Wednesday, July 19, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 198]:~ The Last Meal

~:[CH6 - Day 198]:~ The Last Meal
There's always something special about the last meal you before you leave for a trip. It's not about how special the food may be, even if it is amazing; it's about the love and care connected to that meal that makes it special. In life, you never know when your meal could be your last and while I plan to eat plenty more, I will appreciate this meal wholeheartedly and be thankful to be blessed to have such a well-balanced meal. Whether we see it or not, we are truly blessed. I thought about that today. As I prepped for my trip, I began to think how lucky I am to have the opportunities that I have from a home-cooked meal to a roof over my head. I don't have to think about what I am going to eat tomorrow, which is why, even more so, I must not complain about what I do not have, but rather be thankful for all that I do. As I traveled to Pasadena and over to Huntington Beach, the traffic was bad, I was tired and hungry, but all that disappeared when I sat down to eat this meal. As tomorrow I will venture off and be disconnected from the world for a few days, I will be grateful and thankful for the blessings of the day. As while in traffic, I was thankful that I had a car to drive and gas in the tank; when I was hungry, I was thankful that soon I would have the opportunity to eat, and when I was tired, I knew I had a place to go. Let's all make an effort to not complain about all that "troubles"  us, but rather appreciate the fact that it is a worry in the first place. Let's appreciate each day as if it there is no tomorrow and savor each meal as if it is our last. To my friends and family, I love you so much and while tomorrow is a new day, I will not wait until then to be grateful for the goodness that you all provide to my life; filling my heart and soul with an outpouring of love that I will appreciate for every day of my life. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 197]:~ Out of the Shadows

~:[CH6 - Day 197]:~ Out of the Shadows
It was a gorgeous morning and while we didn't have the best of workouts, it wasn't too bad. The athletes are working hard and there were a lot of good things that came about today. It's also nice to see athletes who rise out of the shadows and begin to show what they are capable of as we progress through the season. For some, it's moving into the varsity ranks and for others, it's simply improvement. I had a lot of things to take care of as I finished off the list of things to do before heading off to afternoon practice, where we had yet another fairly successful day. After a nice meal, I took a shower, exhausted from the day, but smiled knowing that we are moving along. Things are moving forward and as the sun rises, I begin to see those rising up out of the shadows. For some of us, it will take awhile before we can rise out of the shadows, while others will rise quickly and will need to do what it takes to stay there. Regardless, for all of us, getting out of the shadows so we can head down a road of success and originality is is a big deal and is something we can accomplish if we continue to push forward.

Monday, July 17, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 196]:~ Return

~:[CH6 - Day 196]:~ Return
The greatest gift is when you get unexpected visitors who return to brighten your day. Whether it's been a week or a few years, for those who you have great memories with, the time frame matters not, as things just seem to flow. One of the reasons I love summer is because I get to cross paths with so many alumni and catch up with them. I get to see how they've grown, what they're up to and just catch up with them all. In a day filled with cleaning, catching up and just doing a few odds and ends, it was definitely a refreshing moment to cross paths with a few alum who decided to stop by today. What a blessing!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 195]:~ In Unison

~:[CH6 - Day 195]:~ In Unison
The day after the BBQ is always a little rough. Not only are there things to pick up and a few things to do, but it's always harder to wake up. Regardless, I got up and headed to the Obon festival at the OC Buddhist Church. I've always enjoyed celebrating at the event and this year, I was around for both the taiko performances and the Bon Odori. I love watching the Bon Odori as a combination of experienced and novice people join in, young and old, and of all races. I think it's great to see people put in the effort to join in and have a great time. I also enjoyed the food, games and company of great people, many of whom I ran into and had a chance to quickly catch up. Today made me miss Japan even more and pushed me to work harder to stay connected with my roots. My body didn't want me to do too much today, but I am glad I got out of bed for this. Whether you believe that the spirits of your ancestors return during the Obon, in either case, I know that they were there celebrating with me, as were hundreds of strangers doing their best to stay in unison.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 194]:~ A (Super) Hero

~:[CH6 - Day 194]:~ A (Super) Hero
I was tired; I had to rush to get my room prepped; we were a little late setting up as the time passed by so quickly, but it didn't matter at all. I was soon quickly greeted by a smiling face and from there, it became an amazing night. Batman vs Superman played in the background, as person after person rolled in and it couldn't have made me happier. The smiles, the warmth, the love, and of course the food came together in order to make this evening a great one. I always love to see my family and it's one of the reasons why we host this event year after year; a close friend join us on his actual birthday and blew out the candles with me, and I got to enjoy some quality time with everyone who made this day amazing. I could care less for the celebration as long as I could still have the gathering, as having everyone together is what makes it amazing. As the night began to wind down under the lights of the backyard, I was thankful for all those who joined us, for those who made tonight possible especially my mom, and of course, for the moments that I will carry with me until I am no longer walking on this earth. I started to wrap these special moments before placing them in a special place in my heart before I opened up one of my cards. Strangely enough, with the superhero movie and the superhero I gave to my brother as a gift, I received a card that talked about superheroes. As the card thanked me for what I had done, I could not help but think that this message could be one that I write back to many of those who joined me tonight. I was appreciative of the words I exchanged tonight, but those words also helped me to realize even more, how great the people around me are. I knew that they were all special, but when others reconfirm what you've known all along, you gain even more appreciation than you had for them before and treasure just how lucky you are. There will be days where you feel sad and lonely, where darkness can overcome your life, where you feel you've passed that point of no return, but when you're surrounded by amazing people,  you can overcome any of the obstacles you'll come across along the way. I don't fear many challenges because I am confident in the people around me, just as much as I am in myself, as no matter how skilled, knowledgeable or well-connect I am or become in life, the people around me are those who are the superheroes who will help me when I need it most. I am grateful for those who have raised me up, have shared memories with me, have challenged me, have comforted me and more, as you are all truly superheroes in my life. At my brother's wedding two years ago, I focused the message about heroes, as some of my fondest childhood memories of us were dressing up as Batman and Robin, yet the superheroes I have in my life everyday need to no costume. As while the superheroes we know  are often referred to as the "caped crusader" and the like, the superheroes I know, need nothing more than their caring hearts and trusting souls. As while others may chase the riches of the world, the treasures and gems are those people that stand at your side who shine because of how beautiful and wonderful of a person they are. I've read over the card a number of times and I can't help, as I realized that while superheroes are often portrayed in fiction, I'm lucky enough to have that be my reality. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 193]:~ Sun Sets on the Week

~:[CH6 - Day 193]:~ Sun Sets on the Week
We had a pretty good practice. Our first game day was a success, as we began to wrap up our first week of the season. Of course, it was a busy day, as we had our first even of the season, bonfire. It's always pretty fun being with the team, but being at the beach is quite the challenge. Regardless, it's worth it and I had a good time playing basketball and volleyball. It was a pretty nice day to be at the beach and despite some issues with the grill and the like, it ended up being a wonderful day. I would say that this first week of the season (and my first week back in the country) were quite successful, as we saw a lot of new faces, a lot of new talent, and aside from the team, I also got a lot done. There are many more weeks to go, so I better stay focused, but I know that time will pass by quickly and while the sun sets today, the sun will rise not too long in the near future. Be ready and vigilant, as we always must be prepared for what a day may bring. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 192]:~ Catching Up

~:[CH6 - Day 192]:~ Catching Up
Being dragged along on a run, never felt so good. I actually did fairly well during the workout today, both in my morning warm up and under the sun during the tempo. I could tell that I had not run in awhile, but still, it wasn't too shabby. It was nice being back with the team and running. We had our first dinner together and it looks like it will be a great season. I love the summer because there is time to do just that. Run, catch up on things and meet up with people. I also caught up with an alumni who I had not seen in awhile. It's always refreshing to see how people are doing, reconnect with them and really see how their lives have changed (or not). Regardless, I always hope that their lives are going well and that they are on the road to a health and happy lifestyle. I was pretty exhausted when I got home, but gathered up enough energy to watch the finale of a show I've been watching and clean up a little bit more around the house. There is still a lot of work to do in the next 48 hours, but it sure feels good to catch up a bit, even if I'm being dragged along. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 191]:~ Day by Day

~:[CH6 - Day 191]:~ Day by Day
Getting back into the process is always a challenge. I always seem to fall asleep around this time of year at least once during the day, as I adjust to the schedule, however, it isn't all that bad. Today felt like the longest day ever, as I am not use to having so much time on my hands. Sure, I have a lot to do with cleaning and preparing, however, in the end, the day has so many more opportunities. With it being the first Wednesday, we had our annual scavenger hunt. It was great to see a group of new faces going out, but the group with the most returners won despite not finishing first, as they read the directions. Regardless, the experience is not about winning, but about meeting new people, growing, and discovering new things about each other. There is a long way to go, but glad that everyone is beginning to ease their way into the ohana. I grabbed lunch with a friend, finally caught up on a few shows, cleaned and then slept the night away. I would hardly call the sleep a waste though, as I need to build up some energy for the busy second half of the week. When there is a pile of work to do, all you can do is go day by day, but also not forgetting that sometimes, you need to just let your body be. Do your work and take responsibility, but also don't forget that in this busy world, you also need to reserve time for yourself. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 190]:~ FREEdom

~:[CH6 - Day 190]:~ FREEdom
Our first practice went well, as we had a good showing on the day with a lot of new faces. While it's early, it looks like it could end up being a very good season. It was a perfect day for my first day back, as there were free Chick-Fil-A if you dress like a cow day, an easy task for our team, as we are the hosts of the annual Great Cow Run & Higashi Roman Memorial Run. This year will be a special one, as we celebrate our 10th annual event. It was also 7-11 Day, as slurpees were being given out for free. Of course, our team ventured to both sites. After showing our spirit, I cleaned a little, lounged a little, and just caught up on things I wanted to catch up on. I ended up eating out for lunch and boba, but in the end, I enjoyed the freedom of being home. There are many days ahead and we'll see if this enjoyment lasts, but it sure is great to be home, for now. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

~:[CH6 - Day 189]:~ The Words I Should Have Said

~:[CH6 - Day 189]:~ The Words I Should Have Said
There are always those moments in life where you get put on the spot. Where there are those words you want to say, but you can't say it exactly as you wanted and you remember only after your opportunity has passed. I'm usually quick witted in relaxed back-and-forth conversations with friends, but when it comes to speeches, I often take a bit of time to organize my thoughts. This was the case when I gave at a speech at my cousin's wedding that I didn't know that I was going to give. I think I said much of what I had hoped to say, but after the fact, I thought, why didn't I say that. Regardless, my cousin knows how many great memories we shared, from the all-night muffin making adventure to the 24-hour movie marathon. I spent an entire summer at her house and over the years, the number of memories we have created have been countless. From the holidays to cousin adventures, it has been a fabulous run and now, I am glad we can include a new family member in Meff, who fits the mold of this family perfectly. I am so grateful to think back to all the memories we had from the tooth-capped dancing videos to the falls in DC, you've always done it with your heart in your hands, ready to share with those around you. I'm glad you found someone who does the same in Meff. It was a fabulous weekend and while I was there the shortest, I still left the island incredibly happy that I was able to share in this moment. My body will regret it later, but my heart will never forget this precious moment. I hope that your future is full of love, adventure, and stories that you can tell for the rest of your life and I hope that I will be there to share in those moments, not just with you anymore, but also with Meff and the Ramos family. I may not have said all that is in my heart, but I know that words would never be enough to express it all. As while there are words I should have said, there are always feelings and emotions that can only be shared through our moments together and I know that we have many years ahead to do just that. As while in life we search for the words to say in those moments, don't forget that your actions are what matter most and are worth more than any words can possibly say.