Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why brothers are the s***

Just a little forewarning. There will be swearing in this post. Also--my grammar filter is basically off right now, so deal. :)

My brothers are the best ever.

Seriously. When I tally up all the crap that has happened to me....betrayal, heart break, and basically the emotional battering ram that is taken to my emotions on the reg...there are only three people that have stuck through thick and thin. They have always been there for me. I know that I can count on them to tell me the truth...or to tell me a lie when I need to hear it. They are my brothers.

My brothers are amazing. Seriously. They are the s***, and no one really knows because they are all kicking butt and taking names.

I know it isn't a cakewalk to be my brothers. I am pretty much one of the hugest jerks ever. As Louis C.K. says,

"Here's the difference, to me, between boys and girls: Boys fuck things up; Girls are fucked up. That’s the difference. Boys just do damage to your house that you can measure in dollars, like a hurricane. Girls, like, leave scars in your psyche that you find later, like a genocide or an atrocity. […] That’s the difference between boys and girls. And it becomes the difference between men and women, really. A man will, like, steal your car or burn your house down or beat the shit out of you, but a woman will ruin your fuckin' life. Do you see the difference? Like, a man will cut your arm off and throw it in a river, but he'll leave you as a human being intact. He won't fuck with who you are. Women are nonviolent, but they will shit inside of your heart."
I freely admit that I am a huge jerk. I am trying to change that now, but unfortunately my family are the ones who have seen me at my worst. Yep--all that glory of "crazy Karyn" was theirs to behold. They've seen me in tremendous pain, anger, embarrassment, happiness, excitement...the whole range of Karyn emotions (even the ones I hide). They've seen it all.

And guess what? They still love me. They still care. It's sort of a miracle. With all my mistakes, all of the times I tried to ruin them...they still are there for me. In my entire life, the three people that have always been there for me are my brothers. Occasionally we have differences of opinion, but overall we love each other and have stuck together through it all. They are so awesome. If you haven't read this blog before, or if you are semi-new, I have three brothers: Adam, Josh, and Sean. Adam and Josh are older than I am and Sean is the baby. My brothers are all freaking geniuses.

Adam is a genius when it comes to people and anything mechanical. He has taken a while to figure it out, but Adam has so much potential for success. He has a burning passion for life and I think that's why he sometimes gets so emotional about things. He is so passionate about the things he cares about. He has had to be. He needs to just let go of what everyone tells him he "should" do and go after what he wants. He has the mind and the talent to be successful at whatever he wants to do because he understands how people think. I often tell him that he needs to temper his emotions and chill out. He does...but it would be a waste to quiet that passion for life. I think if he redirects it into the projects he gets into and his family, that he will be set...forever.

Josh is a genius at music (for real...like savant-style). He got beat with the family talent stick. He has more talent and ability than I could ever hope for. He's a triple threat. He can sing. play, and write his own stuff. I think Josh's great talent is that he immerses himself in a moment and takes everything he can away from it. He has a hard time relating to people because (other than the fact that people in general are basically the worst) he sees the world in his own unique way. He and I are a lot alike because we keep our feeling pretty deep down, but people often mistake that for not having any. However, I think another part of that is that he (as a typical middle child) feels like he needs to scream to be heard. Life happens to us in the quiet moments. Josh's talent is undeniable. I think his biggest challenge is learning to tone things down and releasing the same amount of emotion with a quieter voice.

Sean is a genius when it comes to breaking things down and solving them. I think that is why he likes video games so much. No matter how many layers they have, he has a knack for seeing the goal and following through. That is his true talent. No matter what issue he faces--he can see into the heart of the issue and see a solution for it. I think his biggest challenge is trying to figure out how to balance his dreams with the time it takes to achieve them. He is a rising star, and I know if he can figure out how to balance everything in his life that he will achieve everything he wants to in his life.

All my brothers are married and have children. It's weird to think about for me because even though they all changed when they got married and then again when they had kids...it's still so cool to see how great they are at being Dads and Husbands. It's also really cool to see the effort they make to stay in touch with me and show me how much they care about me. Family means pretty much everything to us...and I feel it every time they call or email or facebook or whatever.

They have always stuck up for me, beat people up for me, counseled me, and just listened to me when I needed them to. They have stood and weathered the storm with me...and still do no matter how busy things get for them.

Since they are all so far away, I have adopted brothers too. My adopted brothers are so awesome, and I love them as much as my real brothers. I won't call them out in this post like I did to my real brothers. I don't have the luxury of blood protecting me from embarrassing them publicly. Haha. I will say though that it isn't worth it to hold yourself back because of something someone said or did to you. You have so much potential. Start today to go after your dreams. Life is there for you to take and run with...you just have to choose to do it.

My brothers are the fucking best, and I'm one lucky girl to have them in my life. Thanks guys. I love you.

Something for the road.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weekend trip


I am extremely tired right now and need to wake up early, but I for some reason am on my blog writing to you.

This weekend I took a trip to the semi-great white North...aka Salt Lake City. I needed to get away, so I packed up two of my best friends (L & C) and hit the road. It was a great trip, but I realized a few things about myself this weekend:

I am WAY too stressed out. Seriously. I need to chill. I didn't realize how wound up I have been until I broke down into tears over seeing some (amazing, but not particularly emotionally inspiring) Christmas lights. The cause? Feeling overwhelmed by hearing that we had an offer on our house. I know I'm a girl, but I rarely cry (in front of people). It's weird...and embarrassing. GET IT TOGETHER KARYN!

I worry too much. About everything. I used to think it was a good quality, but when I am stepping in the way of my friend's choices because I am worried about them... especially when I got my own crap to worry about...there is a problem. Sorry guys. Don't mind your friend having a mental break. Just step over me and continue with your lives. :S

I feel like I am losing my "edge" in my old age. Haha. I know, I know-- am not old at all, but I am losing parts of myself that I really love. For instance--my ability to rap...or my ability to drive like a race car driver on cocaine. What is happening to me??? I used to be so hardcore. I feel like I'm losing my chocolate and becoming vanilla...(PS--not race related at all. ;) )

The nice thing about my friends is that they forgive me for being an a--hole pretty regularly. Some people may or may not think that me being the hugest jerk ever is even possible, but believe me--it is. I try to be nice to people in general, but the people close to me get to see the darker parts of my personality. I often forget how sensitive people are in general. That's what happens when you spend a large portion of your life being apathetic. When you turn off the apathy and move into the world of emotions, you can lose your way and lash out in weird ways.

I'll take a second here, if I may:

I am so sorry for what I said, and how I have treated/have been treating you. I have no excuses. I am trying to figure out how to be me without hurting the people around me--especially the people I actually care about. I hope you can forgive me for being a huge jerk.

Okay. I can move forward now.

So the weekend trip. I had a lot of introspective time...obviously. My mind usually runs on high-octane, but I also had the luxury of driving 4 hours with sleeping passengers. I'm glad we went, but thinking too much can be counter productive for me. So I did what any sane person would do--I got lost in music. :D I love how music can erase everything in my mind and I can just immerse myself in the beat. So good.

Anyway, we got to spend time with my cousin Kapono (and his familia). I love that freaking guy. It has been WAY too long since I have seen him and spent quality time with him. We also saw Ames and her semi-new manfriend. I'm always happy to see and spend time with her. It wasn't long enough, but c'est la vie.

Looking at Kapono's name reminds me that I was going to tell you what pono means. (See previous post). It is loosely relevant to what I am talking about...let's see if I can pull it all together so I can get some sleep. Pono means right...like an innate rightness or righteousness...although it isn't a religious word unless used in that context. It is basically making something right, or correct...like the most correct something can be. It's like if the world was a puzzle, being pono would be solving the puzzle and seeing how all the pieces fit together.

I think that is what I am trying to accomplish with my life. I want my life to be pono. I want to find out where I fit in the world. It is HARD. I never thought it would be this hard. I thought my place in the puzzle was to help the people around me...but I feel like every time I try to help people, it goes awry. Maybe my place is to point directions, but not to actually be there for the journey. Maybe my place is to be the shady drug dealer. Who knows?!

Well, I guess the moral of the story is that we are all works in progress. Sorry that my progress has taken a side trip on a--hole parkway. I'm sure I'll pass onto the next phase soon.

Hope your weekend was as great as mine. I also hope you figure out how to be more pono in your life. :D

I leave you with one of my favorite songs to rap to.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holidaze and Hawaiians

Happy holidays.

If you know me really well (or apparently read this blog post), you know that I love Thanksgiving with all my heart and sort of don't like Christmas. I know, I know. It's almost blasphemous to even think that Christmas is anything but my favorite holiday in certain circles. People have actually started yelling in my face when I have stated that Thanksgiving is clearly the better holiday, but I digress.

I have my opinions and you have yours. Luckily we're on my blog, so you don't really have a say in the disagreement--whatever your favorite holiday may be. I will tell you why mine is Thanksgiving...and why it isn't Christmas. I am also going to take some time to vent about the difference between Islanders (as a general stereotype) and Not-Islanders. And then we're gonna get really crazy with traditional gender roles vs gender roles in Hawaiian relationships (as I have understood them to be...I am not an expert).

You might wonder why I'm summarizing what I am going to talk about before I actually talk about it. Well...I guess it's because if you don't care, you won't have to waste your time. That might be superfluous because you are on my blog...so you obviously have some kind of interest in what I have to say. But, whatever. I do what I like! :) Also--please excuse the scattered thoughts and tangents. I have a lot to say, but I am also very easily dis (SQUIRREL) tracted. ;)

Thanksgiving vs Christmas (Karyn Style)

My earliest memories of holidays are sort of a blur. I vaguely remember the smell of roasting meats and veggies, and a candy cane. The next memories are of my parents worrying. I wasn't sure what they were worrying about at the time, but now I know that it was making Christmas special for their four kids. You see, we were poor growing up. Not really dirt poor, but poor enough to struggle when the holidays came around...and pretty much all the rest of the year. Haha. Thus the first point of my dislike of Christmas.

Christmas is the time of year when people are forced to purchase or make gifts for people even when they can't afford it, or do not like the people they are doing it for.
See? Not me!
 I am not a Grinch. I like Christmas for what it is supposed to symbolize, and for the aspect of family coming together and sharing time together. I am also an AMAZING gift giver. It makes me happy to give people gifts...and I'm great at it. However, the commercialization of the holiday is what really makes me mad. EVERYONE EXPECTS A GIFT, and honey...not everyone deserves one. You can't be a jerk to me all year, and then magically start being nice to me and expect me to do anything for you. Gifts are something I give to the people I love. I don't really like receiving them, though I try to do so graciously... oh well. Next point!

Thanksgiving has always been a time of year for my family to stop, take a breath, and actually spend some time together.

Thanksgiving was a time for cooking, football, and food comas. It was also a time of sitting down with my extended family and having great conversations; of playing with and destroying the other families at Turkey Bowls; of learning how to make the Thanksgiving meal from my Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma; of sharing our meal with those that didn't have enough; of singing songs together and basking in the glow of our family...together. For my family, that is the essence of Thanksgiving: being together. Christmas was always a paler shade of Thanksgiving for me. Don't get me wrong--my parents made Christmas MAGICAL for us. Seriously--I believed in Santa until I was 14. They were so awesome at making Christmas a great time for us. However, Thanksgiving was when I felt that familial intimacy and closeness. We connected at Thanksgiving, and "got together" on Christmas.


I don't really know if I need to expound on this point, but I am a Hawaiian woman, and I love food. Especially pie. The PIE!

I can't really think of anything else. I got distracted by the pie. :D Holiday time is awesome for me because my family gets together and we are AMAZING when you fill that little of a space with our giant personalities. However, I don't care enough to argue with people. Like whatever holiday you want, and call me when you wake up from your food coma.

Next up:

The difference between Brown and Not-Brown

This is something that keeps coming up...like everyday for the past 3 months. I don't know if it is the Ferguson/Mike Brown happenings or what, but it seems to me like people of color are being called to arms lately. I am what is known as an "ambiguous race" person--meaning no one really knows what nationality or race I am. Well, to clear things up I am Hawaiian, Filipino, Caucasian (consisting of German, British, Irish and Scottish heritage). Or as I sometimes say: I'm mostly brown and half white. Haha! (Just for the record, I am proud to be everything I am, and love and hate on all races, colors, and creeds equally.).

I am pretty "racist" when it comes to it, but it isn't in the way that people are typically racist...where it's laced with anger, hate, and malicious thoughts. I'm racist in the way that most comedians are: in an observant and non-accusatory way. Bad driver that happens to be Asian? I will point that crap out. Hawaiian that is crying for sovereignty but aren't able to hold down a job, or even articulate why they want sovereignty (I will discuss this later...like later later)? I am going to rail you for that too. White people that are ignorant of any other culture or way of life and feel superior to everyone else??? You're gonna be called out. I feel like it's my lot in life to try to spread tolerance and love wherever I go. Why you ask?

Everyone loves Hawaii and Hawaiians (for the most part.).

We'll go over the meaning of "pono" later. (pron. poh-no)
My friends, and more specifically my cousin Leo, are AMAZED at what I can get away with when I call people out on their crap...which I do regularly. What is my secret? I am a sassy, large, Polynesian woman that happens to genuinely care about the people I choose to spend time with. It doesn't seem like a lot, but when people can feel the love you have for them even when what you are saying strikes them to their core...they will listen. I think that is what people mean when they say "Aloha Spirit" or "Live with Aloha". There is an undercurrent of love in everything I say and do. I don't want to hate people, and I don't want to be angry with them. (Honestly, it takes too much effort to hold a grudge or feel spite for people.) I love the people around me. I want nothing but their success and happiness in life, and I will do whatever I can to make sure they see that success and happiness while I am a part of their life.

That is one of the differences between Islanders and Not-Islanders. That undercurrent of love and genuine support for the people around them. The Aloha Spirit is what I call that part of you that strives for world peace, or helps an old lady with her groceries, or hugs your friend when they need it. Although, there are people of all races that fall into the Aloha Spirit "category." I'm not disputing that. It's just that it is stronger in Polynesian communities.

When I moved here, I felt bereft of the Aloha Spirit. I felt like there wasn't anything resembling what I had in Hawaii--which was a community that loved and cared for me. No matter what I did, or where I went in the islands, I felt the Aloha Spirit. A collective feeling of love for and from the people around me.

I eventually found out that, even in the desert, the Aloha Spirit lives. It is here. It is strong. I just had to dig a little deeper.

Which brings me to the final point...which is actually what inspired the second half of this post.

Hawaiian/Islander Gender Roles/Relationships

Watch THIS VIDEO. You know the drill. Go. Watch. I will wait.

Okay. I am assuming that you watched the video. It makes what I am going to say more profound. Seriously. I get chills watching that video man.

This is specific for Hawaiians (meaning people from Hawaii, although many of them are Hawaiian [the race]). Not Samoans, Not Tongans, Not Tahitians, Not Chomorros...and even not really for Maoris even though they are the people featured in the video I shared. This is for Hawaiians because that is where my experience lies.

In a traditional household there is the bread winner (typically the Dad) and there is the homemaker (typically the Mom). The Dad goes out and makes money, and the Mom stays at home with the kids and cleans and cooks. This is a traditional gender role household. (This is currently being redefined by society. For the sake of brevity, I won't go into all that.)

I have three brothers--all of whom are married with children (Love and marriage, love and marriage...Go together like a horse and carriage...[don't mind my metal tangents...]). Two of them are pretty traditional in their gender roles/home life. The other one is a stay-at-home Dad, and LOVES it. I don't really care either way, because as long as they love their respective wives and their kids, I'm good. Anyway... I don't love or hate traditional gender roles, but I also know I would never fit them exactly.

You see, I am a VERY strong willed and independent person. I am not someone who likes to be the "dominant" one in a relationship, but I abhor the "submissive" qualities that plays into my traditional gender role as a woman. In my opinion, marriage and committed relationships should be equal. Like really equal. I have traditional and religious things that I refer to (I like a man that is chivalrous and will be the patriarch of my home), but overall I want a man that LIKES that I am independent and opinionated and funny and sometimes challenging to deal with. That is who I am. I am not demure or timid or meek, and I don't find those qualities (in a man) attractive in any way.

Which sort of brings me to my point. It seems to me that non-local boys (or guys who are not from Hawaii) want a girl that is like that--shy and mild mannered. I never really had issues finding guys that were interested in me in the Islands, because the guys there aren't scared away or intimidated by me. They like that I have my own mind and that I can challenge them if need be.

I'm not saying that I want to fight with my future husband every night. If you know me really well--I have been know to be called a teddy bear or a marshmallow. And I am that person most of the time, but in a relationship, I want to feel...challenged. I want my man to want me to be better than I am. I want him to know he can depend on me to try to motivate him to achieve his potential and be the best person he can be. I want him to encourage me to pursue my talents and I want him to feel free to be who he is and go after his dreams. To fail without feeling like I will judge him. To make mistakes and know that, not only am I imperfect too, but that we are working together to be our best selves.

There are a lot of things that I miss about the islands...but I think I miss that the most. Being myself and knowing someone won't be scared away by it, but love me for it. Hawaiian women are STRONG and LOUD and BEAUTIFUL and LOYAL. We are leaders. We come from warriors. We flourish when we are loved and challenged.

I don't know what the future holds for me. I don't know if I will get married or have kids. I don't know where I will be in my career goals, or where I will be spiritually. I don't know if I will be living in St. George or in London. What I do know is that I will keep "doin' me" and keep looking for a guy that digs it.

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Sleepless in Seattle. "Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn't it?" I don't want to settle for less, and you shouldn't either. Whatever your hang-up is...whether it's what you look like, personal issues...whatever. You deserve and will find love one day.

Well, that's all I can dedicate to this blog post for today. Sort of long, but if you're still with me, thanks for reading and let me know what you think. :) I leave you with one of my favorite DJs and his 2014-in-song mix. :)