Every year, I pause on August 1, as it is my 33rd anniversary of living on this amazing island. I couldn’t be happier here, and I feel more at home in Hawaii than any other place I’ve ever lived. When I think back, I see this as complete and divine synchronicity!

Here’s the story. Because of the time I spent in Taiwan (where I was raised) and Japan (where I lived after college), I really didn’t know much about Hawaii. That all changed in May of 1989. I watched a TV show where Konishiki (Sale Atisanoe), the incredibly well-loved sumotori, was being followed by a Japanese media crew to show viewers his Hawaii home. As I was watching, Hawaii “called” to me. I visited a few weeks later.

I can’t remember everything on that trip, but these three moments are as memorable as if it was yesterday.

1. The taxi driver that drove me from the airport said that since it’s my first time, I must go to Waikiki Beach.

2. I did, and while sunbathing in front of the Duke Kahanamoku statue, I thought how amazing it would be to live here.

3. Within a minute of having that thought, a section of a newspaper blew towards me, and blanketed my body. It was the “Help Wanted” section, and literally, the first ad I read said something like, “The president of a real estate firm needs an assistant. Must be bilingual in Japanese, Chinese a plus. No experience necessary.” I thought, “This is me!” so I called, got an interview and was hired before I left Hawaii. I closed up my life in Japan, and moved here on August 1.

Every year, August 1 reminds me of divine synchronicities. In your life, I know you’ve had them too! Big ones, small ones, memorable and meaningful ones. Over the years, I have come to understand and believe that nothing in our lives ever happens “by chance” – that there is meaning in every person we encounter, every friendship we build, (challenging or supportive), and every situation we find ourselves in.

I’ve learned to trust that even when it seems like nothing is happening, things can be coming together behind the scenes unbeknownst to us, and in the exact moment when we are least expecting it, portals for meaningful change show up like magic.

I’m grateful to this island for welcoming me, for those that have embraced and supported me, as well as for the people and situations that have challenged me. Everything I’ve experienced has brought me closer to who I am today.

Hawaii has been my home since I was 25, and I am deeply humbled that I would be so blessed as to be able to build, and sustain my life here with such a supportive partner, loving friends, and inspiring community. Thank you all for being a part of my life.

This photo of me at 25 was taken the week I moved here. I had finally found home.

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