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🥁 Six Memorable Moments from March
Letter 153: March memories, Vulnerability, Hiking
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Aloha fellow learn-it-all 👋
Greetings from a waterfall on the Ka’au Crater Trail on O’ahu, Hawai’i
Wowzer, this was the first serious hike I’ve done in a few months and I did it with 10 lbs of weight on my back in an effort to train for the backpacking trip I’m going on in May. Oh it was a muddy one and had technical footing. That made it all the more fun. I sometimes feel forgetful about how beautiful this island is. The ambient sounds of the birds and the flowing stream. It’s all so beautiful. I’m so thankful to have sights like these only a 15-minute drive into the valley and a 2-hour hike through a trail.
Now, let’s dive into letter 153 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
❓Question to think about
What were some noteworthy moments from this past month?
Back at the beginning of February in letter 144, I wrote about my three intentions to act as a compass for how to lead my life this year. Those three words were (and still are) Peace, Courage, and Connection.
To be honest, I was overwhelmed reading through my journal entries from this past month. It’s 73 pages of lived experiences that take time to process. For the sake of time and keeping this at a reasonable length, I’ve come up with a handful of memories. I’ve selected six moments from this past month that stand out.
🕊️ Peaceful Moments
I went on the steepest bike ride I’ve ever been on with a friend a week ago up Sierra Drive in the Palolo Valley. I had to stop and catch my breath twice because I was winded. It was already a rollercoaster going on and while I was biking home from this ride, I lost my balance and fell over at a red light with my feet clipped into my bike. As I toppled over on the steep hill, I found myself laughing and the fella who got out of his car behind to help me up was so confused that I was smiling. As I continued biking down the road a grumpy old woman flew by me honking with her middle finger up as she drove into a funeral home. Usually, I would take this all personally but these back-to-back occurrences of bad luck didn’t phase me. I was in such a state of bliss from my ride that I didn't consent to take any of the negative feedback from the world personally. I had a sense of inner peace and felt stoic deflecting the possibility of negative vibes coming my way.
When I was in Kauai with my parents, I received an unsettling email: a rejection of the graduate certificate I applied to. I am glad I shot my shot even when saddened by the news. But when I realized I would get that year and a half back to myself, I could learn conflict resolution on my own if I really wanted to. It was a sense of relief that I applied and that the decision for me to go back to a formal classroom wasn’t actually needed after all. That decision was made for me already. With that being said, I aspire to be less conflict-averse so if you have any resources, please leave a comment and let me know. I am all ears👂
🎢 Courageous Moments
I was offered a short-term gig that I was enthusiastic about pursuing. After sleeping on it many nights and getting feedback from peers on the role, I realized that I was overqualified. This led me to ask for additional compensation.
Historically, this is something I would’ve never done before because I usually fall into the camp of being overly grateful for any position, but I’ve since been finding a stride in recognizing my worth and only saying HELL YES to things and listening to my gut instinct when presented with opportunities.
Last week for my triathlon training, I shared about biking a lot with the constraint of shin splints and an ear infection. I decided to do my long ride across the eastern side of Honolulu. At first, this didn’t seem like anything special since I’ve gone on long rides before, like biking 25 miles to Utrecht from Amsterdam in the Netherlands and 45 miles across the Oahu Pali with my brother.
In hindsight, I realized this was the longest ride I’ve ever gone on by myself. That is empowering as heck and makes me feel independent.
🖇️ Connection Moments
Last weekend, I went to a housewarming party for a person I didn’t know. I walked into that party only knowing one person and felt like a fish out of water. It made me realize I’ve gotten so comfortable with the community I’ve built here that I haven’t met a bunch of new people in a while. It humbled me to channel the skills I’ve learned by how to relate to completely new people, letting my curiosity shine, and reading body language. A year ago, my past self in this situation would’ve fled to the bar to make a strong vodka soda to feel less awkward, but instead, I met everyone in that room with a knockoff Pamplemousse LaCroix sparkly water in hand.
I even was bold enough to get the contact information of the new friends who I wanted to continue conversations with. I also found out I’m surprisingly above average at playing cornhole while sober.
This past month of running the first cohort of the poetry class Rhythm Rhyme Repeat has been an absolute treasure. My students are all better poets than me. It’s such a humbling experience to learn from everyone along for the ride. I had hella impostor syndrome going into this but working with my new friend Ellen Fishbein as a business partner has been an absolute dream.
On my moped drives around town, I find myself belching out random rhymes into the world. I’ve been thinking about my favorite words that I want to spotlight in poems. I’ve been noticing the syllables of my favorite song lyrics while listening to full albums like all of the discography of Mike Posner. Poetry has opened a whole new portal to what I’ve excited about. It’s a long road ahead before any of my poems are actually decent, but I’ve found so much fun in writing them. They make me smile, and sometimes when I share them with friends, they smile too or prompt a pondering look, and that makes it all the more worth it. I even re-remembered my great-grandfather was a poet so was inspired to find his work.
All in all, I am stoked about life.
Everything that I’ve lived this past month feels completely in alignment with who I am. I am floored about the future and all the exciting adventures ahead!
📖 Beta-reader editing interest?
As a side note, I am near completion of the first draft of a manuscript for a Hawaiian wellness booklet with the tentative title “How to Pure Aloha”. I am currently organizing a beta-reader program for the product. This first draft will be around 10,000 words and you’d have four weeks to offer feedback alongside the guide I’m creating. If you’re interested or want to learn more about it, I welcome you to respond to this email or reach out to me at email@example.com :)
You took a part of me
Not just physical or emotional
But I gave it all baby
You had it all
I don't regret a thing
We were inseparable
But maybe I was too vulnerable for you
I thought this time it was worth it
Now I'm left hurting
I fell for what could have been
I have been thinking about vulnerability a lot lately and how that is the vehicle for how I am exploring the courage that I can show in my lifetime.
At this intimate SoFar Sounds concert on Saturday night, it was serendipitous to hear Payton Sullivan sing this song about vulnerability. It brought me to tears. It got me thinking all about how much I am willing to be vulnerable and what boundaries need to set. She also struck a chord with me about how she brought in her different styles based on where she previously lived with some Texan soul from gospel, Nashville country flair, and Hawaiian fun from Big Island.
🙋🏻♀️ A question I’ve been pondering
Will I lose closeness with myself if I am vulnerable with more people in my life?
An alternative example I’ve been thinking about is if I show love to more people in my life and identify as a “loving person”, will that mean that my love becomes watered down or saturated where it’s not noticed since it becomes the norm?
🌟 Quote to inspire
“Our job is to look and say, ‘You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.’” -Brené Brown
📸 Photo of the Week
Here are some of my Zen friends I went on the hike with at Ka’au Crater. It’s so lovely to connect more with the Sangha community members that I sit next to for hours in silence meditating on Wednesday evenings. It’s always so lovely to find new points of connection, especially while out frolicking in nature.
I appreciate you reading this!
Never stop learning 😁
PS - in case you missed last week’s 🎉 Three Lessons from Three Years of Writing
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