Tender Heart Heals Your Broken Heart

Tender Heart Heals Your Broken Heart

I want that kind of face with a huge smile. I admire her gentle heart. Her smile reminds me of autumn sunset.

Cindy was sitting and waiting for me to meet up for a coffee that morning. She was looking at her phone and reading something. Even from the distance, I could see her kind eyes and lips were forming my favorite shape. Smile. I approached to her and she looked up. Her smile got bigger and that made me choke. My throat got tighten and my eye welled up. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.

She is a great hugger too. She held me the way I wanted to be held (of course, I didn’t realize that until she did). As soon as I started hearing her soothing voice, my emotion got flooded. I told her my struggles. She showed her empathy, understanding and shared her own struggles. She was there. I mean, she really exited and showed up to heal my broken heart. She did not lose her smile even when we were talking about rough subjects. Then, I lost it and started sobbing.

“You are enough.”

Cindy said that to me twice sincerely when we said good-bye. She went through rough times, challenges and difficulties, but she embraces all of it. That makes her such a strong and resilient human being. Because of that, she possesses the tenderest heart and she is a person who tell others “you are enough.”

Those three words are so powerful and beautiful to me.
I will keep them with me each and every day. Thank you for your gift, Cindy. You are enough also.


Instant Antidepressant: Baby, it’s cold outside so let’s go out!

Watching the snow falling is one of the beautiful things in the world, but it is not really my favorite thing to do. It makes me feel a bit blue and depressed. I think it’s because I know this peaceful quietness would disappear very soon.

Yesterday, Sunday November 5th 2017, it was a bit snowing and intensely cold for November in Seattle. I love Seattle autumn, but I guess I was not ready for this weather. However it turned into one of the most delightful days.

Here is list of how I make those cold and blues go away.

OXTAIL PHO at BA BAR (http://babarseattle.com)

Classic Vietnamese repertoire, beef noodle soup. Noodle have gotten better now at Ba Bar. It won’t get bundle up and like a giant mochi any more. Broth tastes exactly how I wanted it to taste like. Combination of savoriness, tons of umami, a tat sourness and slight sweetness. Make sure to breathe in the complexity of this noodle soup before digging in. Then, you taste the meat falling off from the bones and noodle at the same time. It warms your belly and heart at the same time.

PIPE & ROW (https://pipeandrow.com) and BURNT SUGAR (https://burntsugar.us)

Strolling stores in cute neighborhood like Fremont is essential especially on a chilly day like this. Looking at those pairs of shoes that cost way more than you can afford but it’s so nice to dream. Someday in Paris 🙂 You can do it yourself but it would be much more fun with your trusted and honest friends who are not afraid of saying, “No, you look ridiculous in that dress” or “You look amazing. You must get that sweater.”

I don’t call people “friends” very easily. Honestly, I only have several friends whom I gave my respect and the highest regards to. I got to go out and eat pho, drink coffee, shop, talk, make fun of each other and laugh. Most importantly, love. Since I have a few friends, I can easily open up my heart and show who I am when being with them. I show how important and precious they are to me. I share my life, small and big with them. They give me so much hope and strength to keep going. It’s pure happiness. There is no better way to fill your soul.

Dark, rainy and cold days are coming in Seattle soon. However, as long as I have these things, I don’t need to go seek for antidepressants. When your heart is open, depressing days can easily turn into happy days just like I experienced yesterday. That’s instant and long-lasting at the same time.

Story of Shotgun Trip to Seoul & Tokyo: over Via Tribunali in Georgetown

Story of Shotgun Trip to Seoul & Tokyo: over Via Tribunali in Georgetown

March 12 Thursday         left Seattle

March 13 Friday               arrived Gimpo Airport, Seoul, South Korea

March 14 Saturday          flew from Seoul to Haneda,Tokyo

attended concert of this Jin YiHan dude in the afternoon in Shibuya, Tokyo

flew back to Seoul from Tokyo in the evening

March 15 Sunday             Facial, city tour, massage, body scrub, shopping in Seoul

March 16 Monday           flew back to Seattle from Seoul

Who does this?

She and I have been friends since May 2000.  She is unique and I am quirky so we make sense together.  She is the one person whom I don’t feel uncomfortable seeing after not seeing each other for a long time and we can go back to where we left off.  We got together last Friday and we did not have any awkward moments whatsoever and we started our non-stop 3-hour conversation as soon as we met in Georgetown.

We went to Pizzeria in Georgetown in Seattle called Via Tribunali.  They have 20 descent kinds of pizza and some pasta dishes. We ordered one pizza with prosciutto and mushroom and linguine vongole.  To be honest with you, I don’t even remember how they tasted.  It must not have been bad because I didn’t notice.  I was too busy catching up with her whirl wind, insane travel story and it was way more interesting than the food we ordered.  She told me that this trip was her 10- year wedding anniversary gift from her husband, while he stayed behind to take care of his business and their 5-year old daughter.  I have no intention to be criticizing their decision.  I’d rather embrace how understanding her husband is and how hard Amy works every day by working full-time, being a mom and being a wife at the same time.  I guess her mom was so upset hearing Amy was traveling alone and leaving her daughter behind.  I understand where her mom is coming from but she should know already by now that Amy is spontaneous, curious and a determined person, which makes Amy so unique and interesting.

So, I have photos of what we ate that night but I don’t have any comments on them.  They were good.


Really, who would do this kind of trip?  My crazy friend Amy does.  I am so glad that I have such an insane friend who makes my life way more entertaining and fun.

Embrace your craziness, Amy.  This is a huge compliment.

Alphabet Questions: T-Z (Y: crying is good for you)

Alphabet Questions: T-Z (Y: crying is good for you)

T – Time you woke up?:  2:30

U – Umbrella color?:  blue

V – Very best friend?:  Archie who is currently suffering from allergy

W – Which celebrity I’d marry?:  Jimmy Fallon

X – X rays I’ve had?:  chest

Y – Your last time you cried?:  Today.  I was reading this Japanese book and this one character who is 70 year old cancer patient and has a daughter who is about to be married.  He didn’t want to tell her about his illness before her wedding so he was trying to hide it from her.  But she knew and he also knew that she knew.  That scene.

Z – Zodiac sign?:  Libra

My Favorite Travel Memory: Bali Airport

My Favorite Travel Memory: Bali Airport

France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Italy, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, United States…travel is one of my passions.  If someone paid me to travel and eat, I would do it in a heartbeat.  There are so many happy moments, sad and difficult times and challenging moments throughout my trips.  I love every county I’ve ever been to and I have great memories on those trips.  Thinking about that just makes me happy.

If someone asked me what was my happiest moment, I would answer “Ngurah Rai International Airport.”  It is an airport in Bali, Indonesia.  “Just an airport?” you might ask.  Yes, that was my happiest moment in my travel history.  Entire travel time was 22 hours or so including 2-lay overs at Taipei and San Francisco.  I was tired but excited for my first visit to Bali.

When I landed, I had to buy a tourist visa at the immigration counter.  I was in line about 30 min.  Then I had to be in another 20 min line to go through immigration for an entry stamp.  As any other airport, there were so many exhausted people and crying kids.  Quite loud.

Finally after I came out from the immigration gate to exit the airport, all sounds got muted and all I heard was my name.  This person waving both arms so big but he didn’t even have to do that because all I could see was him.  I kid you not, that was what I experienced.  For a second, I didn’t hear anything and see anything but him.  Then suddenly my world turned to color.  What I mean is that I was not seeing or hearing as I should have been before that happened.  I was not paying attention to what my eyes see and my ears hear.  I had been in a deep and dark hole for the longest time so I probably had forgotten how the world actually looks like until that moment.

From that moment on, I finally have been able to “live” my life.  I feel everything, not only the pain.  I feel happiness, satisfaction, fun, pleasure, enjoyment, well-being, joy, contentment and love.  I am not saying they are the only things that I feel but those feelings are not what I was able to experience completely before that moment at Bali Airport. That was June 2011.  Sun near equator was shining and burning my skin.  Humid and breezy.  I am forever thankful for that moment at the airport.

Happy Meal: Sunday Brunch at Sitka & Spruce

Happy Meal:  Sunday Brunch at Sitka & Spruce

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”  Whoever said this, gets my respect automatically.

My favorite meal is brunch on Sundays.  Not Saturday, not holiday brunch.  It must be Sunday brunch.  My work starts Monday so Sunday is the day I recharge and rejuvenate my body and soul so that I can tackle my insane work week until next Friday evening.  Rejuvenating my body and soul starts with satisfying my tummy.  When I am done with that task, my Sunday is 80% complete.  Therefore, choosing where and what to eat on Sundays is super critical.  Since last Thursday, I had been thinking about spending my couple of hours of Sunday morning, at Sitka & Spruce.


Sitka & Spruce is one of 5-Matt Dillon’s restaurants, located in Capitol Hill in Seattle.  Melrose Market is combination of restaurant, bar, butcher, furniture store, general store, cheese shop, clothing store, deli, shellfish restaurant/shop, it’s a mini version of Chelsea Market in New York City.  Sitka & Spruce is located inside of this old building that they didn’t tear down.  The space has floor to ceiling windows and concrete floor, it reminds me of old and spacious loft.  We were lucky to be seated at bar by the window.  Bloody Mary, homemade pickles, bread and butter, hot rye porridge, granola, cultured cream & marjoram, baked eggs with smoked brisket, beer braised cabbage & harissa.  I was already giddy being inside of that restaurant anyway and I was overjoyed by looking at the menu.  What Archie and I ate was ridiculous.  If I can show you what happiness looks like, this would be one of them.

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My stomach is warm and satisfied.  Now I look forward to welcoming my new week.  Have a great rest of Sunday, everyone.


A Well Read Woman: and Well Traveled Women

A Well Read Woman: and Well Traveled Women

I love books so I read a lot.  I love traveling and I get out there a lot.

When I was about half of my current age, I was traveling through Thailand.  I was dirty, filthy and broke.  I was hungry.  At one point, a  well-dressed Caucasian couple threw a can of cat food at me when I was sitting street side in Bangkok starving. Two not-well-dressed-at-all kids took me to their home to feed me what they already DON’T have.  This couple seems they had enough money versus these kids’ family who don’t have enough of anything.  These kind of experience opened up my eyes and my heart.  Wide open.

Reading has the same effect on me.  I can be inside of a book and travel though the book.  I get to experience tons and my heart soars.

A well-read and traveled woman is very emotional, opinionated, strong, stubborn, protective of her own space and wants to be alone many times.

On contrary, she is kind-mannered and (most likely) has a fuzzy heart.  She is just afraid of showing that.

If you ever wish to lead an interesting and never-a-dull-moment kind of life, she would be a perfect companion.  I won’t say it is easy but you will never get bored, I promise.

Merry-Go-Round Life: Sending Aloha from Seattle

Merry-Go-Round Life:  Sending Aloha from Seattle

Sometimes it happens.  Your gut is telling you to do something right now.  That was me in April 2010.  I moved back from Atlanta, GA in November, 2009 with all these boxes and mental baggage. All of a  sudden, 5 months later, I felt an urge to reach out to her.

So I did.  The first 2 times, she wasn’t able to answer (later I found out she was vacationing in Honolulu, HI), but she called me back.  I asked if she could meet up with me for brunch and she was up for it.  We had brunch on Saturday morning at Broadway Grill in Capitol Hill, Seattle.  I remember I felt so relieved as soon as she gave me a BIG hug.  I nearly cried from the feeling of release.  The funny thing is that we worked together for a while and got along great, but we were not that close until that day.

Since then, we were lunch/brunch/movie buddies.  She is one of 3 people on the earth who does not make me feel uncomfortable and insecure about speaking English in front of them (my native language is Japanese).  I lost a significant person in my life in Atlanta and it had been destroying me.  I was able to be honest with her about what I was going though.  She listened, commented, encouraged and listened.  I have a few close friends in Seattle but she was the first and probably only person I wanted to tell what the hell was going on with my life back then.

A couple of years later when I decided to move on and made a big decision about my life, what she said to me was, “I am so happy for you because now you can ride a merry-go-around.”  My life had been insane like riding a roller coaster until then, now I can live a calm and quiet life with occasional exciting adventures without drama (well, most of the time) that I had longed for.


My dear friend.  You made a courageous decision to move forward to find your own “Merry-Go-Round Life” filled with happiness, fun, glee and joy but without obligations and dramas (except for Korean & Taiwanese dramas!).  Whatever you choose to do, I promise I will always be your biggest supporter and be here for you.  Thank you for being such a great friend and never giving up on me.  I am forever grateful.

Now you go get it, girl.

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