Whoops.

Aloha Aloha Aloha nui.

Guess what? I thought I had posted my “I moved” life update back in April … and guess where I found it? Sitting in my drafts. *face palm

E kala mai (I apologize), I thought I had updated you all, and I guess I have not. So here is a quick breakdown of that: We moved. If you follow my personal social media, you know what has changed, but if you don’t, well, we moved to Kailua Kona. We are originally from this island (Hawai’i island), but from the east side – in rainy Hilo. Our journey from Oʻahu to Kona was a rough one, I am so glad I took the break from social media so I could put my 100% focus into that. My husband is recruiting out here and its been about three months. So far, itʻs okay – I see him when I see him and it is only the beginning. If you know anything about Marine Corps recruiting, you know that it is the most difficult of all the branches.

I have some wonderful news to share with you, but you must wait a little longer for me to announce that. I really am so proud of myself! I hope you are all well and doing good. However, in the meantime I hope to post more regularly again … I need more ideas for sure, it can be sometimes rather hard to continue sharing (my life is not that exciting by any means). Here is what I am currently into:

  • Sunscreen for my skin – I really am trying to be careful about skin cancer and just the premature aging process in general. I donʻt mind aging, but I want to take care of my skin!
  • I started an OTC Retinol in addition to my regular Curology routine – See point above, haha.
  • I am trying to get back into reading (and writing, obviously) but while I do that I am incorporating scheduling and learning to time block.
  • Watching all of the cooking shows on all streaming websites – my fave right now is Sugar Rush.
  • Utilizing my iPad – I bought it for a reason and I am trying to do more things with it other than watching tv.
  • Exercising – Nothing too crazy and special, but I do try to workout every weekday. I do a 1.5 mile walk and either squats or deadlifts. I donʻt feel any different, but thats okay! I am happy for the movement.

I think thatʻs all for now. If you have any suggestions for some new pieces, or suggestions on books to read, please don’t be shy!

I miss you all! I am glad to post this.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Taking a Break: Itʻs Time to Unplug

Happy Monday!

I wanted to say first and foremost, I am so sorry for missing last Thursday. Last week was a little rough for me (an emotional roller coaster) and my motivation was low and sitting in front of my laptop to write was not coming naturally to me.

Todayʻs post is about taking a break.

When you feel like youʻre drowning in negativity, work, terrible perceptions of self, personal relationships etc, itʻs a good idea to take a break. The first thing is to define what taking a break means for you. It could be taking time off of work, unfollowing or hiding feed posts from people that make you feel bad, starting (or re-starting) a hobby that can bring you joy and take your mind off of other things, and distancing yourself from negativity.

I am taking a break from social media, specifically my personal Instagram account. I have also started reading again. Iʻm sure you have noticed the struggle with negative perceptions of myself (especially in the last post), so I have decided to take a break from my Instagram account and drastically reduce the time I spend on Facebook for the month of March.

There are a lot of things and events going on for me in the month of March, so I think taking the break from social media will also be less distracting. I want to come back from the break, refreshed and positive, lol.

With that being said, I wanted to say thank you so much for keeping up with my posts, but I will also be taking a break from writing for the time being as well. If I absolutely feel like I need to write or share something, I will keep it in my drafts and share it later. I hope to be back in April!

I hope you continue to give yourself a break. Whatever that means to you, do it. Donʻt let the negativity of others get to you and prevent you from living your fullest and happiest life.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Loving your Body

Last week I was posting on my Instagram page about how I needed to stop comparing myself to other women that I see online. I need to apologize to myself for consistently doing this. I end up feeling really badly about my weight gain and acne breakouts and it really puts me down.

I know that a lot of people have this same problem. We always see ourselves as lesser than because we see this perfect person on social media. It is so destructive to our own identities.

Iʻve been working on this, but here are the two things Iʻve been actively doing to remove negative perceptions of myself:

  1. Unfollow any social media accounts (or hide their stories) that I continue to look at and compare myself to. This is to protect my peace.
  2. Talk to myself! I know it sounds weird, but looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself that I am beautiful is in an important affirmation. My body has survived this far. My body has been loved. My body is perfect. This is to protect my body from being distorted in my own mind.

Make no mistake, I slip up on this frequently. Itʻs hard for sure, but I encourage you to just try. If you need to remove yourself from some people who focus only on negative things and aid in your bad perception of self, then do it. If you have to end a relationship with a partner because they do no uplift you, then do it. If you need to exercise or eat better, then do it.

You are amazing and so is your body! We defy all odds every day.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Tales of a Curly Island Girl

Drawing the Line: Toxic Positivity

Letʻs talk about something I only learned about this week. Yes, only this week I learned the name for a feeling Iʻve been questioning very recently: Toxic positivity.

Toxic Positivity can be defined as being/trying to stay constantly happy in bad situations.

The reason this has been weighing on my conscience is because Iʻve been becoming increasingly interested in the self-help books and social media accounts. In the back of my head, I will read or watch something and say things to myself like “okay, but what if it really is bad? We canʻt just will happiness into existence in certain situations. Thatʻs terrible for people, especially those in abusive situations.”

To be constantly happy, to tell yourself to just stay happy, is to negate your true emotions. I have no background in psychology, and Iʻve only worked as admin in a behavioral/mental health organization, but I know that that can’t be good. Itʻs brainwashing.

I guess, for me, balancing this looks like sharing the bad and the good. Life isnʻt perfect, and itʻs okay to share that youʻre not doing good. No one person can truly be always happy. To not share how you truly feel, often times makes you feel even worse. Pent up emotions turn into outbursts that can be mentally and physically damaging to yourself and your loved ones.

There is a fine line between gratitude and happiness and not recognizing awful and unacceptable situations. I am learning this right now. I learned this in my previous job. I was extremely grateful for having a job during a pandemic but the feelings I had while working messed with my mental health so badly. When I finally quit, it was my decision to be done with the situation. I had tolerated enough, and was absolutely grateful through it all, but after a point that did nothing for my mental health and wellbeing. Itʻs important to address the problem and not “oh, itʻs fine” it all the way into a deep depression. It is tiresome to relentlessly focus on the positive and it can also be naive.

I had to do a little research to understand exactly where this term came from and did not find much other than it was coined by psychologists (no surprise there). I am not too sure who, but itʻs accepted that it was created in the U.S. because of the incessant outlook of always being positive in mainstream culture.

To sum it up, itʻs important to try and create that balance. Positive outlook can be a really good thing, but itʻs also OK to feel terrible or not be happy (especially during this time). And again, everything you see on social media or the internet isnʻt always believable. I am really not saying that to be positive is stupid, because it is not. I still read books, blogs, posts that encourage us to have a better outlook on life and I agree. But, again, there is a line you need to draw in order to preserve and protect your peace by recognizing how far is too far for yourself.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Sorry

Hello.
When will we see you again? 
Tomorrow makes another month.
Does it? 
I didn't notice.
Do you ever think about us?
Not really. 
Sorry.
Are you?
What? Sorry?-

Are you sorry you do not deserve a loyal partner?
Are you sorry you cannot fill that void in your heart?
Are you sorry you lost the only person who cared?

I- 
Yeah, I guess youʻre not sorry. 
Thatʻs okay. 
Iʻm not sorry either. 

Not sorry your daughter has your eyes.
Not sorry your son has your hair.
Not sorry your children donʻt have a parent
because I fill that role.

But-
Someone else will take your place.
And when you finally think of them
well, I wonʻt be here.
Ok. I will try to stop by this week.
Do they remember me?
Not really.
Sorry.

Adjusting to Change

Change is inevitable. Don’t we hear that so much? Itʻs true though. In this lifestyle that I live with my husband, big changes are made every 3-4 years. Now I know most of you are already aware of my anxiety and mental health journey, so it can be extra tough on me during this process.

Although I am so excited to start anew, I will miss things about this home that weʻve had for 2.5 years. I am so thankful for a place that was beautiful and not falling apart. Weʻve made memories in this home, we had family visit us throughout our time, we hosted a few small dinners etc. I am also comfortable in this home (not so much outside of it) and Iʻve grown stronger relationships with family and friends that are here (and formed so many new ones). I am extremely thankful for the time I have had.

Through all the excitement, my anxiety is heightened as well. There are many steps that need to be taken and in a short amount of time. Although this is something that has to occur more frequently for a military family, it does not make it any easier to plan for. In this time, I rely on my husband, my sister, and my family and friends to help me cope. Right now, my husband is my backbone even if he is not physically here with me right now. He reminds me to take it day by day and in manageable “chunks”. I donʻt know what I did to deserve this man in my life, but I am truly truly so grateful to have someone who loves and supports me in every way he possibly can.

Change is coming for us very quickly. I have a million things running in my mind right now, I almost didnʻt get to post. Today I slept in and watched tv all day. I really hope tomorrow I can re-situate myself and listen to the advice my husband has given me, to “take it day by day”. I have other obligations to complete as well as start the process of the big change.

Ultimately, I know that I will be okay, I know that I can get through anything, but it doesnʻt always mean itʻs gonna be easy. If you pray, please pray for me. If you don’t pray, please send me all the good vibrations my way! I appreciate it all.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Language

Aloha kākou! (Hello everyone)

Today is February 1st, which means it is also Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Month).

I wanted to talk a little about the importance of language. Understanding and speaking another language gives you the understanding and the framework of a culture. Sentences and phrases translated to English are not always accurate because there might not be a way to express exactly what it says. Furthermore, to understand a language other than English, is to also understand how it fits into your actions and your every day life.

In Hawaiʻi, speaking Hawaiian was banned after the illegal overthrow (1893) and schools no longer taught the language (1896). The culture began to fade as less generations began to speak, to learn, and understand. There was a revitalization in the 1970s by Larry Kimura. He advocated for Hawaiian immersion schools to start teaching the language again. This was an important movement for Hawaiians. A large population of native people did not know their own language! How could they? It was banned from being taught, and English quickly replaced it. We do not have many Manaleo (native speakers) left, a lot of the Hawaiian you hear being spoken today is an institutionalized version (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi).

Today, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is an official language (alongside English), but there are still a huge percentage of people that live here, were born here, and grew up here that cannot speak or understand fluently. I started teaching myself, very slowly, about year ago. I became distracted and never laid out a plan to stick to. Now that I have more time on my hands, I really wish to move steadily forward. I am almost ashamed of myself because I feel like I should know more. I still cannot formulate sentences on my own, and that is pretty disappointing –

This month is inspiring me to push myself harder. I have joined Facebook groups, followed many Hawaiian speaking social media accounts, and have purchased a few books but I always seem to get distracted.

If you have any suggestions for me, I would so appreciate it! Even from the perspective of someone learning any other language. Itʻs a process and learning without a set curriculum is actually really hard.

Momoe aku i mua (Move forward with determination)

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Q&A a Day for Writers: Immortality

Todayʻs prompt is on immortality. Create a character who is immortal and explain what they struggle with.

One day she woke up, many many years ago and knew immediately that something had changed. It was her 33rd year around the sun. Her younger siblings continued to age and become old, and yet, she stayed the same.

Sheʻs had some lovers here and there but whatʻs the point if each one will leave her? She was never able to have a family and she has never found someone that shares this curse. Sheʻs watched as every single one of her family members moved to different parts of the world and passed on. They began to forget as each new generation was born. They forgot that she was family – so she decided to separate herself.

Besides all of those “ailments”, if you will. Her biggest gripe is not being able to save everyone. Sheʻs lived through many wars, many pandemics, and many regimes and has seen so much pain and destruction. Although she has lived for so long, she has not found a way to fully help the people of the earth. For as the years go by, so does industrialization. There are only a few places left untouched. There is always something blocking her way.

Yes, living forever could be a gift, but to her, it has always been a curse. For the things she is trying to do, the things that make us all human: loving, having special people to grow old with, sharing secrets, changing someoneʻs life, is not measurable or possible when you can never die.

“Immortality is a terrible curse”

– Simone De Beauvoir

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Tales of a Curly Island Girl

My Morning Routine

Today’s post is a look into my personal life, just a snippet! My morning routine has changed so much from the start of this year, now that I have flexibility. And I love my mornings – I am most definitely a morning person. So here it goes:

  1. My alarm goes off at 6AM every week day – As compared to my 4AM alarm last year. I am not afraid to hit the snooze button though, haha.
  2. Use a heat pad on my eyes for 15 minutes – I’ve started slacking on this one and am just now getting back into it. I do these for my dry eyes. In the last couple of years, I’ve been diagnosed with chronic dry eyes which is largely due to being a contact lenses wearer. My dry eyes are caused by clogged oil ducts in my eyelids (they are very small), which means no oils are being mixed into the tears that naturally lubricate the eye. Heat pads on the eyes ensure that the oil is melting and lubricating the eye. Clogged oil ducts in the eyes can lead to worse things.
  3. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and moisturize. I know some people actually wash up after eating something (breakfast), but I was raised to do so right after waking up and before coming out of my room, so that habit has definitely stuck.
  4. I prepare my sister’s lunch bag. When my husband is back, I will also prepare his as well. This would include making the coffee too! Our coffee maker has a timer on it, so the coffee will start on its own as long as I remembered to prep it the night before, lol.
  5. I make my bed! Making my bed allows me to feel like something is complete, organized, and clean.
  6. I work out for 30 minutes. I roll out my yoga mat in the tiny walking space left in my living room – I make it work.
  7. I shower and get ready – sometimes its a dress, sometimes its leggings and a sports bra. It makes me feel more alive and in tune with a schedule of some sort. Sometimes I do my brows and sometimes I don’t, lol. But I almost always put some earrings on.
  8. Then I eat a little something – and sit down at the desk and start to work

It’s nothing crazy, but I felt it was something shareable and something personable.

How is your morning routine? Do you schedule in the time to do something for you and only you in the mornings? Maybe you’re not a morning person at all, and that’s okay too!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Tales of a Curly Island Girl

Whatʻs the Tea?

Did I get your attention? Haha, the only tea youʻll get from me today is this post about my top three favorite teas. I am most definitely a black tea drinker, and absolutely a loose leaf one at that. I distinctly remember wanting to drink tea with no sugar because it’s easier to drink, but then having to teach myself to deal with the strong and sometimes bitter tastes.

Tea, oh what can I say about tea that you don’t already know? It has many benefits and flavors – depending on which tea you’re drinking. So let’s just talk about my top three:

  • Earl Grey
    • My favorite black tea ever. I feel it can be an acquired taste for some because of its strong aroma and flavor. It’s black tea leaves either mixed in with dried bergamot or sprayed with bergamot oil. Bergamot is a citrus fruit and grown in Italy for production of its oil. I like to drink this one hot and with no sugar. I don’t add milk either, but if you have ever heard of a London Fog, that is an Earl Grey with milk and vanilla. When I visit my hometown, Hilo, I get the Earl Grey and London Fog milk tea from Teapresso Bar (and I only like Hilo’s Teapresso, LOL sorry not sorry).
    • I have two canisters of Earl Grey from when my husband was in Singapore for TAD. This was in 2019 and they still smell perfect! I wanted to try different types of Earl Grey, so in these pictures you see both Golden Earl and French Earl from TWG Tea. The French Earl has an addition of French blue cornflowers and the Golden Earl has black tea that is oxidized using the sun and are referred to as “gold tips”. LOL, the more you know!
  • Māmaki
    • This tea is special to me and native to Hawai’i. I first tasted it in the Fall of 2015. I had taken a Plants of Hawai’i botany course/lab. I had my first sip of Māmaki then. It was so good, but a very different kind of taste. It belongs to the Nettle family, but has no stingers. It has a lot of healing properties and most definitely helps with seasonal allergies and the effects of vog (volcanic fog). In Spring of 2016, I had it again in a Geography of Hawai’i (Hawai’i in the Pacific) course. The instructor grew his own Māmaki and the tea was pink! I prefer to drink this tea iced and with no sugar. I had left a bag of it in Hilo when I moved away and when I returned it was no longer good. Recently, I acquired some from a local Patreon subscription. Kehau of Kehaunō’eau received some from a friend in Maui and shared with her subscribers. I still have some left that I wanted to share with my sister, so I’m trying really hard not to steep it for myself, haha.
The only Māmaki leaves I have left
  • Oolong
    • I had a really hard time picking what my third favorite tea was, but here it is – Oolong! A Chinese tea that is neither green or black. It can usually be identified as tea leaves in a rolled-up ball, with a little “tail” at the end. I don’t have any Oolong on hand right now, so I have no personal picture for you to see – but I found one here. I like to drink this one hot too (with no sugar), but Mr. Tea in Ala Moana makes a really good Oolong milk tea.

If you like tea and have not been to a tea shop, you should go in and try some new ones. You could also go and visit your local tea rooms and have a little tasting of different flavors. I have by no means gotten to taste every imaginable tea. Different cultures have their own kinds of teas too, that you would never try unless given some leaves or by visiting the area. I also don’t necessarily brew them the right way: each type of tea usually has a specific amount of minutes that you spend brewing or temperature of the water – I’m not like that at all. I’m picky only about whether or not it is loose-leafed or if its not “plain”.

What’s your favorite kind of tea? Or do you hate tea and would rather have coffee? Does your culture have specific tea as well?

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl