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kira miyuki
25 June 2015 @ 11:20 pm
I've started a bunch of entries recently, but haven't finished any of them. I have a lot of new things going on in my life right now that I've been wanting to write about, but for now I think I'll just talk about this guy.

Right now he's across the ocean in Alaska, on his first big work trip with H&M. He's in training for a district position, which would mean he's leaping from a standard sales associate, past store management positions, to the district level! I am so unbelievably proud of him. Although he never had the opportunity to graduate high school or go to college, he has worked hard at every job he's ever held. He is so deserving of this. He's earned it.

The first day of his training in Alaska was Monday, and I asked him how his day went. He told me it wasn't what he was expecting. Confused, I had him explain: "I'm learning how not to work," he said. "I'm learning how to tell other people to get the job done. Even though I can do the [construction] work, I'm not actually allowed to." He laughed, and finished, "It doesn't actually feel like work."

My darling, dumb, brilliant guy. Raised on a farm where he's labored since he was old enough to weed, worked his hands raw in kitchens, in landscaping, in stock. All of his working life has conditioned him to think that if he's not sore and tired and exhausted and worn down by the end of the day, he doesn't feel like he's worked. That's why he deserves this job.

It's weird to think we've already passed the seven-year mark. For a while, I thought we wouldn't make it. Things were rocky for a long time, with neither of us very happy - not necessarily with each other, but just overall. But, I don't know when it happened - sometime after moving here, I think - there was a subtle shift in our relationship and all of those old problems seem so trivial now. We've each grown so much as individuals, and I am so, so happy that that growth kept us together instead of pushing us apart.

We are completely different people than we were seven years ago. Hell, we're completely different people than we were one year ago. Sometimes I think back about those early days, "the punk rock days" when we lived in a house with punk guitarists and tattoo artists and collectively drank enough alcohol to fill a shed with empty bottles - and it seems like a completely different lifetime. Sometimes I think about the middle years, when I was miserable and angry, and he was miserable and exhausted, and wonder how I could have ever taken him for granted so much.

I think maybe one of the things that's led us here, to this seven-year mark, is that we no longer rely on the other to be happy. Our happiness comes from being together, sure, but it's not his job to keep me happy. I'm in charge of my own happiness now, and he's in charge of his.

I miss him a lot, and he's only been gone for four days. He'll be back in a little over three weeks, but that seems so far away. Part of me just wants these three weeks to fly by, but if they do, then that means I'll be three weeks closer to leaving him for a year when I go to Japan. I don't know how I'll survive being away from him so long, but I guess we'll figure it out and make it through. We always do.
kira miyuki
07 January 2015 @ 11:57 am
Wahh, my vacation from the real world is coming to an end! School starts up again next Monday, although I have to say I am really looking forward to it because for the most part, I really enjoy university! I've had an amazing two-ish months of no real responsibilities.... I got to draw, read, and play video games - all the things I couldn't really do when I was crumbling from the stress of school or VS (or for a while, school AND VS, ew). Olin has been fantastic this whole time. I'm so happy every day I'm with him.

Right now, my main concern is about studying abroad. I know I want to study in Japan. I have finally picked out the university I wanted to study at: Doshisha University in Kyoto. A friend of mine, Annie, spent a year there and says it was an amazing place to study abroad. Also, Delia, the friend from Ireland I made at the Japan Foundation program, will be also studying there this year!! Doshisha is a partner university we both have in common, so theoretically, Delia and I can both study there for the same year!!! She's going this year (September 2015-August 2014), and I could, too....

But I'm not sure whether I should do a year or a semester. I think, although a full year would be amazing, it would set me back in terms of graduation, because I doubt all of those credits would transfer back to UH Manoa, whereas a semester abroad wouldn't set me back too far. Also, a year would be harder financially, even with financial aid (which I finally receive!!), and the JASSO scholarship (should I be lucky enough to receive it.) Also, a year apart from Olin and Oliver would be really hard, as well. Ideally, I'd want to live off-campus in my own apartment, so Olin or whoever could come visit me and stay with me - whereas if I were to dorm, I wouldn't be able to have visitors. But independent rent for a year would be even more costly, although Doshisha is one of the few Japapense partner universities that allows you to find your own housing. (Everywhere else, dorming is a MUST. It's another reason why Doshisha is my first choice!)

On the positive side, if I were to do a year, that means I'll be in Japan this coming Fall, which is also when Leah is thinking of going to Japan for 3 months. If I were to do only a semester, that wouldn't be until next Spring, so I'd miss that chance...

I have a few weeks before I need to start working on the application for a year abroad. If I decide on a semester, then the study abroad period wouldn't be until Spring of next year, and the application's not due until fall.

Of course, getting in at Doshisha isn't even guaranteed, so I need to list up to 2-4 back up choices. I know my second choice would be Waseda in Tokyo. Tokyo isn't somewhere I'm incredibly excited to live in, but my friend Lukas is doing his graduate program there, so I could hang out with him a lot! Also - c'mon, it's freaking Waseda. That would look pretty good on a resume.

Guhh. Okay, thinking about it all stresses me out, so I'm going to go pet Oliver and think about something else for a bit.
kira miyuki
05 December 2014 @ 11:14 pm
So, basically since Olin started working at H&M, his work schedule has been from 6am-3pm, which means he goes to bed pretty earlier, leaving me alone to kill time by myself. Tonight I've been trying if I want to work on a story I've been writing (doubtful), read a book, or watch some Netflix. Instead, I've decided to do none of those things!!!!

So a few weeks ago, pretty soon into when I got back from Japan, my academic advisor had me take a Myers-Briggs test, and I found out I am an INFJ! Which is.... scarily accurate. None of this will probably be interesting to any of you unless you also happen to be an INFJ, but here are some of my favorite things I've found out about INFJs:

  • INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress (Ohh, the very lovely heart palpitations I get when I'm extremely stressed...!)

  • INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments.

  • INFJ have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.

  • They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people -- a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." (Evverryyybodyyy thinks I'm extroverted but I'm really not because it's so draining, I just put on an incredibly good show..!)

  • INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers."

Since INFJs are the rarest of all the personality types, I thought maybe I'd accidentally got INFJ instead of the more common INFP (apparently, the two are often mislabelled), but upon reading up on INFPs, I'm very certain that I'm not one. Anyway, I got really into reading up about the personality types, so I made Olin take a few online quizzes, and although they aren't actually certified Myers-briggs tests, he got ENTP every single time, and OH MY GOD, it is so Olin. So here's some of my favorite bits about Olin:

  • ENTPs tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil's advocate. This sometimes confuses, even angers, those who don't understand or accept the concept of argument as a sport.

  • ENTPs' capacity for debate can be a vexing one - while often appreciated when it's called for, it can fall painfully flat when they step on others' toes by say, openly questioning their boss in a meeting, or picking apart everything their significant other says. This is further complicated by ENTPs' unyielding honesty, as this type doesn't mince words and cares little about being seen as sensitive or compassionate.(The number of times Olin will come home to me and then talk about how he got into an argument with a higher-up at work seriously confounds me, I will never be able to understand how he does it or why he enjoys it!!)

  • ENTPs get excited and enthusiastic about their ideas, and are able to spread their enthusiasm to others. In this way, they get the support that they need to fulfill their visions. ENTPs are less interested in developing plans of actions or making decisions than they are in generating possibilities and ideas. Following through on the implementation of an idea is usually a chore to the ENTP. For some ENTPs, this results in the habit of never finishing what they start.

Finally, I think the part that I really couldn't believe but was secretly very thrilled about:

  • Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENTP's natural partner is the INFJ, or the INTJ.

Hahaha! Guess we're just meant to be.
kira miyuki
17 November 2014 @ 01:28 pm
So today makes it a month sine I've come back home from Japan!

Japan was way more amazing than I thought it would be. I mean, I have wanted to go to to Japan since I was a five years old watching shows like Soko Ga Shiritaiwith my grandfather on the Japanese television network, but my only other experience with visiting a place I've only dreamed of was when I got to spend a few days in New York City, which left me with a feeling of, "Huh, okay, so that's what it's like," and a very slight feeling of, not so much disappointment, but a lack of surprise. Things I thought would surprise me in New York as I'd never experienced them before (seeing huge skyscrapers, being in close proximity to so many people at once, subways, etc) only left me feeling like, "Yeah, of course this happens. Yeah, of course that exists." I expected to feel something similar about Japan, but it was completely different. I loved literally every single thing about Japan, from the architecture to the way people ride escalators. This may sound like an exaggeration, but because of my depression, I really didn't think I could even feel the emotion of "wonder" anymore... but so many things in Japan left me with a sense of awe. Just being able to feel that one more time makes me want to cry, because I didn't think it was possible for my brain to process that emotion anymore.

I also feel like time passed by really slowly while I was there, mostly because, I think, for the literally the first time in my life (excluding childhood, I suppose), I was actually living in the moment, in the present, enjoying simply just existing and not worrying about anything in the future. I think that living in the moment, more than anything was the most surprising and life-changing thing for me. I have tried to explain it to a few people, and I'll try again now: but I can't recall a single time in the past eleven years (or basically, since I hit puberty and developed my lovely crippling chronic depression) that I have been completely and without a doubt </span>happy. I would describe the positive emotions I've felt in most of my adult life these past few years as being 'content' or 'pleased.' I feel like most of my emotional states are divided into "satisfied" and "not satisfied", with suicidal thoughts at the extreme end of the 'not satisfied' spectrum, and nothing at the extreme 'satisfied' end. That is, 'happiness' existed completely out of reach on my emotional spectrum - something other people feel but that I no longer do. At my best, the best emotional state on the 'satisfied' end of my emotional spectrum has been 'there is nothing to immediately stress about/have anxiety from so I am pleased and relaxed,' but I have never, not once, felt happy. That may sound kind of morbid, but it isn't really. I should emphasize that the absence of feeling happy doesn't mean that I have been sad these past few years. Not being able to feel 'happy' has been my reality since age 11, and again, like wonder, this was an emotion I have never expected to ever feel.

Anyway, so - in Japan, for an amazing, mind-blowing six and a half weeks, I was happy and living in the present. I was happy with where I was, with who I was, with everything. I was able to visit the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo, and Yokohama. I got to meet up with my high school friend Lukas, and I spent an amazing weekend with him in Tokyo, staying in his tiny studio apartment in Nishiwaseda. I was nervous about spending three days in such close proximity with another person since I, like all other introverts, need to spend time alone to recharge, but everything about my visit with him was fun and stress-free. I've made really dear friends with a girl from Ireland, a girl from Australia, and a guy from Korea (although he doesn't speak any English whatsoever, so all my text conversations with him are in Japanese and thus take me forever to write, ha!). Maybe someday I'll write more about it and everyone, although I'm afraid if I spend too much time reminiscing about Japan, I'll always stay living in the past...

So. Being able to feel emotions I'd never thought I'd feel again, being able to live in the present - something I'd never thought I'd be able to do - all of this has put my life into perspective. Now that I know happiness is an attainable state of existence for me, I want to achieve it again. Knowing that I can live in the present, that it is actually possible for me to do and not just some far-fetched life advice you see pop up in quote photos on Facebook - I want to do it again. And a lot of my behaviors and situations here at home are not conductive to that end.

One of the main things that has been hindering this has been work. Earlier this year, I liked my job, I enjoyed my co-workers, I was proud of the promotions I had received, and best of all, I could handle going to work everyday and not feel like I wanted to kill myself (see: Target, Gamestop). Only, a month or two before I left for Japan, our store started to switch over to a commission system, so I came back to work with that commission in full swing. As you'd expect, the allure of monetary compensation for the amount of sales you make has turned a store full of 18-29 year old women into a fucking madhouse of highschool backstabbing, shit-talking, and cattiness. Eight managers/supervisors left in the time I was gone from work, mostly because they disagreed with the system and the direction the company is heading in. That was the biggest red flag for me - and so last week, I put in my two weeks. I am saying good-bye to everything I have worked so hard for in the past year, but I can't deal with the toxic environment at work, and I don't want to devote any more energy to it when I could be using that energy on something better. My last day of work is this Saturday, and while I am nervous that I'm quitting RIGHT before the holidays and will thus be broke for Christmas, I think actually having free time is going to make up for that.

Anyway, I need to go get get ready for my closing shift tonight. Of course, now that I have a last day, work has been pretty fun and everyone is pretty cool with me (because I am no longer a threat to their commission money, basically), so I don't mind so much. Still, I am so excited to be done...!
kira miyuki
22 July 2014 @ 01:58 am
Also because I'm not sleepy, here's this year in art!! I guess I'll pick up where I left off last time...

all kine giant picturesCollapse )