Best Thing I Ever Did Was Believe In Me

My life has improved immensely. I don’t know why exactly, the change in weather, God, my own efforts, or a combination of all three, probably a combination of all three. But I am so happy. So excited for the future and all of the adventures that await me. I guess I have learnt that life will always have ups and downs but if we persevere through our heartaches, we really do come out the other side a better and a stronger being. This concept is no longer a cliched Pinterest quote for me, it has become my reality. I am enjoying and appreciating the small details of every day and making the very most of my time here. At the same time, I am eagerly awaiting my sure-to-be-amazing future.

By The Way…

By the way,
if you choose to wait until you’re READY
you’ll never be.
And, there’s always two sides to a thing.
1. She could interfere with your journey to self-discovery
(which FYI is never ending)
or 2. She could enrich it, enliven it
and full-blown cultivate
with heart plenty.
Though I guess
excuses are free.

Osaka Bound: Day Two

My dad is the very opposite of a Japanese person. He is loud, blithe, bouncy and obnoxious. On top of all that, he won’t stop making what he believes is a funny joke but what actually is, a highly inappropriate comment. God save me. And my mom, my mom keeps telling me mom-stuff like “slow down around the bends” and “always carry a cardigan.” They’re both annoying as hell but I couldn’t be happier.

Pics from top to bottom: a giraffe made entirely of lego at Lego Land, Osaka aquarium (on the schedule solely for my father because he loves fish), okonomiyaki for lunch which my parents told me they didn’t really like or didn’t like as much as ramen (no shit!) only after, and my favourite part of the day, shopping at Lucua. It was so nice to shop with my parents! For one year I’ve had no one to ask if jeans make my butt look big and guess what? Turns out they do tehehe.

Lastly dear follower, I want to share with you something unreal: I bumped into my Kiwi ex. In Osaka Station, in a city with a population of more than 3 million. And, during Sakura (cherry blossom) season when the peoples quadruply. What are the chances? It was fate. It must of been fate. For you know what I felt? I felt absolute and utter confirmation. That it ended for all the right reasons. That I am exactly where I need to be, that I did exactly what I needed. In the words of Rudy Francisco:

“Instead of asking
why they left,

now I ask,
what beauty will i create
in the space they no longer

The accuracy! I am so proud of myself and the beautiful life I live. John Green is right, “grief does not change you… It reveals you.” And in the words of Mary Maxwell:

“…under duress great things are born. Diamonds form in molten stone. The sweetest flowers of man’s spirit have most often been watered by tears. To struggle gives strength, to endure breeds a greater capacity for endurance. We must not run away from our heartbreaks in life; we must go through them, however fiery they may be, and bring with us out of the fire a stronger character, a deeper reliance on ourselves”.

I hope you too, can find the strength and courage to create beauty in place of life’s inevitable heartaches.image[3]image[4]imageimage[1]image[6]image[9]image[8]image[5]image[10]

His mother’s blueberry muffins were his favorite

His mother’s blueberry muffins were his favorite
that is, until he tried mine
shhh don’t tell her
he leant in
I thought, for a kiss
but he just grabbed another
even so, my heart skipped
I’d badly wanted to please him
flash-forward 3 years
they rise in a much smaller oven
on a new continent
in a six slot tray not twelve
actually everything has changed
even my hair color
but I still remember
I hope I wont always
the blue of his eyes
the blue on his lips

No Broken-Hearted Girl

When I was thirteen, I wanted to be a teacher but that idea only lasted a day. It was powerfully overthrown by the idealized prospects of life as an air hostess. Ah, even the word itself produced excitement. Plus, I’d heard that you only needed to study three months to become one, THREE MONTHS! That, and the little fashionista inside me was just dying to wear a pretty scarf around her neck. Next was dietitian, then librarian and now, a decade later; writer. So why Japan? Why ESL teacher? Two, too frequently asked questions to which I reply a mixture of ahhhh and errmm whilst quietly praying that either I or the questioner miraculously disappear into thin air.

According to my Japanese friend, Kei’s American friend, Anna, there’s only one reason why men come to Japan to teach English but two reasons for why women do it. Anna reckons men are only here to score themselves a Japanese girl whilst women are either a)genuinely wanting to travel and are simply starting out in Asia or b)and the most common reason: have had their hearts broken. Now, I wouldn’t say Anna is entirely correct but I wouldn’t say she isn’t either.

So Id had my heart broken. Badly. And found myself stuck at that ever so familiar waiting stage. Waiting for my unpredicted plot twist, waiting for the exception to the rule. I imagined him unexpectedly showing up and declaring his love at our door-step, at my workplace, heck, I’m surprised ‘boom-box outside window at 4am’ didn’t make the list. However, I couldn’t exist like that! Paddling in a whirlpool of self-pity, I had to get out (5808 miles to be exact), dry off and start over. So, I counselled myself to let go of a dream that was no longer a viable reality. For if we’d made plans to travel together after graduation, and those plans were now no longer an option, then it was up to me to write me a new chapter myself.

And guess what? I did! One of samurais (Miyamoto Musashi’s birthplace is 5 min away) and castles and geishas and one too many hot bowls of ramen. Because as Greg Behrendt so beautifully puts it, “maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy, maybe… it’s you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is… just… moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope.”

Happy one year anniversary to iaccidentlyatethewholething.

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An Open Letter To My Ex

Three years ago, having recently returned to reality after my OE, I was directionless. Not knowing the “right” road to take, I chose to go in the direction that was expected of me. Not only by my parents but of society and life as we know it. But essays, deadlines and frightening lecturers were made more bearable by your presence. I still remember the first day we met. You, a typical kiwi bloke, in stubbies and those awfully thick merino wool socks leaned over to ask what exactly it was that i was scrolling through so vigorously mid psych lecture and I replied: “fruit pendants”. Three months later after our first “fight” as a couple, you gifted me a pomegranate necklace.

With absolute honesty I can say I loved you with my entire being. No fractions or percentages; you had all of me.

I let you in, closer and closer than I had anyone else. You became the bearer of my secrets, fears, hopes and desires (and of course, I returned the favour, I was not selfish. Obviously I was perfect). I especially adored the aspects you disliked about yourself and/or were self-conscious of. The sound of your recorded voice, your height, your dry knuckles and the two scars on your chest. In your so-called imperfections, I found beauty, quirk and uniqueness. Together we ticked off many of our firsts (get your mind out of the gutter). We paraglided off a mountain (5,400 feet above the ground), we snorkelled amidst tropical fish and we experienced stomach ache after finishing our very first 22inch NY style pizza.

During the first months of our breakup. My mind would constantly replay such moments. Believing that you, and solely you were the centre of my happiness (I now know that was idiotic). I continously questioned every nuance of each word ever uttered between us, over thinking to the point where my mind became a sustained buzzing of utter nonsense. Dearest ex lover, the following is what I’ve so painfully and gradually (emphasis on gradually) learnt: heartbreak is a bitch. BUT eventually (emphasis on eventually), the girl you missed out on will come to realise that she is a bad-ass bitch from hell and that no one can fuck with her. Put politely, she’s irreplaceable, a goddess, a queen and an absolute gem. For centuries, the prophets, artists and academics of the world have said and will continue to say; happiness comes from within. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I healed, I found happiness outside of our relationship and so will the next girl but there are a few other things I’d  still like to mention.

I’m a huge fan of HONY (Humans Of New York) and I find 99% of their life stories heart-wrenchingly meaningful but out of the billions of stories and advice so far shared, the one that has stayed with me the most is this: “I’m learning to be more careful with my words. Words that seem meaningless at the time can end up having a lot of power. Seeds that you didn’t even intend to plant can fall off you and start growing in people”. Dearest ex lover, if there was one thing you could have done to make this process easier is to have been more careful with your words and promises. Of course, there is not much use in dwelling on the past and what should have been or could have been but thankfully, we have the rest of our lives to learn, grow and change. Don’t tell her you can’t wait to put a ring on her finger when you haven’t given a single thought to marriage. Don’t tell her you like her, love her, adore her, want.to.spend.the.rest.of.eternity with her if you don’t mean it.

I’ve learnt that reality bites, sharp and toxic but as Oscar Wilde once said: “the heart was made to be broken”. Pain, sorrow and adversary are not only healthy but also incredibly human. Love will break you, pull down your pants in public and laugh at you with vengeance but that is the reason we are here on earth. Not to moon the innocent public but to be vulnerable and open. To give our absolute all in the slight, minute (but ever possible) chance of having that energy returned.

Yours faithfully,
Miss Enlightened

Photo credit: Marlee Banta