Just wanted to share some quick updates!
I've been busy earning some papers - degrees that is! All the way from Oahu, I earned an AA in Hawaiian Studies from Windward College; I just completed my certificate in Starting a Nonprofit Organization; and I've been accepted to University of Hawai'i West 'Oahu to complete a BA in Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Studies!
And after completing my reign as Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego, I will be running for this year's Miss Heiva San Diego!
I'm still working with Reva Event where I've earned a promotion, and will be working towards creating my own NPO. For the summer, I will be emceeing the Catamaran Luau with Pride of Polynesia (see be sure to see us on Tuesdays and Fridays, June 24-Sept 2). I am also the lead choreographer and performer for the new band, Slack Key Ohana! Check out my instagram for updates on new shows and performances!
Welp, those are the big updates!
Here Comes 2022!
2022! I know I've been M.I.A for a while, at least from the Sincerely Alana realm, and I'm not sure if that will truly change. I haven't written since the end of 2019 on this forum and realizing how long it's been is a little surreal. My life feels very different since then.
During the end of 2019 I was facing a lot of change and felt very unmotivated to continue sharing my life when I didn't truly understand what my life was even becoming. Then of course covid happened and my life, as all of our lives did, continued to transform into something new and uncomfortable. We were all tested and with the struggles and political climate that 2020 brought, I knew that I needed to hop back on Sincerely Alana and create videos to address these topics. I was fortunate enough to receive unemployment pay and benefits, and I took full advantage of not working to immerse myself in finishing school by taking 25 units per semester, a full load of classes over summer, starting my AA in Hawaiian Studies at Windward Community College, and earning a spot on SDSU's Mortar Board.
It was a very busy year for me involving a lot of work, research, and advocacy. I enjoy diving into education and working on so many topics, but there was a point in the year when it felt like I was just going through the motions and I could no longer tell if I was doing the work to take advantage of my extra time and get ahead of my goals, or if I was using it all as a distraction from everything else that was going on. There are moments when it still bothers me but at the end of the day, it shouldn't take away from the tremendous amount of work and effort that I put into 2020 and all the success and lessons that came out of it.
Unfortunately, one thing that continues to follow me around is that pesky imposter syndrome. I've had some major milestones in the last three years and I can't fully embrace these wins, especially in the moments when they're happening. I'm able to look back and say "Wow I really did that, I'm amazing" but when I should be present in those wins, I feel like a fraud or like it's no big deal. Knowing that this is a problem for me, I've been trying to celebrate the small wins - like giving myself a pat on the back for finishing essays/ work or making a nice dinner after cleaning the house all day - and doing more to celebrate the major wins (more to come on those big wins and celebrations in a bit).
Although 2020 was an okay year with some pretty major steps and accomplishments, I ended the year on a ROUGH note. I was extremely depressed and felt hopelessly lonely. Parts of me wish I shared more about those feelings as they were happening. I mean, it's in my mission statement that this site and my work on Sincerely Alana is to help others who experience these struggles and reassure them that they are not alone. I've said in previous videos that I struggled with depression during my adolescence, but it had been a while since I felt that hopeless and it was overwhelming how much it affected me. I didn't have the energy to share with anyone let alone the community and internet. I think I should take a moment now to briefly describe how I moved through this time and the steps I had to take on my healing journey.
First, I completely broke down. I feel like a hypocrite at times because I know how important it is to feel your emotions - I always encourage others to do it and offer my own shoulder to cry on, but me myself, I have a really hard time crying. I don't know why but I hit a block, regardless of being with others or by myself, I can't cry. So, when I finally broke down, I couldn't stop crying for a week. I had to feel all the sadness. And then I talked about it. I felt like a burden on my family and friends and decided to start therapy. I wish I could say therapy helped me, but it actually did very little for me because I wasn't matched with a good therapist. Then, I continued to run into issues with finding a new therapist and continuing care. (This was just my experience and I'm still a strong proponent for therapy. I will ALWAYS recommend that people try it.) I took a different route than a lot of people I know and decided to start seeing a spiritual healing massage therapist. She really turned things around for me and helped with my mind, body, and soul connection. I still go in for my healing sessions and I think the biggest "aha" moment has been realizing the trauma and emotion that is stuck in parts of your body. (I can write an entire post about this later!) The next big step in my healing journey was committing to doing something nice for myself twice a week, focusing on my wants, and keeping track of my mood.
I know that wasn't exactly short, however it was a significant and emotional time in the last few years and it's crazy to think about how my life started to quickly turn around once my healing journey really kicked off. 2021 was incredible. Focused on growth and my health, but also reaching some truly incredible accomplishments. I moved into my first place with just Alex and I, celebrated my 23rd birthday with family and friends, was chosen as Outstanding Graduating Senior and gave the commencement speech for SDSU's Department of Sociology, I graduated twice (BA in Sociology and Anthropology from SDSU with summa cum laude in Spring 2021 and AA in Hawaiian Studies from Windward in Fall 2021), was selected to serve as Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego 2021 (Queen), started working for Maeva Tours and Reva Event, and even did a little bit of travelling. It's a LOT! 2021 showed me that hard work really does pay off, that it's important to stay true to who you are, and that real recognize real. With all that being said, there's been a lot of opportunities that have presented themselves and I feel very blessed to be faced with the predicament of needing to pick and choose and decide what comes next.
I'm not sure what's coming next, but I know that I want to take this year to learn more about who I'm becoming. Work hard to get to my next big goals while taking the time to have fun, balance my priorities, and grow with whatever new projection life presents to me this year.
I hope I do write more on here and that I feel motivated to continue Sincerely Alana in one way or another. I can't make any promises yet or commit to any projects or deadlines when it comes to SA, but I hope that it can evolve into something new, something bigger and better than ever. Until that inspiration comes to me, I wish you all a Hau'oli Makahiki Hou and thank you for your continued love and support.
Another work trip, and this was definitely my favorite one! This one felt like a major milestone for me because of all the firsts that took place. It was my first time on a cruise, the first major event that I was in charge of, the first one that I was the only supporting staff for, the first time I spoke on a real estate panel, and the first time feeling truly confident travelling and networking by myself. And this trip was especially important because it everyone there for the event truly bonded. Even after leaving AREAA, I'm still in contact with some of these people and have friends from all over the world now. Another cool part of this trip was that it was the last trip of my already amazing, travelling summer, and the day after I returned home would be my first day at SDSU.
First thing's first, I went from San Diego to New Orleans where I stayed at the beautiful 'The Mercantile' hotel. And full transparency, theEDGE leader who put the event together with me had a little bit of an emergency with expected number of attendees. We had to powwow the day before the cruise event that night in New Orleans where we rearranged the entire schedule and put together a new program to better fit the audience.
The next day was boarding day. We were on a Carnival cruise heading to Cozumel, Mexico. We took the time to meet with a few of the attendees for drinks while we waited for our rooms to be ready. This is when I got to meet some of our sponsors for the first time and they quickly became friends. The rooms were ready and they were beautiful. It was a nice touch to send out event attendees a bottle of champagne, a bottle of wine, and some chocolate covered strawberries. Then I had to hop online and work remotely for the majority of the day before meeting everyone for dinner.
The following day was the day of the event. I woke up early, made sure our conference room was set up, and then was thrown to speak on a millennial real estate panel... I was so nervous because I really don't know anything about real estate. I'm only an event coordinator after all. But then the conversation started, the questions were asked, and I didn't do half bad. After, I asked one of the guests what they thought and they said that my perspective was refreshing... I was shocked. That jolt of confidence helped me for the rest of the trip. I was networking, kept the show running, and proved myself as the youngest person there.
The following days passed almost too fast as we had a great, relaxing day at sea and then an excursion at Cozumel. I paid to go to the Tulum ruins, an anthropological site (I figured it would be a great way to see an important place before starting my semester at State), and a few of my new friends joined me. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of excursions if you have the money. We were a little cranky towards the end of the excursion because of the heat and we felt we were left at the site a little too long. We would've liked to see more of the surrounding area near the port, which our other friends did and had just as great of a time.
Our free time on the boat was filled with tanning, lots of food, drinks, laughter, and great memories. By the way, definitely splurge on the unlimited drink passes. They aren't really unlimited but you get 15 drinks a day which is more than fair for all the drinks you could get. I can't believe how much fun we had and how close we all got. We hung out at the pool deck, the water slide, dinners every night, we went to a comedy club, the piano bar, the actual club, and just hung out all the time. It was refreshing to have such a great experience while doing so many things that I've never done before.
If you have the opportunity to travel with a group of people that you only know through association... do it! You could make friendships that last a lifetime and many memories that certainly will.
Getting fired is something that no one wants to go through, but unfortunately it still happens to most of us at least once in our lives. Of course it's always preferred that your workplace provide you with a two week notice, but sometimes you could be fired right on the spot with or without severance! You might be stable in the other areas of your life, or your life could be unstable. There's a million different situations in which you could be left in after being fired, but below are some of my tips and tricks on how to cope and get through this time until you find your next career move!
Make a Budget
If you get severance or not, it's important to look at all of your assets, income, and bills. Make a budget where you list all of your bills and daily expenses, and then compare that with the amount of money you currently have. How long can it hold you over for? What's the length of time until you'll be out of money? Making a budget prevents you from blowing through your funds and helps you create a timeline. With that timeline, you now have a feasible goal by which you need to get a job by.
Take the Time to Prioritize and Reevaluate
It's completely okay to use your newfound free time to relax and enjoy being not busy. But make sure that you carve out some time to prioritize the other things in your life. Figure out what's most important to you and where you want to spend the majority of your time. This will help guide you in your decision when picking from all of your job opportunities.
Don't Shut Yourself Out!
If you're really struggling with the loss of your job, I think it's extremely important to stay in contact with your friends and family. Talk to them about what happened and continue to talk through your feelings to help deal with the loss. Your friends and family will remind you how amazing you are and will probably help you gain back your confidence. Also be sure to ask them if they know of any open positions! Remember, when it comes to finding work, a big factor includes the people that you know.
I think it's also beneficial to look for networking groups and connect with other people in your field. You never know who you'll meet and the opportunities that might arise. I've been to a few networking groups like "Content and Connect," and at the end of the day I've made new connections, have ideas for new content, and a bunch of cool pictures to look back on.
Start Prepping Right Away
Even if you don't want to start working right away, start prepping immediately! Update your resume, make sure your listed references are up to date, and throw your resume on job websites. You don't have to start applying if you're not ready, but when you are, at least you know you have accurate information and that in reality... you really are ready!
Be patient when it comes to finding a job. Be patient with your emotions as you go through the loss.
And if you have the money and the ability, don't be scared to take advantage of the time off. Use that time to rediscover what you want and spend it doing the things you love. Spend time with your family and do your best to TRULY enjoy this time off. Remember, be patient. Don't waste this time stressing out over the loss of your job or a finding a new job. Use the time to be patient with yourself and enjoy your life. Life is not about working your butt off all day, it's about doing the things that you love.
Places to Eat in Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach, or PB, is a San Diego favorite! For those of you who aren't familiar with PB or are visiting San Diego, here's a list of some of my favorite PB destinations! After a day on the beach be sure to head to any of these places for a continued San Diego experience.
Other Breakfast and Brunch places
Lunch and Dinner
Bars and Nightlife
I hope that my recommendations help you explore one of my favorite places in San Diego and that you create great memories with your friends and family.
Do you have any favorites that aren't listed? Add them in the comments below!
1st Time in New York City
What a dream! New York City has been at the top of my travel wish list since I was a little girl. I wish I could've made a Sincerely Travel video, but I really needed to keep this trip as private as possible. As you know from my last blog post, I've been through A LOT recently. When the opportunity presented itself to get a cheap vacation, I jumped on the chance. So, let me tell this story from the beginning.
I was invited to be a plus one at a wedding in Boston, and I was very hesitant to accept this invitation at first. I had just gotten out of my relationship with Alex and the person who asked me was a member with AREAA. Well, later that same day that I was invited, I was fired because the organization was completely terminating my position. It took a little convincing from my other AREAA friends, but I soon accepted the invitation. The idea then came to me to extend my stay on the east coast for a few days (if I didn't have another week left of school, I probably would've stayed an extra week or two and just enjoyed some free time that I've never had before). When talking to one of my friends about the extension, he offered to have me hang out in New York. I was 100% in! Like I said, New York has always been a dream of mine so I had to jump on the chance to go.
I battled with myself quite a bit because I was nervous to go and was scared of hurting Alex, but at the end of the day, I knew that this trip was for me, myself, and I. I needed a chance to escape my reality and experience something new. I'm so glad I did. I don't want to share too many details but believe me when I say there is a reason for everything. If you ever get the chance to travel somewhere for free and have an opportunity to live out one of your dreams, you MUST do it! One of my dreams or fantasies when I was little was imagining myself in a New York apartment watching snow fall from the sky... it doesn't seem like anything crazy, but when I lived that, it was absolutely magical.
Now for some details from the trip. I flew into Boston and stayed at the Intercontinental Boston for the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception that led to a night full of dancing and meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces. One of the best parts about working for a national or international organization is making friends from all over the world.
The next morning, we took a charter bus to New York City. It took 6 hours and I fell asleep on the bus after reading a few chapters (a girl still has to make time for school). But I woke up just in time to look out my window and see the New Yorker hotel and it's large, vintage sign. It was straight out of a dream. I then took a cab to the apartment that I was staying at and outside the window was a perfect view of the subway passing by- exactly how I imagined my New York apartment to look. While I was settling in, it started snowing! San Diego girl... never really seen snow fall from the sky, especially for there to be enough that I could run around in and catch snowflakes on my tongue. It was perfect.
I took an Uber to Barclays Center where I met my friend for the Nets game. We ended up in a suite where some of his business associates were networking and watching the game. After that it was back to the apartment where I ordered takeout and lived out my best "Friends" New York City fantasy. The next morning, I woke up and visited Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, the Public Library, Bryant Park, 5th Ave, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall, all of which I definitely recommend you visit. It was a lot to squeeze into a short amount of time before my flight that night - which was delayed! With the delayed flight I was able to see more than was actually planned for, but it made the trip home and school the next morning a little tough. Don't worry, I'll post a "what to do when your flight gets delayed" blog later.
Through and through, New York City was an amazing time and even more breathtaking city. My only regret is not being able to see everything but I can guarantee you that I will definitely be going back (fingers crossed sooner rather than later). Also, if you're ever in a rut, don't be scared to take some time to travel by yourself and take some space to clear your head. It doesn't solve your problems, but it definitely doesn't hurt to get some clarity. Sometimes, all you need is distance and privacy.
Since I was a little girl, writing was always my go- to way of expressing myself and escaping from the rest of the world.