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

 

What it feels like to be Married for a Year

Hi! Today i am writing from the iPad. I’m sitting on my bed in 68 degrees (thank God for the invention of AC), sipping on 12 ounces of Red Bull, while The Resident plays on Hulu. There will probably be a handful more typos and grammar issues in this post, and you know what? That’s okay.

We just passed our one year mark. Hence, the title of this blog post. I know I have been talking about my marriage a whole lot. I know you all have heard a lot about it already. I just wanted to remind you all, that before we got married, we hardly saw each other. The most was once a year for 2-3 weeks at a time. Our relationship has flourished. And I mean that in every way possible.

Our communication lines are open, we have set routines, we hype each other up, we keep each other humble, and we are overflowing with love for our life. I absolutely love my marriage. It’s unreal that it has been an entire year. We have grown tremendously in just a year. We still have another big challenge coming our way, but I know we will be okay. Distance makes the heart grow fonder for sure.

So the real question is how is a year of marriage?

It’s great! But, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. People aren’t perfect. We will never be perfect, but we will love each other always. I’ve been mad, he’s been mad. I’ve slept on the couch because I was upset, and he didn’t even realize I was mad. This is why communication is important. We can’t read minds. We should talk about it, talk things through. We irritate each other, then we give each other space. You know? It’s a balance. I am so blessed to have this man as my husband. He takes care of me in the ways that I cannot, and in the ways that I’m just too lazy to do for myself. He makes me feel comfortable and I feel anchored around him.

I hope you all find someone that makes you feel that way too. Even better if it’s yourself! There’s no better feeling than feeling safe next to a person you know will hold you and protect you. I don’t have to change the way that I am to be with him. He knows my little quirks, he knows how needy I can be, he knows that I like to be spoiled. I also know what he loves and what he likes the most out of our relationship. We’ve worked hard over the years of our relationship to even get to this point. We aren’t going to let small things get in our way.

We are happy.

Thank you all for staying with me on this journey. I hope to post again soon on a personal project I am working on.

Happy curl, happy girl

Signing off,

Curly island girl

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

Besides the obvious, phone, husband, etc… Here’s a list of things I feel like I can’t do without:

 

  1. Tweezers. My tweezermans to be exact. Even if I never had any wax or razors, I could always tweeze the hairiness away. It’s a really expensive brand, but I swear by this one. Any other, just doesn’t seem to grab any hairs. Tip: Disinfect them consistently. I keep alcohol wipes next to my makeup for this reason. *I’m really hairy.
  2. Sweatpants. I love to wear sweatpants. It is the ultimate comfort clothes. It’s loose, it’s soft, and you don’t have to worry about being cold. Buy you some good sweatpants.
  3. Moisturizer. Even if I am super oily, without my moisturizer (for my body and face) my skin would shrivel up. I have a mixture of products I use, currently most of it is Perfectly Posh.
  4. Caffeine. I know it’s not healthy, but I do consume it every day. I drink energy drinks most of the time and tea in the morning and night. Until I wean myself off of it… It’s here to stay.
  5. Flushable wipes. Let me just tell you, nothing feels better than using wipes to clean yourself after a number 2. Laugh all you want, but this is a lifesaver.
  6. My NYX Micro-Brow Pencil. My brows have always had no shape. When I was younger I would over pluck them. Nowadays, it really has no shape unless I fill them in. I use this pencil every day. I could live without any other makeup but this product.
  7. Nail polish. Just for my toes. My toes look like sausages without nail polish! My favorite brand is Essie and my favorite colors are pastels and browns/nudes.
  8. Music. It just feels good, and there is always a song for everything you do. Currently my favorite songs are Hawaiian music, specifically Josh Tatofi. I listen to him every day.
  9. Face masks. I use a face mask probably around 3 times a week. I love it. There’s nothing like painting it on your face. It’s so soothing to me. I have about 10 face masks (mostly from Perfectly Posh), and a stack of sheet masks.
  10. Earrings. My face is pretty oval shaped, with my forehead being the biggest section. I only wear silver jewelry, so I have 3 sets of sterling hoops and many Koa wood pieces. Earrings always draws attention away from my forehead, so I constantly have some sort of ear jewelry on.

 

 

I know this was a different kind of post. I don’t even know how I feel about this. I guess its a Get To Know Me Better post.

Have a wonderful week back to school/work!

Happy curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Your Curly Island Girl

Bringing in the New Year

Has anyone noticed my new blog layout? I worked hard on it, and eventually, Iʻm hoping to upgrade soon.

Some changes I have made this year already is more writing, more reading, and more tidying.

My writing hasn’t been shown on my blog as proof, but I have written every day. I bought the Q + A for Writers journal. Every day there is a new prompt to inspire creativity in my life and to help me start writing stories again. All inspiring writers should buy this! Its a daily journal with creative prompts to answer. My husband and I have also been completing a daily journal as well and we have been keeping up with it (I am very proud of him). Its called Our Q + A a Day and its a 3 year journal. As the years go by you can see how your answers change.

I’ve been trying to read and complete The 5 love Languages and it’s been a good read. I went to Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago with a friend and I left with books for a cousin and a book for myself. I picked up a book by Ellen Hopkins. When I complete it I may write a post about it. I’m sure it will spark a blog post and some sort of conversation.

Lastly, yes, I have started tidying! Yes, it’s because Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix. I keep saying to myself, “Does this bring me joy?” LOL. This weekend I fully plan on going through my closet and using her methods. My best friend moved into her own place with her boyfriend and there are donation bins for the needy at her condo. So I would like to donate some stuff (of course she will go through my pile first, haha).

I hope you are all doing wonderful things for yourself! Feel blessed and be happy.

 

Happy 2019!

 

Happy curl, happy girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Reflecting on 2018

Let’s talk about 2018.

It has been the most amazing year for me. You know how everyone keeps posting their top nine on Instagram? Well let’s do a top ten on this blog post. I want to reflect on all the awesome things that’s happened for me in 2018:

  1. I was published four times this year! Poems and photos in UH Hilo’s Art & Literary Magazine, Kanilehua; an essay in UH Hilo’s Academic Journal, Hohonu; another essay in The International Journal of Arts & Sciences (Humanities); and finally a short story in an anthology (released on Amazon). This all happened in the spring and summer.
  2. I participated in Read Across America. That was important for me! Watching college students do this for us as children, made me very happy to give back in such a way. (March)
  3. I had the privilege and honor to attend Merrie Monarch for the first time in person. It was amazing, and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (April)
  4. After 5 years of school, I finally graduated with my Bachelor’s degree (May). I was so proud to have walked with my dear friends and to have had support from everyone. My last year of college was so much fun, I learned so much and made so many new connections.
  5. My husband and I finally got married after 7 years of long distance dating. It resulted in me moving away from home for the first time, and it was tough. I’m sure you all remember from my posts. But I am so grateful and thankful! (May)
  6. I got to spend two months with my girls and my husband up in WA. We got so close and went on many adventures. I also attended my first concert, it was G- Eazy. (June & July)
  7. We got our own first place together in Oahu and have had many “first” memories. Our first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, (and now New Years). (August up til now)
  8. I got my very first “adult” job. It doesn’t always feel the best to go to work, but it feels awesome having my own money to spend/save. My co-workers are the real bonus. My supervisors are the best. (August up til now)
  9. My best friend also moved to Oahu shortly after I did. Now I don’t feel so alone here! So glad to have that touch of Hilo here with me. (September)
  10. I went back home for my birthday and to surprise my dad for his birthday party! It was so nice to be home, but I miss it already! (November)

 

If you haven’t already, take some time to reflect on all the wonderful (or not so wonderful) things that have happened in 2018. Take a look back at the year and see where things could have been better or how awesome they were, that you couldn’t even imagine it being any better. Thanks for being on this year-long ride with me. I truly appreciate the people who take the time to read what I write, and I really do hope I can be even better in 2019.

My focus in the New Year is to do more of what I love. To read, to write, with passion and happiness. We should all have our souls on fire for the things we love. May your new year be just as amazing as you are. 

 

Happy Curl, Happy Girl 

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Removing Toxicity from your Life

It’s coming to the close of 2018. That means that I’ve been blogging for almost a year! I just wanted to log on and talk a little bit about toxic relationships and thoughts. I’ve been actively working towards trying to keep my mind healthy and with that is the start of removing anything toxic in my life.

Toxic relationships can be in the form of lovers, family members, long time friends, coworkers (a job), basically any interaction with people. Its really important to rid that from your life. When I was younger, my mom told me that the people you hang around with will reflect on the way you view life and the type of person you are. I never believed her until I realized in my teen years how toxic some of my friends were. I stopped hanging around with them.

If you had the worst year, odds are it was from the people you’ve been constantly interacting with. I’m hoping if you are reading this, you already cut that out of your life, for the sake of your sanity, of your own family, and of your own soul and happiness. Everyone deserves to find happiness, and if finding it means you have to quit hanging around with your family or cut off your best friend of 15 years, it’s time to do so. Don’t feel bad about it, because as bad as it sounds, it’s okay to be selfish in this way. It’s okay to want to have a life filled with love and joy.

Removing toxicity from your life doesn’t always mean people. It can also turn out to be negative thoughts that make it worse for you. I know in my past post, I brought up what has been grinding me down, here in Oahu. I proactively decided I would go back to reading. I have a couple of unfinished books and one coming in the mail this week that need to be read. I ordered 3 year journals to inspire me to be more creative in my writing and to reflect more on my life and my relationship with my husband. I have also decided to be a little more positive at work, rather than dragging myself around. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard, but a junk work environment doesn’t help. If I can be that little light that my co-workers see every day, I want to be that for them.

I hope to be writing more in the new year!!! You should see more of me (January 1st is my one-year anniversary). I want to thank you all who have been reading my posts. Even if its a small amount of you, and even if you have only read a couple of them, I still am very grateful that I am able to touch someone’s life with words.

Mahalo piha and Mele Kalikimaka,

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Growing Up?

Hi guys,

It’s been so long since I have sat in front of my laptop and wrote something. What’s been heaviest on my own heart, and in my own life right now, is my lack of spiritual and mental growth. No one tells you growing up means having to do things you don’t want to but need to for security in your finances. No one tells you growing up can mean you’re so busy that you can’t spend the time diving into what you really want to: books, reading, and writing. I feel like I have gained so much, a husband, a home, a new life, but I have lost some things along the way. I don’t like to say I have “lost” them, but I do feel like they have been archived to some level.

I want to not be so exhausted from working that I have no time to read. I want motivation to read and be lost in a book. I want to write more. It’s almost been a year that I have started Tales of a Curly Island Girl! I feel like I have so much more potential, but I feel like right now, I just can’t reach it. Although I feel like I am not doing enough, I am incredibly grateful to have a job that pays good, I have a happy home, and my relationship with my husband is the best I could ask for. I’m not even entirely sure why I am writing this. I almost want to delete this (or never post it). But for those who know or maybe don’t even know me personally and only know me as Curly Island Girl, maybe it’s best you see me vulnerable. We are only human. We have great potential, we have many reasons to be grateful, and I am. However, I feel like I need to do more. I need to push myself to be more. It doesn’t ever seem like I have that many hours in a day to do everything I could possibly want to do. I have anxiety about a lot of things, if something is going to happen, I feel the need to be meticulous about the planning and preparations. I just want to be better at making time to do the things I love and force myself to do something that is going to open my mind the way that college did. I miss it so much. I want to do something with my degree, and I feel like its being wasted away. Help! Most times I feel like I need help, haha.

 

At least I’m back writing! Thanks for letting me be vulnerable with you. I really hope I have something to discuss the next time I’m online. It’s been so long!!! We need to continue the conversations (Just Think About It).

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl