About Me

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Grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland. My time now is mostly spent getting better at being a person, refining my time management skills, trying to read normal people books and articles, and learning how to be a force for good.

T1D Life in full effect. 

I will never stop learning, nor will I stop working to make a difference for someone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reflections early in the morning

12:12 a.m. Hawaii Time. Really late, really early. Both.

At this point, I can safely say that reading old blog posts from Myspace can sometimes be a little eerie. I read one where I talked about an old-ish breakup with someone I met at camp as a kid. The other blog I’ll address another day.

Bearskin Meadow Camp was my safe place. When there, in fact as soon as I drove through the main gate, I felt the familiar tingle up and down my spine, the feeling in the air changed, and I knew I was home. Whoever says magic and love don't infect a place, you're wrong. However, going through a fairly dirty breakup there definitely hurt. It really didn't hurt in an immediate way, though. I've always prepared myself to expect the gnarly little damages that ending a relationship inflicts. What really hurt was the loss of my place there. Here's what I think:

She needed the immediate support of our co-workers, and these co-workers of course end up becoming somewhat like friends. What happens though is one person needs more support during the breakup, and one person needs less. This is what happened during our breakup, and this is what made me decide to leave camp be. Having said that, I don't blame anyone directly other than myself for how it all turned out. The responsibility to ensure that I am a welcome presence is mine and mine alone, and I think I really screwed that up. I missed out on countless opportunities to try to salvage some sense of respect from people who I worked with, and I didn't do it because I counted on my character and unspoken actions to speak for me. While I am in some ways glad I behaved this way, I am in other ways disappointed in how I believe the situation between her and I was perceived. I asked one person to hear me, and that person wasn't in the right frame of mind or, and I should have known this all along, really interested in supporting me. I didn't fight for my heart's home. I didn't scrape and claw for every last shred of dignity and respect that I could have. I knew I could be strong and stand mostly on my own. And of course, I made decisions here and there that complicated things along the way. What ultimately hurt the most was feeling like the emotional cold shoulder was being thrown my way, and I didn’t fight it.

That being said, Will and Miriam, you two were right in telling me that I should have fought for my heart's desire. I didn't need to do it, but I now know that I freakishly miss feeling welcome there. Even if you are playing the role of the strong, sturdy oak, never forget where your heart lies. It doesn't have to lie with sacrifice of the magnitude that I feel I let myself give. You can balance the equation.

Over the last three years, each time I decided to do what I needed to do for myself, the girlfriends I had at the time were disappointed. Not in me exactly, but in my desire to follow my dreams instead of theirs. This speaks volumes to my past decision-making abilities about the compatibility of myself and the women I chose to commit to, so we need not even go there. However, I will say that each time I said goodbye, I did so with a clean conscience and full heart while of course a little hurt and disappointed in the ending having come. (Although, I also believe that we always know the end should come, we just sometimes fight it like wildcats.)

Here's where I am now: I just moved my entire life and self to the island of Oahu to start a PhD program in Sociology. This was right for me in so many ways. My desire to earn a doctoral degree comes from wanting to be able to give enough to our world to change the way we treat each other in some meaningful and hopefully uplifting way. Not just academically, but spiritually, emotionally and sociologically. I know with every bone in my body and piece of my soul that I am doing what is right for me. I won't compromise that for anyone, and hopefully the cost isn't too great.

To finish for the morning, to Bearskin: please know that I will always love you as a home to many, a sanctuary to almost all, and a place of emotional healing for those affected by life in ways they cannot control. I gave all of myself to you, and I received benefits tenfold. Thank you.

To those I have left behind in leaving the mainland: you are all sorely missed. We may not have had countless hours together towards the end, but the hours we had were filled with laughter, love, appreciation, support, and acceptance. Unending thanks to all of you. Especially Will, G, Ana, Bling, Holly, Kristin, Justin, Mark, and Bob.

So much time has passed since those blogs two years ago. I have learned, grown, sucked it up and made my life happen. I’m glad I’m here, and I’m glad this is now. I hope and know that a great future awaits all of us who do what we need to do.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Craigslist Translator

Been awhile since I published, however it's been a busy bit of time. During the last few months, I've been searching for a place to live. Craigslist is well respected and heavily used here in Hawaii, and I've really gotten a feel for what people mean when they create and post Craigslist ads. There are a number of key terms to consider, and I've put together this list for your convenience, should you ever need to find a place to live via the Craigslist option. (Most of this is blown out of proportion, just to be clear.)

"clean": recently vacuumed some of the place, and most of it isn't in imminent danger of falling apart.
"quiet and cool": no air conditioner, hopefully rains a lot.
"cozy": founding member of the itty, bitty apartment committee
"historic": hella old.
"spacious studio with panoramic views": hopefully the view outside will distract you from the mess this place is on the inside.
"breezy": again, no air conditioner, but it might cool down a bit in the evenings. You'll just love the cooler seasons...
"Small pets ok": Must be a rat dog, or preferably a rat.
"in a desirable neighborhood": there's a Safeway a few blocks away. Never mind the meth dealers and gunshots you could set your clock to.
"tropical home": bugs, animals you didn't invite and way too much humidity for the average person.
"must love dogs, wonderful/well-behaved (some breed, some age) lives with us": when you visit, the dog will either attack you, hump your leg, or try to attack a neighboring dog through the fence. Possibly barf on something important.
"park view": you can see some grass across the main thoroughfare through the buses.
"location, location, location": don't expect much on the inside.
"utilities included except electric, gas": why even bother saying that at this point?
"no credit check": you could be in trouble.

There are a bunch of listings that have mispellings, and I feel like I could talk them way down from their asking price. Maybe it'd work, maybe not.

Onward and upward, here we go. And wish me luck in my housing search.