Meeting new people is one of my favorite things to do aside from trying all the flavors of bubble tea I can find on the island of Oahu. But of course as a child I was totally opposite of this, too shy to even go ask the concession guy for popcorn at the movies. Literally the nerdiest little redheaded girl with huge retro glasses, bangs, horse head sweaters, and a fear of every other human on the planet. There was even a time in my life that I wore an eye patch over my right eye because of a certain condition, which didn’t really help me become the coolest kid in preschool. I’m sharing this backstory of me because it is hilarious just how opposite of this I am now, like unbelievably opposite. Now I’m loud, proud, and blunt to a fault.
It took me close to 25 years to even get even a glimpse of who I really want to be, but I got to that point because of the amazing people on this planet and my life motto of going with the flow. Yeah, I know, I sound super millennial with that as my life motto but it has seriously kept me sane through all the rejections I’ve faced as a musician and as a girl in her mid twenties trying to find real love in this “tinder dating” age. But let’s not get on the subject of the dating scene because I could write a 100 page essay on the matter… But honestly, there are a huge number of amazing humans on this planet that go out of their way to help others day in and day out, and I try to go out of the my way to find those people wherever I go and bring them into my life and never let them leave. And that’s exactly how I joined Trade Winds Ensemble; I met Midori, saw her big heart, and decided I had to keep her close so she would rub off on me. Now she and everyone else in Trade Winds don’t have a choice and are stuck with me, literally, forever. Like most people, it’s been the connections I’ve made that help me decide who I want to be, don’t want to be, and discover all the possibilities life has to offer.
Now about this life motto—does everyone else have one? I guess most have religion, family, or dreams that drive them every day, but sometimes it’s hard to live by those things on a day-to-day basis. For me going with the flow means trying to stay in the present moment which of course seems simple on paper but even as you read this silly blog post you might be thinking about what to cook for dinner or what Netflix show to watch after reading this. I don’t want to assume; maybe you are amazing at keeping the past and future from controlling your present self, and if so, I bow down to you.
I never gave much thought to having a life motto of living in the present until I began going to yoga classes in Houston, TX at a family studio called Yogaleena. If you are ever in Houston, please go! Yoga isn’t for everyone but it is my drug of choice. My love for yoga was mostly thanks to a certain instructor, Frances, who would not only help my body feel like jell-o but, as cheesy as it sounds, she helped to detox my soul. She had this super positive energy that almost made me want to vomit but admire her at the same time. A few people would end up in tears (including myself) after class because Frances knew just how to speak to the deepest depths of your heart and hit that vulnerable sweet spot while you were sweating and struggling doing vinyasa. Yoga is the time during my day that I do my best to forget everything else, focus on my breath, and leave the anxiety and stress at the door. Now, through practice, it has slowly started to affect my consciousness on the daily.
This is my first ever blog post and I feel a little scatter-brained and weird because I actually prefer hearing about others’ thoughts on life, but surrounding myself with positive people and trying to live by going with the flow are, at least for now, my biggest thoughts on life. It’s how Trade Winds Ensemble finds success in the challenging situations we find ourselves in around the world. You can’t go to an unfamiliar country and expect everything to go according to plan ‘cause someone is most likely going to get sick and end up in the hospital…. which has definitely happened, or baboons are going to climb through the window of your car and steal all your food, or you’re going to end up teaching a class of around 100 children by yourself. Like good friends do, we support each other and together overcome any challenge.
So that shy little redhead turned into what some have called a foul-mouthed, opinionated, and aggressive woman. I embrace it because I love myself and have a lot of love to share with this world since so many amazing people have shown me how to (including my loving family). Now I keep searching for more amazing people to teach me new and fascinating things, such as a journalist I met at a yoga studio in upstate New York who shared my passion for travel and love for experiencing new cultures, food, and language. We became quick friends and she wrote an article on Trade Winds in the “MainStreet Magazine” so check it out! Thanks for reading this, you the best.