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

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

Mental Health – How I’m Coping

I was asked months ago to discuss how I have been coping with my mental health issues, and then recently on my Instagram account, so here it is! Mental health will always be a recurring topic and I think itʻs super important to talk about it.

I have never been diagnosed but I do struggle with anxiety. Every person has some anxious thoughts, but the kind of anxiety I have keeps me in the house and makes me nervous to be alone in public settings. It really heightened in 2018 when I moved away from home. I had a huge realization that I probably had always been anxious but because I know my hometown like the back of my hand, I was able to get around and not be nervous. Now that I no longer live on the Big Island, I have become pretty introverted.

My coping skills from the summer of 2018 through early 2020 have been to just put errands off until someone can go with me, or to have things shipped to me instead of picking it up, or to just cancel it altogether. When the pandemic started in March of 2020, I was working from home for 3 months and during that time my anxiety was at an all time low (which is good), but some other issues popped up in its place.

2020 had been my worst year for my mental health. It was a roller coaster of mostly depression. My job began eating away at me (along with the state of the world, my communities, and other outside factors) and I was constantly complaining and crying at night. I was so unhappy and my husband and sister didnʻt know what to do and how to help me. Fortunately, my job had given me the opportunity to work in a behavioral/mental health field; I had met coworkers who specialized in mental health (licensed clinical social workers). I was able to discuss my problems and concerns with them. You know who you are! I am so grateful to know you.

I was given a tool to use! I mentioned it in my last life update post in October of 2020. The book I began reading in August 2020 with encouragement from my LCSW friend was Mind Over Mood. This book was the resource I needed to utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify the reason why I was reacting/feeling a certain way (in specific situations). Any time I felt upset for what I thought was no reason, really opened my eyes to why. Knowing ʻthe whyʻ allowed me to properly express my feelings and do something about it, whether it was telling someone the reason why I got upset, or realizing that the only thing that could go wrong was terribly unlikely. It also showed me techniques to soothe my anxious thoughts.

I so encourage you all to read through this book or look into CBT. In fact, to be honest, I need to read some chapters again because my anxiety has resurfaced and is stopping me from doing simple things like grocery shopping and dropping off packages to the post office.

If the book and reading is not for you thatʻs okay too. Finding someone you can share your thoughts with can help. Perhaps someone else experiencing the same or similar situations would be a good idea. I did rely heavily on a handful of my friends, my husband, and my sisters. I cried to them and spoke honestly and as freely as I could about my own issues. I asked them to listen and give me advice when solicited. For my loved ones who didnʻt understand or have not felt the way I felt, I explained my feelings as best I could.

I sat alone and prayed (if youʻre not religious, meditation might work as well) and tried to work it out on my own too. I let myself feel what I needed to feel, I tried not to hold it in as much as possible. My saving grace was letting my husband and sister know (I live with them) that my mood was not good today and I needed to be alone.

This is me being honest about my own mental health issues. We are not all the same and we may not all be able to self-teach but I encourage you to talk about it with someone (professional or not, depending on severity). Although this post may sound like I made myself the center of attention (I really hope that’s not what it is conveyed as), I was a good listener too. Sometimes the situations I felt so strong about was because of my own actions. With that being said, your pain is always valid and just because you may handle some situations better than someone else with mental health problems does not mean your problems are insignificant. We all deserve to be healthy (body, spirit, and mind).

Disclaimer: This is my own personal journey. I am in no means saying this will help everyone, and if you suffer from severe depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, please seek out help from a professional.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Reset, Revamp, Renew, Rebirth

There is so much going on in the world – COVID-19 pandemic, economic crashes, elections, political activism (BLM!), mental health awareness … the list goes on and on.

For a lot of my friends and family, 2020 is on record as the worst year ever.  

And guess who decided to jump back into blogging (on a hopefully more regularly basis) and re-vamped her site? ME. If you haven't noticed yet, she got her own domain, too! yay

With all that's going wrong in the world right now, what is going right for you right now?

Let's celebrate the wins in 2020, even if it is minimal:
  • Tales of a Curly Island Girl got a new and improved outfit, I got her own domain set up, and her logo is new and improved (thanks to my hubby!)
  • My mental health is so much better now than it ever has been, this year had been a learning curve with my own demons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a working progress, but now possess some tools to help manage that. Thanks to my licensed social worker friend, you da bomb.com. If you want to check out a book for some self-help, go ahead and click here.
  • I have the most wonderful group of friends that I am in contact with pretty regularly. You know who you are! We need another FaceTime date ASAP.
  • I applied to a Masterʻs program, and this month I will apply to a second one. Man, oh man, did I forget how grueling the process is with just applying. Oh, let’s not forget the cost to just apply too. Send me all the good vibes and prayers that I get accepted!
  • None of my friends and family got sick or passed away from COVID-19 and I am truly grateful for that. We are all healthy and take necessary precautions to stop the spread of this disease.
  • I had maintained a job throughout the year, and I am grateful for this. But I was finally able to get out of that sticky situation. I am already happier for it.
  • I created new relationships that I feel will last a lifetime. I am so grateful for the the people who held me during the year.
  • Although we were not at home in Hilo, we had a wonderful Christmas and New Yearʻs Eve. Being with each other will always be enough.
  • By leaving my job, I now have the time and energy to pour into things and people that I truly love.

I truly wish you nothing but the best in 2021. May you continue to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Your Curly Island Girl

Life Update – (Once Again)

Bellows AFB

It’s been months. Once again.

How have you been doing? The last time I updated you, I was working from home. I went back into the office in June. So much has happened since then. Just to quickly sum it up before I go off on a tangent:

  1. I had screened and interviewed multiple times for a job (yes, one specific job) from March through September and was ultimately denied the position several weeks ago. I know, I know … what. lol
  2. I went through a really rough time recently and was projecting a lot of my emotions onto my husband and sister. I have since been working with a close friend on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to help me with cope with anxiety and depression (but mostly anxiety). It’s working very well.
  3. I started my search to apply for an online graduate program. I really hope to go back to school in the Fall of 2021.
  4. My husband and I found out we will be leaving Hawai’i in early 2021. I am slightly terrified.
  5. I found eco friendly and “zero” waste YouTube channels and became obsessed (mostly with watching). I switched over to a few things like, Blueland‘s multipurpose cleaning solution and re-usable cotton rounds.
  6. I have moved away from the CG Method. Not completely, but it was not serving me in the way that I needed it to. My scalp is so much better now.
  7. I make it a point do night caps (with tea). Every night, I wash the dishes, set the coffee for my husband for the next day, and steep some herbal tea. My favorites right now are Head Relief and Stress Relief and Immune Support with Echinacea.
  8. We got an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil. I am not quite utilizing it to its full potential, but today I did start writing notes in the Notes app and shared it to the cloud so I can access it from my phone at anytime. I want to try and draw something, but I feel I am better with words the with art!! By the way, the justification for this purchase was for the size of the screen, it becoming a second screen to my MacBook, and my potential enrollment into a graduate program.
  9. I have been spending a lot of money on local businesses. I have fallen in love with everything local. Especially with the economic downfall right now, it’s so important to support your local businesses.

I may have forgotten some small things that happened between March and now, but I understand that I have not written much in a while. In fact, I have been doing “life updates” for as long as I can remember. I may just archive all of my current blog posts and sort of re-vamp what I write about. I am unsure if I need a theme, or if I need to just stick to one topic (lifestyle or whatever). I may just put a poll on my personal instagram page to get opinions or ideas on what to write about. Writer’s Block is not fun. I feel hindered. I want to be better at this!

Anyways, I hope to be back soon. And with fresher ideas and maybe a new “outfit” for the site.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Your Curly Island Girl

How to Work from Home (from a newb) – AKA COVID-19 Isolation

Hiiiiii…

I am so sorry that I haven’t written in so long. I look back at all my posts from 2019 and it makes me feel a little ashamed. I’m not going to go into what’s currently going on in the world, because at this point you should already know – COVID-19.

I do want to say my heart is incredibly sore for the people who are losing their jobs and having to close down their businesses because of this pandemic. I am incredibly fortunate to still have my job and my health and to be able to work from home to curb the spread of germs and this virus.

This is my first time working remotely and so far, I am only on Day 2, but I have noticed that these things work the best for a newb like me (in the realm of working from home). Granted, I don’t have children, so of course things are different for me than it would be for a parent, especially during this time.

If you have any tips or tricks, please, I am all ears. I am not sure how much longer I will be working from home but for the time being this is how I am approaching this.

  1. The time I wake up each morning to physically go into the office is the same time I am choosing to wake up. I don’t want to change my routine and risk sleeping in too long.
  2. Dress each morning like you’re going to work. I read earlier this week that someone who has been working from home for years always dresses up for work. This helps with the routine and doesn’t make you too comfortable sitting in the comfort of your own home which then you risk becoming too lazy to answer your emails and do your daily tasks.
  3. Feed your physical body. Eat something and get your favorite drink to start the day. In my case it is a dose of caffeine.
  4. Create your own space. Hopefully, the people in your home are okay with you commandeering living space! I turned my rather small dining table into my work desk. It will remain that way until I am back at my office desk, haha. Sorry, hubby!
  5. Take breaks. It’s honestly really easy to sit for hours and not realize how fast the time has gone without taking a break. Get up, stretch, walk around and eat something.
  6. When it’s time to clock out – clock out. Don’t look at anymore emails because it starts to meld into home life and I feel like that is a danger for those who do work at home on a normal basis. You don’t keep good boundaries (I have already done this in the past even with having an office job) if you don’t remove yourself.
  7. Now that I have more time (no more 35-40 minute traffic one way to sit in), I can keep my house more tidy, I can read, I can write, and generally, I am more happier. Enjoy the time you get to be in your own space. ‘

 

I am sure that some days I will want to just wear pajama pants and put on zero makeup at the beginning of the day, but right now, this is how I am working with the self distancing during this outbreak. I hope that I do more with my free time and be more productive before this period is up. ***I really needed this for my own mental health and sanity.

Please stay safe and remember that self-distancing is helpful for all even if you’re not sick or high risk. We are all safer when we all be smart.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

It’s the Little Things…

I am finding that the little things I do to help me stay happy are so incredibly important for my mental health.

My goal today is to set specific days and times to write something. Anything. Whether it be a blog post (short or long) or a little blurb in one of my many writing journals. I may even be okay with writing something creative on my phone notes! This is part of my little self-help I’m giving myself in order to keep me grounded.

With all the stress that comes with my job, helping my sister stay focused in school, and paying bills, yet trying to have fun, I’ve decided that anything I can do, small or big, to keep me and the people around me happy.

Wanna know what I’ve done so far?

1. I’m prepping to make little finals “survival” kits for my sister’s cohort. Their finals begins today, and I really hope they do well and be successful! These are our future doctors. We should mālama them. I got them some stress relief/fidget toys off of Amazon (just something small to mess around with while studying or feeling extra stressed). My work donated some of our promo items, like hand sanitizers and stress balls as well. I’ll put some snacks, candies, and homemade no-bake energy bars!

2. I set up both a reading and writing schedule today! What I have down is every Tuesday at 10-10:30PM and Saturday at 9-10AM I have set aside time to write. (Look forward to that!) My reading schedule is every Thursday at 9:30-10:30PM and Sundays at 9-10AM. I’m excited to start reading again. I feel like I needed to set a schedule to make sure I do it. It’s kinda like taking a class, it’s set every week for whatever date and time. I hope I don’t miss any!!!

3. I have resorted to putting stress relief items on my work desk. I have a couple of pictures up of my siblings and my husband. I have a small diffuser set up. I also have my stress relief sprays and smells from bath & body works. Recently, I’ve kept a couple of stress balls and a little toy to mess with on those conference calls that give me lots of anxiety.

4. I leave a blanket and house slippers at my desk as well. It makes it feel very homely. But also because the AC gets so cold where my desk is.

5. I tried my best to finish up my Christmas shopping earlier because I haven’t been very good with my money lately… but I feel so good having bought what I needed (I hope i didn’t miss anyone!!!). It’s also a goal of mine to pay off my credit card before I go home for New Years.

6. I am intermittent fasting because I want to keep my weight down. It’s working too, so that’s nice!!! With all the holiday events, I am definitely consuming a lot of food. I drink tea in the mornings (no sugar ever, I’m good with plain tea!), cold-brew with creamer in the afternoons, and water throughout the day.

7. I decorated the house with my husband. It’s so colorful and festive and I’m really happy this Christmas season.

8. We will be taking a trip back home for New Years, and I cannot be more excited. I need to spend quality time with my family (especially my siblings).

9. I take the time every Sunday night to prep our meals for the week. These are just our lunches that we take every day. I know lots of people always say that they have no time, and I’m sure they are very busy people, but I swear! The relief you feel each day knowing you don’t have to wonder what you’re eating for lunch at work or school is the best feeling ever.

You see? I am doing everything I can to just make me feel better, in even the smallest ways possible. What do you guys do to get yourself on a good healthy path? Whether it’s mental, physical, spiritual etc.

Enlighten me.

Happy curl, happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

A Summation of Undergrad

Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about school. I miss it. I’m actually thinking about grad school now (even if I have no idea what school, what program, what degree I want to go for). I think this is swimming it’s way up to the surface because I am itching to learn. I miss school.

Undergrad for me was fantastic. Let’s start from my senior year of high school. I applied and was accepted to three schools in Oregon: University of Oregon, Oregon State, and Portland State University. I wanted so badly to attend a college on the continental U.S. It became too expensive and my plan had not been thought completely through, which meant I needed to attend Hawai’i Community College. It was too late in the year to apply to University of Hawai’i at Hilo, so HawCC was my last and only choice.

Boy, was that the best decision ever. Staying home meant saving money (I had scholarships and grants to cover my entire 2 and a half years at HawCC). It also meant I had time to figure out my major. HawCC taught me a lot about life in higher education. I learned a lot about my community and a lot about Hawai’i, which only peaked my interest even more. My 2.5 years in community college led me into English.

I loved to read and write (more reading than anything), so how could I not just choose English? It was time to transfer to UH Hilo, but I still had no idea what I was doing, so English seemed like the most logical choice. I transferred in the middle of the year (spring semester) and took a couple of required courses for UH Hilo and my first English course. Intensive Writing Multicultural Literature. It was amazing and I knew from that first day, that English was gonna be my major.

I made so many amazing friends. Our department was small, small enough where all English majors (and minors) knew each other. It was easy to grow close, easy to study with each other, and easy to learn together. As long as we helped each other, it was doable and we all passed each class (yay us!). It took me 2 and a half more years to graduate with my B.A. in English. Along the way, I became interested in anthropology (specifically Pacific Island studies, I didn’t know there was a certificate for this! I would have took more classes to obtain that) and decided that it would be my minor to fulfill the 120 credits needed to graduate. In my senior year of undergrad, I also picked up another minor, Gender & Women’s Studies (GWS), because most the of courses I took for English and Anthropology could be counted towards GWS.

My most memorable year was senior year. I worked as a General Editor for Hohonu, UH Hilo’s student-run academic journal (my paper was also published in this). I learned so much during this year and I grew even fonder of my English major classmates. I also wrote and was published in our literary magazine as well, called Kanilehua, several times. I attended launch parties, dinners, Relay for Life, and made new friends within our Campus community. It was, by far, the most exciting year for me. I even went to Rome for the International Journal of Arts and Science (IJAS) to share and present a paper that my dear friends and I wrote. This paper was published internationally as well.

I found lifelong friends in college. I truly believe and have summed up that the friends you meet in college are the ones that will last forever. Not only do we all share a love for something we have in common (mostly literature), but as young adults, we had grown and matured together. I believe that people change, but I also believe that after a certain time, especially as adults, people cannot change completely. The friends I made in college have such hearts of gold and genuinely care for the community, our people, our future, and each other that I think we will be friends for the rest of our lives.

I am so grateful for all the memories and opportunities I was given to have went through my undergraduate career with such wonderful friends, teachers, and support along the way. I look forward to figuring out what my next step for higher education is. College is not for everyone, but it is definitely for me.

 

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

I got a new Laptop! (in other words, I am going to try to write more)… then it gets serious.

Hi Hi Hi Hi.

I finally upgraded to a new MacBook Pro. It’s not an excuse for being consistently absent on my own blog… but it sure makes me want to be on my computer more. My MacBook Pro was already 6 years old, at least it lasted me throughout my undergrad career! I am very grateful for that. It got me through school for sure, and being an English major, I used it a lot. 

Updates, updates, updates.

  • My sister moved in with Prince and I, and she is in a post-baccalaureate program that is attached to John A. Burns School of Medicine here on O’ahu. She needed a place to stay, given they cannot have jobs.
  • The husband and I made it through a month of his mini-deployment so far! I can’t wait until he is home.
  • We are in the peak of hurricane season and currently we have two hurricanes barreling towards the Hawaiian Islands (hello Erick and Flossie).
  • Let’s talk about Mauna Kea (how can we not?) Keep reading.

As an person of indigenous blood and has ties to this land (Hawai’i) I would like to let my readers know (if you don’t live here, if you aren’t paying attention to what is going on in the Pacific, etc) that Hawaiians are currently fighting for our mauna (mountain). To be specific, we are fighting for our future keiki (children), our rights as people of the land, our traditions, and our home. Mauna a Wākea (or Mauna Kea) is the highest peak in the entire Pacific. It is the closest to the stars as we can get. It is also very sacred to our people. We currently have telescopes existing and running on the mountain (some of them don’t even work anymore), however, they are trying to start construction of a Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) there. Hawai’i Island is big, yes, but it is pretty undeveloped (we’d like it to stay that way). We are not allowed to have 18 story buildings and I don’t think I have every seen any complex or building more than 4 stories tall there. TMT would be 18 stories high and 5 acres big (this is the entire structure size). Yes, sure, science is amazing, but not at the expense of the native people who are connected to the land. Do more research, look into the cultural, geological, and economical aspects of it all, and I do mean look closely. Is it really going to create more jobs? For the people who live here?Are they really going to ensure that the water underneath our Mauna will remain unpoisoned? Have you read about the continued land mismanagement and abuse of our natural resources that continue to happen (look up Kaho’olawe, for starters)? This is a huge problem, but it’s not new. Native people all around the world are taken advantage of by colonialism.

If you know nothing of Hawai’i, please do some research, learn how our Kingdom was illegally stolen from us. Learn about how we, as Kānaka Maoli, are incredibly smart, resourceful, and had allies all over the world (hence the Union Jack on our flag). Learn how ‘Iolani Palace had electricity before the White House. Learn about how our language and culture was banned resulting in multiple generations not knowing their own culture, language, and history. We take a stand as a people, and as many other native and indigenous peoples join us in solidarity around the world and across the Pacific, we stand together to fight for all our land and all our people. Mahalo nui to all the people who are there, my friends, my family, you are standing for something greater than yourself. You are a part of making history.

Kū Kia’i Mauna

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Where I Am Right Now.

I’m sitting here in bed contemplating over what I want to talk about. My brand new tv in the bedroom (thank you to my husband!!!) is making so much noise, but I hate the silence, so it’s gonna stay on. People are droning on and on about what they want in a small home and the AC is humming softly. I’m comfortable and I am content, but I feel like I am on autopilot sometimes. I am missing the one person that I really want to spend all day and night with. My husband is gone for some time and we are currently working through the extreme time difference. He is 18 hours ahead of me, which means we hardly talk. I try my best to stay up late for him to finish work, but I end up falling asleep (and it’s not even a good sleep). I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning to respond to him and I end up already missing him because he went to sleep. It’s getting tough and some days I feel really alone. I get through half of my day at work and he is just waking up. While he is gone, I am dealing with my own issues. The AC in the living room is leaking over my downstair neighbor’s AC unit. My husband lost his phone in a foreign country and I have to send his replacement to him. I started my flashcards for learning Hawaiian, but I haven’t touched it in three days. My inconsistency in blogging makes me feel really bad. The skin on my face is freaking out from the heat and lack of hydration (the latter is entirely my fault). I keep spending money when I know I shouldn’t. My lack of motivation to be social is pretty sad and overwhelming.

 

But,

the bills are being paid. My friend is not leaving the agency I work for (I am so happy about this). I get to talk to my husband, at least once a day, and I have other friends who do not get this opportunity with their deployed significant others. I set-up an eye doctor appointment after living here for almost a year. I am actively working on getting a dentist appointment set-up. I have a home. I have a car. I am able to sleep (I do not have insomnia, but my husband does, and it really drains him). My family is visiting for a reunion in several days. My sister will be joining me soon to start her new journey in grad school.

 

I have so many things to be happy about. I am truly blessed and need to find the time to self-reflect on all the things I do have rather than what I am missing. I know my sadness and emotions are valid though. I know I can feel the way I want to with the situations that I am in. I have lots of anxiety doing things on my own and one day I hope to work through all of that. I have the support I need to keep pushing through, and that’s what really matters. This is where I am right now.

Where are you at in your life? What do you need to self-reflect on?

 

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Your Curly Island Girl