Documenting Underwater Field Work in Ta’u

Documenting Underwater Field Work in Ta’u

Just wanted to share some photos from back in March, when I went to the Manu’a islands to document marine sanctuary field work for education and outreach.

This was from day 1 of our field work. The science team conducted reef monitoring surveys within the marine sanctuary area at Ta’u; counting fish species and checking coral health. Ian and I snorkeled above them, trying to capture photos and videos of their work to create new outreach materials. Luckily, the visibility was pretty good too. I definitely felt very lucky to be able to do this for work!

Where I Get It From (Mom and Dad)

Where I Get It From (Mom and Dad)

Now that I’m moderately older—nearly 30, wow—I can see it more clearly. 

The small things that add up. The parts of me that look and feel familiar. 

From mom: my hands, my sensitivity.

From my dad: my nose, my stubbornness.

Traits I have previously dismissed because I just didn’t see it, but now I can’t deny it. 

These parts of me, and many more, cultivated over time by my genetics, shared DNA, even the learned behavioral antics. 

More recently, I’ve been pondering on the attributes  I see in my parents that make them who they are, and how these are reflected in my own mannerisms, thought process, attitude, and personality. 

Come to think of it, I wonder what traits my parents saw in themselves from their parents… I’ll have to ask them.

Like so many others, I realized that my parents were far from perfect during my formative years.

There were times when they’d make me feel like anything was possible… when they took me traveling, or when they taught me a new skill.

But there were also times when I dreaded even communicating honestly with my parents… with their outdated beliefs and their silent treatments, and  I wished to be nothing like them.

And as if through a looking glass, I wonder if what I see in them will be what becomes of me in the next five, ten, or twenty years when I go through my own iterations of the same chapters of life.

I think that I’ll ultimately have to decide for myself who I want to be as I continue to grow and learn who I am.

While I’m growing more certain of the power I have over my own choices, I’m definitely influenced by them — this is really where I get it from — I am my own version of my mom and dad.

Life Lately: Let Me Upgrade You

Life Lately: Let Me Upgrade You

Hello hello!

It’s been a verrrry long while since I’ve sat down to ramble and write out my life lately updates, so I don’t really know where to begin! I’ve shared photo diaries scattered here and there over the last several months, but the transition from 2020 to 2021 has been just strange for me. I feel a very delayed fatigue coming on, and I’m trying to kick that by focusing on myself again. I need to do less scrolling, less routine, less overthinking, less daydreaming, and more going outside, more basking in the morning and evening light, more journaling, more photography, just… more of the stuff that makes me happy…

Anyway, here are a few updates to note from my life lately…

Upgraded my laptop

I got the new MacBook Pro 13″ M1 as a gift to myself for my 29th birthday. I’ve been contemplating this upgrade for a long while, and also considered getting an iPad Pro too, but alas, my budget is already tight and I’m on my laptop almost every single day, so I found it to be a worthy investment. Not exactly the most exciting life update, but I think this will allow me to make my work flow more efficient, and I’m planning to compile some captured life moments through videos too (my old laptop could not hold up with the slow processor).

Married Life and Wedding Plans

As most people know by now, I officially married the man of my dreams in November 2020. It was a beautiful and intimate “minimony” attended only by a very few friends on island, my parents, and our family and wedding parties on Zoom. We kept it super low-key because we planned to still have our big wedding celebration, which is once again getting postponed to next year. Third time’s a charm, right?!

People have been asking me, “how’s married life?” And my honest answer is that it’s really great actually! I feel very lucky to have found my soulmate and lover in one person, who is now my husband. Ooooh husband — that word… During the first couple months, calling him my husband felt strange and formal. I had just gotten used to calling my my fiancé… or my ex-boyfriend… and suddenly (not suddenly) he became my husband, and the jargon felt both familiar and unfamiliar. I savored every mention of the word; I rolled it over my tongue like wine. Now, the word husband falls from my lips like honey, dripping sweet and golden. It warms me to call him my husband.

We’ve been together for nearly seven years now. We’ve grown up since then, and grown closer each year with patience, understanding, and lots of laughter and communication. We’ve definitely argued through some of the last seven years, but we always get through it together. Our relationship isn’t perfect, but it’s full of love and trust, and that’s all I ever really wanted.

a baby, maybe?

Let me preface by saying, I’m not pregnant… yet! Not indulging in too many details on this because it still feels a little weird for me to share these big life decisions online. I do tend to keep these things private, and I’d hate to jinx myself! Not that I’m superstitious or anything… but part of me also doesn’t even know what to expect. I’m just simply excited for my husband and I to be on this next level together, planning for our future. I’ve always wanted to be a momma… actually, I’ve always wanted to be a grandma, but first things first (lol). It feels very grown up to be here, but it’s exciting and we’ll see what happens!

Other than these bigger updates, I don’t have much else to report… I’ve been taking things one day at a time, living life the best I can: enjoying sun-filled snorkels, rainy day reflections, spurts of creative flow, and tidying up my home as I go. More photo journals to come!