What Marriage is like for a NewlyWed

Marriage.

Marriage is beautiful, in whatever way you would define it. My life completely changed after I got married, literally. I left home and lived in a place I was unfamiliar with, then my husband left me for an entire month (for training). For myself, this marriage has been what many old-timers would call pretty “traditional”. When I got married, I moved from my home with my parents and siblings. My husband and I had never lived together, nor really spent a night together up until that point. I was terrified. We talked about it a lot, before we even got engaged (yes, being together for 6 years before I even got a ring, we had definitely talked about everything), and we really wanted to live with each other. We didn’t know each others habits, we didn’t know how each other slept, etc. It’s different. We barely even spent much time together; we were long distance for 6.5 out of the 7 years that we were dating.

Again, I was terrified that we were not going to be compatible together. A lot of my friends and family did encourage me, knowing full well how in love we were with each other, but they did express some concerns in the beginning. I shared these same concerns. What if we hated the way each other lived? The way we did or did not do the dishes enough. The way we washed the clothes. Or maybe even the way we put our clothes in the laundry.

In the first month after our marriage, we were temporarily living in Washington state. I am a very family-oriented individual, and it was really hard for me to adjust, even if I knew we were coming back to the islands soon. I really enjoyed it. The first month together. I learned about him and his habits, and he learned about me. It was a real trial run, I guess you could call it, even if we technically had already signed our lives away to each other. I enjoyed it! It was amazing.

Now that we are back in the islands, we have our own place, we have vehicles; we are what we would call “adulting”. I mean, he’s been adulting way longer than I have already. He left home right after graduation, and joined the military. But, now I really am at this self-reflective point where every night after work, I just stare at him and thank the Heavens for all the blessings I have received in my life thus far. We are very happy with each other, with the way we live, and the way we work together (which is very well).

Many old-timers may also call this, “The Honeymoon Stage”. It hasn’t been all bliss as people normally would say this stage is, we’ve definitely gotten into arguments, but nothing really serious. It’s mostly me being petty. haha. It is also, most definitely not all unicorns and rainbows, but 90% of the time it is. My husband shows me that he cares, in ways that are not normal. My friends and I call this “The Local Boy” syndrome. Local boys in Hawaiʻi are different. They show their love in different ways, but you can see it and you can feel it. My favorite part about my husband is how handy he is. I swear, he is part mechanic, part-plumber, part-electrician (not so much part-maid though) and part everything else. It’s amazing for me because I can’t do the things he does. But I pull my part with having a job and sharing the cooking and cleaning duties.

Overall, it is beautiful. My marriage is amazing. I think we are doing very well right now as newlyweds, we have lots of support and love from the special people in our lives. I wanna give a huge shoutout and mahalo to our families for being so helpful in our transition to our very own place! We are grateful, and we know how blessed we are.

*If you haven’t heard in recent news of Hurricane Lane, where I live in Oʻahu was not really affected. But our hometown got hit pretty bad with severe rain and flooding. Keep our islands in your thoughts and prayers!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

What are Feelings?

I am one of the most emotional people that I know. It has its pros and cons. I sympathize and sometimes, I am even able to empathize, with others, which makes me a more conscientious person: one who is willing to forgive and to love more than usual. But, it can also be a nuisance because I feel so much, anything can really make me cry, or make me upset. What even are feelings? Is it a good thing? or is it a bad thing? Would you rather be completely void of feeling or would you rather be full of feeling?

I guess it depends on the situation a person is in. Some have very complicated reasons as to why they do not wanna feel anything at all. I understand that, but if you really think about it, having that reason (or multiple) to not want to feel at all, is a feeling in and of itself. I think feelings make us human. Whether its anger, jealousy, sadness, confusion, etc; any feeling means that we are reacting to an event, no matter how big or small. I think feelings are important, they help us to reach farther within ourselves, past surfaces that others may just glimpse, and really express if we like something or not.

I am a very emotional person, but I donʻt regret it. I find my emotions to be one of the best parts of me. I can be angry when I need to be, and I can cry when I want to. I like to sympathize with my friends and family, and I especially like to share and exchange how I feel with others. With my many feelings, comes a very open side to me. I want others to know that being emotional is not bad, and it is not something to be ashamed of. I also want others to know that not showing any emotions is not bad either. Being emotional on the outside is a personal preference.

Are you emotional on the outside or the inside only? Who are the people you like to share your feelings with the most? Is it a person you share with? or perhaps is it the pages of a notebook?

I hope that however you experience feelings and emotions are always in a healthy way.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl.

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Some Things You Should Know About Hawaiʻi…

Iʻm so sorry! Here I am, once again, two weeks late. Thank you to those who have subscribed to my blog (I see you, you have not gone unnoticed!).

This past week was Merrie Monarch Festival; a huge week-long celebration in my hometown of Hilo, to honor hula and the Mōʻī King David Kalākaua who helped perpetuate our language, culture, and arts. Our small city becomes bustling with tourists from the continental U.S., other countries, and family and friends from our neighboring islands. If you wanna learn more about it, or perhaps even attend the festival week, check out this website: http://www.merriemonarch.com. This week always makes me emotional, because we, as Hawaiians, are able to share our culture. Oh, and I feel extra proud to be Hawaiian. 

The inspiration of last weekʻs festivities has led me to share some information about the beautiful lei of islands strung in the Pacific Ocean.

  1. Hawaiian is most definitely not just a nationality. It is an ethnicity. A lot of people do not realize that just living here and being loyal to the place and land does not make you Hawaiian through ethnicity. We have bloodlines tracing back very far.
  2. There are eight main islands. All are a part of the State of Hawaiʻi. However, two of the islands, Niʻihau and Kahoʻolawe are special cases.

Niʻihau is owned by the Robinson family and is constantly perpetuating both traditions and advancements. Because it is private land, you must be invited to come to the island, through a ferry from Kauaʻi. Niʻihau is the only island that communicates primarily through ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language), an older dialect than what is spoken today on the other islands.

Kahoʻolawe is the smallest of the main islands. No one lives on this island, because of its small size and lack of water. The U.S. military used it as an active training ground and for bombing exercises after World War II. After many decades of protest, it was given back to Hawaiʻi in 1996. It is now against the law to go to Kahoʻolawe, unless you sign up to volunteer for restorations on the island.

3. Hawaiʻi once had an Independence Day. November 28, 1843, was the day that France and Great Britain recognized the Republic of Hawaiʻi as sovereign. This day was called Lā Kūʻokoʻa. Many of our Mōʻī travelled and were educated abroad. Hawaiʻi was respected by many large nations.

4. Hawaiʻi was illegally overthrown by American businessmen and the U.S. military. On January 17, 1893, Queen Liliʻuokalani was overthrown by force, in which she conceded to avoid loss of life and in hope that what happened would be amended. After the overthrow of the Republic of Hawaiʻi, the islands were annexed to the United States (1898). In 1959, Hawaiʻi became the 50th state of the United  States of America.

5. We have many different types of climates. Depending on the way you classify climates, you would get a different number every time. To keep it simple, I say, we have many! Hawaiʻi Island has 10 of the 14 climate zones in Koppen Climate Classification System. We get snow on Mauna Kea (which is the tallest mountain in the world measured from the ocean floor) in the winters and sometimes in the spring. Hilo is one of the wettest places in the world. Kawaihae is a very dry area. Puna holds our active flowing volcano, Kīlauea.

6. We are one of the most diverse places in the world. Our sugarcane plantation days brought many immigrants and indentured laborers. The main workers were Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, and Filipino. Today, our population is very mixed, but we love it! All of our food and Hawaiian Creole English, or Pidgin, all come from the plantation days.

7. Most importantly, if you are visiting, please be respectful. Hawaiian culture, like many other eastern ones have a connection with spaces and all that encompass it (even rocks). If you are respectful, we see it. We appreciate those who visit and want to learn the actual culture. Whenever I travel anywhere, I make sure I also respect the area and the people as well.

I really want to write more, but the lack of sleep from this past week and weekend has made me sick! I get sick only once or twice a year… so Iʻll just take it and move on. Sorry for my word vomit. I just started blurbing whatever came to my head. Next time I want to start a new series! Iʻm still trying to pick a name… but stay tuned! Have a fabulous rest of the week.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Sharing Knowledge

This post was sparked from observing people. People in my community, people in my classes, and even my own family members have really motivated me to write this.  It sort of begins with how we view ourselves. Hawaiʻi is filled with many ethnic groups; we call it a mixed plate. Why mixed plate and not melting pot? Well, mixed plates (local favorites) are made of different types of food, but all contribute to the deliciousness of that plate. A melting pot would be just that, melting down all the differences and it becoming one. Hawaiʻi prides herself in the acceptance of immigrant culture. In result of the sugar plantation days and immigrant labor, majority of the people living here are very mixed, hence our mixed identities.

Many of my friends and family, including myself, feel that we are not enough of one ethnic group to actually fit in. Often, I don’t feel Filipino enough, Portuguese enough, and Hawaiian enough. This comes with my parents being mixed as well and/or not passing down traditions or culture. A big problem in Hawaiʻi is the segregation between who is Hawaiian or [insert other ethnicity here] “enough.” I believe strongly in what makes you anything, is how you portray yourself, how you respect others, and how you honor the culture. Kanaka (people of Hawaiʻi) should not be pitted against each other because we do things differently.

I have seen time and time again of Hawaiians rolling their eyes at other Hawaiians because they don’t know enough about the culture or even considering them not Hawaiian “enough” because of blood quantum.  Why? Should we not honor our differences and similarities? If the differences are bad, should we not educate them? Its not enough to say youʻre wrong. Educate them. Tell them why, and if its not a matter of education, take into account their perspective. This is what starts anger and provokes violence. We are all children of Hawaiʻi, we are all children of this culture.

In this way, I believe that all cultures, especially those who are marginalized must be respectful of one another. Everyone has a different story to tell. Everyone comes from different backgrounds that we should be respectful of. Because the belief that what makes you a stronger Hawaiian or African or Filipino etc., should come from how and what you practice is hurtful; it can even be hateful.

I may not know many traditional practices of Hawaiʻi, but I honor and respect my kūpuna (elders/ancestors) and the heritage that I have claimed through them. If I am curious or wrong, I do my research. If I am wrong, I would hope my friends and family correct me. I think what makes any place beautiful are the differences. Differences allow perspectives we would not view or take into account and helps us understand as a whole. We should be inclusive to all thoughts and cultures. I hope this sparks something in you as well. Do your research. If someone ever tells you that you aren’t enough of [insert ethnic group here], ask them why? Why do you say that? And if they say because you don’t know x and y about this or that, ask them to educate you.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Idleness: Mental/Physical Prison

We’ve all been here, in a variety of time periods: weeks, months, and years. It hung over me during the first three and half years of my undergrad career and only recently have I come out of the stupor. I would define this idleness as “not going anywhere.” I felt that my life was moving but the end result was nowhere. I also felt that it was taking much too long. I had no clue what awaited me in an academic and career sense and I even felt my own personal growth was hindered; I still don’t know what career I am choosing to get into, the difference between then and now, is that I am okay with that.

It’s hard to give advice on something like this because I never know the situation that each person is in enough to fully “advise,” if you will. However, the only way I have pulled myself out of the feeling of being stagnant was joining in student activities and having conversations about my future with friends and family.

Talking about it is probably the most important step. It’s not enough to just plan it with yourself. The encouragement coming from the people in your life is much needed and critical in moving forward. You do not need to tell everyone your plans, in fact, sometimes it’s best that you don’t. However, tell someone, even if it’s only one person that you trust. Be open to their suggestions, and I would assume, they will be as open-minded as you are. Talk about your future and talk about all the possibilities. Do something that you will be happy doing, I’m sure you hear that all the time, but really, why would you want to be miserable for x amount of time? I do have one thing to say about that though, if the process to get to where you absolutely want to be is long, don’t automatically assume that you can’t possibly get there. Continue working towards that goal. If you have been reading my other blog posts, then you know that I am graduating this May, and you know it has taken me five years to complete this journey. I still have no idea what I am doing, but I respect my school and work ethic enough to know that I will end up somewhere great. 

The second most important step to removing yourself from idleness is actually doing it. You have talked about your plan, you may not know every detail about it (things change), but you know what you want. Now, do it. Start small and move forward. Blogging was a New Year’s resolution for me (to begin one) and I’m still here! It helps me with my writing and with sharing my ideas, emotions, and advice on a larger scale. It’s gonna take time, it’s more than likely to not happen overnight, but it’s vital that you continue pushing towards that goal.

There is another side to this “conversation” that I do want to address. I wholeheartedly believe the people you are friends with, the people you hang out with, is going to influence the way you think. If your friends and even family continue to be stagnant and never doing something more with their lives then odds are, you won’t either. There is so much more in life than just doing the same old thing. Do at least one productive thing a day, even if it’s just going to wash up in the bathroom. If your friends and family cannot make more of themselves as human beings, as citizens, and as important members in your life then you have to remove yourself from them.

Reach for the best. Be the best person that you can be. I am not perfect and I sure don’t try to be, but I do want to leave something for future generations. I want to have done something worthwhile in this world. I hope you all push yourselves to be better and get out of the mental and physical trap that negativity and idleness holds us in.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl

Self-Love: Stop Body-Shaming

Why do we shame our bodies? Why do we let our thoughts revolve around looking down on our bodies (which by the way, are so beautiful)? I had a conversation with a friend, last week, about the flaws that we have. We weren’t trying to one-up each other; this wasn’t that kind of conversation, but what we did do was go back and forth about what we hated about ourselves.

It made me sad, but I also realized that it’s important to talk about. We joke around about how society creates this impossible mold to fit. It’s not a taboo topic, we should talk about our bodies and we shouldn’t be ashamed. I get so hung up on the fact that the skin on my legs aren’t perfect, that my underarms are a little dark, that my teeth are crooked, that I’m hairy, that my butt isn’t big enough, and that my face is too oily, but I realize how important it is to love yourself. We are all going to fall short of our own expectations, but sometimes these expectations are impossible.

The thing is, is that society will always have a new norm of what “beautiful” means. Many decades ago, beauty was defined differently, and it will keep being redefined. But beauty should be everything. I wrote this a couple of years ago, in response to a picture I saw on social media, saying “Meat is for Men, Bones are for Dogs.” Here was my response and it still applies today. This is exactly how I feel about this. “First of all … STOP. Second of all … Why is it okay to bully the skinny ones too. Skinny, average, chubby, they’re all beautiful. So stop with the “men want more to hold on to.”  A man will choose whatever he wants. Society is stupid.” 

Who are we to judge each other? I know fat-shaming is a huge deal … but so is skinny-shaming. People forget that we all have flaws. I’ve met some of the most perfect looking people, who tell me that they do have flaws, it’s just that no one can see them. And that is also important to address. If we don’t talk about the flaws, then we expect everyone (including ourselves) to be absolutely flawless.

Over the past few years, I have been learning to love myself, and to love everyone else too. I think bodies are beautiful, no matter what shape or size. It’s a body! It’s functioning! How much more beautiful can that be?

Whoever you are out there reading this, you are beautiful and you are worth it (and yes, I do mean beautiful, men can be beautiful too). Talk about it, don’t be afraid. Odds are you’ll end up talking to someone who you thought was unblemished and flawless, but are really just human, and that is what makes that person even more beautiful. Does that even make sense? I think I’m kinda rambling right now, but what I mean is: Just talk about it. Look at yourself. Love yourself. Don’t be afraid because of what society says about your body. Be confident.

 

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Theory of Knowledge

Okay, here’s my topic for today.

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a hot minute, things got hectic with classes/work/home life (it’s still pretty crazy), but I need a break; I’m here now.

I am only taking 12 credits this semester (3 cr. per course) and the hardest course I have is turning out to be my philosophy course. I’m still wondering if it’s because I never did take a Philosophy course in all my five years of college — or what. Tis the third week of spring 2017 and I feel as if I’m suffering.

The philosophy course is a 300-level one (so it’s not that bad) and it is called Theory of Knowledge–hence the title of today’s post! We’ve only touched on four philosophers so far… Foucault, Descartes, Wittgenstein, and Stroud.

Foucault speaks on the relationship between truth and power. Basically, that those in power (whoever or whatever that may be) influence the way others view or believe to be the truth. If you’re curious, look up Bentham’s Panopticon design that Foucault uses as a metaphor to explain further how it works.

Descartes‘ and Wittgenstein‘s theories go hand in hand… and I do not have a firm grasp on any of it. Ever heard of that phrase “cogito ergo sum“? It translates from Latin to “I think, therefore I am”. Descartes coined this phrase. To be honest, it’s just nice to say something in Latin… LOL.

From what I understand (which is not much, in this case), Descartes had a grand question; a question that philosophers are still trying to answer and figure out. Basically, he asked the question of whether or not what we do at any point in time is actually happening. Or are we just dreaming? How would we know we are dreaming or not? How do we know what reality really is if we have never experienced a real reality?

The day we discussed this in class, I felt like I had truly gone mad. These are existential questions… and It makes me feel like I am descending into a rabbit hole. I lost a bit of Wittgenstein’s theory because I was falling asleep. All I got from his part of the lecture was “The Language Games”. Again, from my limited understanding of this topic (and some helpful explanation from a Philosophy minor), the language games are basically the interaction between every person you meet in your life. The language you use to communicate influence the way you think and look at others and also kinda sorta relates to societal norms.

Stroud detailed and agreed with Descartes’ theory … and that’s kind of all I got from him. Tonight I need to read Vogel, I have no idea who this person is, but apparently he disagrees with Descartes. This kinda makes me feel better because Descartes’ theory just leads me to think that there is no point of life. Glad someone else disagrees as well.

I may or may not continue giving updates about this… but I hope you have a fabulous night/morning.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl