29 and counting part 2

 

Presently 6 months and 28 days away from 30!              

 

Photo courtesy of Astrid London

Something happens as you get older.  Time starts to fade, and outsiders are suddenly more interested in your personal life than they really should be. Lately I have noticed that more and more people actually have expectations for where I should be in my life. Not career wise because they see that I love my job, and I am independent enough to support myself, but they have a strong interest in my love life. I don’t think I care as much about my own love life as other people do. Why do they care so much? Sometimes I wonder what is so wrong with their own life that they seem to take so much time caring about mine. Yeah, I do go against the grain. I have never been a normal chick anyway. I prefer to march to the beat of my own drum, that way I don’t have to adjust to a new beat when I hate the song anyway. I live my life my way, and it works for me.

In my pre-phase for 30, I already go into each week knowing that at least three people are going to ask me if I am married, do I have a boyfriend, or do I have kids. The follow-up question being, why not? With a comment of, “you are so pretty”.  I have been asked these questions so much that the answers no to all of them, and it just hasn’t happened,  roll off my tongue in the same manner as if someone were to ask me my first name.

As I get older societal expectations grow. Some days it can be overwhelming. In true form, I ignore them. Independence is an anomaly, and to be connected to something, or someone is a 30 something  must have.

I on the other hand look at the glass half full. News flash #1: It is not hard to get married. Believe it or not there are men who want to get married. So sure I could have been married by now.  Would I have been happy? Probably not. Marriage does not guarantee love or happiness. So where would that leave me, 7 months away from 30 and possibly on the road to my first divorce. Yeah, I’ll pass on that one. 30 and divorced does not sound like much fun.

The subject of kids. Yeah, I guess I want them one day. News flash #2, It is not hard to make a baby! So sure I could have had kids by now. My life plan just worked out a little bit differently.  I have more to learn about myself before kids enters the plan.  I love kids, but I also love returning them back to their parents after a few hours.

At 30 people may wonder more than ever when I will settle down, and adjust to what is expected of me. Not sure.  But, I know that I am just where I need to be in life and so life is good.

A daily reminder to myself,  in actuality I am happy where I am at. I went through a lot to get here, so why not enjoy the moment. Five years ago the thought of being able to watch a sunset in Waikiki was an impossible dream that would never happen. Today it is my reality. My life did not happen by accident, it comes with purpose.

A  good friend of mine always tells me not to allow someone to enter my life who is going to take away my happiness. If I allow myself to fall to the pressures of society before the time is right, the end result may be a sacrifice of my happiness. Today I choose to own my happy.

 

To be continued…

 

Photo courtesy of Astrid London

My Happy Soundtrack- I’m gonna smile cause I deserve too

Honolulu from Diamond Head.
Image via Wikipedia

Back in Honolulu!

I wake up and  it is another beautiful day in Honolulu. The sun is shining, I look over my balcony at the mountains going towards the Pali, and my day starts off with a smile. How could it not? I already know that I am alive, I feel healthy (well most of the time), and I have a lot to look forward to. So each day I tell myself, “I’m gonna smile cause I deserve too”, as sung by Leona Lewis.

Flashback to a few years ago. I remember a time when I didn’t smile as much. I would wake up in New York sad. Unhappy with my job, my personal life, nothing seemed to be where I needed it to be in life. Life for me was out of place. I would wonder, where did my happy go? During that time I had a sad soundtrack. You know that soundtrack we have for moments of self pity. Those times when we want to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and just cry (or maybe I am the only one who has one of those). My sad soundtrack was a running playlist of songs on my ipod that I would play over and over again. I would go into a deeper feeling of self-pity each time I listened to these songs. The problem? The only person who knew I was sad was me! I would be sad to myself. So obviously the only person able to get me off the sad train to nowhere was me.

In case you need a soundtrack for moments of brief sadness (keep them brief!), I can help you out. I know a great list of songs that really fit the mood. As much as I listened to them, I could say in some strange way they did catapult me out of those moments of sadness. My advice to you: don’t stay on your pity pot too long, it us fine to sit on it sometimes. But, try not to do it too often, and bounce off of it as fast as you can. If you sit too long you may get stuck.  Being happy is a whole lot easier than loathing in self-pity.

Better in Time
Image via Wikipedia

My sad soundtrack was most used for those post breakup moments (of course, I’m a girl!) Those moments when love was lost, and I felt my world was about to come to a crashing halt, with no plan how I will get out of it. The more I listened to each song, I thought maybe it will put a stitch back in my heart one by one, but no it didn’t. Eventually only time did that. But my sad playlist did offer me some comfort while riding on the NY city subway!

In case you were wondering, here are some of my favorites for my past of sadness:

  1. Usher-Burn
  2. Chris Brown- Say Goodbye
  3. Leona Lewis- Better in Time
  4. India Arie- This too shall pass- *Favorite*
  5. Mariah Carey- I stay in love
  6. Boyz II Men- Doing just fine, or Seasons of Loneliness
  7. Alicia Keys- Sleeping with a broken heart
Wow those songs are sad,
My Happy soundtrack is much better, it’s motivating, inspirational, and keeps me on my daily vote of confidence that, I am That Chick! It keeps me smiling, keeps me positive, and reminds me through moments of sadness, life always get’s so much better.
These are my favorites from my Happy Soundtrack:
  1. Brandy- Camouflage
  2. Just Stand up!- Various female artist including, Mariah Carey,  Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna
  3. Beyonce- Ego
  4. Bruno Mars- Just the way you are
  5. Fabolous- You be killin em
  6. Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Jasmine Sullivan- Champion- *Favorite*
  7. Flo Rida- Who Dat Girl
  8. Pink- F**kin’ Perfect
  9. Keri Hilson- Pretty Girl Rock
  10. Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten
  11. Kelly Rowland- Heaven and Earth

What’s included on your Happy Soundtrack?
*Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experiences!

August book selection: Everything Happens For A Reason by Mira Kirshenbaum

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

On my journey to “living my best life now”, as said by Oprah, I am attempting to incorporate a monthly book selection into this blog. Please note that I said ATTEMPT. I will do my best, but not sure how long I can keep it going. My life changes quick, so please watch me for the changes.

Lately, I have had the feeling that God has been telling me to go right,  and I keep making that sharp left. Somehow going to left seems so much more exciting than going right, so I pick my way. Of course it never works out, it’s not the right way, it is a dead-end. As always God  brings back to the start of the path, I don’t get lost , I don’t get in trouble. He allows me another chance to follow him, infinite chances to go right. I listened to God, and when he spoke, he brought me to a book, a book that will forever change the way I look at life.

This month’s book selection is,  Everything Happens for a Reason: Finding the true meaning of events in our lives, by Mira Kirshenbaum. While reflecting on past events in my life, changes that have been made, I once struggled to find meaning in them. I had a bad habit of feeling sorry for myself, hating the world that I was in, just hoping for something better that never came. I would wonder, why do certain things happen the way they do? Why do some events turn out bad, and why can’t things just go the way I want them to. I wanted perfection from life. Who am I kidding? Life doesn’t work that way.  The odds are not always in my favor, and every event is not going to always have a happy ending. In life bad things happen. Bad things happen to everyone, the good that comes out of those bad events are the reason why they had to happen.

Through her writing, Kirshenbaum points out  that there are ten main reasons why these bad events take place in our lives. Through each chapter she thoroughly explains each of these ten reasons, she conveys real life examples from people to make sense of  the true meaning as to why certain events may occur in life. Kirshenbaum is able to help  the reader reflect on his or her own life events, and find a way to make that event fit into one of these reasons. This book opens the reader up to deep self-reflection,  possibly gaining closure and moving forward from events that appear damaging to our lives. Kirshenbaum writes in a way that enhances a positive overtone for negative events. This book portrays the message that life does get better! People are resilient and if we are just able to bounce back, bounce back quick,  and look for true meaning, our lives will be better than we have ever imagined. Kirshenbaum does an excellent job of making the reader feel at home within the book, and brings the message that life does not just happen to happen. Life really does happen for a reason.

The Ten Meanings of the Events in Our Lives, by Mira Kirshenbaum

1. To help you feel at home in the world

2. To help you totally accept yourself

3. To show you that you can let go of fear

4. To bring you to the place where you can feel forgiveness

5. To help you uncover your true hidden talent

6. To give you want you need to find true love

7. To help you become stronger

8. To help you discover the play in life

9. To show you how to live with a sense of mission

10. To help you become a truly good person.

My challenge to you is to sit and reflect on the negative events of your life, if you feel you know the reason why they happened, great! You are one step ahead. If not, if you continue to feel sad, wonder “what if”, or have trouble moving on think of the meaning behind this event. How has it changed you? Can anything positive come from this negative event? Look within your inner self for the reason, trust me it is there.

If you have time read, Everything Happens For A Reason by, Mira Kirshenbaum.

*Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experiences!

Life and its uncertainty: What’s next?

I am back in New York this week. Yeah I know it seems like I was just here, what can I say I like to travel. Unfortunately traveling is   expensive 😦 so, I can not always do it as much as I would like. However, I must always find the time and money to return to my home state. When I come back to the big city it feels like I never left. The city looks the same, smells the same, and still has that same city feel that says welcome to New York! New York will always be my home. It is familiar to me. A city of memories. Good and bad, each memory will always have a special place in my life. New York is full of experiences, and those experiences have made me the person I am today. As always, mentally I do have to adjust to the mainland. I have to constantly remember that there is no spirit of Aloha over here. Put on your best New York attitude and keep it moving! In New York I have to remind myself to slow down, take a moment, and continue to enjoy life.

I must say I love summer in New York. With the heat and humidity, it really does feel like hell on earth, and you may melt if you stay outside too long, but in my mind there is nothing like a New York summer. So I am glad that I have the opportunity to be in the city right in the heart of summer, ideally I want to go to summer stage this weekend, or a street fair in the village. If you haven’t experienced a New York summer, trust me it is something you must do. At least once in your life. Don’t worry about the heat too much, just drink lots of water! 🙂

Since I have been back on the mainland I have been thinking, I am ready for my next power move! My next life changing moment. I have ambition to do better, reach for something higher and I want that next opportunity to again set myself in a new life position. The problem: I haven’t really grasped in my mind what my next power move will look like. Such as what do I want to do next? Where do I want to live? What do I want to experience? Or more importantly, where does God need me to be? I have asked God, what’s next? Where do I go? What am I supposed to do now? Still waiting for those answers. I know they will come in time, so I will wait patiently until it is time to make that power move.

When I am on the mainland, it does not feel like I really live in Hawaii. For some reason it feels like life on the island is a big dream, and suddenly I have woke up back in my bed, in my house, with my family. Yet, I know I will return, and my reality is my island life. I feel like one girl, living in two different worlds. I wonder if I can connect them somehow. Maybe that is what God needs me too figure out next. How can I connect both my worlds, to make one reality. The reality that is essentially my life. Challenging? Maybe, but I know I can do it. Once I have that figured out, then maybe I will be ready to make my next power move. And trust me, the next move will defiantly be a life changing moment.

Back to Basics: Having a passion for the present

        You ever get to a point in your life where you stop and wonder “how did I get here”? And think, “was my life planned out to be this way”? Ever just stop and think about the past events of your life and look for the common connection that has led you to your current place in the world? Not regretting the past, just thinking, “wow 10 years ago I would have never thought that I would be here”, and then left to wonder what in the world will possibly happen next. Sometimes I wish I could cheat and see the map of what’s next for my life, but yet I know it is better left as a surprise. No cheating, just living. Living with purpose, walking by faith.

The point of my recent pondering; well suddenly I realized that it was already the end of July! Where did 2011 go, I feel like it just started yesterday. Nearly eight months in and I am thinking time really needs to slow down. I wish time would take a small break so I can mentally catch up to the speed that its going. Maybe I just need to go faster, work harder, but really time, do you have to go so fast?

Lately I have gone back to self analyzing my life (again, it’s what I do best!). Over the past few months I have been so busy with the chaos of life 18-20 hours out of the day, that I lost time to do everything that was important to me, like living. I once heard someone say that we get so busy living in the future, we forget to live in the present. Yeah that is how I feel right now. In January, this moment was the future, now it is the past, and I am wondering what happened to the present.

The greatness of time. It is always constant,  it doesn’t stop, doesn’t slow down, just keeps going. A rare certainty in life. My challenge to myself has been making the most of each moment that I am currently in, taking advantage of what I love to do, and making those dreams I have for the future, my reality in the present.

I have been working so much, that I forgot for a moment that I love writing. I knew something was missing from my life, and yes I have neglected my blog. Not good! Then I had to question myself, how much do I really love writing if I don’t make the time to write? Seriously, I need to love it more. To be successful, eat, sleep, and breathe what your passionate about. I know I have a passion for writing, so my task to myself is just to write! Even if I am not always happy with the finished product, at least I have words on paper.

My next task to myself is to live in the moment. I wish I had an off switch to my brain so I can give it a rest, focus on today. My daily plan is to decide what I want to accomplish for the day and do it to my full ability. So for all my avid readers (like I have so many, but I will pretend that I do right now), I am back! Back to writing, back to sharing my random thoughts, daily adventures, and details of my horrible dates. OK, just kidding I will be more optimistic for the rest of the year. Positive thoughts, positive energy, make positive experiences!

Conversations With God

  One day a few weeks ago I was feeling really lonely. Not lonely because I missed anyone, and it wasn’t a literal type of lonely. I was just lonely on the inside. A sudden emptiness that overcame my sense of presence. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so empty inside. I wanted to just be in a different place but I did not know how to get there. Through the feelings of emptiness came a cloud of sadness. It wasn’t a new feeling, I had been in that space before so I wasn’t alarmed. The re occurrence of that  feeling was an eye opener for me, I knew what I needed to do to get out of it, it was time for a much-needed conversation with God.

Every so often I may start to miss my family and friends on the east coast. Sometimes I just miss being around people who have known me for a long time, and even know what I am thinking without even saying a word. My longtime friends know when my smiles are forced, and can tell by the sound of my voice when I am feeling troubled. I must say that those are the times that I actually will not talk to them,  since I live close to 5000 miles away, I can hide my feelings by not picking up the phone. However, I do try to speak with my mom at least once a week, usually on Sunday, and every Sunday I get the same question; “Did you go to church today”. Honestly most Sundays the answer is no. The no is not even because I choose sleep over church.  I wake up extra early on Sunday’s to make it to the gym for my weekly spin class. The excuse is really after the gym I come home, eat, and relax from my morning workout. The truth is, in reality I am avoiding God. I am avoiding a much-needed, overdue conversation between me and God.

When the lonely feeling came back, I knew it because it hit me in the gut. (I wonder if that is God punching me in the stomach)  Yet, I knew exactly what I needed to do to remedy the situation. I no longer let that lonely feeling overwhelm me with depressive thoughts because I understand where it comes from.  It frequently happens when I stop listening to God, and start listening to myself.

During  one conversation with my mom she told me, “you need to go back to church”. I guess she picked up on my monotone voice as if something was bothering me.  Her tone was like any caring mother, one of not really telling me, but still telling me what she expected me to do. So, I listened. That Sunday I went to church and decided to come face to face with God.

I must admit my spirituality is somewhat of a lifelong struggle. I am a Christian. However, I could use a lot of work on my relationship with God. I go to church and sit. Yes, I am a church sitter. I like to go listen to the sermon, and then go home. Not the most Christian like thing to do, so that is one of the areas that I have told God I will work on. I am at times conflicted about what to believe in the bible, mainly because the bible was written by man, more precisely A MAN. I still and will always believe in God, I trust in faith, but when it comes to the bible…well lets just say that I still have some questions.

That Sunday while I was in church I decided I was ready to have my conversation with God. Truthfully, I was not really sure what that conversation would look like. Was God like my own personal therapist, does he just sit and listen while I talk? Or, does God answer back with sound words of advice?  God already knows everything that is going on in my life so I don’t have to explain the whole background story, maybe he does all the talking and I just listen. In my head are images of me and God sitting on a comfy couch having a conversation.  I talk, and he is giving a gentle smirk to all out laughter because he sees my life as a daily comedy show.  Sometimes, I know God is sitting back and laughing,  inside I am laughing right along with him. I feel like God and I are old friends, we could talk for hours, he would tell me everything I need to know about life. When we talk I know that everything will be alright. God is always able to make everything alright.

In church, I talked to God.  I listened to God’s response. In the car on my way home I continued the conversation, and when I got home the conversation just kept going. I realized I don’t need to hide from God, HE already knows what I want to say and, what I need to say.  Every so often,  I  get confused if it is God I am listening to or just my voice in my own head. When that I happens I know I need to slow down and listen harder. God knows. God knows all.

Lately, I have met a few men who have started conversations with me  before and after church, we have even exchanged numbers. Oddly enough I know God is waiting for me to have that conversation with him. I will talk, and he will sit back and smile.  I can just see that Godly smirk right now, the smirk of inner peace saying that everything is going to be alright.