Coping with Outgrowing Friendship

As we journey through life, we sometimes find ourselves on different paths than those we used to walk alongside. Although we know that’s a natural part of life, it can be disheartening to realize that a once-close friend no longer shares our values or interests. We know neither of us is to blame for our changes, rather, it’s perfectly natural for relationships to evolve. We’re always well aware of it, although it’s not easy to accept. That’s the reality. That’s when we feel guilty or worst, try to convince our friends, just to prove that we are the “right ones.” That’s not going to work. We know that, too.

We all know this — outgrowing friendships can be a sign that each of us is evolving and becoming the person we’re meant to be. It’s a reminder we all have the freedom to choose how we live our lives.

We can still have fun, and laugh together although there will be many “agree to disagree” topics in our conversation. When we can keep our minds open, we can still learn from each other. Our philia doesn’t have to change, friendship can stay.

CARE Writing (idea)


Imagine standing on the edge of a new world, excited and hopeful, only to find yourself caught up in the winds like a leaf, tossed and turned. That’s how I felt during my immigration process. As a former travel writer, I was aware of the challenges: facing language barriers, missing cultural cues, and bruising my inner ego from time to time. I had handled all that, so settling in a new country should be easy, right? Well, I was wrong.

What I didn’t anticipate was that my journey often left me at the mercy of the immigration system; it eventually took a toll on me.

However, as we often find hope in our darkest moments, so did I. For me, that light came in the form of writing. Putting my chaotic thoughts into words gave me the distance to see things clearly. Writing has often been a way for me to sort through my experiences and find my way through the uncertainty.

I also learned that through writing about ourselves, we can uncover our authentic selves, and discover the potential within. So, join me to explore how writing about yourself unlocks your awesomeness, waiting to be acknowledged.


I am originally from Japan, where society expects us to conform from an early age. Especially if you’re a woman, expressing yourself freely is often discouraged; being quiet and reserved are highly valued. My personality wasn’t aligned with these expectations, so I made so many mistakes that led to criticism and disappointment. After my divorce, I felt like I had reached a dead end. So I jumped at the chance to work as a travel writer abroad. It was a bold and impulsive decision laced with madness – exactly what I needed. I left everything behind and headed to the Southern Hemisphere. 

You’ve probably ventured out on your own, too, so you know the feeling. Excitement. You have the emoji with heart eyes all over, ready for an adventure. You push yourself outside your comfort zone, that leads to making unexpected mistakes. I certainly did, more than I’d like to admit.

I soon realized my English was as reliable as hotel Wi-Fi when I arrived in New Zealand. I often ate something mysterious that I didn’t think I had ordered. At one point I ended up exploring the outback in Australia, camping with a German group. By the time I submitted my travel article, though, I often couldn’t help but chuckle, “What an experience,” feeling satisfied. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but writing about my experiences had a profound impact. It not only transformed my adventures into something tangible and lasting but also allowed me to process my thoughts and gain clarity; providing a sense of completion.

Then, life took me on a different path. I fell in love, got married, and decided to move to the U.S. My immigration journey began. Although I was warned it would be a long, expensive, and complicated process, I thought I could handle it. But the pandemic threw everything into a bind when my green card was about to expire. At the same time, Asian haters stopped holding back from expressing their hatred. I was yelled at, “Go back to where you’re from!” on a street, in a parking lot, or at a gas station. I felt like I had reached another dead end, remembering the time I felt the same after my divorce in Japan. Back then, I managed to leap forward by becoming a travel writer, but this time, I had no freedom to travel. Feeling stuck and rejected, uncertainty about my future loomed over me. 

But it was during this challenging time that I realized the true power of writing. I believe most of you have faced your share of life’s transitions – moving to a new city, starting a new job, or a disaster I can’t imagine – with other problems piling on top. These moments can leave us feeling lost and overwhelmed. We just want to scream, “Give me a break!”

Well, I discovered a way to give myself that break. I revisited my memories and notes and found that writing about my experiences served as a therapeutic self-care tool. It helped me gain perspective, make sense of my journey, and led me to discover my own guiding beacon I didn’t know existed. Now, I want to share this tool with you, so you too can give yourself the break you deserve, and gain clarity and confidence.

I call it CARE Writing because it provides structured self-care through writing. The “C” stands for Clearing your head by unloading everything in any format, the “A” for Analyzing and sorting them out, the “R” for Reviewing with compassion as if you’re helping your friend to gain a new perspective, and the “E” for Embracing the lessons, joy, and honoring your life’s journey so you can move forward. 

It’ll take as short as 10 minutes, or as long as you’d like. The beauty of it is that everything is your choice, from writing material to style to how to keep or discard it.

This is an example of how CARE Writing helped me when things got overwhelming and threw me over the edge. First, I unloaded everything onto paper as they came up. It gave me instant relief by stopping my mind from generating endless worst-case scenarios. It changed my feeling from being inside the washing machine, tumbling, to watching the clothes spin from outside. It made it easier to analyze and review what I had unloaded. Whenever I feel my “enthusiastic” inner critic trying to stop me, I think of my good friend to bring out my compassionate side. I then recognized that while many circumstances were beyond my control, I could still take action on the things within my control. This shift in perspective allowed me to focus on what truly mattered and helped me regain my sense of agency in the face of uncertainty.

Wrap up:

Taking the time to write down your thoughts and experiences can be a transformative self-care tool. It’s more than just preserving memories; it opens doors to our minds and hearts. Through Care Writing, you’ll witness the power of words that capture your heart’s whispers. You’ll find clarity and confidence. You’ll uncover your inner wisdom and strength that will carry you forward in life.

So, I encourage you to start taking a little time for yourself. Grab your favorite drink, sit back, and relax. Pen and paper or your favorite writing app, it’s your call. Clear your head by unloading everything. Step back and analyze. Review with compassion, and embrace with courage, honoring your journey. As you practice Care Writing, you’ll find awesomeness in every challenge you face. Acknowledge how far you’ve come, and articulate your guiding vision. Let your narrative reflect the incredible, evolving, and endearing person you are. The words we use to tell our stories profoundly shape how we see ourselves and live our lives. We are not alone in our struggles; we care.

Inner Resilience That We Never Knew We Had

Life’s stumbling blocks are nothing but opportunities to discover our strengths and resilience. Any other thoughts are unnecessary. This is similar to looking at a difficulty as a stepping stone, rather than a wall. When we take the time to explore the challenges in front of us, we often discover a strength or inner resilience that we never knew we had.

Chuckle Generator: My Immigration Process

When I first came to the States, I was told to visit a doctor to get checkups for my immigration paperwork. So I visited one of the clinics listed. It was in a luxury building. The doctor was facing the big window filled to overflowing with blue sky, rocking the shiny leather chair. He slowly turned around, looked at my paper, and said, “You know…”

He stopped.

He frowned and my brain started generating all kinds of scenarios: Oh no, is there anything wrong with my application? Am I sick? Did they find something wrong with me? Please, doctor, say something! The airport announces that “If you see something, say something”, right? Should I mention it now? Is it bad timing to joke? Why is he still frowning and oh no, his frown is getting bigger, WHY? What should I do? Oh! I know I really should have eaten buttery toast instead of oatmeal this morning if this was the end of my life. Wait, the end of my life? OMG, that’s it! I’m done! I’m doomed! Goodbye, Earth! I’m gonna miss you, such a beautiful planet. Oh, my, why is this happening to me, why is the sky so blue, why my shoe size is seven?!

The doctor sneezed.

It was a big one. The storm in my brain was blown away, my brain got rebooted. We both laughed but for a different reason.

And then I realized my shoe size was 6.5, not 7.

It’s been many years since then. My immigration process was a long, confusing, and sometimes hilarious journey. Now I’m a proud Japanese American with an American passport.

My home country doesn’t allow dual citizenship, so my birthright citizenship was stripped away the moment I took the oath and became a citizen of the U.S. However, for someone who had spent most of her life feeling like an outcast, being welcomed as a citizen meant everything to her.

Understanding Different Worldviews: Letting Go of the Need to Be Right

Interacting with people who hold different worldviews often involves making assumptions to make sense of their behavior and find common ground. However, this approach can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. We all have various stories and theories based on our worldviews, and different worldviews explain good and bad events differently.

To truly communicate with others, we must be open-minded and willing to understand their worldview first. Although it’s not always possible to get the other person’s point of view, trying to do so helps clarify our own worldview and where we stand, and that’s what matters. This enables us to let go of the need to be right, let go of assumptions, and focus on productive exchanges of ideas. By exploring different perspectives instead of insisting on being right, we can see a broader range of possibilities, together.

While it’s true that surrounding ourselves with people who support us is important, always feeling comfortable in a small circle can lead to complacency. Staying in an echo chamber restricts exposure to new ideas and perspectives, limiting our ability to develop open-mindedness and empathy. Personal development can stagnate, and rigid beliefs can form.

Letting go of the need to be right and understanding before being understood can be challenging, but it’s always rewarding. That’s worth striving for.

Trade Winds Asks an Important Question

Mānana Island (aka rabbit island) from Makapu‘u Lighthouse trail, Oahu, Hawaii. The island of Oahu holds so many memories – I arranged an extended layover during my biz trip, and I’m glad I did. Ah, the Pacific blue, the trade winds that carry a scent of Pikake, and…

This question kept circling in my head since the trip: Would I still be a travel writer if I hadn’t made that one big mistake? Well, that doesn’t matter anymore.

It’s really a question of… do I want to start traveling and writing again?

Upcoming Book – My First Haiku and Poetry Collection

Above is the cover of my poetry and haiku collection, coming out later this year. It’s about celebrating the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty through Wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic.

Writing poetry, especially haiku, is much harder than writing anything else, but it’s so rewarding. There’s still a long way to go, but I love each moment.

Take care,

Decide For Yourself

Feeling fear is a measure of your sensitivity, but how you deal with it determines your strength.

It’s easy to confuse the intensity of fear with measuring one’s strength, especially since fear can be paralyzing. However, feeling fear can actually be helpful because it indicates that you are attuned to your emotions and aware of your environment.

By recognizing your fear, you can make better decisions that allow you to take control of the situation. It enables you to respond in a way that you will feel proud of.

Some people say “Do it scared!” And to an extent, I agree. It depends on each situation, obviously. But a good friend once told me that if I feel scared and excited at the same time, it means I should go for it. I’m glad I followed her advice.

Take care,

“Yo, go back to China!”

Hearing “Yo, go back to China!”, especially during the pandemic was sadly not an uncommon experience. When faced with such comments, I wouldn’t just reply with “I’m Japanese American” because it only shifts the direction of prejudice towards other Asians or people of color. Whether I’m from Japan, another country, or even another planet, far, far, away, it should not matter.

This experience made me wonder: why do some people prioritize their own freedom while dictating what others should do? They probably have no idea what it feels like to be stereotyped and blamed for something they have no control over, such as skin color or the shape of their eyes.

It’s scary to think that I could have been on their side. When I was in Japan, I was part of the majority and entitled group. I could have unknowingly made racial comments or been unaware of how it feels to be on the receiving end of such comments.

The truth is, when you’re part of the dominant group, it’s easy to overlook the privilege that comes with being part of that group. We need to be more aware of the impact we have and take responsibility for our actions in any situation. And this is one of “easier said than done,” but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aim.

You found me, and I’m so glad!

Hello all,

Thank you for finding me! 

As you know, Twitter has been unstable. I fear one day my account get suspended by mistake (mine or theirs, who knows). 

Twitter has allowed me to learn, share and connect with amazing people like you. Thank you, and I love you all!

For now, I’m on Post:

December 18th, 2022
A sad day to see so many Twitter friends are leaving, and I didn’t say proper goodbye. 

This is my Twitter cover