May 1, 2014


This is my audition entry for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. I had such an amazing time writing and photographing it. They are an incredible company, and such a pioneer in revolutionizing babywearing.


Living takes courage—there is no doubt about it. For much of my life I have fought against an undercurrent of uncertainty. Being whisked away at a young age from all that I had ever known and loved, to a culture that was merely mine by heritage, and having no choice but to assimilate quickly, with my fears hushed, left its indelible mark. So, too, did the subsequent coming and going from culture to culture, as I strived to find the self that I had lost through those chaotic years. A broken record cycle of Japan to America, as I searched for anything to bridge the cavernous space between family members and friends on either side of the cultural divide.

I tried so hard to fit in wherever I was at the moment, and the fear of displacement was real, and paralyzing. And yet, with every fear, there was always that beautiful moment, when I realized that I had become free of it somewhere along the journey. Sometimes it is only in retrospect that we see just how courageous we have been, and how heartbreakingly gorgeous the road we travelled was.

So it is with motherhood. As I hurtled through the door, leaving behind many years of infertility, and the desperate sadness that you might never come to be, I came face to face with you—the dream that was everything. And I was reminded anew of these hard earned lessons. Those years of coming to peace with who I am required  courage. And now, I find that with this new chapter that has you—my sweet daughter—at the heart of it, that I am called upon to be more vulnerable, stronger, truer, and braver than I ever have before.

Courage lives on in the gentle re-affirming that I am enough as I am—tangled, unwashed hair, eyes swollen from exhausted tears, birthing scars, and in those moments when the role of motherhood feels too vast to handle. You are my greatest teacher. You have taught me that my courage is limitless, for I would brave anything under the sun and beyond for you. I am learning to laugh in the face of the illusion of control, to loosen the guarded edges of my heart, and to love myself unconditionally, as I hope that you will love yourself always.

I want you to know with every molecule of your being that the courage it takes to be true to yourself is everything in life. Do not be afraid to travel the world and to be wholly out of your element, to live the line between certainty and uncertainty with gusto, because you know that you are loved, that you are worthy, and that the universe needs the unique spark that only you possess. Embrace your courage, as you are reminding me to, one moment at a time.

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