Café Monday: The day I shot the love of my life

It was a Tuesday afternoon when I left my house to go and meet you. It was raining and your car was six blocks away, but I knew it was useless to ask you to pick me up. Another argument, that would have only ended in, “I’m sorry, you’re right.”

When I saw you on the corner my heart started beating again and when you leaned in to kiss me, I floated above the ground. Your eyes glimmered and never strayed from mine as you reached for my hand. I felt so safe.

In your apartment, I took off my raincoat and hung it up next to yours, as I’d done countless times before. Above your TV, hung a 2011 hockey schedule. It was three years old, yet you kept it because you insisted it was the best year of your life. On the walls of the hallway hung all of your targets, the good ones and the bad ones, on display as if to warn others what a good shot you are.

I remember the first time I slept here. I walked into your bedroom to see a handgun on your nightstand, and immediately my head crashed through the pit of my stomach. “It’s blocked,” you reassured me. And then you proceeded to show me how quickly you could take it apart and put it back together. I wasn’t sure if I should have been impressed that you tried so hard to impress me.

We left for the range around 2 p.m., the rain had lightened up and your BMW whipped along the mountainside as we made our way for the outskirts of town. Your left hand gripped the wheel, and your right hand rested on my thigh. I traced the veins on your hand and wondered how we got from there to here.

The rain bounced off the windshield, and your tires splashed water up on the sides of the car. Why you insisted on driving without your windshield wipers on was beyond me, but again I sat silent. With every sharp turn, every arrogant lane change, every red light, you gripped my hands tighter.

I never thought of leaving you, I never wanted to stray from the one person who made my heart beat, from the one who got me out of bed in the morning, the one who made my smiles feel real. Yet here I was, sitting in a car with someone I loved, yet felt increasingly distant from the more time I spent with him.

At the gun range, you handed me your .45 and smiled. “Show me what you got, babe.” I held the gun in my hands and put all my focus on the silhouette in front of me.

I thought of our first date, our first kiss, our first “I love you.”

I breathed in.

I thought of our first argument, our first fight, our first “I hate you.”

I breathed out.

Bang.

As I fired round after round at the silhouette, it quickly became a metaphor of our dying relationship. A love that was hanging on by threads. The arguments became more common, the “I hate yous” became more prevalent, and the love I once fought for, the love we both knew, died right there as I fired away at a piece of paper.

I pulled the trigger, but you handed me the gun.

I’M MOVING TO CHINA

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It’s official you guys, I’m moving to China! I’ve been holding off on telling you guys because I didn’t know what to title this post (typical blogger) and I had cold feet, but I’ve finally plunged right in and I purchased my one-way flight. So, it’s official.

From the very first time I left the states to travel Europe, I knew I would one day live abroad. Of course, I never thought in a million years that the time for me to do so would actually come. Never once did I think that I would be moving thousands of miles away to a country I’ve never visited. I don’t even speak the language! But honestly, this is all part of my great adventure and I’m really excited. I’ll admit, I’m scared beyond belief, but I know that with an open mind, I’m capable of anything and everything.

You’re probably wondering why I’ve chosen to move to China, right? Well, I was offered a job there teaching English! And if you’re in my small circle of friends, you’ve been victim to my endless rants and complaints of uncertainty and stress throughout the application and interview process. So for that, I’m sorry! However, I also want to take this moment to thank my friends and family for being so supportive and kind to me during these past few months because I have been losing my mind. But now that I’ve finally gotten the job, God has answered my prayers and everything that I’ve worked so hard for has finally paid off!

I’m moving to a foreign country. On the other side of the globe. By myself.

I’m moving somewhere I’ve never even visited before.

I don’t speak the language. At all.

I’m going to be a teacher. An educator. A global traveler. 

I’m living my dreams and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m going to be living near Shanghai, and it’s right on the water so I’m very happy because while the move is going to be stressful and quite the culture shock, I’ll still be on the ocean. I also have a house set up already, which means… House tour! This will also be my very first home since graduating college. (Big kid moment).

I bought my plane ticket and I’m leaving next Friday, can you believe it?! It’s so soon. In just a little over a week I’ll be in China. WHAT.

So since getting back from Los Angeles, I’ve been running around trying to get everything in order before I leave. In LA, I spent a lot of time downtown at the Chinese Consulate getting my Visa. I’ve also been crafting a handy packing list so I don’t forget anything (i.e., deodorant. They don’t use deodorant there, but you can bet your bottom dollar I bought the Costco pack of 12 deodorants to bring with me!). I have also been seeing doctor after doctor after doctor to make sure that my health is stable enough for travel (I’ll be posting a health update soon!). So far, so good! And of course, I’ve been spending lots of time with family because I won’t see them for an entire year!

Despite feeling overwhelmed and scared, I know I’m making the right decision. I know this will open many doors for me as a professional and a human being. I think this is exactly what I need to kick my adulthood into full gear, and I’ll also be able to cross a few things off my bucket list. I had my doubts, but after thinking it through I know this is about to be the best year of my life. I’m going to embark on an adventure that’s going to set me sailing high on traveling the world while making positive differences in many people’s lives.

One more thing: I couldn’t have done it without you guys. I come here and write down my thoughts, sometimes useful posts and sometimes I just ramble, but you come back day after day to see what I’m up to. I share my fears, my dreams and my stresses with you all and I’m never judged. You all give the best encouragements, and have inspired me to be the best that I can be. I am so thankful to have you as my audience and best friends, and I’m so excited to take you all on this journey with me. Are you ready?!

Photos: My California trip!

Well, my vacation in Los Angeles has come to an end. It went by so quickly! Unfortunately, I was quite sick during my time there so I wasn’t able to do much. I did spend a lot of time with family, which is very important to me, so that was nice! Here’s a few photos from my time here. Enjoy!

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The view from my bedroom is a jungle, and quite distracting while I try to be productive (aka pack my bags), but isn’t it a lovely sight?

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Of course, we had to go to the range before I left for my trip. I mean, it’s pretty standard.

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Accidental art?
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A little fact about me: I love flying. Always have, always will. I’ve been an avid flyer since I was a wee baby, and since my parents separated when I was small, I was on an airplane a few times a year. When I started flying by myself (big kid moment), my parents told me to always sit by the window so that I could keep my eyes on the ground until the plane got higher and higher and they faded away. I love watching the clouds dance in the sky, I love being able to watch the sunset/sunrise from above the clouds, it gives me a peculiar sense of happiness knowing that only myself and my fellow aircraft passengers are seeing this rare view on top of the clouds. It’s peaceful up here in the sky.
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My cold remedy must-haves. If you’re getting the sniffles and need to get better quickly, I strongly suggest these products! They make me feel better so fast and they don’t taste like medicines.

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I used to hate Lena Dunham. But I was wrong in doing so, because I had no grounds on which to dislike her. I have never watched her act, I have never seen her in an interview, I don’t follow her Twitter, I don’t even know what her voice sounds like. I was basing my distaste toward her on her fashion sense and haircut (the epitome of judging a book by its cover). However, that being said: I gave her a chance, I bought her book, I’m reading her book and I am falling in love. Since I started reading “Not That Kind Of Girl,” I’ve noticed that her and I are freakishly alike, I agree with a lot of things she has to say and I can relate to a lot of her life experiences. To tell you the truth, I wish I’d given her a chance a lot sooner. Even if you aren’t a fan, I strongly suggest you pick up her book, seriously it’s so good. 

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Golden hour at the cemetery. You know, I was going to leave that caption as a pretentious one-liner, but I actually have something to say about cemeteries. I have a lot of deceased loved ones scattered in many different cemeteries all over the globe. But I don’t feel their presence there. Sure, we had their funeral in that spot, and their remains are there, but as for their actual soul? It isn’t in a cemetery. But that’s not why I like to sit in cemeteries. I like to come here because cemeteries are quiet, they’re often empty and they’re so peaceful for me.

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How cute is this Jack Skellington cookie?! (Side note: That is black coffee in the mug, before I added in coconut/almond milk creamer. I can’t stand bland/bitter coffee so I have to add stuff to it. Almost to the point where it doesn’t taste like coffee anymore!)

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I started reading “The Bell Jar” after I finished “This Is Where I Leave You,” and both books are really good! Sylvia Plath is a wordsmith to say the least.

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Lastly, it’s time for Halloween pretty soon! So we decorated a little in the gun store!

I hope you guys had a great weekend and are having a fun Wednesday (humpdaaaaay, sorry I had to…) I’ll be on planes all day. Smile lots!

 

 

My first experience with racism

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I know what you’re thinking: “She’s white.”

This may be true, but surprisingly, I have experienced my fair share of racism. And at first, I didn’t even know if that’s what it truly was because I was so blind to it all.

My mother and I moved to Hawaii from California when I was five-years-old. I grew up surrounded by my Filipino, Hawaiian and Mexican cousins so I never saw myself as any different. A factor of different skin color, hair color or race never crossed my mind. Never once had I ever thought in terms of color. We were family.

The first time I experienced racism was in the third grade. Hawaii’s demographic is majorly comprised of Hawaiians and Filipino/Asians, so as a pale, freckled, red hair and green-eyed girl who had never heard anyone speak “pidgin,” I was a little displaced. It was odd. I didn’t have very many friends because I looked different, I was called a monster/robot because I had green eyes and of course, I was called “haole” — the term locals use to identify a white/tourist/non-local person.

When I first watched the word “haole” roll out of their mouths, I took it as an insult. I didn’t know what it meant, but the way in which they directed it toward me, I knew it had a negative connotation.

The following years when I walked into a classroom, walked home from school or went anywhere with my family, I grew more and more self-conscious of my skin color. I became self-conscious of the person I was.

Because of my skin color I didn’t like being myself, and that’s the most heart-wrenching thing about racism.

What’s even worse is that it is 2014 and racism still occurs today. What is wrong with our world that we can’t love each other equally? Why is it so hard to see past skin colors, religions or political differences?

Everyone deserves to love themselves for who they are. Everyone deserves to appreciate where they come from and not be afraid that they will be hated for their skin tone. Everyone should feel secure that they won’t be hated because they look different.

Racism is wrong. It was wrong all throughout history, and it’s wrong today.

Life is about living with full confidence and self-acceptance, and if we can’t do that, then is it even worth it at all? Think before you speak, be kind to one another, and love yourself for who you are despite what others may say or think.

LUSH: Limited edition Halloween products

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and when Lush starts releasing all of their seasonal products, my wallet slowly empties. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like supporting this company because all of their products are vegan, not tested on animals and they’re all handmade.

Sparkly Pumpkin — $7.95

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 1.59.21 PMHello, beautiful! I’m not a huge fan of glitter because it gets on everything and despite numerous tried attempts, it’s impossible to get out of your skin, hair, towels, life. However, this bath bomb smells like a Martha Stewart dream. And when I say that, I mean it smells like a clean kitchen would: grapefruit, lime and juniper berries. Plus, it has ground cinnamon sticks in it, so as you sit in your warm bath, you’ll feel like you’re sitting in a pumpkin spice latte.

 

Wizard — $7.95

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 2.06.33 PMHonestly, this doesn’t look like a wizard, but I’ll take it. It’s still cute, whatever it is. It kind of reminds me of LSP (the cloud character) from Adventure Time. This bubble bar is actually really good for stress because it has a lot of oils that activate with the heat of the bath, like gardenia and tangerine oils. Plus, this turns your bath water all kinds of shades of purple, which is one of the most relaxing, sleepytime colors.

 

 

 

Northern Lights — $5.95

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 2.21.14 PMI didn’t get to see the Northern Lights when I visited Alaska, so I mean duh, I need this in my life. It’s a bath bomb, but it fizzes and crackles and changes colors from purple to blue to neon green. So just imagine putting food coloring and pop rocks into your bath. Wow? Yeah. Plus, it’s jasmine-scented. What more do you need in life?

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite Lush products?

How to: Clear up your acne

Hey guys, these past few weeks I’ve been weaning off of the steroids I’ve been on for nearly six years and my skin has taken a toll. If you’ve ever taken steroids, you know that some of the main side effects are acne and weight gain. Well, since coming off the steroid, my skin has gotten 10x worse. So here are my tips to clear up your acne and get your baby face back!

(Side note: I’ve been trying to include photos in every post, but since this is about acne I really couldn’t find a photo that didn’t make me wanna gag… So, you’re welcome)

Wash your face, but don’t overdo it — When my skin is acting up, I tend to overwash my face because with all the extra acne, redness and oil, it’s easy to assume that my face is dirty. But this isn’t true! Excessively scrubbing your face and applying product after product will cause irritation and dry out your skin, which prevents your skin from healing and clearing up.

Don’t try out new products — It’s common to assume that when your face breaks out, that your normal face routine isn’t working. But switching products and constantly changing cleansers is really bad for your skin, and will prolong your breakout.

Wash your hands. With soap. — I know we’re all adults here, but seriously washing your hands can make a huge difference in not only your acne, but your overall health as well. Especially if you’re like me and have the tendency to rest your face on your hands throughout the day, keep a little hand sanitizer in your bag, and your face will thank you!

Eat clean — Watch what you put into your body. If you’re eating greasy french fries, your skin will be oily and unhealthy. Since changing my diet (cutting out gluten/dairy and limiting sugar/meats), I’ve noticed significant improvement in my skin. Seriously, it glows!

Keep your things clean — If you wear makeup, make sure you’re regularly cleaning your brushes. It’s incredible the amount of germs, dirt and oils that accumulate in those brushes. Either invest in a good brush cleanser or make your own using olive oil and dish soap. Also, make sure you change out your facial towels and pillow cases, anything that touches your face.

Let your skin breathe — Lastly, let your skin breathe! At least one day a week I refuse to put any makeup on, and I let myself be free. I love wearing makeup, and I wear it every single day. So when Sunday rolls around, my skin thanks me. It’s good to be naked sometimes.

I hope these tips help you get your skin back in order. What are your tips for unruly breakouts?

Blog Love — Posts I adored this week

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Hey guys! I haven’t done one of these posts since August, so this is long overdue. I’ve had a lot of relaxing time to catch up on my favorite blogs so I had a lot of posts to share, but I was able to create a shorter list for you. What have your favorite blogs been lately?

10 Things You Need To Learn To Start Living the Life of Your Dreams

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I’ve been a huge fan of Jinna at Grease and Glamour for a long time now, because she lives the life I wish to have. She’s carefree, honest and travels the world at her leisure. This post teaches us all how we can let go of our inhibitions and finally begin living the life of our dreams. It’s easier than you think.

 

 

 

A Fashionable Home: A Bright and Minimal Walk-in Closet

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If you follow me on Pinterest, you’d know that I’m going through a serious minimal, black and white phase. I just love how clean and sophisticated it looks. Plus, black goes with everything. I’m really excited to decorate my new house next month the way I want to! Don’t worry, I’ll have a home tour once I get to my mysterious destination and settled ;)

 

11 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Stress

11-let-go-stressWe all get stressed, and our coping techniques don’t always work. So this comprehensive list is awesome because it has methods that work for every type of person. Breathe in, breathe out. It’ll be OK.

 

 

5 Awesome Ways to Decorate Your Workspace

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 12.54.03 PMCan you tell that I’m excited to move into my new home? I have serious decor-fever (I’ve even been amping up my HGTV-binging!). ALO is one of my new favorite blogs because it’s centered completely around lifestyle, which means they cover everything under the sun. And they include stunning photos into every post! I just… Ah….

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some new bloggers to fall in love with!