Sunday, January 04, 2015

Favorite Thing About Winter

This is my first entry associated with my Journaling Challenge that I mentioned in my previous post. I sat down and just started writing. I wrote whatever came to mind without editing it and four or five pages later, I realized that I wasn't even answering the question. I tied it all back in as I closed out the post. There are no right or wrong answers.

1. What is your favorite thing about winter?

I am 39 years of age and have lived the majority of my life in Hawai'i. I love my island home. I can count on my hands the times I have spent a winter season away from the islands.

The first winter I spent away from Hawai'i was 1994 to 1995. It was such a crazy time in my life. An explanation would be very lengthy as to how and why I found myself getting off a bus in Portales, New Mexico. But I did indeed step into a wintery, blustery New Mexican winter. The cold was bone-chilling. I had a hoodie on. Only an ill-advised islander would take on twenty-degree weather with a hoodie on. 

I did not have warm clothes. I had a couple of pairs of jeans, some long sleeve shirts, but no heavy coats. I had acquired a pair of gloves from some friends I had visited in California...before getting on a Greyhound bus bound for New Mexico. 

This first winter season away from the island was truly a time for me to contemplate my existence. I was alone out there. The circumstances that took me to New Mexico is not relevant now but you could say that I was chasing love, chasing independence, looking for something to define me.

New Mexico is very beautiful in a way that is vastly different from Hawai'i. The majority of New Mexico is rural, meaning there are very little street lights. This makes the stars in the sky so very bright. You can drive for hours in some areas and not see a single soul. It is a great place to disappear. The land is flat in the area where I was. Tumbleweed is definitely in abundance. There's cactus and sand and dirt and when it snows, the flat land is covered in a soft, white blanket. It is quite beautiful.

I had just turned 19. My eyes and my life experience was still so limited. Almost innocent. I had a deep hunger for new experiences. So it was ideal to be in the wintery desert. The cold is just not for me though. Even now the thought of being in the cold is painful. When the temperature dips below 70 I get a little irritated. I dislike being in the cold and all the extra layers of clothes that come with it. 

I was so inexperienced at dealing with the cold conditions. I remember a particular Sunday when I woke early to go to church. I drove my boyfriend's car that morning. Being that it was so early in the morning, there was no one on the road. I thank the heavens for such tiny favors. I had not known at the time but the road had frozen overnight. They call it black ice. As I made my way to church that morning, I went into a crazy spin in the car. I must have spun around (360 degrees) three or four times. Like I said, I am so very lucky that no one else was on the road. When the car came to a stop, it was pointing in the direction of my apartment. I obeyed and went on back. My heart was still thumping so hard. I will never forget that.

The winter proved way too much for me and by April 1995 I found myself back in the Hau'ula. I swore I'd never leave beautiful Hau'ula again. I say all of this only to say that Hawai'i winters are my preference. And my favorite thing about Hawai'i winters, oddly, are the rainy days.

So - Rainy Days - rainy days are my favorite thing about Winter.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Let 2015 Be The Year.... Challenge #1

I created a Facebook group for my family to encourage them to tell their story and to start journaling. This was spurred by my cousin's desire to see her daughter start writing in her journal. So I did a video message to her to hopefully encourage her to start the tradition of writing.

Most Pacific Island cultures - I'm Hawaiian and Samoan - have a deep emphasis on the art of storytelling. I can remember being a young child and my mother sitting me down to memorize a speech for church. Having that type of background has truly given me a high standard to which I apply to any speaker that I sit to listen. I find that I am very impatient with speakers that read to me. If you did not prepare to deliver a message from your gut then you are not prepared and my ears and heart are closed to you.

Speaking, storytelling, painstakingly preserving your genealogy in chant are part of my culture. I find these things so very compelling now as I knock on my 40th birthday door. I want so very deeply to inspire others and assist them in telling their story and finding their roots. Come along for the ride, if you dare.

I would recommend you purchase a diary or journal and that you hand write in cursive. This is so important to the human mind. It constantly nourishes our brain. Do a simple google search "human development cursive" and read up about this topic. But if the thought of having to cursive write everyday puts you off then I suppose you can keyboard it in MSword or some online journal.

Challenge #1 is to write one post per week in the month of January. I will post four questions. These questions are meant to get your brain thinking about the story that you will tell. You can also all four questions, one per week or one question every week. You could even use one of these questions every day if you feel like writing beyond the one entry per week challenge. You will be surprised where one question will take you and all the memories and thoughts that will come forward. Capture it. Preserve it. Go back and read it. Share it.

-No one is going to read your journal without your permission and if they do then they're EVIL.
-Be honest!
-Speak your truth.
-Let it out; whether it's gut-busting laughter or die-ugly-cry-face.
-Write down whatever comes to mind.
-I will post my entry so you have an example. Maybe you might be inspired by my quirky thought process and how it translates to the written word.

Here are January's questions:
  1. What is your favorite thing about winter?
  2. Who is the funniest person you know?
  3. Who are your siblings?
  4. What are your plans for today?