Day 4: Bliss

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The end of the Lower Sauma Ridge hike. Learn about American Samoa’s National Parks

I like hiking. I don’t care for the exercise portion. I enjoy the moments that come when the hike is complete. I enjoy the blissful sceneries. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. I enjoy the secret pools like the one picture above at the end of a trail. I enjoy the hidden beaches. I enjoy nature. I enjoy being able to say “Oh yeah! I did that hike” followed with a story of my personal adventure.

This is why I chose this photo for Developing Your Eye’s “Bliss” challenge. Part of it was to post a caption and the link was optional. I just thought of it as an opportunity to advertise our beautiful National Parks, which truly are blissful experiences.

Discovering Me via Social Media Freedom

The last time I was here was December of 2015. Before that, I was here in August of 2014. Coincidentally enough, the amount of time I’ve spent away from blogging are my two of my four favorite numbers 16 and 7. It took me 16 months from my August 2014 post to finally return in December 2015. After that, I was too caught up again in life (or maybe it was social media) to commit to blogging. I was lost in trying to live a life to please others.

During the second week of June, I decided it was time for me to get rid of my biggest distraction, social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat had taken over my life and I was literally using these tools to advertise myself (basically), cyber-stalk (in the most non-creepy way possible), covet, set a foundation for gossip and relinquish boredom. I didn’t realize I began to depress myself because I was too busy looking at what everyone else was doing instead of living the life I was meant to live and being more productive. My breaking point hit when I found myself upset my family and friends would do things without me and also frustrated with my boyfriend because he wouldn’t post anything about our relationship. I decided I needed to disappear from the social media realm for a week at most to get my head on straight.

It has been a month since my “social media freedom” and it has been awesome. I’ve gotten hooked on books again, focused on my goals and less involved with the unnecessaries. My circle has gone back down to those who care enough to call or text. The motivation I now have to do what needs to be done has risen. The need to advertise myself and portray “social media” me is diminishing slowly. The cyber-stalking has disappeared (obviously because I have no way to seek out what people are doing). I no longer compare my relationship to others. The news I read is actual news about what is going on in the world. Best of all, I feel happy.

Discover happiness in freedom, or sitting on top of a container :)

Discover happiness in freedom, or sitting on top of a container 🙂 PC: Sati

For the next ten days, I’ve personally committed myself to the “Developing your Eye” photography challenge to get me back on the blogging track. I need to do something small before I commit myself to bigger things. In this process, I hope to reignite my love for blogging and “develop an eye” for the beauty that surrounds me through people, places and personal objects.

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/

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/

Those Busy Ones

There’s a tug of war in my soul. I want to write, but time won’t allow me. Every time I sit to start the phone rings or my reminders pop up or workloads pile up. By the end of it all, I’m too tired to do anything else except sleep away the days toils that take its toll on my mind and body so I can be rejuvenated for the next day’s tasks.

Wasted Days

Nothing ever seems to satisfy. When I’m busy, I long for a day that I can waste away sleeping or lounging around. When I acquire a day I can waste away, I miss the feeling of being busy.

Most days I wish I could have absolutely nothing to do. As much as I love being around people, I long for solitude. Inside there’s a tug-a-war between my cravings for solitude and socializing. Naturally, I’m a social butterfly. I have always tried to deflect the title, but I can not escape what I am. I’ve learned that the hard way.

Sometimes I feel a busy day ends up being a wasted day. I get so busy with responsibilities at work and church. At the end of the day when I get home, I lie there and think “what did I do that was worth remembering about today?” Most of the time I come up with vague answers or nothing I’ll really look back on 10-20 years from now and being like “Oh yeah! I remember that day when…”

I need to learn to master the art of being busy but not to the point where I neglect the important things like family, building relationships and making worthwhile memories. Force myself to step back and absorb the beauty of what the day has to offer or the lessons that need to be learned.

 

Old Car Problems

I don’t take too well to car problems. Why? I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing in terms of trying to fix it. I like to do things on my own so I like to be able to fix things myself. I have plenty of clues on how to fix everything else, but ask me anything about cars and I will politely say, “that’s a good question” and walk away. Lucky for me I’m Samoan and live in American Samoa and come from a big family so I can pick and choose who to call in times of need for free. (There’s something to smile about)

There are not a whole lot of people I can trust or turn to when I need help. Why? I am a type of person that gives my all to those I care for. I learned the hard way not everyone is going to be 100% on your side even when you’re 100% for them.

Back to my car, he really isn’t too old. Ten years isn’t too old to a human. I’m not too sure how old 10 years is in car years but I’m guessing pretty old since my car is constantly breaking down on me. I love my car. I have so many memories with him, but lately he’s been acting up. I’d understand if something went wrong every couple of months or so, but for the past three weeks something has gone wrong. Now I have to wait for who knows how long before it’s fixed. I’m praying really hard it’ll be no longer than a week.

Since I live on an island, there aren’t many options either for car parts, which means waiting for a part. Before that, I need really good, reliable mechanic to tell me what I need to get because I’m not trying to waste money and being fiapoko (translation: smart a**). All the really good mechanics are always extremely busy and take forever and a day. All the not so good ones aren’t even worth wasting time going to because I’ll end up just taking it to one of the really good ones in the end and complain of how much time I had wasted.

I’m really hoping and praying it doesn’t take another 3-6 months to get my car fixed again.

Get well soon my big green baby ! 

Love Month Blues

Growing up as a Christian, I was always told either “wait for the one God has made specifically for you” or “Jesus needs to be your lover first.”

I can’t say I’ve had Jesus as my primary lover throughout the course of my life. Regardless of my flaws, He has always loved me yet I still feel lonely a lot of times. I crave the love of a physical companion. I won’t blame it on any thing else except the mere fact that I am human and created to love.

My love month blues have nothing to do with God’s love for me because that love never fails. It does have to do with my lack of patience and getting into relationships that for some reason always seem to fall a part and never fails to hit me in the month of February repeatedly. Personally, it’s more a month of heartaches than any thing else.

This year, I decided to not let myself wallow in my sorrows and do something different. I bought half a dozen roses and chocolates for my mom, sent cupcakes to the guy I’ve been crushing on and gave roses with chocolates to the people who have been great encouragements in my life. To tell you the truth, it felt so much better to give on Valentine’s Day than to receive. I thoroughly enjoyed the huge smiles and the phone calls of gratitude I got. The opportunity to make someone smile and feel special really turned everything around for me.

I realized love isn’t about what you get. It’s about what you give. ❤

Flowers for my Mama

Back At It Again

 

Last post was in November of last year and I can’t believe how hard it is to stay faithful to this thing. I thought I would be able to, but unfortunately time and responsibilities have not been very good advocates. December was an interesting month to say the least. My biggest issue with December was how time so easily escaped me constantly. It’s not that I didn’t have enough of it. Many times it’s because I got consumed with things that should be irrelevant to me. Whenever I got a break from my priorities, I would give into the lure of pleasure as much and as often as I could instead of focusing on things I needed to focus on. Pleasure is dangerous. It’s an addiction in itself which some times drives me to a state of craziness.

Speaking of craziness, 2014 has just started and “craziness” is the best word to describe the first month alone. Before the year even started, I had already envisioned what the beginning of 2014 would be like for me. I had set hopes for certain areas of my life and was ready to start anew. I held a camp for my church, which helped me focus on this new mindset based off of 2 Corinthians 5:17 that I felt I should stabilize in the beginning of the year. The celebration of a new year always brings with it the hope of changing something from the previous year. I forgot about the struggle you have to go through in order to experience this change. Throughout the first month alone, I have experienced several highs and many lows.

I found new interests and started dating again after 3 years of being single. I’m still not sure if this is my smartest move so far. It’s hard adding another ingredient into the mix of my life. I don’t understand everything but I’m open to most things. So far, this year feels like this photo below of the darkness trying to over come the light of the moon, but it still shines on beautifully. My thoughts and hopes for 2014 has been darkened, but there’s still hope for good things to happen. It’s still shining out there somehow. I think I should thank God for the ability to believe in things hoped for and what ever is to come throughout the rest of the year.

Yellow Moon

Identity

When you hear “I.D.” you automatically think of a government issued form of identification that says your name, date of birth, country you’re from and etcetera. IDs are used to validate who you are as a person. No ID. No identification. Simple as that.

Identity goes beyond just a government issued ID. It’s who you are as an individual. It’s who you were created to be. If you believe something, you identify yourself with that label and validate it with whatever everyone else says. I believe I can’t drive because I identify myself as a bad driver & had it validated by other people in my life.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:27 NLT)

For a long time I had trouble figuring out who I was and how I fit in this life. I was searching for an identity. I identified myself as so many things and never found the answer in any of those labels. Until I lost my grandma two years ago and I realized the only constant in life is God. Family titles, surnames, villages, school, work even church all disappears or leaves eventually and all I’ll have left is God.

I found my identity in God that day. I now believe I am a daughter of the King because I identify myself as one through Jesus and it has been clearly validated in God’s Word. “…it is Christ who lives in me…I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself to save me.” (Galatians 2:20 NCV) What’s your identity?