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


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

Energy Levels

I hope your week has started on a good note. Today my energy level is at a medium. I feel okay, I slept in and when I woke up I stayed in bed watching tv and just being comfortable. I don’t feel either low or high leveled energy today.

I wanted to talk about what it feels like for myself to be on the ends of the energy spectrum. This might be interesting to read for some people, but for me its more of an exercise to recognize when I am feeling it.

What does it feel like for me to be at low energy level?

Well, my sisters and I describe it as a “sad Sunday” feeling. Iʻm not entirely sure where that phrase came from, but itʻs this really sad feeling that we get (usually on Sundays) when the sun is going down and weʻve been laying around and lounging all day – itʻs the dread of having to go back to school or to work the next day. Yesterday I felt this feeling and itʻs really hard to do the things I need to do like washing the dishes, doing laundry, making my bed, clearing the table etc, when I feel this way.

Usually I cannot identify the reason as to why it happens, but most times it’s like a switch is flipped. I can be fine all day and then that “sad Sunday” feeling hits. I end up with low energy level for the rest of the day. Iʻm usually not better until the next day comes around. (How I feel today as compared to last night Is a good example of this).

On high energy level days – I move at an insane speed. My mind races and I get all the things done. Laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, checking all boxes off on my task list etc. It works out great to some extent, but its almost bothersome to me! I do all the things and then sit down to tend to other things (like blog writing for example) and my mind goes to “did I make sure to check that there isn’t a piece of dirty laundry that was hidden behind my laundry basket?” or “I swear I saw a piece of a dead leaf by the plants in front of the tv, let me make sure I picked it up.” Sometimes my high energy days means I am distracted a little more than usual, which then becomes counter productive.

However, this happens maybe once or twice a week, and on an average basis Iʻm at mid energy level (like today) which I would consider to be my in between and “normal” functioning.

Do you have frequent changes of energy levels? How do you feel when you are at the opposite ends of the spectrum? What is your ideal level of energy?

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Whatʻs on my Desk?

Itʻs Friday Eve (Thursday!). I decided to take a break today from my normal routine, meaning I didnʻt do anything related to my current project (which I like to call work right now). I actually had this as a topic sitting in my drafts for months. As some of you may know, right now I am on an “extended vacation”, haha. However, I do have projects that require me to use my laptop and I have commandeered my husbandʻs work/game desk for the time being.

So, for the sake of todayʻs post, this is my current desk and these are a list of the things that sit on this desk:

  1. A desktop monitor connected to my MacBook – I never really had a need for two screens, but since working at an agency where I had the luxury of having them, I seem to be struggling with only my 13inch laptop. Hence, commandeering my husbandʻs workspace (and some of his stuff too). I use my 13in MacBook Pro which is connected to an LG wide monitor. Super convenient.
  2. A charging stand for my phone – Donʻt we all need that? This one is my husbandʻs
  3. A keyboard – Ugh, working on a keyboard as opposed to the laptopʻs keyboard is so much easier. The new MacBook Proʻs keyboards are not my favorite, it feels harder to type on. But, I digress. This one is my husbandʻs too.
  4. A mouse – I have a bluetooth mouse, which works better for the new MacBookʻs because they lack USB ports (there are only two USB-C ports now). Again, much better than using the laptop trackpad.
  5. Sticky Notes – Always good for writing down quick tasks and sticking them to the monitor, lol. The colorful ones are my favorite! I also like different sizes of sticky notes.
  6. Pens and Hi-Liters – You have to have every color. There are no exceptions.
  7. Remote control for the fan – Itʻs hot in Oʻahu. Like really hot, so I do have a fan sitting about 6.5 feet away from me.
  8. My vitamins – I take probiotics and multivitamins every day and if I donʻt see them, I wonʻt remember to take them.
  9. Blue light glasses – I stole these from my sister, thank you! When using contact lenses, I use these. But, when I have my Rx glasses on, I don’t need them because they already have blue light lenses! I believe there is no actual merit that blue light glasses work, but I feel they do, so I continue to wear them.
  10. Eye drops – I have chronic dry eyes and well, that requires me to use eye drops during the day, especially when staring at a monitor this large.
  11. A foldable small table – This is sort of the extension to this small desk. Right now it is sitting to the left of me, but my husband usually has it sitting to the right of him. On this little table I have:
    1. My iPad! – This can actually double as another screen if I needed it to, but right now itʻs just there for watching tv or accessing notes in the cloud
    2. My two planners – I have one for my personal life (Law of Attraction Planner) and one for my “work” (ShaleiMei 2021 Planner). With everything going on in my head, I tend to forget the details of a day. I guess itʻs not a requirement to write everything down in your day, but when I need to reflect on my month or revisit for any reason, I know itʻs there.
  12. The last thing I have on my desk that is most important right now are my notepads and composition tablets – I write so many notes down in a day that I need to keep track of everything.

The things I choose to have on my (haha, my husband will read this and say no) desk help to keep me focused on the tasks at hand, whether it is writing my blog posts, researching, or working on my project (itʻs a website for a local business).

What sorts of things do you have on your desk?

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Tales of a Curly Island Girl

Q&A a Day f0r Writers: Poem from a Bookshelf

Todayʻs prompt sent me on a little journey!

Go to the edge of a bookshelf, count seven books in, and select the seventh page and the seventh sentence. Make a poem about something in that sentence.

Alright, so I chose the seventh book on my first shelf, which ended up being Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Page 7 is actually the first page of Chapter 1 and the last sentence of the page is actually only the third sentence (Carroll had very long sentences). Therefore, I will need to go onto the next page, haha.

“First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything: then she looked at the side of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves: here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs.” Carroll 8

Here we go! (Iʻm doing free verse, because that one comes more naturally to me)

I can’t see

Itʻs too dark to see anything.
Will anyone light a flame for me?
Will anyone reach out a hand?
Iʻve been sitting in this space - in my head
for I don't know how long. 
Sometimes I see pictures of what could be and what has been
kinda like maps with journeys waiting to be taken.
But I canʻt see that far.
I donʻt see the destination - itʻs out of reach
and out of sight because
its too dark to see anything.

This was a short one for you folks, maybe Iʻll incorporate more free verse poems in my posts – just for additional creative stimulation.

I like to write free verse a lot more than other types of poetry, because I am not as familiar with them. I also like not having rules when being creative.

This was a fun exercise and is simple to try for yourself! If you do try it, let me know what you come up with!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Q&A a Day for Writers: My Ideal Writing Conditions

Todayʻs post will be my last daily post. I really wanted to try out something new by attempting consecutive days and after nine (and whew, has it been hard), I have decided that I will be doing posts twice a week (starting next week). I would like to have more time to create thoughtful pieces and or do a little more research for you all. Thank you so much for sticking with me so far!

The prompt: E.B. White said “ a writer who waits for the ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” And although White has a point, describe your ideal conditions.

My ideal conditions are pretty simple. Letʻs do this one as a list!

  1. To start – I would most definitely prefer writing on a computer/laptop (for my blog). I have written posts on my phone and iPad before, but it doesnʻt feel as good as typing on a keyboard.
  2. Music would be playing – Any music that Iʻm interested in at the time, but if I need a lot more concentration – classical for sure.
  3. A drink would be next to me – whether, itʻs coffee, tea, water, energy drink, juice, whatever – just not alcohol (I donʻt think I can drink and write, although that may prove to be a really good test)
  4. Comfort – I would need to be comfortable. It could be comfy clothes, a comfy chair, cool air. Sometimes I need to take a shower before sitting down to write, it would depend on my mood. I think itʻs super important to be in a good physical space to get you into a good mental space which leads me to number five.
  5. Good mental space – Writing while in a good mental space allows your ideas to flow freely. When I say good mental space, I do mean just the space for writing. Sometimes the saddest and angriest people write such beautiful things, controlled by their emotion of course.
  6. Time – This one is probably the most important to me. If I need to rush, itʻs not gonna be my best. I re-read and re-read and edit and re-read again and edit so many times to get a near-perfect piece or paper. Which is why, I am choosing to lessen the amount of posts to twice a week. I want more time to write better content for you all.

These six things really influence whether or not what I am writing is my best. We all have ideal conditions in which we work on our hobbies and talents.

What are your ideal conditions for doing what you love?

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Q&A a Day for Writers: The Sky

Today’s prompt is to describe the sky without using the words: blue, gray, clouds, green, or sun.

When I look up into the heavens I see something grand. My initial thought when I open my eyes it’s to see what the sky looks like. It’s miraculous, it’s nothing short of exquisite. It’s the purples and the oranges and the yellows that travel like watercolor exploding across a canvas, when the day finally meets up with the night. It’s the trails of white, sometimes it looks like cotton balls, fluffy and big, but sometimes its like beautiful lace strewn across a white surface. Some days the sky is sad. Where the tears fall, our grass grow, our land is replenished. And on some days the sky is furious, flooding the earth and cleansing everything. The sky offers us so much.

Can you imagine a world without that. It would be a shame to only see a blank canvas when we look towards the heavens? Can you imagine little fingers reaching for the stars and not seeing anything there? Can you imagine laying on a blanket face up and not being able to count how many floating pictures you see go by? Can you imagine not being able to connect with a spiritual realm because there were no sky?

It has so much to offer to us, the color, the presence, the rain, the moon, the stars – all of it like a beautiful blanket. Could you imagine life without it?

Yeah, me neither.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl