Wednesday, December 22, 2021




We end 2021 with a sigh of exhaustive surrender at the same time we continue our uphill fighting trek in both virtual and tangible Mt. Everest feats with the on-going pandemic’s domino effect on everyone.

This truth is not all what we expected; nor was it what we imagined and yet the opposite is also true depending on which day you watch the news, and whether or not you’ve had enough caffeine to zap you out of your zombie-like state of being.

As you ask yourself what has happened in the last two years in order to be fully prepared to help someone with amnesia you meet out of a rom-com to ‘catch them up’ on what happened since 2020 – you too, may wonder what has happened to your journey and wonder where you go from here.

Like a roller coaster, a yo-yo, a maze, a puzzle – whatever you want to compare it to, this is alternate timeline, and the reality is humanity's concept of such is teeter-tottering both similarly and differently.  While we witness some handling this proactively taking action, others are dazed and confused to be left to their own devices in being reactionary. The truth is we are in a universal classroom that has a syllabus consisting of:

  • ·       health and pandemics
  • ·       natural disasters
  • ·       homelessness crisis
  • ·      healthcare communications (finding clarity in facts)
  • ·       economics and the supply chain
  • ·       global warming and the environment
  • ·       empathy and compassion
  • ·       corporate responsibility; the WFH vs. hybrid vs. safety protocol work place
  • ·       manners and etiquette
  • ·       violence/theft prevention
  • ·       cross cultural diversity and inclusion, combating racism
  • ·       funeral planning
  • ·       faith studies – dealing with all of the above as humanity steps into questioning the true meaning of life in the present-day


Amid all of this – humanity is seeking answers, truths, a mojo reboot, also wondering when lunch and recess happens. The curriculum is hefty on top of everything else we all have to do with adulting, caretaking, and getting through what we’re presented as curve-balls.

As we dared to look at the world with our super sleuth selves in search to find ‘something good’ in the world, perhaps we would find cheap smiles of the day watching an animal acting like a human giving us hope. 

However, the next day we would see the dreaded human acting like an animal sending us back to gloom, doom and altered life paradigm discussion while sometimes being ghosted on Zoom.

The world is not the same and neither are we, the collective “chaos” is unorganized and wandering aimlessly to find deeper meaning.

We’re in this constant tug-o-war of John Mayer’s “Waiting for the World to Change” and the Michael Jackson’s reflective “Man in the Mirror” inventory.  We pay attention to Nas’ “I Can” as a way to pave hope for what we can still do with the time we have on this planet, trying to "Imagine" what John Lennon lyrically painted in a song all in the same breath.   

We look to the future in baby steps where we know we’re empowered to create change ourselves.  Still, we sit inspired by the random glimpses of miracles blowing by like unexpected glittery bits of pixie-dust after we pull ourselves from the wreckage of ________ (fill in the blank – or add ten pages).

Another year under our belt amid this pandemic fits the opposing thoughts of mind from “Wow, I’m still here and have survived so much” in gratitude to the next tired breath of “Wow, I’m still here and how much more must I endure.”

This is everyone’s #Truth – whether we’re talking about it openly or not.

So I decided to disrupt the silence and speak about it anyway – to say what many of you are thinking but won’t publicly verbalize.

Perhaps you just simply don't have long-form energy to articulate in verbosity what many of you muster up the little energy to post inside of angry, sad, frustrated/confused, lost/crying and shoulder-shrugging memes to convey what I am exorcising from my soul in vomiting-in-need-of-an-editor-stat mode.

I join the rest of humanity in the duality of grief and hope, sweet and sour, dark and light and walk, no paper, no plastic, reusable bag through the fire of immense loss on the earthly plane and much gained in the spiritual one.  

As we grapple with reality, dreams and fantasy may struggle in their own right to appear to be a distant memory of youthful innocence even for the young and young at heart.  Here, hope tries to find its way through whatever is going on to remind us once more why we are here.

We plow on – continuing to wake up each day almost amazed to declare “I’m still here’ in the wake of what appears to be a world sleeping through many nightmare-like moments seeing things we have never seen before in our lifetime in what both the pandemic simultaneously with global warming continue to brings forth. With the two steps forward, three or ten steps back, the Universe is forcing many us to be challenged to rebuild and rebuild again like some phoenix rising on repeat autopilot.  While it’s amusing, and indeed character-building, it is also exhausting for the soul.

The mass loss of human lives seem to be happening at a rapid rate even more now like failing at some video game round. It is here where our hands keep pressing buttons to hold or find agility to navigate the terrain, but we appear with more to resolve and conquer.  With all we are trying to do, we see despite the game controllers in our hands, so much is actually out of them in ways we cannot explain via words or attempts.  We're learning as we go - we see a world flying by the seat of its own pants. For most, this is far from amusing; for some, entertaining; and others pathetic and cringe-worthy only because all of our higher-selves know we all have the potential to do better. 

Numbers keep escalating despite all of the pro-active efforts put forth in good faith and intent.  Most of it appears to feel like some betrayal of energy of losses continuing to devastate one’s belief system that if you do everything right you get the results.  For the world, it may feel as if efforts have been for nothing, however – we are also being asked to see our efforts another way.

It is here the Universe asks us once more as we deal with the idea to keep going, dare to keep trying, and urged not to give up. We are asked to trust and know in our hearts that nothing is wasted.  No calculated amount of time, positive energy, pure heart intent, and good will are wasted. Ultimately, it is ideally part of that curriculum, too. Here we must focus on what we all can do better rather than repeating mistakes from lessons learned. 

This part is somehow considered by some to be ‘extra credit” learning.  Rest assured, it is not and if we miss it – we’ve essentially missed the point.

Make no mistake – this is not game over until it is over and we must continue to fight amid what appears to be never ending.  The secret?  The annoying reminder to live in the present moment to do what we can, with what we have, with where we are and to focus on the tasks at hand.

The tasks are an interesting mix of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, agenda added as part of said curriculum.  Here we begin to 'understand' something deeper than ourselves if we dare to learn more from the sum of all of the fragmented parts of the last two years. 

Perhaps this is the first time most of humanity understands “be present” – because it is hard to look ahead, dream and to plan for a future in the current circumstances. Maybe is by universal design of the divine, that is the way it is for now.  We cannot see around said blind curve, for reasons we may not yet be able to understand, but here is where our faith and trust is tested once again to stay on the road anyway, even if it is disappearing and disintegrating, falling into the ocean of broken dreams.

Here we are reminded by the Back to the Future mindset of flying cars, having to fly on planet Earth because there is no road and the meaning is actually in the context of the spiritual realm and not the earthly tangible one, we imagined.  In other words – and in rambling blogsplain – that means REIMAGINE and REBUILD and DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN BEFORE.

Can we remember a time when our carefree humans simply looked at life through the lens of surface-level simple joys with the only ‘growth’ being to appreciate them as we have them? 

Have we as humanity learned that lesson amid our mass losses?

Here did we learn to appreciate/and have gratitude for things taken for granted?

Do we understand how we grow in every moment and learn something as we go and it is up to us to apply what we’ve learned to do more?

On a small level, the reality check for most may appear simple, but after what all of us have been through the last two years, we all know we were asked to dig much deeper than that clichĂ©’d “life is short.”

Instead, life has been turned on its head as a Tsunami wave of emotions have been boiled down to a culinary reduction of rich, thick, condensed viscosity unintended gloppier consistency, we are being asked to muddle through in a way we have not explored before even on days we had 24/7 introspection pre-pandemic.

If you are feeling like questioning yourself beyond the words that usually help you organize the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY – now is the time to be reminded once more by what is possible for you to imagine. 

It is here you can still visualize and actualize the reality of sitting within your authentic journey as you know it to be realizing with each breath (!) that you are still here.  But that’s not all – it is here you have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned about life in the last two years to re-evaluate whether or not your “idealized’ previous journey was all smoke and mirrors, or rather a version of your former self.   Yes, former self.  Today, right in front of you is a new person – one you discovered as you went through the tough stuff, the worry, the pain, the anxiety, the fear, the death and the losses and even rediscovered parts of your lost-self.  You also see life differently through new different eyes than you did before – as if a new person was born between all your pandemic Googling, fact-checking, massive OCD sanitizing and random binge-watching.  

Read. That. Again.  It’ll be worth the ‘ah ha’ moment as you see a new person than you did before behind the literal and figurative mask.

It is here you can try to find the gratitude and the beauty wherever you can and celebrate that in the way you can, however you are able to do so.

That in itself IS a gift, one most of humanity has taken for granted always assuming there is another day, rather than just appreciating that there is one now..

This is where we find our authentic journey, the one made from the reality that has shaped (and will continue to shape us) – to be who we are and still strive to grow into becoming better at what it is we say and do, think and feel, experience and share, evolve and resolve and say Thank You as often as we can along the way.

Leaving behind whatever positivity we can muster up is not lost on those who truly need it.  Those of us who expend it learn how to regroup, refocus and refuel in order to keep going just as much as the recipients who hopefully continue to pay it forward to someone else in need.

That’s the bigger picture we’ve encountered and experienced, but it is in those finite details we cannot miss the broader message we are to take forward into our tomorrows past today.

It is with this and much gratitude I say thank you for yesterday and today and hope to be fortunate enough to see you tomorrow.

May New Year blessings find you, wherever you are - Keep going!


Stacey Kumagai