When There Is No Closure.

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Hello, all.  In the wake of recent events, KP has decided to take a break from social media (for my Facebook friends and followers, I will be back), and focus on her writing and offline life. Very recently, a relationship/friendship ended very abruptly; and in its aftermath I am trying to put some of the pieces back together.  It’s almost like an arm or a leg was cut off, and I’m feeling the effects of phantom-limb-syndrome.  For those who know the feeling all too well (and for those who don’t), it runs along the lines of: They were just there!  We were talking and communicating and suddenly they decided they didn’t want me in their life anymore!  What did I do?  What wasn’t “enough” about me for them?  Was I not kind/considerate/attractive/Christian/insert-adjective-of-choice-here-enough for them?  How are they just gone?  What happened? I have done things in my life I am not proud of; and I can remember just about every major incident where I was a really shitty person.  However, when it has come to really cultivating friendships and relationships were I believed there was potential, I don’t believe I have ever done an emotional 180 on someone, and so I can’t identify with that modus operandi.  

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Back in 2011, I began Kinpatsu Oneesan as a travel blog, but over time it has evolved to include satire, humor, opinions, and personal experiences and observations.  Even if writing only remains a lifelong hobby, I believe that in order to become a better writer, we have to share what we know to be true so we can connect with others.  Part of this is sharing our failures…and part is sharing the journey to healing.  And sometimes, you know, I’ll hear the right voice in my heart, the voice toward the path of healing and growth, but the voices of self-doubt just as readily creep in (especially in the early stages of grief), and I think getting these words down is part of the path.  Kind of like, “Fake it ’til you make it.”  Even if I don’t 100% believe it just yet, I know it’s the truth and the right way and if I just go over it again and again and constantly re-affirm it, I will eventually believe it fully.  And maybe there are some people who are hurting in the same way in this world, and maybe they can identify and/or find solace in these words.

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For my readers who have been left hurt, confused, and damaged by people who were too self-absorbed/thought they were entitled to behave in thoughtless and careless behavior, although maybe now these words can not alleviate the heartache they have dealt, know this: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I know what it feels like to wait for a phone call that never comes, an apology that is never given.  To desire closure when there is none.

I know what it is like to be ignored; like an annoying itch or some minor nuisance.  To be degraded down to that by another human is awful and perhaps one of the greatest blows to the Ego.  “If I just ignore them, maybe they’ll just get the hint and go away.”  Or, “If I can nitpick them and continue to find as many flaws as I can, I can convince myself they’re all wrong and get the hell out of this.  I can shirk the responsibility of dealing with the realities of this relationship in a healthy, adult manner and just project my own emotional issues and self-loathing onto this person.”  This is cruel and belittling, especially by one who has professed to be a friend and has gained our trust and confidence in that they supposedly care about us and our lives and feelings.  For some people, this can turn into emotional abuse.

None of this is about us, which is so hard to accept, right?  When you hear people say, “Don’t take it personally!” it’s like, “Are you kidding me?  This is a relationship/friendship/family tie–how much more f*%king personal does it get?!”

But it’s still not about us.  How other people treat us is a reflection of who they are.  Ignoring, not communicating, the vanishing act, etc., are actions indicative of people who have respect issues.  Remember, you are a living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being.  Not a novelty toy.  Not something hat gets discarded when its initial shine has worn off. And so, for all of those who have had a friend/significant other/family member just disengage, here is your closure: Selfish people take selfish actions.

*** images Oftentimes, there is no ill-will or malice involved with these flip-floppers, but there’s also no ownership of actions either.  They most likely have issues they are dealing with, but that’s NOT AN EXCUSE to make others emotional collateral.  All actions have consequences.  We must not be afraid to stand behind that truth. -With kindness and healing, KP

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Forgiveness is Freedom

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I was raised Catholic; on a scale of 1-to-Natural-Family-Planning, I’d say we fell somewhere roughly in between always eating fish on Fridays and reenacting crucifixion scenes in school for fun.  Catholicism didn’t turn out to be the right match for me, but it did introduce a subject that has followed me and evolved in my life as I’ve gotten older–forgiveness.

The problem with the Catholic idea of forgiveness for me was that it seemed to be about forgiving other people because the creator had forgiven you (basically for just existing), and I didn’t quite understand this logic.  It was as if forgiveness was owed as some sort of karmic debt to a mystical Don Vito Corleone I had never met and didn’t understand what I had done to piss him off.  Hadn’t he adequately punished me enough when he decided that I would be born with the hair of the lovechild between Gene Wilder and Harpo Marx!?  unnamed

(For the record, I was really unattractive between ages 1-25.)

Seriously, what had embryonic-me done that was so bad that I was in this constant state of reprimand?  “You embryonic glutton!!  Your glucose consumption has reached heights of the likes never seen–repent now!!”

(I actually googled “embryonic gluttony” to see what would come up; I can’t believe I had the nerve to do that knowing what the internet usually yields.  Here is a picture I found:)

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In all seriousness, I have never felt that forgiveness is something you owe to anyone, actually.  What I have found to be true in my life, is that forgiveness is ultimately about myself, and not anyone else.  Being able to honestly and fully forgive has come down to allowing myself to finally be freed from negative influences in my life, and also being able to forgive myself for whatever negative beliefs I held about myself or my actions.  It has nothing to do with being noble, or “choosing the high road.”  It just came down to getting to a point where I could let go of the things that were weighing me down.  I think maybe for some of us, that point comes quickly, for some it takes much longer, and for others, it never comes.  It doesn’t make us better or worse for however long we take, or don’t take, we are the ones who ultimately have the key to lessening our suffering.  Everyone experiences life in their own way and in their own time, and I can only speak from my experiences, but I offer these words up to anyone dealing with similar issues, or anyone just looking for another viewpoint.  Or anyone who really just wanted to see a side-by-side comparison of me, Gene Wilder, and Harpo Marx.

Even though my days of crucifying my friends for fun are long gone, I think there are important takeaways from many world beliefs, regardless of whether we identify as religious/spiritual/Pastafarian/whatever.  Suffering and learning to grow from it is a universal component of being human, and ultimately, part of building our ethical character is that we have to learn what works best for us in order to do so.  In the Bible, one of my favorite passages remains Ecclesiastes 3:

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

We forgive in our own time, and we accept the freedom it yields in our own time.

Weirdmaste, my friends.

-KP

Tsukiji Fish Market

Oh my goodness I think it’s been over a MONTH since I’ve last written! My job has kept me quite busy–not much travel since China but I do have a little to write about. I refuse to talk about work on here because it’s actually quite dreadful at times, but something of note did occur recently. I was selected among many applicants to begin pursuing a much more specialized pipeline. What that means for me is more opportunities and MORE TRAVEL! Because let’s face it, that’s what really motivates me at the end of the day.

Another item of note is that within the last few weeks I’ve drastically changed my diet. Unfortunately my worst vice is I am an avid Coke Zero drinker, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to kick the habit just yet, but I’ve really begun to incorporate much more tea and water into my daily routine. Green tea, Oolong tea, and Peppermint tea are my favorites. Tea is one of those things you actually can drink as much as you want of; and Green Tea actually has hydrating properties. All teas have health benefits because of their anti-oxidants, including but not limited to catalysts for weight loss, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. You can read more about the health benefits of tea here.

I’ve also been incorporating much more protein, potassium, and healthy lipids into my diet, and it’s helped me lose a few of those stubborn pounds that I’ve been trying to lose for years. For me, since I am a distance runner, I often find I am plagued with painful cramps in my calves after runs. Potassium greatly alleviates this problem. With regard to weight loss, the secret is there is no secret. A healthy diet and exercise are ultimately what it comes down to. With the emphasis placed on DIET.

Anyway, on to the travel! This weekend we made our way up to Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, which is the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. The market opens up at 3 AM and products are shipped in from all over the world.

We stayed in the APA Hotel nearby, which was affordable and clean. The rooms were quite small (typical of Japanese hotels), yet convenient with comfortable beds.

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And no Japanese hotel room is complete without the attention to detail:

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We left our hotel at 3:45 AM only to find the tickets for the daily auction (starting at 5:20 AM) were already sold out by 3:15! So we took a walk by the Tsukiji Shrine, ate some fresh, early morning sushi at a nearby restaurant, and made our way back to our hotel for a few more hours of sleep before returning later that day.

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Specialized knives for cutting fish for sale in Tsukiji Market

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More adventures to follow!