Tuesday, June 27, 2017

light of the morning

Do you know what writing and healing have in common?

They both demand you to feel. Not just one emotion, but all emotions. They present to you your experiences and they allow you to choose what road you'd like to take. That road that lead to freedom not only in my speech but also in my heart, I refused to journey through it. As much as I wanted both to write and to heal, the thought of even feeling triggered was a can of worms I wasn't willing to open. But, here I am. A year later from the unspoken trauma (a trauma that will probably be shared at a later time) ready to open up my heart again by using one of the few things that have always helped me to move forward: writing.

Here I am... in all the glory of vulnerability. And this time, I'm not afraid. Sure, I have fears. But I'll face them with courage and I'll defeat them with grace.

xo Che'

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


"I will sit and I will wait
and I will wander through 
years of love
that I have so meticulously kept safe in my heart.
I wont stay there too long, but
however, my lips will curve upwards
as I remember your face
and your voice
and the way you love me.
As the wind travels through my hair,
I will travel to each moment of you; 
those moments I came alive,
those moments my heart ached because it was so full
full of you. 
I'll sit under a tree in a pretty, lonely park on a sunny day
and I'll think of you. 
I'll reminisce to myself about your gentleness
and your strength
and how much I absolutely adore you.
And just as the wind blows another gust through the empty park,
I will take one more breath and breathe you in, all of you
each memory, each moment I smiled with you... because of you.
And as the gust blows through, I'll let the wind take it.
I'll revisit and wander through again, I promise.
I'll pull my hair back and smile again, gently and quickly
as I wipe a lonely tear from my cheek."

Monday, April 13, 2015

cold mornings

The best things about this misty morning:
-Rylee's double chin
-Her laugh
-Her giggles
-Her obsession with my passion tea
-Girl talk (who doesn't love girl talk?)
-Kapa'a Starbucks - the best on Kaua'i
-Candid shots

Saturday, December 6, 2014

christmas cheer

With Thanksgiving over and Christmas cheer in full swing, I can't help but be happy. I ate the right amount of turkey this year - I didn't over-do it guys! I spent it with the people whom I love the most and my goodness, that should do it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, friends! xx

Saturday, October 11, 2014

why i write

Many people in my little world have asked me "why do you write?" I never really knew how to directly answer that question without sounding so... into myself. It made me really think about why I write and while I was catching up with my friend Roo the other night, she said something to me and in a tiny moment it all came together. It's like all of the puzzle pieces fit together and was complete and whole. Roo said, "when I felt like I couldn't make it, I would scroll through your Instagram and read all of the little captions you wrote. It made me feel like I could make it."


When she said that - and I say this with all humility in the world - I couldn't help but smile and feel accomplished. I quietly thanked God and whispered "this is why I write."

I write because I want to share my hurts, my pain, my good days, all of my stories so that someone - even if it's just one person - will know that it's okay to be hurt, it's okay to be confused about what's next in life and it really is going to be okay even if you screwed up. When I write I pull from every experience I've had. I take bits and pieces and I lay it out. Whether it be a two sentence caption on social media or a short-story type blog post, I dig deep and work with whatever emotion I have at that moment. Most times, it's so personal I can't handle the vulnerability and I kind of have to process all my thoughts, feelings and emotions in that moment and figure out where I want to channel them.

There are some pieces that I write that stay in a vault and never surface. Mostly because it was kind of raw, a little too honest and I'm not quite ready to share it. Sometimes, my grammar is horrible and I'm in need of a tutor. No, really.

My best writing happens when the house is quiet and it's after 10pm. Or when I'm at work and no one is there. Or when I'm driving and I hear a classic by Fleetwood Mac. Whatever and wherever it may be, I write because I have a story to tell. I hope that story continues to travel to the people who need to hear it the most.

This is why I write.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

beauty in the breakdown

As I parked my car near the entrance to a popular eatery, I shook with anxiety and excitement. I was nervous. The sun was going down, the traffic was gone and my heart was beating fast. I knew that what I was about to do was necessary and I had been waiting and praying for this moment for months. I got out of my car and walked slowly to the restaurant that looked like a run-down, hole-in-the-wall type of place; a place that I didn't really take a liking to. I walked and quietly told myself "this is going to be worth it, Che'." I opened the doors to this dark place and saw the sun shining in the back corner of the bar. It was an old friend who I hadn't seen or spoke to in nearly a year. 

This was the moment I had been praying for... 
Wishing for.
Waiting for.
Nervous for...

This was the moment. And in one moment, in the darkest place of someone's life in the one setting I'd never wished to be at, my entire world had changed. I had realized that my life, even in the ups and downs, was easy: it was like a calm sea with a tide that changed subtly and softly. That thought took the air right out of me as I saw my friend Roo (that'll be her name for today), sitting there with big eyes and a smile that I had seen on her face many moons ago. We embraced as I walked around the table greeting the others who were there. I had not the slightest clue as to what to say... "How are you doing?" seemed shallow and predictable and I knew that her answer would somehow be predictable as well "Oh, I'm good." With knowing all of that in the back of my head, I asked Roo anyways. Her answer? "Well, it's okay. It can get better," as she laughed the enormous hearty laugh that I hadn't heard in a long time. Her answer was unpredictable and it set the tone for the rest of the night. 

Our friends went up to a makeshift stage to sing their two hour set and it gave Roo and I some time alone to talk and catch up. Roo and I go way back. We've seen each other at our high and low points, we've cried together, laughed together, fought with each other and for each other. For a whole year, our friendship was left hanging. But as we sat across each other, debating if the pastrami sandwich would be better with the wasabi aioli sauce, it was like we hadn't seen each other for a mere 24-hours. So much had changed, but so little had changed too. Our lives were in completely different places, but our conversation was genuine, full of heart and still so... comfortable.

Roo and I ate our dinner as our friends performed. Roo talked about how she's been wanting her life to change for quite sometime now and how she feels strong and brave enough to go about such change. We quipped back and forth about how life gets messy and dark but how that on one hand we can each count the amount of people who never left. It was amazing to me when she said, "You're on that hand, Che'." It brought me to tears; big tears that I tried to hold onto by keeping my eye lids open. She then went on to share about how there were days and nights that she thought she wouldn't make it so she would click open her Instagram and go through my feed and reassure herself that in fact, she will make it. 

And I believe it. She. Will. Make. It. To the very end, with her mess as a testimony and as a story of how people screw up and life gets thrown around, turned upside down and hands you the darkest of days. She's going to make it and tell everyone who needs to hear that she did make it. She did succeed. She made it out of the darkness one day at a time with the people who love her right by her side. 

There are many things that Roo and I talked about that night. We got to exchange the ever-so powerful "Please, forgive me..." (that one struck the heartstrings), we got to laugh and I got to see strength, life and hope being resurrected in her beautiful big eyes. Although Roo has a tough road ahead of her, as we all do, I know that her recovery will be one that will not only change her life, but those around her as well. If it's one thing I learned, it's that someone's freedom can set another soul free. 

"I keep telling myself 'you are worth it! you are worth it. You can make it.'" - Roo.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

let love grow

It's probably best to say that life has been one little knot tied together by different experiences, new people, same friends, lazy days and wishful thinking. Ever had your heart beat so fast in excitement one day and then the next... lazily thumping while life passes by as you try to figure out your next move? You go and go and go and move along and then a minute later you're stopped in your tracks?

That has been life for the past 6 weeks.

To tell you the truth, it's not even a bad thing. This growth spurt that I'm going through has been amazing and hard all at the same time. I remember as a kid during all those "growing pain" years, I would cry in agony over how painful my muscles would get and all my mom could do was show me love and tell me "that's life, honey." I feel like I'm re-living that all over again.

This time, it's my walk with God. And although my mom still reassures me that "that's life, honey", I can hear God saying "don't give up, I've got great plans for you." Just like when I was a kid and my mom was in the corner cheering me on through the good and the bad, there's my God... my Jesus... cheering me on, loving on me and showing me that He is there, He never left and that my world fits in the palm of His big hands. Although I'm struggling with holding back my tantrums and hissy fits, God is right there in the midst of everything.

And I am constantly reminded of how loved I am. In my storms, He calms me. In my failure and shortcomings, He lifts me up and encourages me. In my fear and anxiety, His grace and peace are there to comfort me. His hand is there to comfort me, to carry me and to help me withstand whatever comes my way.

Jesus, you are the best.