Not-so-lovely Saturday: Self Acceptance

Not-so-lovely Saturday: Self Acceptance

Today’s (or my lifetime) goal is “not to compare myself to others.” Sounds strenuous.  I think that is the root of all of my issues and baggage that I carry, which is constantly comparing myself to others and not accepting myself.  Other people have better personality, family, more money, popularity, leadership skills, more talented, are kinder, more beautiful, thinner calves, prettier smile, better cook, better dancer…etc.  No wonder my life has been so harsh.  That is no one’s fault, but mine because I have been letting myself accept that.

This last Saturday, Archie and I wasted almost all Saturday because of lack of self-assurance and affirmation.  I was not liking parts of my bodies.  I thought too much about it and that drove me to the point where I get upset with someone else.  I was angry at myself too much already and I was not sure what to do.  My emotion burst out against Archie.  We could have spent a lovely Saturday together (it was gorgeous spring weather day!) if I was not that way.  Me being bitter affected us so much and we ended up having a long-ass argument that was not necessary.

It is all about my ego that is playing me.  I read below a while ago but I can’t recall where but I kept it in my notebook.  This is such a nice reminder to take a step forward to accept who I am.

Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Be yourself.  Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be-the best version of you-on your terms.  Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it” 

本日の(というか、きっと人生の)目標は、「人と比べない」。私自身、たくさんの問題を抱えているけど、根源となっているのは、自分はこれでいいんだっていう、そういう思いが欠けているから。自信というより、自己肯定。生まれてきてから、今のいままで、何かが欠けている、自分は人より劣っている、他の人はできるのに、なんで私はできないのか。そんなことばかり思って生きてきたので、今になってその代償を払っている。アーチーに教えてもらうまで、人より劣ってると思うことが普通だったから、ようやく、どうしてこんなに辛かったのか良くわかった。

以下、「私より他人の方が。症候群」の症例。他人の方が、正しい、良い仕事持ってる、友達がたくさんいる、頭が良い、優しい家族がいる、お金持ち、笑顔がきれい、足が細い、料理が上手、怠惰じゃない、ダンスがうまい、収入が多い、性格が良い、みんなに優しくできる、人気がある、リーダーシップがある、才能がある...等々。これにプラスして、「自分もそんな風になりたい。を通り越して、他人より秀でたい。症候群」っていうのになりかかっている感じもする。周囲の評判や、他人が自分のことをどう思っているのか、気にしすぎてしまう。もう少し言えば、気に病んでしまう。そうすると、自分にも他人(自分にとってとても大切な人々)にもぎすぎすした態度を取って、優しくできなくなってしまう。魔のパラドックスにどっぷりはまって、抜け出すのに物凄い量の、労力と時間がかかる。先だっての土曜日だってそうだ。自分の体型が気に入らないとか、そんな理由でアーチーに、つっかかったし、それが理由でその日は、ほぼ一日無駄にした。しかも別れる、別れないとかそんなことまで、話す羽目になって。暖かくて、春みたいに良い天気で、もっと楽しい一日が二人で過ごせたはずなのだ。

慎み深さを持ってまた、自己肯定のできる様、ゆっくり、ゆっくり、牛歩にて。

Luner New Year: Komodo Dragon

Luner New Year: Komodo Dragon

On morning of Chinese New Year, what is the appropriate way to wake yourself up?
Komodo Dragon, of course. Komodo Dragon is one of Starbucks’ core coffees. Rich, deep, dark. Also earthy spicy and kick. It will take you to Southeast Asia somewhere. You will feel like you are wondering around in the forest hearing these exotic birds and animal crying.

This coffee does not have any association to Chinese New Year but it is nice to start the day taking a trip to where you have not been to, by drinking Komodo Dragon. Happy Lunar Nee Year, everyone.

IMG_3598-0

This Book Made Me Tired: Part II

This Book Made Me Tired: Part II

読み終わった。時間とお金が少しもったいなかった気がする。読後感って大事だなあ。再度この作家の書いた本が読みたいって思えるかどうか、がかかってるんだもんなあ。世間評と選考委員評はすごいのだろう。性格に合う合わないがあるように、本と読み手の相性もあると思う。だから、この本は私と合わなかっただけだろう。

さ、これから帰って、Pretty in Pinkでも観て、頭を空っぽにしよう。それで、自分の本棚にある、大好きな本を読んで週末をはじめよう。

Lesson Learned: from Ferris Bueller and Ginger the Chihuahua

Lesson Learned: from Ferris Bueller and Ginger the Chihuahua

Ferris Bueller is excellent.  Not only is he charming, he is quite insightful.

He said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  That is something.

It was about 50 degrees and sunny in Seattle yesterday.  I was sitting on the bench right next the “black hole sun” (remember the song of Sound Garden?) in Volunteer Park, facing west to the ocean.  One guy with guitar and a woman with cello played a series of music, basically they were having a free concert for people sitting in the park.  Archie and Ginger, my overweight Chihuahua took a walk somewhere in the park while I sat and wrote.  I am sure they enjoyed the moment as much as I enjoyed my alone time.

I think a lot.  Sometimes I overthink.  Actually all the time.  I over-analyze things.  It kills me.  I think about what’s going on in the world, my parents’ health or worst of all, what other people think about me.  I worry so much about it.  I compare myself to others A LOT, then I make myself inferior to others.  I allow myself to do that.  I create thing in my head even though those thoughts are not often true.  Lots of assumptions.  Not trusting others.  Most of all, I am not trusting myself.

I read this one article yesterday morning.  It was about human thoughts and was suggesting that you “check-in” when you are creating problems in your own head, being negative or are in a dark place.  Meaning, you should ask yourself if you actually have solutions for problems/issues that are percolating in your head.  The article assures that you don’t have any resolutions most of the time.

While I was taking a mental break and soaking up the sun, I was thinking, “the article was right.  I do not have any solutions for these problems that I am creating.”  I was worrying about my work stuff that hadn’t even started yet.  I dislike not being prepared, but what I was worrying about is NOT preparing.  I was just creating bad scenarios that might not even happen.

What I need to do is be more like Ferris Bueller or my dog.  Both Ferris and Ginger know how not to worry about the future you don’t have any control of.  They just enjoy theirs “asses off”.

FOT3C21

Savory & Manila: Clam Talk

Savory & Manila: Clam Talk

At U-district farmers market, this cheerful, personable and warm hearted lady working the Hama Hama stand and I were chatting about their excellent quality of oysters.  She recommended clams this week and they carried 2 kinds of clams, savory and manila. I bought both.

026

It was BEAUTIFUL today.  It was around 50 degrees and sunny.  Yes, SUNNY in Seattle.  I am happy that I was able to have a relaxing Sunday.  So, what I need is an easy but delicious meal on this relaxed early Sunday evening.

Combination of savory and manila clams, about 2lb.

Half of mayor lemon, peeled and sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Little bit of white wine

I put the above in my favorite Staub cast iron pot and put a lid on and left alone for about 10 min over medium low heat.

027

Sliced baguette (from Tall Grass Bakery) toasted in a Turk iron frying pan to accompany that.

There, all I need is to sit down and enjoy this simple and relaxed dish with Archie.  I even have a cherry pie from Janeli’s Alki Pie Company in the oven right now.

I can’t ask for a better Sunday night than this.  I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday.

FOB (fresh off the boat) Seattle: Love Letter to Seattle

FOB (fresh off the boat) Seattle:  Love Letter to Seattle

There were so many clouds to see through  the window of the plane.  The plane was about to land but I remember it was gray and wet.  I thought it was the most beautiful place on the planet however.

February 13th, 15 years ago I moved to Seattle from Tokyo.  I love Japan and I am proud to be Japanese but I have never felt I belonged there.  I have been wanting to get out of there since I was 5 years old.  When I studied 1 year in college as an exchange student, I fell in love with this City.  Ocean, lakes, mountains, trees…I even didn’t mind rain at all.  I loved everything about Seattle.  I tend to use my guts to decide something significant.  So moving to Seattle was the easiest decision I have ever made actually.  All I had to do was to follow my heart.

Here I am, 15 years later still in Seattle (I took a detour in Atlanta for a couple of years).  Where is the best place to celebrate for this crazy life for 10 years and merry-go-round life for 5 years?  There are millions of wonderful restaurants in Seattle but there is only one place I want to go with Archie for this kind of celebration, of course Emily’s place, The Corson Building.  Archie, a couple of friends and I went there last night and their theme was “Winter Vegetable Dinner.”  Her vegetables gave me so much more than just vegetables.  She took “just vegetables” to next level while she uses spices I can’t really identify and made them taste so much more than just vegetables, but you can still identify each vegetable she uses.  She is just like a magician.  I do not know how she does it every time.

My love for Seattle will never go away.  I am happy to call this city my “home” and I want to thank everyone who loves me and are always there for me.  I have just a few and I hope you know who I am talking about.

Superhero:  The Awesome Man

Superhero:  The Awesome Man

Have you seen him before?  He is quite cute and powerful.  He is a super hero who can make me cheerful instantly.  Just like snapping fingers.

I hadn’t eaten my lunch for a while at work only because I didn’t have enough time.  Everyone, I mean EVERYONE is moving 100 miles per hour because of the major re-org.  It feels quite unsettling.

Around noon yesterday, I got a call from reception saying that I have a guest.  I was not expecting any visitors yesterday so I wondered who it could be but I headed to reception area anyways.  Then there was Awesome Man!  With cape, masks and everything…no, not really.  Instead, he had a tiny bouquet of flowers in this cute glass vase, salad and canele from London Plane in Pioneer Square, Seattle (one of Emily Dann’s restaurant. http://www.thelondonplaneseattle.com/london-plane  As soon as I received those from him, he quickly kissed me (yes, he kisses) a good-bye and left.

001

I barely had time to thank you, Awesome Man.  Your gift brightened my day and lunch satisfied my stomach and soul.

If you see him somewhere, please thank him for me.

Fake Smile?: Nah, Just a Happy Dance

Fake Smile?: Nah, Just a Happy Dance

I admit that I can be an ass sometimes.  I just can’t pretend to be happy for him or her when I don’t mean it (except, at business occasions, I can pretend no problem.  I am getting paid for that after all).

“Oh, you look fabulous!”

“I am happy for you!”

“How exciting!”

“It’s wonderful to see you!”

“Your baby is so cute! (babies scare the crap out of me.  And they look like monkeys most of the time except for Mira) Too many exclamation points, really.  When I have to say these things that I don’t mean, I get tense and have to think really carefully before saying it.  Most of the time, those words come out fake-ish.  However, when I genuinely mean it, my words do not come out right away.  My body starts doing some weird moves and I start stomping around with my ear-to-ear smile.  Or when situations don’t allow for me to do this weird stuff, I usually do that in my head.

I don’t react too well when I sense that people are trying to fish for compliments.  I do the opposite, I just don’t react as those people want me to.  I could look quite cold.  So, I got curious as to how many people I am doing my weird happy dance for gladly this morning.  Except for my family, I have 10.  I am happy to know that I can do my dance for these 10 people.

I can be an ass sometimes, but at least I am a happy-ass when doing my dance for them.

Powerful Message without Being Loud: All the Way from Tokyo

Powerful Message without Being Loud:  All the Way from Tokyo

Since the middle of January, our company has been in an odd place and I have been feeling unsettled.  It’s quite tiring, both physically and mentally (maybe more so mentally). By the time I come home every night, all I can think about is my bed.  Warm blanket and comfortable pillow, my dog and a book.  Recently, I notice I barely can read more than 5 pages because I fall asleep so fast.  Archie has to take my glasses and turn the light off for me almost every night.

Last night I came home dog-tired after learning my dear friend and co-worker was going to be released from his team soon.  Like any other corporation, layoffs are happening.  I work for a large corporation and all they do is cut people off every now and then so they can increase their stock price, which makes investors happy. I get how it works.  At the human level however, I can’t agree with how they handled it.  It is just inhumane.  Yes, I understand this needs to happen but he is beyond my co-worker, he is my friend.

I was emotionally drained but I made it home.  Then I saw this box sitting on my dining table.  It was a package from my friend who lives in Japan.  She and I have known each other for about 30 years.  We haven’t been able to see each other at all for this last 15 years or so but we connected through Instagram (or Facebook, can’t remember…either way it was one of these social media stuff).  She is positive, kind, supportive and beautiful.  My favorite characteristic of her is her thoughtfulness.  This package is full of her thoughtfulness.  She remembered what I mentioned long time ago and she took time to go get them and send them to me.  She is a mother of two and I know she does not have lots of time on her hand but she did it for me anyways.

As soon as I open the box, I was able to feel that.  I felt like the package arrived just in time to tell me not to get discouraged by the distracting things happening around me.  It felt like as if she was telling me “Cheer up.  It’s going to be OK” with a lovely smile on her face.  I choked up.  I wanted to share this with my friend who would have to leave the team soon so he could hear her simple yet strong message.

026

So, today I shared this wonderfully and lusciously prepared short bread (no dairy and with simple ingredients) which my friend in Tokyo sent to me with my dear co-worker.  I do hope he got her message.  I hope at least he got to enjoy the moment he bit into the shortbread and brought a smile to him.  Even one second.

She probably does not have any idea what’s going on in Seattle but I can tell you, my friend, you brought us something very special and hopeful.  I will never forget that.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.