Writing from the Heart

This post is an experiment. I don’t know what I’m going to write about, I don’t have a plan. I’ve been listening and learning the past few months, trying to understand myself. Trying to be true to me for the second time in my life. My adventure the first week of October was certainly 100% me. It’s the most me I’ve been since October of 1994. That was the month I knew I wasn’t moving back to Hawaii, well, that was when I admitted it to myself. Oddly enough, it’s also the month my birth father died.

I wonder, now, how that impacted me? I wonder if I felt something that day, some extra sadness that I couldn’t quite put my finger on?

Laie House

In college, I lived in Hawaii, going to school at BYU-Hawaii. I was working on a degree in Travel and Tourism. I LOVED Hawaii. I loved everything about Hawaii. I loved my life in Hawaii. The ocean soothed and inspired me. The simple way of life of the people there felt like home. Life slowed down, days were longer. Sunset walks on the beach became a daily activity. Bike riding in the small town of Laie replaced driving. Evenings that I wasn’t working for catering were spent exploring the Polynesian Cultural Center. I completely lost track of how many times I watched the parade of canoes or sat in awe through the night show. Perks of having roommates who worked there. Another perk, no one there knew anything about me except what I told them. For the first time in my life, I was no one but me.


I’d lived there just over a year when my parent’s decided I’d been gone long enough. They said they missed me, I suppose they thought they did, in their way. What they really needed was my help. My dad was gearing up for his annual eight-week camping trip/Geology and Psychology courses at the college where he taught. He had yet to find himself a camp boss. He was facing seven weeks of camping with thirty college freshman and no cook. I’d done it before, twice for him and twice for a different course in the Biology department. I was good at it, really good. I was also perfectly happy in Hawaii. They bought me a ticket back to Idaho. I told myself I didn’t have to use it; all the way to the airport. In the end, I barely made my flight, ran through the airport, the last one to board, covered with my friend’s good wishes in leis and flower crowns. As I made my way to my seat, I tried to control the emotions running rampant. Instead, I ended up sobbing quietly into the night. Lost in the stars above the Pacific Ocean. The poor stewardess kept bringing me bottles of water and asking me if I was sure I was okay. I was most certainly not okay. I wouldn’t be for a very long time.

Haku Lei, worn like a crown.

Why didn’t I follow my heart? Why did hurting myself seem to be the only way to make the people who loved me happy? Those things were stuffed deep away and I let my head take over. I could do this right. I would show them I was worthy because it had never crossed their minds to instill in me, my worthiness by existence alone. I would spend the next twenty years failing miserably. Hurting myself, punishing myself, hating the person I couldn’t be. Wondering why it was so hard just to be.

Of course, those twenty years weren’t only failure. I gained much experience, saw distant places, had my children, moved from state to state. I’ve thought many times that there probably was not another string of events that would have brought me to North Dakota. I’m fairly sure about that.

I haven’t found all the answers yet, but I am much more at peace with myself. There are still emotions that crop up, almost daily, that I have to deal with. Little things like what I wrote about last week. Bruised parts of myself that need recognition, need a little sunlight and ocean breezes; a little sand between the toes. But there is also joy, SO MUCH JOY. Something that I didn’t fully realize until the concert in Chicago and yet another thank you I owe the Bangtan boys. Whatever shell I was still trying to hide under, they broke wide open. The events of the week showed me I still have power, I still have resilience. The music started to throb and the stadium shook and I had to surrender to the staggering elation of twenty thousand souls. I could no more be a calm, quiet onlooker, they simply wouldn’t allow it. I could only take a breath and let my soul soar with the music. No history or labels or heartaches could withstand it. It was my Magic Shop.


0 thoughts on “Writing from the Heart”

  1. That’s so sad, the way you had to leave the place where you were happy. Parents are supposed to give you wings, not hold you down. I’m glad, though, that you are finding a happy place again.

    1. My parents were who they were raised to be. I try to remember they were raised by people who dated in horse drawn buggies. People who saw the invention of the car, the phone, the radio, the television, travel by jet and the list goes on. They were very old-fashioned, all that mattered was respect. My family is completely different. I’ve raised my kids, much to my parent’s chagrin, like I wish I could have been raised. There were times my parents told me I was doing it wrong. My heart felt otherwise. I’m glad I had enough sense to follow it that much back then. I think my efforts to raise my kids differently have also saved me. In my desire to stay connected and enjoying them, they have introduced me to new joy, youthful happiness that is impossible to resist.

      1. Well, yes, and I didn’t mean for it to sound like I was dissing them. More just to affirm that you deserve to be able to pursue what makes you happy. I’m glad you are doing that with your family you are raising.

        1. I didn’t think you were dissing though that jump to defend is surely still with me, isn’t it? I don’t think we ever outgrow it. Thanks for your insightful comment Sue! I’m always happy to hear from you!

          1. I was thinking of my parents, who were very open to whatever we wanted to do and whoever we wanted to date, etc. But actually, they were a product of their era too, having lived through the depression and WWII. And so, that is how I ended up with “a career to fall back on” and didn’t try to become a country singer, which is what I really wanted. On the other hand, I obviously didn’t have the drive or the personality or the industry knowledge to make it happen or I would have done it. It’s all so complicated sometimes! And probably I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

          2. It’s interesting how people who lived the same years, the same depression and wars can react so differently. In my perspective a career to fall back on would have been a great idea, lol. I never did graduate! I was having too much fun. You’re right, it is all so complex and yes, I agree, I’m where I should be for whatever reason I haven’t quite discovered the whole of.

  2. Can I say I think you are a wonderful mother! There are little bits and pieces of your blog that suggest details of how you deal with your children. I’m sad that you were pulled away from Hawaii! That’s a level of selfishness that is disappointing to see in parents. At the same time, your response shows you putting family first. That’s actually a positive trait—and likely another reason you are a great mom.
    This post is great. I learned more about you and stand by my opinion that you are one special person!!

    1. You can definitely say it today! My kiddo at work put me through the wringer. Ugh. I want my kids to know me and not remember me like a mom but as a person who loved them to distraction. I want to share so much with them!

  3. So glad you let that happy out again… or it has found a way to come back out again even if it was in a place with 20,000 screaming teens. Scream away, I say.

    It’s amazing the things we do for the ones we love but we become stronger every time. The key is to find the things we love again and just let it all out.

  4. Building long lasting relationships takes time, quality time. Taking your time to experience the BTS concert with your kids was cool. Even if it isn’t clearly discussed, they will inherently know you love them enough to take the time with them. Those acts help to build their confidence and self-worth in themselves. It makes life so much better, even for those of us who read about your exploits. Hope you all had a terrific Halloween last week! 🎃

    1. Oh, thank you! I know it’s made my life sweeter. All these little steps, and this little blog, all make life my life so much sweeter! I’m glad you like it too. 😉

          1. Well I do talk a lot, not sure if I’m effective at communicating all the time though. Can’t tell you how many times I ask someone to do something and they say they don’t understand what I mean. 🌻

          2. Sometimes it seems the people closest to you are the least likely to listen. I’m really good at that part, not listening. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated to hubs some sage insight I learned from someone else only to have him tell me, yeah, remember I told you that weeks ago? (puts palm to face) D’Oh!

          3. Oh yes, and I know because I’m guilty of hearing what I want to hear myself. When I slow down and think about a situation or problem I need to solve, I can see how I’ve not always listened to what others around me have said. I also think I’m good at not listening to my hubs because I’m so used to his calm level headed reasonable and logical approach to everything. (Damn his man logic!) I do love that he is all those things, but I think I allow myself to completely take him for granted especially on his insight, so don’t hear it.

            As opposed to some of my female relatives, that I probably shouldn’t name, that are so irrational and infuriating, I _never_ listen to their advice or suggestions. Well except for when it comes to cooking cause they are good at that and I am not. But then I forget what they said about how to fry rice and just use the rice cooker and leave it at that.

            I wonder if it is because I am used to them that I don’t listen. Or if it something else. I am open to learn why. Which makes me convinced the kids don’t listen.

            Interestingly enough, most of the time, the kids tend to listen to what I say. At least in front of me, but over time they seem to have absorbed what I’ve tried to teach them. I don’t believe in hitting, but I do practice consequences. Example, caught one of my nieces, shoving and grinding an ice ball into her little brother’s face when a huge chunk of my family were visiting from Seattle. She was 7, he was 3. I explained (not raising my voice) how that was unacceptable behavior and we did not want to share her company for the rest of the day. So she had to stay in her room and read or listen to music until the next morning. Note: this was after my using the logic of, “We always treat those we love with love.” The same niece told me (at the time) she didn’t love her sister and so she would continue to be mean to her. (sigh) Anyway, it was apparently it was a traumatic punishment for her to have to spend the rest of the day alone. Not that her mother and my other sister didn’t continually check on her to commiserate with her on how heartless I am. I was pretty angry at what she did to her little brother, so stuck to the punishment.

            The two youngest nieces, now 7 and 8 know they can’t get away with much and one loves me to death while the other one is clearly not enamoured. Mostly this is a result of telling them to pick up their toys when we are getting ready to leave the house. They will cry and insist it is too hard a task. I insist that it didn’t seem to be that difficult to pull them all out and make a mess in the living room. “We can’t leave it for Mom to clean up after she has been working all day.” Then the tears come. Their dad (my half bother) always caves and says ok, you don’t have to do it. Then he leaves it for their mom. While I always remind them that tears (or crying) does not work on me and they still have to pick up their toys. Yes, I am a heartless bitch.

            Have an older niece that was adopted when she was 8. I love her, but she has been a real trial. She loves coming and staying with me, but I know she does not listen to what I say and always thinks she can do what I’ve expressly told her she can not do when I’m not with her. Example: when she was 12, I would not let her use the computer to go online unless I was with her. When I am not around she asks for the password to log on from hubs. He reminds her that she isn’t allowed to go online unless I’m with her. Her response is; “aunt Mimi doesn’t need to know.”

            I’ve never had as much trouble with the boys though. Not that it has been trouble free, but girls are so much more difficult in my experience.

            Sorry, we were talking about listening, right?

          4. LOL

            I’m lucky in that I haven’t had a lot of interaction with nieces and nephews because we are so far apart geographically. I’m really happy with my kids and feel blessed that even with both girls headed into teen years, I still feel like they’re relatively easy. But then, we are on the same wave right now.
            I hope they listen, but know sometimes they don’t. But they are sweet girls and I hope they see enough examples of kindness and grit that they find their way with more happiness than angst. My son and husband are a whole other story…..

          5. My whole family is 800 miles away in Washington. I miss the PNW, but not because the bio family it all there. Everyone is different and it could be that I’m more like a dude than a girl in personality. (I think.) My sisters were all more trouble than I ever was, so is my mom, (trouble) now that I think about it.

            So it could just be I’m the oddity when it comes to boys vs girls, men vs woman, in that I find boys and men so much easier to deal with. I definitely have a lot of close male friends, some gay, mostly not. I have not counted, so can’t think of the ratio, but as close as I am to some of my girlfriends, I think I’m closer to the men in my life. Maybe I’m deluding myself, but I don’t think so. What I’m trying to say is, maybe the reason I find boys easier to raise is because of my own personality and tendency to get along with the male of the species. Not that I want to like them better, they are just easy. Not because I’m more insightful.

          6. They are easy, not more insightful.
            Taken totally out of context but ROFLMAO
            I find men, in general, easier to get along with as well. Especially if no romance is expected. Then I really prefer their way of living with much pondering or thinking twice. You know?

          7. Right, especially where no romance (sex) is involved. I find them totally easy to know what to expect and deal with. I’m comfortable with them.

            Not sure the 20-something-male and younger will be easy though. Thinking of the self-entitled, non-contributing, over-medicated types. Without a normal sex drive, due to meds, it is making a whole new type of person. I say that from my experience working, hiring them.

          8. The entitlement is what kills me. I can conquer my feelings about almost everything else but entitlement just makes me grind my teeth. I mean, if I’m not entitled you sure as hell aren’t……

  5. I often think about all the things I would do differently if I could, but everything I have gone through has made me who I am. Hawaii was great, but you are who you are because of your experiences and how you interpret those experiences. (Also you are never allowed to through those words back at me).

    1. lol
      I wonder if I’d like myself better…that other smarter self. It would probably just make me harder to live with.
      I wonder a lot about why I’m here, at this crossroad. Because I chose it or it chose me?

          1. Weeeelll mostly, heh ⛄️. You people better not talk to my hubs, he would tell you I’ve not learned patience or to listen at all. He still won’t do _everything_ I tell him to do. I like guys better when they do what I tell them. Haha

Leave a Reply