Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Another Milestone to Celebrate Facing Fears

I DID IT!!! Another milestone to celebrate. As I finish my first semester back at University; truth - I never thought it was possible until I actually did it. To be averaging 85-90 on a full course load, whilst working in the contemporary arts, is a cherry on top, as to me, the grades are just that, alphabets and numbers.  
Many don't know and would hardly be able to imagine this, but, in my early years I suffered from debilitating anxiety; where, I wasn't able to step out the door, and face the world outside for days on end. I don't know how many times I begged my mom to drive me back home in the morning, after sitting on the curb for god knows how long, due to my extreme phobia of school in the states, and in Tokyo, I used to faint in the subway on my way to school, etc (mainly discrimination, bullying, and abuse from those who were supposed to support and foster a child's growth in the education systems, mostly ignorance on behalf of some of the teachers and parents, the silent microagressions that also added up) it was a physical terror, and I avoided it for over ten years, until now. Don't talk about me being back at school in front of my mom, as she'll burst out in tears; she's just happy I'm 1. alive and 2. can't believe I'm back at school.  
Anxiety takes on many forms, many of which I had the delight of experiencing first hand (along with other diagnoses) and took high doses of medications for over 15 years, all of which I came off of last year (although surprisingly never experienced panic attacks or stage fright before ballet performances).  
An excellent and heartfelt poetry session, on anxiety, by Jae Nichelle that a friend of mine recently shared with me.  
"So, my anxiety and I have what some people might call a friends-with-benefits relationship. We have no love for each other, but she still just like fucks with me sometimes." - Jae Nichelle
A pursuit of a dream, and an undeniable calling that I decided to embark, in the form of Social Work, in the face of fear, to make a difference, one life at a time. I wanted to share my joy and celebrate with you on this journey.
To lead a life free of debilitating anxiety is possible, with healthy coping strategies and management, through self-awareness, and perseverance.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

UNIVERSAL AUTHENTICITY: The Value We Bring Into the World

What a life!  We lead such amazing lives irrespective of location, race, class, or circumstance.  I am constantly awestruck by our uniqueness and gifts.  

As I was working and studying, I had this video streaming in the background, and Oprah couldn't have described my sentiments more accurately:

I left Tokyo two years ago with solid goals and promises in mind, and I recently realized I have done exactly what I set out to do and then some.  I wanted to update you on the adventure:

  • I have returned to University to pursue a calling and dream of mine and I will be completing my first course next week.  I have been accepted into the Social Work program at Ryerson University in Toronto, and my first summer course ends next week.
  • I am currently working with the Detroit Institute of Arts on behalf of The Japan Business Association of Detroit on a new venture to promote and increase exposure of Japanese contemporary artists in the North American/International art arena.  We've recently sent out a call to contemporary artists, and of the proposals submitted, the DIA/JBAD executive committee will be jurying and accepting a Japanese contemporary artist and their work to be exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts along with the launch of their new permanent Japan Gallery installation.  I am working remotely, often taking business trips across the border.
  • There are many opportunities to work with arts organizations locally and internationally to help those struggling with life's challenges, and/or mental illnesses through the medium of (contemporary) art and creativity, which I have been contacted and plan to get involved.  
  • Quietly, but consistently gaining inspiration, structure, and momentum on a project I hold dear to my heart; the next steps in making a greater difference in the world.  Watch this space, it will evolve and grow with us all.  I will begin pursuing my efforts and goals in business as a student of social work.  I may not be able to practice officially, yet, but I can still make a difference in other creative ways.  A little peek below.

Back to what Oprah was saying, and the value that each one of us brings to the universe.  I firmly believe there is a reason that I am still alive today and there is a greater purpose in my existence.  There is no explanation, but I hand that over to the powers of God, the Universe, in spirituality.  These life experiences only make us stronger and better for it.  It's not about me, it is a responsibility to the world, and part of a promise I made to myself when I chose life.  I'm always figuring ways to influence and make a difference for the better. As difficult and as challenging the road has been, and I'm sure with many more obstacles to overcome, and being a total work in progress... This is my purpose, and I am living my dreams.

We each bring a unique value to the world and other people's lives.  The fact that we are, MATTERS.  Be with your "authentic power", the rest (power, money, looks) passes and will fade.  None of that matters except being true to yourself, and who we are BEING in the world.      

I am so grateful!
-Late night studying, always a student of life.   


Thursday, June 1, 2017

A post long forgotten: A Life Unscripted

*I put my blog on ice for long enough I think... There have been many changes and developments since I last posted.  I've decided to unprivatize my blog in the hopes that my life and our vulnerabilities can be met with courage and openness.

A post I didn't publish:

Every time I revisit J.K. Rowling's commencement speech video, I am moved, but more recently:

"Some failure in life is inevitable, it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all and in which case you've failed by default."

"The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from set backs mean that you are ever after secure in your ability to survive.  You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.  Such knowledge is a true gift for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I've earned."

"Human empathy saves lives."

Last year, I did not know that choosing to put a pause on my career to focus on getting off pharmaceuticals would mean financial and societal castration; from an external perspective I have failed, and a part of me feels much like a failure.  I am smart enough to know that I am in no way a failure from a personal stance where the breadth of my life is concerned, but I can not deny my experience.

Yes, we have all been put through the wringer in our lives at one time or rather; my physical, psychological, and emotional capacities have been pushed to its limits, and I've been tested by life lessons this year (*2015~16).  

I find myself pondering about fate, and destiny.  I believe we create our own destinies, but there are those 'out of left field' instances too.

Piles of drawing journals and written materials for a future book.
Years of my life in my late teens and early 20's were vacant due to severe illness.

The beauty and gift of life is in our ability to persevere, evaluate, get back up, and rebuild.  The learning process never ends!  

Thank you truly, for being through thick and thin,