Friday, January 7, 2011

Thirteen Inches

About 2 years, gallons of shampoo/ conditioner/ heat protectant spray, $ in electricity for flat iron/ blow dry, 25 no damage scunci hair bands, 2 shower caps, 36 hair clips, a couple dry shampoos, a towel, and a pair of scissors later and the length is GONE!

For the second time in 4 years, I’ve grown out my hair. It got to about the middle of my back this time. I feel bad because the split ends were horrible! They were about 2-3 inches and branched like crazy! I tried to retard their growing presence with some random self-trimming a few times. Again, I didn't take a proper photo to show how long my hair got but this somewhat shows it [taken about a couple months before the cut]:

I recently got the length cut off. I was looking for at least 10 inches off. The final length: THIRTEEN INCHES!

I’m excited about that because I’ll be sending the length off for donation.

[Confession: I thought I had already donated the first length couple years ago and I couldn’t remember if I sent it to Locks of Love or to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. It’s because I didn’t send it off. I found the first length in its bag, about to be sent off! :/ Terrible. I try to be very good about such things! I checked online and they’ll still take the hair if it’s still together in a ponytail, which it is. Which means that I’ll be donating a length to both of those campaigns! Yay!]

To get the deed done, I went to my favorite place to get a haircut: Ulupono Academy in Kaimuki. It is a partner school with Paul Mitchell and so one will be treated by a student under the supervision of an instructor. They offer nail, hair and skin services.

Ulupono Academy was referred to me by my great friend Julie three years ago and so it’s my go-to place now.

The first time I went was to get the first donation length cut [sort of read about it here]. Jessica cut off a 12-inch length and then cut the rest to a style that was manageable and looked good as it grew out. She also changed my part from the right to the left- it took some getting used to and now it would feel weird to have it back on the right! She did an excellent job!

The second time I went was just for a routine trim. A guy handled my hair and while he was nice enough and no hair disasters occurred, it was not a good experience. Cutting my hair always takes a long time, but in the end at least two other people handled my hair. I beared it all patiently, which is not natural to me but he was a student.

Last month was the second time to have a donation length cut off. I saw the guy from the last time and overheard him say that he’ll be graduating soon.

Ana handled my hair. She suggested a style that was “a graduated triangle” or “triangle layers,” something like that. I didn’t really have any idea what she was describing so I just said go for it. I really don’t know beauty/ style lingo but I’m not all that attached to my hair. I don’t know how I would react to being bald but other than that, I’m alright with anything.

After the 13 was off, the hair was about shoulder length. A couple times, Ana consulted with the instructor and I had NO IDEA what they were saying but it sounded good so I didn’t panic. When they were almost done with it all, the instructor made a comment about my facial expression, which I thought was just… whatever so I told her that I was good and I trust them. That made her brighten and she was like, “Great!” and kept going with it.

The instructor was telling me something and then asked if I'd be okay with it. She said that on one side, there would be a small section that is not the same length as my bangs on the other side, it would be a little longer or something. She tells me, in an instructing voice, "It would be A-SYM-METRICAL." She enunciated the "assymetrical" part. I'm like, okay. In my head I'm going, yeah, I know what that means. What's funny is that I like asymmetry.

I think it's also funny because she probably thought I was in high school or something; stylists always think I'm much younger than I am. Several years ago, I was in SF with a friend and we went to this salon. The stylist asked how old I was because she thought I would need to ask my parent's permission to have my hair cut so sexy!

Turns out that the graduated triangle cut is pretty bold, at least it is for me! The stylist usually does a straight layered cut, no fancy business. This cut is long in front and gradually shorter and shorter in and up the back. Maybe the photos show it better than I could describe it.

I like it! Makes me feel daring, like I want to do skateboarding or something!

Ana did an excellent job both in recommending and in execution of the cut! The instructor said that it goes with my profile, which I think is great because I had always thought that my profile looked… flat/ blah/ goofy?

So Godfather says he likes it, says he always notices everything. Fist says she likes it. Squeaks totally loves it, commenting on how it shows off… um… me. Astrid FB-liked it, haha! I’d like to know what Chulo or Riddle thinks of it….

The photos below show the curled-styled look I came home with and a straightened look a few days later because I have no idea how to recreate the curled-styled look I came home with! I also had a tricky time trying to take a pic of the back.

Mahalo to Ulupono Academy and Ana for the excellent service!

If you’re looking for a good haircut on a modest budget or thinking of being daring with a bold new cut, check out Ulupono Academy!

For information on hair donation, check out:
Locks of Love
Pantene Beautiful Lengths

What I'm using these days to help protect my hair from heat-styling damage. Hot Off the Press! It leaves my hair feeling soft!



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sonnie on the Rise

Sonnie was a good hard-working man the last time we rock climbed. He was kinda bummed about hearing what a good time we had. So I helped set up another climb for him and his friends before he left for basic. He did the major organizing though and I am so proud of how he’s grown when I watch him do such things! : )

I picked up Genesis, Sonnie and Aleeza, then we met Adam at church. Genesis jumped in the car with Adam to pick up Matt T., but more so in order that Adam didn’t get lost! We picked up Jefferson, Bert and Krystle picked up Kristie, and Shelly came. Kristie couldn’t climb ‘cause her arm injury is still tender.

It was so much fun!

Bert and Krystle got there first and went straight to business! They had gone last time; this time they tried out the climbing shoes that can be rented at the gym.

All the rain from the previous days made the ropes kinda tricky; Bert and Genesis rope climbed safely though.

The guys discovered the pull-up station: a stiff rubberband looped through an anchored eye hook. It’s to practice pull-ups using only one arm or two fingers! Of course the guys had to try it! I kinda got Matt doing a pull-up on video. I can't even attempt it [YET]!

All our climbers got up the free climb at least once. The guys were all over again. For their first time, Aleeza and Shelly were a bit hesitant to climb back down but they made it.

I had stayed up top to advise and assure Shelly down while those on the ground guided her. Their instruction got a bit confusing, as all these voices called things out and then some of it is stuff like, “there’s a grip right there” or “move your foot to the right,” you know, where it’s non-specific and stuff that she can’t see where they’re pointing because they’re behind and below her; she’s staring at the wall [I’m laughing ‘cause I’d probably do the same]. Then Justin, the climbing guy, came over to give Shelly useful, clear guidance down and she was okay.

Meanwhile, Adam had come up the other side. He goes back down after Shelly is safe. Now I’m left alone at the top and ready to come down. So I get to the edge, glance back down… and no one’s there to guide me! Well, I’m kinda gutsy [read: dumb and think I can do anything] and I climbed down on my own anyway, and I was safe. It’s just funny to me, in that split second going, “where’d everyone go?” and then “alright, I’m still going down anyway.” I’m kinda protective when others do stuff like that that could be safer and then for myself, I just go; I’m starting to get better at not doing stupid stuff myself anymore but that’s not saying much.

SONNIE was amazing! He kept climbing up and down and sideways and hanging, climb after climb with hardly a breather between! He climbed his money’s worth!

He challenged himself when Genesis crossed over an opening, using mostly his upperbody strength. After that, a couple said, “Genesis, you’re my hero!” So Sonnie said, “What?!!” He got up there, crossed over, and then was challenged to go all the way around so he tried it [it’s in the video if you’ve seen it].

I have some stamina to build up. I love climbing, more than I do hiking, but I need to lean out more and get some strength in. Last time, I had been free climbing so much and trying the laterals that I was too tired by the time I got to the ropes- that and the fact that my toe had swelled and hurt like crazy. Again, “gutsy” me goes climbing with a bad toe anyway and then can’t push herself up on that foot at all!

This time, my toe was pretty okay, only slightly tender. I challenged myself on the wall that’s tilted outward. The grips had changed from the other time and were in better positions for me to climb. Yet again, I got to a point where I really needed to push up, my arms were too tired to help pull me up and my toe was starting to hurt. And I was almost to the top. Bert was up top, trying to help me out. He thought he would be encouraging and called out, “Come on, Coach!” I was wearing Dad’s old coaching shirt. I called back, “It’s for soccer, not rock climbing!” Bert: “Oh.”

And… we had our first casualty. It was shortly after my near-top climb and I was tired on the ground. We watched as Bert slipped; it was so fast that I don’t remember if it was his foot or his hand that went. All of a sudden, all of him just dropped! At first I was afraid that he knocked out his knee and then was a little “relieved” [if that’s the word] that it wasn’t his knee. It just wasn’t fun to watch.

Matt and others rushed over to check Bert out. Justin came over with an ice pack and they took care of him.

Then Scott arrived like minutes after Bert’s fall.

Krystle took Bert to the hospital. I wanted to go with them but they had their [friend’s] car and I had to stay with my [mom’s] car.

And to think that Bert was very mindful of the safety of the rest of us, pointing out that chains/ necklaces be tucked in and that we should move the mat for others.

The rest of us went to have lunch at Costco’s while keeping in touch with Bert and Krystle. Then we went to Waikele. After they were done, Bert and Krystle met us at Waikele. Bert arrived with crutches and an ankle the size of a grapefruit! The word is that nothing is broken and it’s a bad sprain.

Other than the fall, it was a good time. We’re not deterred from doing more climbs! [And maybe we’ll be more mindful of using chalk more often when needed]. Sonnie’s thinking about getting the year pass when he gets back. Genesis is up for that! Me too! It’s a great fun workout!

Mahalo to all who came out! Let’s go again, you in?

So, when I was setting up the first climb, I was told that group functions were 10- 25 people. 2 people weren’t able to make it last minute, leaving 9 of us. Henry had been there before and he offered to pay for the tenth person but Justin said it was cool. This time for Sonnie, Shelly said that she hadn’t paid; she had been only 20 minutes behind us in arriving. After Bert and Krystle got on their way to the ER, Shelly and I went back inside to settle and Justin said we were good.

Justin had asked that someone update him on Bert; I called the next day to let him know nothing was broken. He was relieved and reminded that they tell everyone, even though there’s mats and stuff for falls, we still need to be as safe-minded as possible when we climb.

So a huge MAHALO to Justin and Volcanic Rock Gym for all of their services and making sure we were as safe as can be, and for being ready to take care of injuries.

And Sonnie left for basic this past Monday. I miss him; many of us do. He’ll sure be in my prayers while he’s away.

Sonnie, be safe and take care of business so you can come back!!!

Untitled [01.04.2011]

So, I’ve figured out that I’ve been laboring under the wrong impression.

See, I was looking to make friends. I knew I would need more than just a casual friend. My best-of-the-best sister/friend moved away, leaving a major local position empty. I wasn’t thinking that I’d automatically find someone to fill that position exactly. No one truly replaces another. I just thought, I’m definitely going to need some friends.

I am usually able to come out with at least one good friend among a group. I am more comfortable with guys than I am with girls. Usually guys are more straightforward and drama-avoiding, which I tend to be also. I also tend to enjoy typical guy activities like sports and sci-fi and fantasy stuff, at least more those things than shopping and who’s-dating-who and that stuff.

So, I thought I was just making many friends and it seemed well enough that they all were in the same group. Great. They’re mostly guys. Great.

What I believe really happened was that the group thought I was interested in one of their guys [Guy A] and so they tolerated me on his behalf. Then it seemed that maybe another of their guys might be an interest also. As soon as neither guy seemed interested in me anymore, as well as some other junk because the group and I were working under drastically different information, they were no longer obligated to befriend me.

Yes, I was curious about one of their guys initially. So I set out to make the most of whatever opportunity came my way to get to know him better. It’s what I do.

1- My volunteering with the youth department had NOTHING to do with being curious about the guy. It also had nothing to do with looking to make friends. I did not USE God’s guidance and honor in order to meet a guy, I did not USE God’s work in order to fulfill MY desires. I had NOTHING to do with being partnered with Guy A.

2- Personal history: in the few times that I have been curious about a guy enough to get to know him, I have never dated the guy. It could be any number of reasons why but the two I think of are that he wasn’t interested in dating me and/ or my curiosity was satisfied at the friend-level and never grew beyond that. I’m good with that and have come out with some great guy friends.

3- All of my former boyfriends sought me out. I wouldn’t say that they “chased” me because I don’t play hard-to-get and all those games, neither did I make it completely easy on them. They made the initial moves though and I happened to deem fit to respond. So, to relate this in with #2 somewhat, when I’m the one to make the initial “moves,” I tend to lose dating interest in the guy, if indeed there had been any on my part. I operate more in the interest of friendship than in dating as a goal. Only two come to mind whom I had really hoped there would be a chance of dating while I operated under friendship.

So back to Guy A: I was curious and sought out friendship. About a month later, I attracted Guy B who sought out something with me; all the while I didn’t completely drop Guy A because I was looking for a friendship. Later, Guy C came along and our friendship grew. Still with me?

Then it gets really confusing and tangled, and part of that is what I often say: I’m dense about guys being interested in me which is why things have been easier when the guy approaches me first and made it clear that he’s interested and for what.

Guy A became interested in dating but I didn’t realize it until late, partly because of my density and because of his ways and partly because Guy B and I were still figuring things out only people didn’t know about Guy B. Guy C became curious about friendship or dating I guess? I still don’t really know about that one. Guy B and I took another break. Shortly after, Guy A and I hit a rough patch. I don’t completely know what happened with Guy C but he stopped coming around. Guy B came back and then went away again. Guy A and I hit another rough patch.

Somewhere in that mess, I confess that I tried to be the person A wanted me to be, in a way, and furthered the confusion. No matter how I felt about B, the skeptic in me reminds me that I could be wrong about everything. Yet, a huge part of me was sure that I wasn’t wrong about A and me and I went back to friendship. Age difference played a role in it but other things helped me figure out quick that dating A would be a difficult thing, not impossible but unadvised. I thought things were settled and then we had a huge falling out and still haven’t quite gotten back to friendship.

Anyways, all of that was going on and I really couldn’t keep track of what happened when and stuff. I know that people were under the impression that I was interested in either A or C and they didn’t know about B. I was interested in A and C as friends.

So, get that? I thought I was friends with A and C as well as the rest of the group. Some in the group are my friends no matter if I date one of the guys or not, of which the dating part doesn’t seem likely at all.

I adore C so much because even though he became disinterested in dating me at all [I think] and then dated someone else, I know that our friendship is important to him. Even though he went away for a bit, I could still call him up for anything and he would still spend time with me when we were in the same place. He never stopped being my friend through everything.

Now A is dating my closest local friend and even that has some complications, at least for me and I’m rather certain that neither of them will understand. It’s strange because early on I… nevermind. It’s not specifically about them dating. This is all I’ll say about that at this point.

I think for some in the group, they’ll think that I left because A was no longer an option for me. It would seem that way to them because they don’t have all the facts and have some misinformation on top of that and because of how things seem along the timeline.

Many other things are going on at the same time though. Mainly is the thing that I’m typing about on this post: that I was looking for friends in general and thought I had, while others thought I was looking to date. We were operating under different impressions. And since the dating is not going on, they are no longer obligated to befriend me. I get it now. While I know that some will be my friend even without the dating, the group…………

Here’s the thing: I’ve been told that the group is probably at its capacity. I would add that if that’s true, then it’s at its capacity unless a dating relationship occurs, then the group allows for the girlfriend to come “in.” They thought that was going to be me, it’s not, and so they have no place for me. On one hand, this makes me more okay with leaving. I’m not going to mention what the other hand REALLY wants to do!

You can’t tell me that the group is at its capacity and then ask me if I want to be with the group. Don’t tell me that I can’t get the group to want me and then ask if I want to be with the group. It doesn’t make sense. You can’t tell me that the group isn’t going to make an effort if I don’t want to be with the group and then ask me because it’s not up to me. It sounds like pity friendship and I don’t need any of that. After being rejected and opposed on every side, don’t ask me if I want to be with the group. Even when I wanted to be with the group, it was pretty much on my efforts. I don’t believe that the group will embrace me even if I still wanted to be with the group. It hasn’t happened.

I approached the group with my friendship. I didn’t care who people were or what they were like or who doesn’t like who or any of that. I didn’t come to that group in order to date A or C or anyone. I gave gifts. I did more than my best to befriend each person. I helped get everyone together, EVERYONE, not for me but for the good of the group. I made time to spend with whomever. I cared, I prayed, I got things started. I didn’t ditch people so I could spend time with B. I thought I was a pretty good friend to have.

When I needed the group, the group let me down. I’m not talking about individual efforts though some individuals have let me down also. I have been the one to seek out amends. Because I cared. So don’t ask me if I want to be with the group.

So partly I’m leaving because it doesn’t seem to matter. I get it now. As long as they have their group together, they don’t have enough care for me. It might sound like I’m asking for a lot but I’m not. I’m not only asking for myself but also on the behalf of others who might come along looking to be their friend. Maybe I just define/ labor friendships differently. Some may realize I’m not around, again, but they’re probably not going to make a move, like they didn’t last time. The other parts are that… nevermind.

Perhaps some other time.

I am making friends again. Well, I’m always looking to make friends, but another group is starting to welcome me. I don’t see that someday they’ll start calling me up just to hang out, but what is right now is enough right now. I think we’re both operating under the same impression, that I’m a sort-of-mentor-role-model/ friend type with them [they role model for me in different areas], more that than a buddy-buddy type and hopefully not a dating-interest type AT ALL for they are much younger.

And in any case, remember what I said? No one replaces another. I might be able to enjoy another friend or another group, yet it will never make up for what I thought I had.

Even the one that’s close to my age, well, I’ll just say that I am operating under my usual interest of friendship. And I am being very careful about that.

[I know people are speculating. If they’re gossiping, you know, I just don’t care what they’re saying. They shouldn’t be saying anything, but my experience says they probably are. I’m meaning specific people and people in general, that gossip is a rampant and insidious thing. Also, that people think they have me figured out but they don’t have a clue and don’t care to have any. I have no control over what others do.]

So here I go again, looking for people to be friends with, to hang out with, to care about, etc.

I hate this. *Sigh*

Monday, January 3, 2011

Untitled [01.03.2011]

Today is not a good day. Even with God, life can be tough.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to not care.

If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have to deal with these emotions with which I have no idea what to do. If I didn’t care, I could move more easily to other thoughts. If I didn’t care, I would choose to do what I want. If I didn’t care, I could walk away like it’s nothing. If I didn’t care, I could stay like it’s nothing. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t deal with other people’s bull.

You know what’s strange? Both my heart and my mind are in conflict over you. Both are giving messages to leave you and to stay with you. I tend to follow my mind more than my heart but it fails me on this one.

What scares me is that God has done so much work on my heart, to soften it, and whether I stay or go could mean hardening it again. I pray that any hardening be temporary, in order to do what I have to do.

So here’s some plain unemotional honesty: you can be a jerk sometimes. And an idiot. And I will say that because I will never condemn you for it knowing that I can be those at times also.

I would welcome you back as if nothing happened but you don’t want that do you? I would never leave you but you don’t believe me, do you? Or is it that you cannot believe me?

I would love you like no one can believe, not even you.

I’ve told you what I want. I wasn’t subtle about it.

You don’t have to throw it in my face. I should think you are trying too hard to convince yourself that you are unaffected. When I’m in the room with you, you pretend not to notice. When I come close, you pull away. When I walk away, you pout and stare for not wanting to call out.

You’re the one who’s confused. You’re the one who’s scared.

I get it. I gambled and I lost. But so did you.

I’ve done all I am able and more. I don’t have to be affected by you anymore.

I’m not going to let you take me down with you. I’m on the rise. The only way for you to reach me now will be to rise up also.

And yes, there may be a moment when it could be too late. You might wake up one day to find that I’m not there. You’ll realize that I have been gone for years.

And after all of this, I’m still going to do my best to make sure that moment is never actualized.

Because there’s a reason for all those “ifs” near the beginning.

I do care. I would give my life for a friend. I would give my life for family. And on the good days when I do right by God, I would give my life for foe. I am not foolish for it.

I will not let go of my warrior’s heart, this fierce heart of the lion. I will not give up the wisdom I have gained. I will give away this love that God has for me, for it is my saving grace.

And it’s yours just the same.

Today will be a good day. Even with God, life is enough.

[Still, wouldn't mind you sending some prayers to God on my behalf!]

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ask Yourself This Question This Year

Do you have God’s heart?

If you claim to be a Christian, this is really a question to ask yourself every day.

I would suggest that you ask it every morning. If you’ve gone through your day and then you’re asking yourself if you’ve had God’s heart that day, it’s more likely that you didn’t. Start off your day committing it to the Lord and chances are that you will have God’s heart throughout the rest of the day. This is the first thing I wanted to urge you to do.

Do you make The Resolutions every new year’s day? Do you make them in a joking manner because you know you won’t succeed in them?

The first resolution I ever made was a few years ago. From around October/ November of 2007, I felt a strong urge from the Holy Spirit; I sensed that God was preparing me for something major. January 1st, 2008, my LIFE resolution was to follow God his way, meaning that I would constantly practice obedience to him, that I would seek to do things his way and not my way, not my desires. It was a resolution to love God as he deserves. I made it on January 1st because it was came up and because I definitely didn’t want to forget this date!

The second thing that I want to say to encourage you in your walk with God is that God will reward your commitment to him. How do I know this? Because he has rewarded my commitment to him which began three years ago. Life has been tougher and greater and more heartbreaking yet more heart-enlarging than ever and I could never have imagined it would be so amazing! God has come through on every one of his promises: of never leaving me, of always forgiving me when I return to him, of bringing comfort and peace and joy, of providing what or who I would need in my time of need, and more. He doesn’t promise ease, he doesn’t promise popularity, he doesn’t promise green lights all the way, but what he does promise is so much better than anything of the desires of this world.

How do you get a hold of God’s heart? By truly loving him. What does that look like? Obedience. How can you know what or how to obey? By reading his word, the Bible and praying constantly.

The importance of committing to reading the Bible and constant praying is something that I began to truly learn back in January of 2008. I had already known that I should do such things, but I wasn’t practicing it. I would read the Bible here and there, I prayed a lot for whatever, but I hadn’t committed to immersing myself into the Bible and I didn’t know what I ought to pray for or why. And one will only discover the whys of reading the Bible and constant prayer by doing them; this is the third thing I wanted to say.

You may be wondering why I didn’t simply ask if you love God. Why did I ask if you have God’s heart? I’m not sure I can explain my reason well enough but I will try.

It’s easy to say that I love God. It’s easy to believe that I love God. It’s easy to appear to others like I love God. It isn’t always easy to know truly and deeply if I actually love God. It’s a whole other thing.

I’ve attended church since I was about 2. I accepted Christ as my savior in 1992. In 2008, Christ became my LORD. Doing the hard work of walking with Christ as my Lord, learning and doing the disciplines of Bible reading and praying, I have come to find that the good that I do I have done because God has shown me his heart for people. It’s one thing to do good deeds in order to look good, in order to receive praise from people, in order that my reputation grows. It’s another and better thing to do good in obedience to God, in order that his reputation grows in the eyes of others, in order that the praise goes to deserving one [Col. 3:17].

What I’m saying is that if you have God’s heart, you will know that you love God because you receive his heart only through genuinely loving him.

1] Commit yourself to God in the morning and watch how your day unfolds when you go through it in awareness of the Lord.

2] When you do so, you will be rewarded; you cannot lose. [Caution: you probably won’t be rewarded right away or in a manner which you expect to be rewarded, but it comes. This is simply to say that God follows through on his promises]

3] Commit yourself to studying the Bible [Dt. 1-3; Col. 3: 16; Heb. 4: 12] and to constant prayer [2Th 5:16-18; Ja. 5:13-16].

Here’s to an amazing 2011 with God! Trust me, it’s better with him than without him. Praying that when 2012 comes around, you’ll understand what I was saying here!