Wednesday, February 19, 2014

World outside

The world is scary to me right now, I feel like I lost a humongous part within me.

The days are spent slowly and carefully, doing what I can to get by and I am still in the dark.
I have no idea what to do or feel next.



I felt like this song gave me a sort of a nice optimistic refreshing perspective to what is happening to me though I am not ready to take action here.

Once realized, that when you get knocked down, it is your chance to get up and make it better.
There is a larger world out there than ME:

Part of your World

When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore that world up above?
Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of that world

(From "The Little Mermaid" Disney Lyrics by Howard Asman)





Friday, February 7, 2014

I gained another Angel

My childhood was rich with love and laughter due to the living situation of having my maternal grandparents under the same roof as our family, which is a common practice in our culture.
I loved my life, from what I can remember, in Japan.
I obviously was born in Tokyo and grew up there until the summer after I turned 7, when my parents and my siblings moved to Chicago.

I attended a private, Christian kindergarten from the age of 4-6, and that was our main focal point of our lives.
Being young and vibrant (48-49yo) when my older sister was born (then me, and my younger brother, all two year apart) my grandmother took a VERY active role in our lives -- my mother is an only child, so us three were her only grandkids.
She made more appearances at our kindergarten for our charity events, plays, field trips, than my own mother did, simply because while nursing my younger brother (or me, in some cases) it was easier for my grandmother to take my mother's place.
I basically had two mothers.
She taught us many things a young mother would have not had the time nor knowledge of -- Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy, she would do flower arrangements, and kick us out of the room when she was ready to sculpt and didn't want us running around as she molded her artwork.

Every birthday and holidays were special and each one of us learned how to ride our bike in the street on the side of the parking lot we parked our small little Mazda hatchback in.
She would speed in that car so much, the car never stopped beeping since Japanese cars has a device that tells you when you are going over 100km (not 100MILES) an hour.
My grandmother would smoke non stop, drive like a maniac, show up to our plays in eccentric colored clothing, was sassy, oversized sunglasses in tow (before they were "in") and yet was such a lady, and I learned everything from her.

We moved to Chicago, but we tried to go visit or have her come visit us every so often.

Once I became a teenager I had trouble finding myself and gaining my self esteem.
I had a summer when anxiety got the best of me and I plucked out all of my eye lashes out.
It was my way of asking for help, but at the time, I had no idea.
My grandmother saw this right away, told my mother to send me to her over the summer and we spent every day together for three months, she would let me vent, cry, we fought, anything I needed to do, she let me. By the end of that summer, my lashes had grown back.

She would always tell me, "your ability to notice things - the colorful flowers on the side of the street, the animals and children, the way you are conscientious, is a gift."
She was the one who noticed I would make a great flight attendant and started sending me "The Stewardess" (I think the official name is "Air Stage") magazines from Japan when I was 16 years old.
"You would flourish in this career, you are tall, bilingual, beautiful and most of all, you notice things."

Growing up between my beautiful perfect sister and my younger brother who were both stellar academically, I always felt the "lack" of accomplishments.
She never gave up on me even when I was giving up on myself.

When I was 21, I became a flight attendant.
Once I was qualified to fly the International routes, I waited and waited until I was able to get the first flight to Japan (there were other cities available, but it was important for me to make my first International flight to Japan) and it may have been the most proud day of my life, seeing my grandmother waiting for me in the hotel lobby.
It was a gray misty day in September, she had her over sized sunglasses on, her leopard print coat on smoking her lady cigarette, when she saw me she stood up, all 5' of her, smiling ear to ear.

Some crew members and hotel staff would start to recognize her over the years, as I continued to fly the same route.
Two of my good friends actually got to meet and spend time with her, and till this day I am so glad I got to share my grandmother with them.

I left my airline 3 years ago, and those regular routes to Japan no longer part of my schedule, I had started to feel extremely guilty that I was no longer able to see her.

I also actually didn't have the heart to tell her about my change in my career, and I contemplated regarding that decision many times over in my head - but my family and I decided to let things be, and let her believe I was the same.

The news of her passing came at the worst time, my worst nightmare came true, during the work day.

I had just settled in the new catering items, and was waiting for the plane to get going -- luckily we had some time, and was not in a rush.
I noticed my phone had a message from my parents and I called back and when I heard, I broke down.

I am now taking this day by day and writing this out, selfishly, is making me feel better.
I know she was older, and I know to a degree it was something we were expecting.

They found a pile of my cards and letter I wrote to her every month, next to her bedside - which they included with when they cremated her.

I am beyond heartbroken and devastated.
I have to remind myself of what I had with her, how much extra time I got to spend with her, compared to my siblings, and I have to be thankful.
Right now, though, I am not there.









Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year is here





Wow, I can't believe how fast the year went by, and now it's 2014.

The past year has been a whirlwind for me, at the end of the day I am grateful for my family and friends who stuck by me through thick and thin and not so pleasant times in my life.

I had a lot of doubts and despair, as well as tears and sleepless nights.
Many many days and nights thinking about what is right for me, what is not.
Many personal and professional decision making moments later, I have moved to Las Vegas.

It has not been easy, to be honest.
I can not NOT think about the whatifs and the "did I make the right choice" -- but this is where I am now, and I am trying to make the best of it.

In the new year I am hoping to be able to do many a things I didn't have time to do in the past year -- or rather, didn't have the chance to do due to the external influences -- I want to really better myself as a whole.

Physically, I have been keeping up with my favorite exercises (Bikram Yoga, and Kickboxing) and I am more conscious of what I put in my mouth.

On a mental level I am looking to perhaps take in more Yoga, and learn to meditate more.

Whatever your goals are, I hope the new year will treat you right.
Or at the least, fair.

Life has given me many challenges in the past and I have lived through those moments to talk about it and I am looking to do the same for whatever will be in my path for the year 2014.

Wish me well, I am hoping to be the best person I can be at this point in my life, or close to it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UCLA writing course assignments


During some of my darkest and loneliest moments I have always turned to writing.
It gave me endless space and place to do whatever I needed to do.
Since then I have actually have had some of my work published (under a pen name) in blogs, etc. and I was advised by couple of the editors to take some writing courses to polish my writing to further my talent. 
Since this blog connects to my personal Twitter account and also due to the nature of my occupation, I'd like to keep some of my most private and personal thoughts/accounts just that way -- however, I thought it would be nice to hear some reactions from some of you on few of the pieces that are more PG rated. 
Below is my assignment from my first week of my fall semester at UCLA extension; the topic was to write something that triggered your memory from my childhood, as the course is titled "Writing out of your Life ."



The alleyway next to the market was our playground.
Only big enough for one truck to pass at a time, we learned to ride our bikes there and mastered the climb on concrete wall that divided the area from the large parking lot.
When we poked that beehive in the old truck in the parking lot one too many times and my brother was too young to run away as his legs didn’t move fast enough and fell victim to the awful bee sting, the alley was where we ran to for safety.

The vending machine lined the end of the alley next to the market like a colorful rainbow – drinks appeared on the top of each machine like proud race horses, and in the middle was the electronic rings of the game that was installed. The idea was you may or may not win a free can of your choice once you purchased something if the red dot landed on a particular area.
We all lined up in a straight line the neighbor kids and us, during those humid summer days with one 100 yen coin in each hand, trying to see whether we should treat ourselves to one of the variety of ice cream instead; the big freezer in front of the market was like Narnia, so many goodies in the shape of a cup, a cone, on a stick, etc. much more attractive than the beer, sake cups and coffee drinks we weren’t allowed to have.
When you opened the sliding glass, a white cloud of air would puff up out of the contained white box making the whole experience of choosing an ice cream oh so magical.
We were all barely tall enough to look inside, but we took our time and enjoyed the process as we weren’t to have ice cream everyday.

The term market is loosely used as the store only sold sake, beer, and rice in the 10kg bags inside and some bottled tea.
For me, it was just the place to buy my grandma’s tea or when my grandpa or my dad wanted beer with dinner, or my own treat during the day when we were allowed.

I am told that the alleyway has been recently constructed into a condo building.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer haul


I have been extremely busy for the past couple months and have not had much chance to shop.

Ever since I saw a post regarding Greek Sandals in one of my favorite blog, I have been thinking about that neutral yet beautiful leather sandal that looks and feel better as time goes by.

It was one of my first purchases I made on the island.


Greek sandal

I love natural stone jewelry and am always looking at them on Etsy.com -- I think it can be dressed up and down, and are surprisingly neutral, and goes well with many different outfit choice.
When I saw this stone bracelet I immediately fell in love with the color.

The little blue eye on the turquoise bracelet is an Evil eye.
It is a good luck charm that is extremely popular in the Mediterranean culture and I was looking for a piece that included one but didn't look too much.
This turquoise bracelet was a perfect since I wanted a turquoise piece as well, and the 'eye' is dainty enough you won't even notice.

The wooden tray in the shape of a tear drop is made of pure olive tree, and again like the sandals, gets better with age.
The lady who owns the store told me to rub a little bit of olive oil in, and buff it if it starts to look a bit dry.


Stone bracelet and turquoise jewelry with an evil eye


Oversized dyed scarves in different shades of purple -- my favorite color 

Perfect white summer top that I can wear at home in Los Angeles.
Looks like something I can find at a store by Free People - but for about 1/3 of the price.

Gauze-y top I have been eyeing since my arrival in Greece

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mykonos Blue



I have truly hit career jackpot in May, when I was hired on as a full time FA on an account I did some work for previously.
This means I will now have benefits and be on a salary -- a situation I have coveted for 2 years.

The account is a private owner flying with two owners (they are related) and I take care of two airplanes they share.
It is a lot of work, since restocking and taking care of two large cabin planes means I am basically the 'mother hen' for two families -- you have to think about every aspect of the flight.

The summer and the holiday season are when they go on their long vacation, and here I am accompanying them, in a place I probably will never have a chance to be on my own -- Mykonos, Greece.







Small church by the water -
this picture is EXACTLY what I imagine when I hear the word "Mykonos"

Morning cappuccino by the water

Most photographed in Mykonos, making his daily appearance by the water

Nighttime by the water
Symbolic white buildings I have seen only in pictures 
Clear water

Lunch by the water

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Great Divide








Walls around your heart
I wanna get in
I wanna know you

You’re scared to lose it all
I know who you’ve been
But I’ll take a chance on you

You fight the light
You push it away
You’re gone with the wind at the end of the day
But where are you going?

You play it safe
So there’s nothing to win

I wanna come closer but you won’t let me in
I wanna go where you’re going

Pull me in tonight and stay forever
I wanna know the secrets of your heart

Let’s begin tonight
It’s now or never

Love won’t happen til you try to cross 
the Great Divide


I have shared many different lyrics from some of my favorite songs that resonates with my life/heart/thoughts in the past. 
This song, by Velvetine, was inspired by the award winning songwriter Thomas Newman from his original score for the movie "Revolutionary Road" and Newman is listed as one of the writers for this tune.
Classic piano juxtaposed with the trance melody creates new sound and harmony that is on another level.
The lyrics, the term "the Great Divide," everything about this song inspires me.
Is the "Divide" a challenge or a fear in your own life?
Is this about a new love?
It can be anything....