Questions: Answered

87e0f-blogtemberBlogtember Topic of the Day: Take this short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account – click “click to view” under “You” and “self awareness and personal growth.” You can even google your type and find more info on it!) Ask others to submit questions that they’d like to know about you or have you answer, then answer them all, truthfully and honestly.

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.”
Marvin Gaye

  1. What do you miss about the Marine Corps?
    I would have to say that I definitely miss the camaraderie the most. I also miss leading Marines and being a mentor. Another random thing that I recall doing that I don’t feel I can do in the civilian world is that when I would see a Marine walking in the middle of nowhere, I would pull over and offer them a ride to wherever they were headed. In the civilian world that wouldn’t only be creepy, but you’d never know about the type of person that individual is/would be either. Nothing beats how much I miss the people, however. Regardless of some of the difficulties, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

    General Account - Okinawa (2008)
    General Account – Okinawa (2008)

  2. Do you ever think about what life would be like had you stayed in? Do you ever think about going back in?
    I used to think about that a lot during my first couple of years out, as it was definitely quite the transition. Even today, I still feel myself get a bit frustrated when people and professors are late, and I kind of live vicariously through a friend that’s currently a DI at MCRD San Diego. Overall, however, I feel as though that chapter of my life is closed and that this is where I need to be. I didn’t think that I’d come to create such strong bonds with people I’ve met in college, but I’m slightly surprised that I have. I’m also well-aware that during my time in the Marine Corps I’m sure that I wouldn’t have utilized my time in, to go to college, so I feel as though I got out at the right time because I’ll be acquiring my BA within the next year. I used to think that going back in as an officer would be a great fall-back plan for me, but I feel as though I have so many doors opening up for me at the moment that I’d like to explore my other options and see where those paths take me.

    After a day of Zip-lining in Okinawa with my fellow NCOs and MSgt (2009)
  3. Do you see yourself settling in one place and having children? (Because I see you as a traveler, especially since you’re studying Japanese.)
    I don’t see myself settling down at least for the next five years. Growing up I feel like I couldn’t really experience high school life or any after-school activities because I had responsibilities of taking care of my little brother; so this experience makes me want to ensure that I’ve done everything that I want/need to get done before I truly bunker down. One of the main reasons behind why my ex and I broke up was because of the fact that I didn’t want to settle down and have kids yet; and I didn’t enjoy being pressured into a life-long commitment when I know that after I have kids, many of my aspirations would be many times more difficult to accomplish, at least for another 18 years. Re-reading this makes me feel like my answer is such a “typical guy’s response/excuse”.
  4. 4150_528681935294_468072_nDo you speak the native language of the Philippines?
    I actually know more Japanese than I do Tagalog. Surprisingly, I can understand more Tagalog than I can speak. While I was in Okinawa, I took the DLPT (Defense Language Proficiency Test) for Tagalog and managed to earn an extra monthly stipend for the little bit of the language I could interpret and understand. For the most part, since I stopped speaking Tagalog in elementary school, my vocabulary and speaking ability isn’t much different than that of a child’s.
  5. Have you ever been the victim of racism?
    I don’t think racism is as blatant, today as it was in the past. When I was in middle school I had a neighbor call me a ‘ni**er’ in the most derogatory sense possible. I didn’t know what to do, so I got angry, but then I started to cry as they wouldn’t stop calling me that name, and ran inside the house. My grandma was visiting us at the time, and she asked me what had happened. After I told her, she stormed outside and reamed the kid that called me the “N” word. I’ve come to notice that the race card is played a lot, in a lot of scenarios, so I try to brush aside the possibility that someone was just being a douchebag as opposed to an actual racist (who legitimately believes that their ‘race’ is superior to mine or any others’).I have, however, experienced a type of racism (I’ve come to discover through some scholarly research) that’s called silent or quiet racism. Scholars say that what we used to see as blatant racism and discrimination has evolved to become  a bit more tactful, or politically correct, in modern times. Some of the examples given by President Obama, addressed in his speech after the results of the Zimmerman trials, is just a handful of examples that I’ve personally experienced. I’ve experienced people watch me intently when I walk into a store to make sure that I don’t steal, I’ve had people sit idly in their car until they see me walk up to it, and I hear the car doors lock. I’ve also seen women clutch their purses closer to their bodies as I walk by them, and I have also experienced women walk faster when I’m behind them, all to see them stop in their tracks so that I can pass by, then proceed walking behind me. I wouldn’t jump to say that these were all forms of silent racism, but when I can compare these to the plethora of “normal” interactions with people that I’ve experienced – I can’t help but ask myself whether other men and/or have any other Caucasian men experienced this before. Overall, I don’t feel as though racism is very black or white, nor do I find it as concerning as subtle forms of discrimination, these days.Whoa. I didn’t expect this to be so long-winded.
  6. Remember the summer we were at the church like everyday? Didn’t it feel good to belong and have an extended family?
    Yes, I most certainly do, and I believe that was an incredibly fun summer. For the longest time, all I had were my Mom and Juan, so it was a great feeling being able to bring Juan with me and be able to interact with people around my own age, and be a teenager. It was definitely a great feeling of family.
  7. Did it hurt you too when they told us we could no longer help?
    Yeah, it did. I didn’t quite understand what the entire problem was, to be quite honest. I don’t know of many people that could refuse help from people that genuinely have a desire to help out.
  8. Is that why you left? If not, why?
    2665611322_37492025f1 copy Actually, I had continued going to EVCC with the Kagis, but we came to notice that a lot of the sermons were sermons we had already heard, many times before. After a while, we noticed that it had been weeks since we had last heard something new and refreshing and many of the jokes also seemed to be recycled, as well. Then came Ray and Kessa’s divorce which I would speak openly about, but in respect to my relationship with the Kagis, lets just say that the events that unfolded thereafter were enough to break the camel’s back. So, naturally, I also left with the Kagis as I felt like most of the people that I “grew up with” weren’t there anymore, anyway.
  9. Has it effected your relationship with God?
    Not in the slightest. I feel as though my foundation and belief in God is solid, however, my faith in man waivers from time to time, especially after what had happened. (Jeremiah 17:5-6)  Other than that, I believe the first time I went to a new church was in Marine Corps bootcamp and I feel like my experience there was more disappointing than my time at EVCC. I would see handfuls of guys crying and praying to God when they were at the chapel, but then they’d be turn out to be unkind, selfish, and lack proper moral fortitude when we would return to our squad bays. I’ve always kept this in the back of my mind when it came to the idea of how people go about labeling themselves as “Christians”, especially when they don’t act like it. I believe seeing that, hurt my relationship with God more than anything that ever happened at EVCC.
  10. Have you gone to another church since? (I have not, and probably never will, it completely destroyed everything for me).
    I have, actually. I’ve gone with the Kagi’s a few times to New Heights Church in NE Vancouver. The times I have gone have been great, as their sermons are really refreshing, new, and powerful. It’s a fairly large church, and it’s hard to get the sense of community with such a large array of people there, but when I go it’s more for personal growth than personal interactions.
  11. DSCN2824What is your favorite memory of our friendship?
    I can’t remember what it was that we were doing, but I can remember that we were in the back of EVCC where Scott and Becky’s offices were and we were working on something together. Come to think of it, that entire summer was pretty fun, as everything seemed to fly by. It’s sad, because I can’t remember all of the scrupulous details, but I can remember how I felt. Thanks for hanging out with me that summer. It was definitely a fun and memorable one.Another great memory I have, however, was from a time when you and Kori took me to the Oregon Zoo (was there someone else there with us?) and they had the butterfly exhibit. Do you remember? Kori took this picture, and you and I rode on an immobile tractor and acted like hillbillies. Hahahah.
  12. Can you forgive me? I am really really sorry. It’s one of my two life’s regrets – not that that should influence what you but I think (or hope) it shows how deeply embarrassed and sorry I am for it even happening.
    I already replied to you personally, and you should know that I completely forgive you and that it’s all just water under a bridge. I’m sorry that I didn’t even notice that this has weighed so heavy on your heart and I can only hope that my words can help you feel a sense of relief.
  13. Do you have any regrets?
    To be quite honest, I don’t believe I do. I remember when I was 23, I thought to myself that if I didn’t at least give myself the chance to “try out” for the Marine Corps, that come the age 30, I would regret never trying. Thankfully, I followed through with that desire, accomplished it, and now – am not afraid of chasing after my dreams and lifetime goals.
  14. Going along with Roxanne’s questions, why did you leave the Marine Corps?
    I had all of my re-up papers ready, and I thought that once I got my papers I had automatically reserved my required ‘boatspace’. Unfortunately, it isn’t until everything is submitted can a person claim their boatspace, so by the time I realized this, my MOS had filled up and the only two jobs left in the Marine Corps were Counter Intel and Linguist. I have a passion for Japanese, so not knowing what my language would officially be, and knowing my chances of success in Counter Intel (despite it’s ridiculously large ~$80K signing bonus), I figured that I would choose to get out. Prior to this option, however, my SNCOs along with my Master Gunnery Sergeant submitted my package to the General in charge of retention and extensions and we found out that no one was being afforded this opportunity due to the President’s strict policy of cutting down the military forces/size. So, I unfortunately had no other options but to get out. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a lot of great opportunities and experiences outside of the Marine Corps thus far.

    My Going Away Shindig (2010)
  15. Was it different than what you expected? If so, how?
    The Marine Corps was a great experience and it was a lot different than I had initially thought it was going to be. Before I enlisted, I thought that the Marine Corps was an institution of brawn strength, and I boastfully thought that it could use some brains. To my pleasant surprise, however, the Marine Corps may have a handful of actual “Jarheads”, but for the most part is filled with some compassionate and highly intelligent individuals. I honestly believe that some of the most intelligent people that I have ever met during my time in service were 0311 (Infantrymen/Grunts).
  16. What did you take away most from being a Marine?
    I don’t think that I can take my entire four year experience and choose only one thing from my Marine Corps experience. I feel as though there were so many life changing factors that occurred during my experience, but I guess one thing that I hold true to my heart is that no matter who you are, you are capable of accomplishing so much more than your mind limits you to believe. Not only this, but I’ve also come to value the idea of leading by example. These are only a few things that I’ve taken away from my experiences of being a Marine.
  17. What or who most inspires you?DSCN1586
    I find this to be a difficult question to answer for some reason. I feel like in order to find inspiration we have to look at things as a whole and as a collective, rather than coming to the belief or conclusion that one thing is more inspirational than another. So, to answer your question, I find most of my inspiration through just the beauty of everyday life. I think that’s why I enjoy photography so much, because no two photographs are ever the same. Not just that, but you are also able to capture instances that wonder, amaze and inspire. Whether they inspire you to travel abroad, seek out more amazing things, or allot you time to sit and ponder, is all dependent on the individual, I suppose.
  18. Remember that time, when we couldn’t stop laughing during church? Do you remember the joke that Pastor Phil told?
    I do!! But sadly, I don’t remember the joke at all! Do you?!
  19. What is your favorite memory about when we were all at EVCC? Are there any bad memories there?
    My favorite memories at EVCC were spending time with you guys at DIM, Camp Mayfield, VBS, and youth group in general. Everything seemed to come tumbling down after graduation, as our college didn’t seem to support having a college group, which ultimately seemed the most detrimental to everyone as a whole.
  20. Will you post pictures of the inside of your house? (I’m nosy!)
    I’d post more, but I want to answer the rest of the questions/requests! Only seven more to go!! Hahahah.

    My living room

    My kitchen/dining room
  21. Will you post the butterfly on the beach photo that you took? It’s one of my favorite photos!
    This is one of my favorite ones, too. :) 

    Okuma Beach via Nikon Coolpix S4 (2007)
  22. Do/did you take any art classes in college?
    Unfortunately, with my major being International Studies, I haven’t been able to take many art classes. I was, however, able to take a drawing and graphic design class. I smoked most of the other people in that class that were in it for a prerequisite requirement. 
  23. How is your relationship with your little brother?
    My mom and I at Juan’s HS Graduation (2013)

    Personally, I feel like it’s pretty good. It’s not as close as I’d like us to be, but that’s difficult with me being 12 years older than him. I think that now that he’s out of high school we might be able get closer, but with me potentially leaving for Japan next year and him potentially leaving for the Navy next year, it’s almost bitter sweet in a sense. Regardless, I’ll always be there for him regardless of our age and situations.

  24. What is your favorite food?
    Sushi. Hands down! If I had to choose an “American” food, I’d probably pick Broiled Salmon. Ugh, you’ve got me salivating while I type up this blog, Shelly!!
  25. How are you always so happy & optimistic? What are your secrets to happiness?
    That’s a very difficult question for me to answer… Before I even begin, do you have Netflix, Shelly? If you do, I highly recommend that you watch the documentary “Happy”, as it truly opened my eyes to what really matters in life. Anyway, to be quite honest, I try to do everything with a smile and push myself to the best of my physical and mental ability. When I’m happy, or even when I’m sad, I use that energy to be the best person that I can manage myself to be. Not only that, but if I ever question whether something I’m doing is wrong – I always listen to what my conscience tells me and I opt into not doing it. For the most part, I don’t really feel like these are secrets, but are traits, attributes and characteristics that require continuous practice and execution. I also allow myself time to myself so that I can reflect and think without being disturbed. Other than that, I always try to remember that my attitude will affect others, so as others effect me, I do my best to put myself into their shoes so that I can affect them positively. Lastly, I try not to hold onto negative feelings, such as sadness or anger. I like to believe that no matter what happens today or tomorrow, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow from the events that occur. I hope this helped a little bit.
  26. Who do you call when you cry?
    This is quite the interesting question. I rarely cry these days, but to be completely honest, the last time I cried was while I was writing a blogtember entry regarding my mom and little brother; however, prior to that, the last time I had cried was almost two years prior to that. Unlike the way our society teaches us to control our emotions, I feel like that’s more detrimental than anything else. When I cry, I do my best to let it all out – and when I’m done, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, leaving me no need to really contact anyone. I feel that what leads me to tears is often what I need to get off of my chest more than anything else. When I’m really harboring pain, I always take a moment to pray, meditate, and think about potential solutions to my problems. I don’t think I’ve ever found a problem that can’t be fixed by talking about it with close friends and family members – which brings us back to “who” I contact or talk to. To be quite honest, I have a very tight group of friends that I can literally talk to about anything. There are a total of eight of us (4 girls and 4 guys), and we meet almost every other weekend, and I don’t believe there’s a topic we haven’t discussed together. I also have my cousin, Jasmin, who has been there to hear me gripe about the gnitty gritty ever since we were kids. Lastly, the Kagi’s are always there whenever I need any sort of advice or just an ear to listen to me ramble. I can only wish everyone has people that are willing to be there to listen and care for them, and that I might be able to reciprocate this factor to the people in my life, as well.
  27. What five words would you use to describe yourself?