my Papa saw me. He saw me for the first time in years. He smiled as tears poured down his face. I leaned over to hug him, and he held me tight. We didn't want to let each other go. He knew me in that moment and he whispered, "I love you."

My Papa has been my Superman since the beginning of (my) time. He taught me how to love, share, cherish everyone, and live. He taught me how to be peaceful, happy, and respected, all at the same time. To see our (because he's not just mine) Superman confined to a wheelchair, was difficult to say the least. But as with all life, time keeps moving forward.

We spent many hours at that care facility on Saturday, loving on Papa and enjoying time with the cousins and Uncle. I helped Papa eat his lunch, wiped his nose for him, walked with my cousin while she pushed him in his wheelchair, and talked to him about Pearl Harbor. He didn't always know what he was talking about, but when he joked, he raised his eyebrows the way Papa always did, and I knew that man was still in there. He fake-punched my cousin and thought I was his nurse, but his joking smile took me back to the days when we would spend the night at Tutu and Papa's house and Papa would help us build paper airplanes and let us have contests off the staircase to see who's plane could glide the farthest. I would like to say that my plane always won because Papa had been teaching me for months before the others arrived, but that may not be true. Guess we'll just have to have a paper airplane flying contest the next time I go home.

That Saturday evening, after having a necessary family meeting, we went to Tutu and Papa's house to see our Tutu for the first time since the last time. I shared the pictures I took of Papa that day with Tutu, and she and I shared tears of how much he's changed over the years. My cousins, brother, and I laughed at everything and enjoyed being with each other once again in Tutu's house. Slowly, one-by-one, the cousins left to go to their own homes and feed and take care of their own keiki (children). Eventually, it was just little brother, me, and Tutu sitting on the couch. Tutu told me that she loved having us all there and she missed the laughter and the incredibly full house that all the cousins could bring. I had to agree with her. Our holidays (Christmas especially) were so full of family and love. There were so many of us that we could hardly fit into the living room, so we spilled out into other rooms, laughing, loving, and sharing life.

The thing about Hawai'i, is that time doesn't really matter. Ever since I moved to the Mainland, I stress about time. Every excuse is, "I don't have time for that." That is a sad excuse for anything, because there will always be more time, you just have to know how to find it. In Hawai'i, if you're two hours late, you're right on time. You arrived when you meant to arrive, and everything else just falls into place. I have a really difficult time grasping that on the Mainland, but it's true. Whether you're 20 minutes late, or 20 minutes early, you are exactly where you're supposed to be. And all those times we spent at Papa and Tutu's house, was exactly where we were meant to be. This entire trip to Hawai'i, completely unplanned, was exactly where I was supposed to be. I will never regret my decision to go home.

That night, Saturday-party-day, we hung out with our cousins. They managed to find some hotel rooms only .7 miles from our hotel, so my youngest bro and I hiked out to see them with a 12-pack and a bottle of Jack in tow. We invited Dad, but he wanted to sleep - none of us blamed him. We got to their room and the booze started flowing. We shared stories of our childhood - secrets that some of us didn't know. We laughed, we hugged, we cried, but most of all we had the best cousin gathering I could ever imagine. Many of the cousins couldn't make it, but those of us that did, "the bookends" as my dad calls us - the oldest and the youngest of the families - really connected. We shared so many embarrassing stories (and made embarrassing videos about those stories) that I am still reeling from the honesty that that night brought. It was needed. The connections we had with each other were real. Life and love and time were shared. I am at a loss for words and am unable to attempt to continue describing that night. It was precious, it was beautiful, and it was needed. Cousins: This WILL happen again, with all of us.

My dad put it best: Being with your cousins, was like no time had passed.

We woke early on Sunday, and joined the cousins for breakfast at a local (and pretty famous) cafe. Half of the restaurant was cleared for the 16 of us, as we continued to tell stories of our childhood while watching the keiki (my cousin's kids) enjoy their own cousin time together. The meaning of Ohana is being passed down through the generations. After breakfast we went to see Papa again. And again, he saw me. He was never able to call me by name, but he knew who I was. We sat with him, and loved on him, and spent as much time as we could with him. I learned in these three short days that life is what we make of it and we all have the opportunity to make it good. I pushed him in his wheelchair and we admired the local flowers and watched the geckos scurry away as I pointed at them. Although Papa couldn't run, we "ran" together - he in his wheelchair and me in my slippers.

After visiting with Papa, we went to dinner with my Auntie and cousin at a well known place called Zippy's. They're famous for their chili and ever since going vegetarian, I thought I would never be able to enjoy Zippy's chili ever again. But I was wrong. They make vegetarian chili!!!! And I ate it. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with my Auntie and cousin and sharing massive amounts of love that we hadn't been able to share for a long time. She is an integral part of our Ohana and I have always secretly admired her laugh. When she laughs, the world lightens up and life becomes a little bit easier. You can feel it in your heart and her laughter sings long after she's pau (done) laughing.

That night, my dad, brother, and I retired to our room in Waikiki and shared some drinks. Well, Brother didn't drink as he was preparing for a 15-mile run the next morning (he's training for a marathon), but Dad and I took care of his share as well as ours. Although I spent some of the evening working (not because I had to, but because I wanted to), my dad and I spent the majority of the evening really connecting. I never get much time with my dad. There are always other people involved, which is the way it should be - we have a big family and Dad and I are the comedians. (Don't you dare argue that point with me, little brother.) More importantly, my dad is the one who is always giving and in giving, he is usually surrounded by friends and family. So, to have an hour alone with my dad is always a blessing. We talked, I cried, we laughed, and he took me shopping. I made a list of gifts that I wanted to get my friends back in Idaho, a way to give me something to do and think about when I didn't want to be alone in my own head. And that night, my dad and I went shopping in downtown Waikiki... drunk (at least I was) and we had fun. Neither of us are shoppers - just ask the clothes hanging in my closet that I've owned for five years - but we used that time to bond even closer and try not to wake Brother when we got back to the room.

Did I mention that I had to share a bed with my youngest brother? And it was a double! Not a queen, not a king size, but a double. After the first night, any accidental leg touching didn't matter. It's good to know that even in my mid-30's (he's still only in his late 20's) I can share a bed with my brother and we can wake up the next morning and make fun of each other in our PJs and rub sunscreen on the other's back. That's love.

Monday came too soon. Seeing as how it was my last day and I hadn't fulfilled my promise to my mom to take my dad to the beach, we called it a day of relaxing. Dad and I worked for a couple of hours in the morning, while little brother went for a 15-mile run. Relaxing, right? Then I ran two miles to my favorite restaurant to order my favorite breakfast, which I had been craving for months before I even thought I'd be back home. The restaurant was out of my breakfast, but we still enjoyed talking and drinking mimosas, and eating good food. Then, we set out for our family tour around the island.

Every time we visit the island, our dad takes us on a drive around O'ahu. It is only about a two hour drive, less time than it takes some people to get to work, and worth every single minute spent in the car. For this trip, we headed into Haleiwa, an old Hawaiian town on the North Shore of O'ahu. As my dad and brother hit Matsumotos for their famous shave ice, I once again went shopping for the perfect gifts for my friends. Haleiwa has really grown since I lived there and I am so blessed to have been able to experience it in a time before tourist shops and restaurants could pop up, begging people to enter and consume their merchandise.

After eating and shopping were done, we then headed toward Kahuku and Hau'ula, where we used to live, and on our way we spotted two (or three) humpback whales just off the coast. I made my dad pull over - it was more of a screech of "dad, dad, daddy, daddy, dad, pull over, pull over now, daddy, daddy, dad!" but he pulled over and the three of us jumped out to capture the beauty of mating whales. Despite the time I spent living in and visiting Hawai'i, I had never before seen humpback whales that up close and personal.

We rounded the island and headed to our favorite swim spot at Turtle Bay. Brother and I, being the light-skinned people that we are, put on sunscreen and set ourselves up to spend at least an hour on the beach - me in the water and he sunbathing. After helping each other apply the sunscreen, I ran into the ocean, while Brother settled himself comfortably on the sand. I had just entered the water, and exclaimed to my dad how wonderful it was and that I miss the beach so much and I could live in the water, he told me that it was time to go. "But my sunscreen hasn't even done it's job!"

"I know!" He laughed, "I told you you wouldn't need it."

"Well," I said, "I guess I'll head back... as soon as I catch the next wave."

Joke's on him, there are no waves in Turtle Bay.

The salt water in my hair, the sunscreen on my skin, the sand stuck to my feet, were all worth the ten minutes we could spend at the beach. We spent the amount of time that we could afford, and we cherished every minute of it.

From there, we drove to our house in Hau'ula and I snapped some photos of our old property and the house we grew up in. It has certainly changed for the worse and seeing it made me cry. I am of the islands. I wasn't just born there. The land flows through my blood as ancient as the family that I come from. It is not just a place, but a sacred space meant for those who truly grasp and understand the depth of the islands and all that comes with it. Hawai'i is not an easy place to live. Despite the hotels, the manicured beaches, and the fancy drinks, it has it's secrets. It has it's dark places. The secrets and places that people who are from the islands know very well. The school buses we may have lived on, the hidden garage where the neighbor found you, the home that you once knew. This trip, more than any, made me realize how lucky I am to have grown up in such a beautiful place. To have experienced life in the Aloha state, and to understand that time runs at a different pace.

After seeing our old homestead and realizing why I long to live in the country, but ache at the thought of leaving a big city, we headed home to Tutu and Papa's house. First, we stopped to see Papa for one last time. I was wearing a hat, and when I entered his room he didn't know me. I said, "Hi Papa," and he still looked at me with confused eyes. I took off my hat and his tears rolled down his face. We hugged and he said, "I love you." I love you, Papa. Thank you for knowing me.

That entire weekend, Papa would hug Brother, but he never knew who he was hugging. Papa hugged because he had to. He would pat my brother on the back and then continue eating, or trying to talk to whomever was closest. That evening, as we stood over our Papa, he looked at Brother, pointed and said, "You're the one who sleeps with men." Brother and I looked at each other in shock, then started laughing. Yes, Papa knew who his young grandson was. In that moment, Papa knew and we all laughed. We still don't know who told Papa, but whether it was that he was told, or he just knew, he recognized my brother.

We said goodbye to Papa. Leaving him with love, life, and time. We shared dinner with the cousins and hugs with Tutu. My baby cousins taught me how to hula and sang for me with their beautiful voices. We took pictures, laughed with Tutu, and promised each other that we wouldn't wait so long for our next trip home. It was like old times again, all we needed was the Beach Boys to sing Kokomo for us.

We tried to go to bed early that night - dad managed - but Brother and I stayed up, packing and talking, and playing on our phones. Posting photos and Facebook updates about our trip, doing our best to stall and not go to bed, knowing that we would be leaving the next day.

I woke up at 4am, before the sun rose, and left the island. As I sat in the airport, attempting to drink my coffee and eat some fruit, a familiar song began playing on the loud speaker...

I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
To see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.

You said you'd rock me in the cradle of your arms.
You said you'd hold me ‘til the storms of life were gone.
You said you'd comfort me in times like these and now I need you.
Now I need you...
And you are -

So, I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
Since you've gone and left me, there's been so little beauty,
but I know I saw it clearly through your eyes.
Now the world outside is such a cold and bitter place.
Here inside I have few things that will console.
And when I try to hear your voice above the storms of life,
then i remember all the things that I was told.

Well, I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
Yes, I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
To see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
I think on the things that made me feel so wonderful when I was young.
I think on the things that made me laugh , made me dance, made me sing.
I think on the things that made me grow into a being full of pride.
I think on these things, for they are true.

I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
I thought that you were gone, but now I know you're with me.
You are the voice that whispers all I need to hear.
I know a "Please", a "Thank you", and a smile will take me far.
I know that I am you and you are me, and we are one.
I know that who I am is numbered in each grain of sand.
I know that I am blessed,
again, and again, and again, and again,
and, again.

I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
To see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.

To my Ohana: Thank you for the memories. I take you and all your love, time, and life, into my own life from now and forever more. My trip home was more than a trip, it was a lesson in love. Mahalo.