Work. Schmerk.

Never have I ever not had to work in my life. Work is what keeps my life going. It instills a sense of purpose.

In a Samoan home, one of the first things a child learns to do is feaus (chores). From a young age, kids are taught to serve in every way. Whether its cleaning the house, church or grandparents houses, a child should not expect to be served but to serve. You show respect by doing what needs to be done for others.

When my parents decided to venture out into the independent business realm, I began to work for them at the age of 12 and yes it was for free. I didn’t mind. I loved the radio station. When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. It becomes more of an adventure.

I feel the same way now with my teaching job. There are days I absolutely dislike it with a passion to be honest. Not every day is going to be a great day. Overall, I love teaching. Even if I didn’t get paid, I would still teach. It’s like having the best seat in the house at your favorite concert. You’re right where all the action is going on in these kids lives. My purpose is helping them discover their purpose.

Work for me is all about purpose and respect for others and yourself. If you don’t love what you do, then why do it?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/work-optional/

Sudden Downpour

It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. 

I jumped at the sound of a woman’s greeting and quickly turned around bumping into a case that contained a space suit. The woman snickered a little as I grabbed the case before it fell over knocking who knows what else over. “Sorry. I didn’t…” She smiled, waved her hand and cut me off, “It’s fine, dear. No harm done.”  Continue reading

The Bestest

Asheeeeee is the literal Bee to my Eff. She’s un-BEE-lievably hilarious && I’m EFF-ing crazy. Together we are EFF-ing un-BEE-lievable.

Our term we use for each other is “Bestest” instead of the typical “best friends“. If there’s one friendship that matters most to me, it’s hers. She’s been my go-to girl for the past 6 years when things are good, bad, funny or sucky.

There was this guy I was really into. I introduced him to my family and her family (since we’re so close, our families have become each others families). It got that serious. In the end, he ended up being an *holds tongue* apple. I called her to tell her it was over and she starts laughing at me. I couldn’t help but laugh back and it helped. A LOT. She laughed me through the entire situation and in less than a week I was over it.

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If anything, this picture above sums up the story of our friendship. Dancing, smiling and laughing through life together.  That’s what bestests are for. They exist to help you make the “bestest” out of every situation life throws at you. Well, that’s what mine does for me and that’s why she’s my bestest.

Daily Prompt: On Bees and Effs

 

Do You Remember The Time…

I don’t remember the time when Michael Jackson released “Do You Remember the Time” but the song I know will always remind me of Summer 2014 is the release of his song with Justin Timberlake “Love Never Felt So Good”.

It may not have been released in the summer, but its a song that I’ve played constantly. It’s one of those feel good songs. It brings a sense of hope, happiness and most of all its a reminder of how good love really feels. Whenever it comes on, I can’t help but smile and be thankful for all the loves I have in my life.

I love songs that make feel happy and want to dance everywhere. This song is one of those songs. It makes me want to dance even if JT was not saying, “Dance. Let me see you move.” AH! Love! Like all other Michael Jackson songs, this song will last as one of my favorites until the grave. And yes me loving Michael Jackson’s music may have something to do with it. *big smile*

BONUS…I love the fact Justin Timberlake wears his wedding ring in the video. There’s no greater picture of “love feeling so good” than a man boldly wearing his symbol of love for his woman.

Daily Prompt: Musical Markers

I’m A Big Kid Now

“Let’s play house. I want to be the mom.” My incentive, as a kid, to play house and be the mom was so I could boss my little brothers around. I was seven.

For me at seven years old, I found joy in tea parties and playing dress up especially with my older girl cousins. I felt sophisticated and grown up. Playing with Legos and Star Wars figurines were a joy, but I had more fun playing guns and pretending to be a grown police woman or secret spy with my brothers.

I imagined being a beautiful dancer always doing different dances in my room no matter how crazy it seemed. The crazier the dance, the cooler I was.

I imagined being in a band with my brothers where I would sing and they would follow my lead.

I imagined falling in love by the time I was 21, getting married and having babies before the age 27. Real babies. Not my Cabbage Patch baby doll, which I absolutely treasured.

I imagined I would have 5 kids and they would grow up with a gang of cousins they would treat as siblings the way I did. I figured if we all got married, had kids around the same age range and lived in American Samoa then our kids would have the same joys we had in our childhood.

I imagined my future husband would be a comical, hard worker and a great daddy like my own dad, his dad and all my dad’s brothers.

When I turned 12, my dad started a radio station and I had the best time working with him on it. With this change in our family, my imaginations changed with it.

I imagined being able to one day run the radio station my dad started.

I imagined being able to make people happy and lift people’s spirits through Christian radio programming and Christian music.

I imagined traveling all over the world like my dad and helping those who needed it.

I imagined using the radio station as an outlet to reach out and heal those broken physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I imagined I could still get married by 24 at the most. My love story would be a real-life fairy tale like my Nana & Papa’s or my Mom & Dad’s.

I’m currently 26 turning 27 in a couple of months. Real life. That’s what happened to me. It took a lot of my childhood “adult visions” and it’s done something to it.

My reality is I’m still not married and currently not even in the dating process. All hopes of my love story being like my Nana & Papa’s or like my Mom & Dad’s are shattered up to this point and as depressing as it is, it is how it is and I’m accepting it.

My reality is most of my cousins I grew up around live off-island and are raising their kids all over America. I miss them all terribly especially knowing I miss out on a lot of their kids lives.

My reality is I have no kids of my own, but since I’m a teacher I have many kids who I can help and counsel as I would if they were my own flesh and blood.

My reality is I own the radio station my dad and I worked on together, but he’s no longer in the picture. To be honest, I wish he was still around so it could be our project once again. I don’t even have a desire to a part of it much any more, hence why I became a teacher.

My reality is I still love to make people happy. I find joy in laughter hence my love to entertain and dance like a crazy person in the privacy of my home or out in public…sometimes.

I learned at a young age life is all about experiences and those experiences are what mold and make a person. Some experiences are good, and some are bad. I’ve learned it does not matter whether it’s bad or good. It matters how you react to a situation and what you do with the cards you’ve been dealt. As a kid, I dreamed up all these possibilities, passions and desires only to see them change over time yet these dreams/imaginations are the exact foundation I needed for the reality I’m living today. My reality for right now in this moment won’t be the same from five years from now. I’m not dead yet so I still have time. Time to grow. Time to experience. Time to learn. Time to love. Time to be happy. Time to make something of my childhood “adult visions”.

Daily Prompt: Adult Visions

American Samoa and Her Bipolar Weather

The whole day was perfect. Clear skies with few stratus clouds that gave some depth to the beautiful blue bliss above. The sun was bright as usual, but not too hot since there was a soft cool breeze.

As the day progressed, the soft breeze gradually became brisk. From brisk, the wind picked up and along with the windy weather came ginormous gray cumulus clouds which filled the sky. Not long after the rain would pour for no longer than thirty minutes then the skies would go right back to its beautiful blue as if it hadn’t rained at all ten seconds earlier.

This is the typical behavior of the weather in American Samoa. Any one would think the locals would be use to it, but no. There are still plenty of complaints of the random-ness of the weather. Not too long ago, the temperature dropped as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit which is unusual for Am. Samoa because the temperature normally stays at 80-90.

As unpredictable as the weather is, it is still livable and it makes for interesting days most of the time. I’d rather have random spurts of rain than continuous hot and humid weather even if its because of those random rain spurts make the weather so humid. It’s what makes home, home. A lot of times, the sudden shifts are a good thing.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/sudden-shifts/

Pretty People Don’t Do That…

My younger cousin has a phrase she always says whenever she doesn’t want to do something. She always says “Sorry, pretty people don’t do that.”pretty people

Of course me being the random person I am, I always get the “Sorry, pretty people don’t do that” from her. So what is it exactly that pretty people do?

Pretty people pay attention to the things around them. Pretty people try to do whatever they can to help those who need it. Pretty people dress up not to impress others, but because they like to look and feel pretty. Pretty people are respectful people.

Seeking attention in public? Pretty people don’t do that. Doing whatever they want disregarding others? Pretty people don’t do that. Dressing down or making others feel ugly? Pretty people don’t do that. Being disrespectful especially in public? Pretty people don’t do that.

For example:

When in public, I enjoy saying the infamous “Hey! How are you?” to people I know because I genuinely want to know how they are and if life is good for them. I like when people say hi to me whether they want to or not  because it always leaves with that “Aww. That person cared enough to say ‘Hi’ to me.” It feels nice being nice. That’s something pretty people do.

According to my cousin, it’s when I get loud and start laughing like a maniac then she goes “Umm. I’m walking away from you because pretty people don’t do that.” I won’t lie. My laugh is kind of ugly, but is enjoying my time with family or friends ugly? Of course not. It’s when I step out of bounds and disregard everyone else that’s having their own moments with their family and friends and unknowingly interrupt them with my big mouth. Sorry, pretty people don’t do that.

I’m sure we all have our ugly moments. I know I have MANY ugly moments. This doesn’t stop me from reminding myself on a daily basis, “Sorry, pretty people don’t do that” whenever I’m about to have an outburst, go crazy or get out of hand. That’s what pretty people do. If you think about, it’s actually a good catch phrase, am I right or left?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/from-the-top/

Objective-ly Speaking

If there was any object that would define me, it would be my iPhone.

Why? Because I’m forever on it. The iPhone is my link to everything and everyone. If you were to ask my friends, they would say the exact same thing. Whether I’m at home, work, church or out with my friends and family, I can guarantee you I am either looking at my phone every five minutes or on it for a good ten minutes before getting back into the action thats going on around me.

It’s a bad thing because I sometimes get so busy socializing with others via my phone that I forget about the world around me. I miss out on real moments because I’m focused on the current conversation I’m having with my friends elsewhere. I lose interest quickly so if I get bored with the real world I automatically revert to my iPhone to find entertainment elsewhere.

The sad reality of this is most of this generation is like this. The idea of self-promotion is so prevalent in today’s world that most try to figure out different ways to entertain the masses and some even define their self worth based on the number of followers or how much feedback they receive from what they post online.

WHOA! Ok back pedaling on the bunny trail I just took off on. My iPhone though >>>>> love of my life.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/object-lesson/

Smells Like…

Today’s writing prompt is entitled “Nosey Delights”. There’s nothing more delightful to me than the smell of a fresh blooming pua or plumeria.

Plumerias or as we call it in Samoa, Puas, outside of my uncle's house in Gataivai

Plumerias or as we call it in Samoa, Puas, outside of my uncle’s house in Gataivai

When I was living in America, the number one scent I would miss is the smell of fresh puas outside of my home. I actually didn’t learn the English term for pua, which is plumeria, until I visited Australia in 2005.

Every morning, I go to visit the pua tree outside of my house and there never fails to be newly blooming puas on the tree. In some seasons, there are really big ones and in other seasons they bloom a lot smaller.

The beautiful aroma remains the same. The scent takes me back to my younger years when we use to climb the pua trees outside of my old church and play tag. Sometimes we would take sticks and poke at the branches until the flower fell so we could wear them as seis.

I love wearing them as seis (flower worn on the ear or placed in the hair). They add to the natural beauty of any Samoan or Pacific Island lady. Puas are just as much of a nosey delight as they are pleasing to the eyes. Don’t you agree?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/nosey-delights/

On Guard

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard for out of it flow the springs of life.” -Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

As a kid, I bought into the Disney idea of “someday my prince will come” and when he came it meant “happily ever after.” To love and be loved, isn’t that what everyone wants? Inside every person is the desire to be desired, according to my own personal belief.

When I was six, I wanted to be a stay at home mom or else a Christian dancer/performer since I did it all the time in church. The idea of being available for my family 24/7 was my idea of success as a little girl. My dad was the one who worked while my mom sacrificed her job to raise my brothers and I. I wanted to do the same and invest in my kids and their futures. When I was six, I had in my mind that I was going to have a love story like my Nana & Papa. I would meet the man of my dreams at a friend’s wedding as a bridesmaid at around 18 or 20 and my focus would be my kids and grandkids.

When I turned 12, my dad started a computer business and a Christian radio station and I loved it. I had my first radio show at 12. I centered the rest of my career goals around media broadcasting. My focus changed, but I still had in my mind that I was going to have a love story like my Nana & Papa.

When I turned 24, I moved back home. I was done with school and had gone on a totally different path from what I had intended. I stayed in the communication field, but headed towards advertising since media broadcasting became boring to me. Having a passion for what I do is what matters most to me above the money. I wanted to go into tourism to introduce others to my beautiful island home, but ended up back at the radio station my dad started. As for my love story idea, I still had a desire for it but after being a bridesmaid in 18 weddings up unto that point the flame was dying.

Now I’m 26 and I’m teaching. To be honest, I love it. It wasn’t what I anticipated. Instead of having a bunch of kids of my own to focus on and invest in, I gained an opportunity to invest in the lives of other people’s kids. I have the chance to focus on kids that could affect the future of today’s society. 23 weddings later though, my Nana & Papa love story longing disappeared and I started to settle for guys who displayed clearly through their actions they didn’t care as much as they said. In other words, they were a$$holes.

Life isn’t always what most expect from it. I believe God orchestrates everything and most of the time I don’t understand whats going on, but I’ve had to learn to trust Him. He gave me this job as a teacher to fulfill my childhood desire to help and invest in others and to create art by working with my church kids in the area of dance and drama. Just recently I’ve decided to let Him take over my love story. In His time, my God makes all things beautiful. My job is to guard my heart and the people and situations I allow to affect it because it clearly affects everything in my life including my future as much as it did my past.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/futures-past/