As early as 15 years of age, I knew what I was. Finally, at the age of 43, I decided to come out to family and friends. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t know how they would react. They should have seen the signs. I was so afraid – they’ll probably think it’s a phase or experiment. This had to end, I couldn’t let it fester in me any longer. I had to tell them that I was in a relationship (dramatic pause) with writing.
Since I was in high school, anything I wrote would brought me joy! Book reports, research, short stories, poems … all of it! During my senior year at Mid-Pacific, I was elected by my peers to be editor-in-chief of the school paper. However, due to a graduation requirement and a schedule conflict, I wasn’t able to take the position. In my first year in college, I took a journalism class, failed my first project and thought, “I guess I’m not good enough to be a journalist,” I was a 17 year old failure, so I quit and never turned back. However, oddly that experience didn’t stop me from writing. As natural as breathing, I continued to write. I wrote a play for the Young Okinawans of Hawaii to present to senior citizens, I wrote about my experience in Okinawa and won a speech contest (I wrote that one in Japanese too), I never turned down requests to write press releases, articles, and collaborate on scripts for emcees. All that time, it never dawned on me that if people valued what I wrote, then maybe, I should make this my career, until now. I want to step it up several notches and have this be, not the thing I do on the side, but what I do to share knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration with more people – ALL. THE. TIME! In other words, I’ve always been a writer, but I never gave myself the permission to do what I love.
Around October of last year, things began to get interesting. Everything was going great. I developed an exercise and meditation practice. I was studying hard for the CPA exam, working, and taking care of my family. I was balancing it all and doing a damn good job, I thought. Around September, I said to myself, “Gee, everything is going so smoothly, I wonder what’s next for me.” Be careful what you wish for! Soon the yang to my yin was delivered to my doorstep. I had slowly developed issues with my arches, so I had to go to physical therapy. As soon as that was healed, I hurt my back. After my back improved, in November, I developed a rash. Our new neighbors in my office building began renovations to their office space, so I thought I was having a reaction. I was advised by doctors to try avoiding certain hair products and certain foods. I went out of town on a business trip and still the rash would not go away. I did notice, however, that overexerting myself was one thing that would cause my skin to flare up. Upon my return home, my dermatologist, Dr. Shiu, suggested i do a biopsy to get more information about my rash. Eventually, it earned a label, which I will not share, although you may be able to come to your own conclusion as to what that is. The reason for my not sharing the name, is because I was wisely advised by a friend that labeling the experience focuses on what’s wrong. Sounds like denial, but it doesn’t really help me focus on healing when people come up saying, “Oh you have ‘booger pox?'” and they start talking about all the stuff they read on the internet about “booger pox” and what happened to their cousin who had “booger pox.” So. not. helpful.
Now, bear with me as I share more medical information. I asked Dr. Shiu many questions. Being physically active and eating mostly clean, I suspected my condition had something to do with stress. At first, I ignored the stress factor. My job as an office manager was stressful, but it has been for the last 10 years. Also, I loved my job, but not in the way that I thought. I loved that I was going to carry a legacy built by my dad’s hard work for the last 30 years. It is a business that put my brother and I through private school and college. Did, I love accounting? Now that I am able to reflect, I know the answer. No, I do not love accounting, but I love my family. I thought that saying no to the family firm was the same as saying no to being part of the family. Soon the firm will be in the thick of tax season. There were two things I was prescribed to avoid: too much sun and too much stress. My first thought was how tax season was to affect me – physically and mentally “taxing” (pun intended). This being my second experience with an autoimmune system imbalance, I knew it was time to look inward and decide where this path would take me if I continued. I knew the answer, but it was hard to say out loud, especially to my parents who were relying on my brother and I to continue the family business.
If I continue with tax season, which is less than a month away, I risk my health condition which, at this time, is very manageable. I came to the conclusion that I can be a part of a family without working at the firm, a majority of people I know do it! I’m not doing anyone any favors by sacrificing my truth, especially my precious children who are looking to me as an example of how to live a joyful life. My journey is a scenic one. As a mom, writer, artist who has been a concierge, sales person, cosmetic consultant, and an accountant who has lived overseas, I am rich with experiences. My purpose, at least for now, is to share my perspective and bring value to people’s lives with writing that is filled with my own brand of magic so that others may find the courage to do the same for themselves and those around them.