about me

Photo taken in Sri Lanka, by Ryan Matsumoto of Hawaiian Ryan Productions

When I was 17, I thought the world was my oyster.  Little did I know, I’d be thrust into the world without an oyster opener and a life-threatening psychological shellfish allergy.  I graduated from Harvard early so that I could have my entire 20s to put my hands on the world, write about it, and buy a mountain cottage with a yard big enough for my rescued-from-third-world-countries dog pack.

A decade later, my hands are covered in burns and callouses.  They are kitchen hands, climber hands, hands that are fluent in the international language of the high-five.  Most of my professional experience has involved working with at-risk youth.  I have counseled and educated teenagers through mental illness, drug addiction, birth control options, and prom angst.  I have taught Shakespeare at a college preparatory school; I have taught the Bulgarian alphabet to Roma (gypsy) children in Eastern Europe.  I have worked as a cook and baker at health food markets in Bellevue and HonoluluTurbo Kickbox instructor, orphan social worker, broadcast journalism intern, magazine editorial assistant, Ms. Hee, Counselor Jenn, one-time fitness model—I have tried on all these identities.  Much like thongs, some fit better than others.

Today, I am a natural foods cook and baker, a freelance writer, and an egg donor.  (The latter brings home the soy bacon.)

I am keeping this simple: I live in Honolulu.  I have three dogs, an ’88 Camry, an ’85 road bike, more books than clothes, more climbing gear than climbing skills, and a yellow hula hoop.  This past year, I went to India (monks), Sri Lanka (orphans), San Francisco (wedding, eggs), Maryland (baby), San Diego (eggs).  In 2010, I hope to go back to Bulgaria, and turn 31 with more grace than I turned 30, which involved a year of hysteria that neither Pessoa, genius, or Twilight could soothe.

30.

30 is my first guitar, a black Fender birthday present from three women who think I should both a writer and backyard Indigo Girl. Instead of deadly staring at the screen when I lose my words, now I have chords to hold onto.

30 is three flashes of both hands, which can be mistaken for the international gesture for STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Whenever I feel this life is a lawn that goes on and on, covering the ground, my bike, townhouses, canals, Starbucks, trees and skyscrapers.

And that all I do is water and water, watering with my last drop of hope, and still nothing grows.

I will tell myself: Hey, lady–stop thinking in existential metaphors.  There is no meaning, only an ulcer where your soul should be. Pain is just a side effect of breathing; stop shaking the universe, hoping to get your quarter back.

Your quarter’s gone, bitch.

But maybe I dialed the wrong number.

I should have called collect.

Is this thing on?

Universal reception really sucks.

I hear my voice on the other end, echoing over my voice: Happiness is a trick. Love is a trick. Free will is a trick. Fall for all of it.  Falling is the only way to stand.

(Well: I tried to keep it simple.)

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4 Responses to “about me”

  1. Sigghghhhhhhh. FINALLY I’ve learned that you are BAAACCCKKKKK.

    Well. Thank GOD.

    It was getting lonely here in cyberspace.

  2. Totally awesome mind opening piece. Metaphors seem to be your forté…adding impact to graceful prose (not an oxymoron) always does the audience a favor.

    Regarding the content and context, at the end of the day, so many of us are stuck with the accumulated mass of intangible garbage floating around so merrily in our cognition center-we don’t know what to do.

    This is why exercise is so important, healthy and awesome. It helps clear things up, like an incenerator on autopilot.

    Keep climbing high.

  3. Good to have you back… as always I adore your writing…

    Keep on falling…

    xoxo
    Jen

  4. Awaiting your first novel. Stop mucking around.


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