Photos · Poems

Winter Sunlight

Hey, it’s okay
There’s sun in December
You can find a way out
Feel that life, that air
You can fly
Your heart has wings
They lift your feet
And you can float in the glimmering light
Cheerful sparkling magic all around
Wake up, feel it now
Reach for it
Ignore the shadows that trail behind
Pull away, follow the light
Follow the joy
Let yourself feel more than alright
It’s so bright
Why not believe in this wonderful sight

Photos · Poems

Like Lightning

Too long not chasing this bright pulse
Too long avoiding the rain
Ride this storm out
Ride it out
You and me
Connected in a flowing ever changing web
Of molecules and experiences
Coincidences that never stop
A deep unknowing
A vague understanding
We feel it out
We swim it through
Captivated by what we must do
We chase then hide
Curling up, sleeping it away
And suddenly we feel the kick start
Of our beating heart
And hope it isn’t too late
To seize this breathing wonder
Before all our fireflies drift away
Wondering if it’ll ever be okay
Wondering if it’ll all be alright
Wondering if I’m awake enough
To embrace the space
Between the earth and sky
And strike a little light in the world tonight.

Photos · Poems

Hold You There

And it takes your breath away
Just before dropping
You dare to hold on
The rush of wind in your lungs
Freeing you from yourself
Letting it all go
Utterly alive
Utterly terrified
And flying
Feeling your heart flutter and race
As you plunge in the wonder of this vast abyss
The sparkling deep blue
Flowing up and down
Together and forever
Over and under
Sharing you there
Swooping, diving
I’ll hold you there
In the embrace of the night sky
Your spirit elevated
As light as a tear
I’ll hold you there
In our one and only time here

Journal Entries

Joy, Liberation and Transformation at the Tips of a Hairdresser’s Scissors

My haircut day was memorable. It seemed like my hairdresser was having a stressful day when I arrived. When I told her I wanted to cut off and donate over 10 inches she beamed, though she was cautious. I told her I trusted her judgment with the style but she warned me that it will be a big change and wanted me to be doubly sure that that’s what I wanted.

At that point I had been so bored with my hair and it was taking to much of my time with how tangled it got. Shorter hair seemed liberating and seemed like it would encourage me to exercise and dance more because I would’t have to spend so much time trying to put it up or manage before or after.

I affirmed with my hairdresser that it was what I wanted and she got so excited! She asked if she could take a before and after photo of me on her phone which I adamantly said yes to and that it was such a great idea. She told me how much my haircut made her day and that it was so great to end her day with such an amazing and dramatic transformation. It felt good to give her so much trust and freedom with my hair, though I was a little worried when she told me she wanted to give me bangs.

I hadn’t had bangs since elementary school and it was a long, painful and awkward process to grow them out. I didn’t want them to lay heavily on my for head and curl in random positions. I told her all my apprehensions about them and she said not to worry because she will cut them in a way that will make the cut look great as it grows out. She seemed so confident that the bangs won’t have those issues because she had specialized skill in cutting curly hair and she knew what she needed to do to create the specific vision she had for my hair.

I’m so glad I let her do it! It’s probably one of the best haircuts I ever had. Every week I get compliments for my hair and people even ask to touch it, which I find flattering and funny. My hair can now show the curl and volume it always had. Somehow it also looks darker and less frizzy too. I love that!

And the bangs are so fun! I like how they move and frame my face.

Afterward she sent me a collage of my before and after pictures and told me how happy this whole experience made her feel. I loved how a simple thing like a haircut could make so much happiness for both of us. I felt like a different person or perhaps a truer person. I felt that taking that curtain of weight off my head allowed more of my personality to come through and beam out to the world. Two months later I am still appreciating the impact of my new look. What a great decision! 😀

Journal Entries

Interpreter for a Day!

Saturday was very unexpected. Last weekend I decided to check out classes at city college for next semester but spontaneously found a child development class available for this past weekend. In the beginning of the class I wasn’t sure if I fit in with the class since I didn’t have that much experience working with toddlers and babies and wasn’t planning to run my own licensed in-home childcare center, but I thought it could help me with transitioning into pediatric occupational therapy.

I arrived to class 15 minutes late. I missed my bus stop and then I couldn’t find the room in the building. But surprisingly it seemed I wasn’t late at all. Everyone was chatting, browsing through some free books, signing in, talking to the teacher. It wasn’t until another 15 minutes later that I realized the teacher was waiting for an ASL translator. He asked the class if anyone knew ASL. I hesitantly said I knew a little bit but I’m not fluent. There was someone in the class who was in the first level ASL class with me and she said the same thing and that she didn’t feel comfortable doing it. Part of me really wanted to try it. What a great opportunity to practice! But who was I kidding? I’m not a trained interpreter. I haven’t practiced in months! I hardly was able to keep up with a conversation last night in ASL.

However, I told the teacher and student that I could do it.

Talking about things related to school and children made it a lot easier. It would have been much harder if it was a chemistry class or something more complex and abstract. Instead it was a review on a lot of vocab I learned in class. I wasn’t fast enough to interpret every single sentence and word verbatim from what the teacher and the students were saying but I would summarize the most important parts. Sometimes I was able to if the pace of the teacher was slow enough. My finger spelling got a lot faster. I noticed my coordination challenges with the letters and the demand for proprioceptive awareness. Sometimes I would think I’m signing a certain letter but realize I was actually signing a different letter because I focused on the image of a signed hand but not really on what my hand was doing. I felt a lot faster in spelling things out even though I’m really slow at comprehending someone else’s fingerspelling. I need to practice the trick of seeing all the letters as a whole and sounding them out more. Luckily the focus was on expressive and not receptive ASL.

Through the process I learned how you have to have multiple lines of thought happening at once when you are interpreting. You have to pay attention to the whole picture and the point of what’s being said to give the details context. You have to have a good memory of what has been said, be very detail oriented and know how to spell. You also have to be able to multitask listening to what is being said and what might be said while you are signing. My consciousness was expanding with how much attention and focus I was sustaining.

Something that was complicated was that I was also a student so I had to make sure I not only was paying attention to the words and what to sign but also learning, remembering and thinking about the content. I couldn’t take notes but luckily there’s no tests. And though, my attention was divided it was hyper focused. I had the opportunity to repeat everything I heard and relay it to someone else and really take a moment to think about what was said. I also was processing the information kinesthetically and emotionally with all the movement and expression I was putting into the signs. This could help with me remembering the material and what was discussed.

During the break, students in the class complimented me with my signing and my presence, saying kids would love my playful temperament. They asked where and how long I learned to sign and what do I want to be and do with my life. They told me it’s important to be courageous when learning a language because that’s the only way to know what you know and learn. The teacher also thanked me and gave me a free book as a thank you.

The student was so happy that someone could help her and I was grateful that she was willing to help me help her. We were laughing the whole time with my exaggerations and my mistakes. She would teach me new signs when I would fingerspell words out which increased the progress of my fluency. I would help her ask questions and advocate for her to have captions on the videos. Translate what we were saying in group projects. Dialogues were especially challenging because they would move so quickly. Everything was a new challenge that was exciting to me.

Saturday was an enrichening marathon. I signed from 9:00am to 4:00pm with one ten minute break, one hour break for lunch and for two closed-captioned YouTube videos. I felt so accomplished and so rewardingly exhausted. It was a fantastic experience that rekindled my love for ASL!

Photos · Poems

It’s All In Your Hands

On a motorcycle, zipline, airplane
I want to soar down the snowy mountain
I want to blaze up the trail
Be young and burn this energy
Get high off my own vitality
The wind, the speed, the rhythm and beat
I need to do what I can
While warmth and light
Are still in my hands
But I keep myself warm
Relaxed on the floor
Eat a nice meal
Talk a little more
Sitting on my hands
Watching the weeks pass
Wondering what will last
Dreaming what could be
Hoping to be 18 at 30
First times like it doesn’t matter
Never too late to be inspired
But I’m embarrassed
To see my own reflection
Cringing at every inflection
Fear of crashing
Stops me from flying
I want to live before I start dying
Though I know I fear I’ll die trying
But I’m doing my best
To believe in faith and patience
Trying to not be in a hurry
Or get anxious and filled with worry
I want the thrill of the fast, high and far
And the joy of sharing the best parts
Of who you are
To call me through the mist and fog
To clear the view of this pessimistic log
To find me through this gray lethargy
And teach me how to be free and happy
Living life uninhibited
Like a kid reaching for candy

Photos · Poems

Embrace It

Singing alone in an empty stairway
You feel brave enough to kiss the freeway
Your cement box collapsing
Your heart unwrapping
Thrown into the noise
Standing reverant and poised
You cut what’s not needed
You bless the defeated
Making a new decision
To embrace a new vision
Step out of the prison
And turn on the ignition
Make a Saturday sacred
It’s the way you make it
One day at time
One yes at a time