I.ii: hope and beginnings

I feel like the moonbathing with Zuki and swimming in the storm with Iszy had the same effect. They both rejuvenated me and made me feel alive, made possible by nature – the best medicine.

January 25, 2019

It’s been ages since I wrote, and I’ll admit not a day goes by that my conscience doesn’t urge me to sit down and start a page. The truth is, the end of last year was incredibly rough. This blog is all about celebrating life and the light it contains, so I won’t go into detail, but it was very hard to pick up a pen to write what I was feeling, even harder to imagine putting those feelings out there – the things I did celebrate (because there were plenty of wonderful times) I wanted to keep to myself to hold on to. Despite this blog being about celebrating happy things, I do always want to keep it real. But I have to say, the good really does outweigh the bad, sometimes I just need to gain some perspective. And traveling away from where you’ve been for months is always the perfect solution!

The beautiful snow-capped trees at Tahoe.

It’s a new year, and I rung it in surrounded with the joy of my family and baby nephew Kekoa (that little man has all of my heart!) in the chilly snow of Tahoe. There were so many times I’d look around the room and feel this odd, overwhelming sense of pride looking at my brothers, my mom, my dad. My family. There were hilarious times, calling Micah “Pocho Momoa,” the Portuguese Jason Momoa. I doubt anyone reading this will get that joke but it’s still funny to even say it out loud. We make fun, but it was Micah who won the most rounds of Apples to Apples in the end.

Skiing at Tahoe!
All of us! We got matching beanies for Christmas that said Kekoa’s First Ski.

We dug up our incredibly ancient karaoke machine out, the one that used to keep us up for hours with mics in our hand, belting 80’s and 90’s classics because that’s all the song list had. That was real fun. Although I have to say, going to karaoke in Japan instilled some sort of competition in me. I take karaoke way too seriously. While my brothers were doing their usual comedy riff songs, making the whole room erupt with laughter (but softly because a baby was sleeping) I would make them all listen to my lovesick ballads, aiming for a high score. We don’t mess around in Japan.

Afterwards spending time in Humboldt, a place I’m always happy to return to for peace and nature, it was time to head back to San Diego. But not before I got some photos with my horse. I’m thinking of writing a whole blog post about her because honestly she is my soulmate. She looks thoroughly irritated in these photos (and she probably is) but she seriously gets me. With no words. And now, we’ll have known each other for just about six years!

It’s always hard to leave Humboldt, but I some future plans in store…

I was probably in San Diego for a total of 48 hours before my friend Iszy said “We’re to Hawai’i!” And so I packed my bags again and I was off to see home with a very, very special friend. I’m not known to be spontaneous and take off all of a sudden but BOY, how fun it was to do it.

I got to spend time with family, revisit my favorite places, and even more fun show those places to Isz. Being in the salty air and sunshine seriously restored my soul.

The photo of me at that beautiful waterfall was taken by Iszy. I just wanna drop her Instagram here because she does some amazing  work and we always wanna support our artist friends! Go and check her out @byiszabellasavio!

taken by Isz ๐Ÿ™‚

I of course couldn’t leave my island without consuming obscene amounts of poke and poi and getting the famous choco animals from Nene Goose Bakery. It’s been 18 years since I’ve been going to that bakery and wonderful Cheryl, who runs the bakery with her husband, still recognizes my voice when I call her on the phone to order the choco animals! There are things about home you always wish to stay the same and never go away. Nene Goose Bakery is one of them. Iszy and I sat on Kailua beach on our last morning together, feasting on the choco animals.

And then it began to rain, and she had the brilliant idea of going for a storm swim. So we did. No pictures of that, but I can promise you it was awesome.

Finally, here’s a film photo that survived the trip. I pulled a total rookie move and exposed a roll at the beach but this one of Waimea’s came out! And look at the cool light filters! 35mm ๐Ÿ™‚

I returned to San Diego, this time for the long haul, but was joined the same night by Zuki! This entire break I was surrounded by the best people in my life, it was nonstop action. I thought I’d be exhausted but every day I woke up so happy and energized because I was always with good people. I’m happy that’s how I started off 2019, and I hope to keep that up throughout the whole year!

We spent two days adventuring and having a blast. We celebrated Zuki’s birthday, too. I love that girl so much. She is also an amazing photographer too! @zuki_mcdonald is her instagram, she has some incredible portraits taken in Japan that I still go back to ogle over!

We went to the farmer’s market and I got a new plant! Teehee.

I realize how entirely surrounded I am with such talented, passionate, and spirited friends, and that makes me feel so so lucky and inspired. They are the ones who help me feel like I can take on anything.

Zuki and I were together on the night of the Super Blood Wolf Moon and she suggested we do “geshoku,” ๆœˆ้ฃŸ, a practice of moonbathing in Japan where you sit under the moonlight and drink tea, cleansing yourself of negativity.

We brewed a big pot of ใปใ†ใ˜่Œถ, roasted green tea, and set out to find a cliff to sit on. I managed to find an old spot I used to go to all the time in sophomore year, well hidden. We were joined by some fellow moonbathers but it dwindled down to just me, Zuki, and a woman who sat in front of us, who ended up being a very special part of our night!

The woman didn’t speak much at all except once to ask for the time, and another to tell us when the eclipse would be at its peak. Zuki and I spent the whole night chattering away, catching up, talking about our dreams, encouraging each other. It’s an amazing thing when you can stop and turn to to the person you’re with and think, “You are going places and I’m so excited to see you do it,” and then they make you think the same about yourself! It was a very wholesome time marveling over the world and what brings us joy and life.

Apparently, we were just loud enough for that woman in front of us to hear, because when she stood up to leave, she bid us goodnight, and then turned to tell us that listening to us was the better part of her day. She said our laughter made her happy, and hearing what we talked about made her have hope for the future. She said she couldn’t put into good enough words what she felt, but she thanked us for saying what we said to each other.

Positivity just emanated from our conversation and touched that woman who shone it right back in the form of words of appreciation. She said she had hope for the future because of us. *I* had hope for the future because of my time with Zuki. And because of my time with Iszy, and with my friends, and with my family. How wonderful it is, that bright energy has followed me around in so many forms this new year.

I feel like the moonbathing with Zuki and swimming in the storm with Iszy had the same effect. They both rejuvenated me and made me feel alive, made possible by nature – the best medicine.

I have bright hope for the future, and it’s really thanks to the people I brought in this new year with. To all of you, you know who you are – thank you.

This was more of an update, play-by-play blog post, and I’ll go back to my creative writing very soon as I have many plans. But I just wanted to come back after this three month hiatus and thank everyone for still sticking by me and my writing. I especially want to thank the wonderful person who e-mailed me today about my blog, your message this morning gave me the extra push I needed to write again. Thank you so, so much, if you’re reading this, people like you are my inspiration.

Until next time (very soon!)

Chesi

6 thoughts on “I.ii: hope and beginnings

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