Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

A new chapter, and a normal sleep schedule

June 25th, 2016
By



I have happy news. Friday was my last day at KHON2. My contract ended Thursday, and I chose not to renew it, though I appreciate that management offered to work with me.

15-5-6 Two shot blue dress Good hair

It was an option, but I didn't want to stay on an early morning shift, so my managers offered me a day shift as a reporter. I was excited about it. I'm so grateful to have understanding, compassionate managers who were willing to accommodate me. I am lucky to have worked for such kind people.

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However, as I thought about it, I'm just tired from two years of early hours and some personal tribulations, and I need a break. It felt like the right thing to do.

Interview outside

It was a tough decision because the station is great and the job is fun. I appreciated my time there. I will miss working with some really fantastic, hardworking, cool, talented people. I am sad I didn't get to connect more with the folks I didn't know as well on the day and night shifts, but - small town -  it's possible our paths will cross again.

 

When I start the job search, I'm open to all industries. As with the last time I was unemployed, I wasn't expecting to return to news. It just happened. It was a happy timing, and one I am grateful for. I do know, though, I will decline any job that has me regularly up pre-dawn.

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For the immediate future, I would like to relax for an undetermined time. I will still be blogging for this paper as hobby.

My plans are to spend more quality time with my daughter, husband, and ailing mother. To spend more quality time with myself. To maybe complete my training hours to get my yoga teacher certification. To meditate and rest.

If you tuned in to our morning show, thank you. The viewers were always so nice!

16-1-5 KHON Il Gelato

If we worked together, thank you and I will miss you. It's a great station, and I hope I see you again.

I've already deleted that 2:30 a.m. alarm clock. Here's to sleeping in!

Mommy's work

May 23rd, 2016
By



Olivia loves coming to work with me. She is willing to wake up at 3 a.m., but I prefer to let her get her sleep.

Often on a school holiday, Claus will drop her off at 8 after the show's done, and he'll go to work. I can watch her while I do my off-air duties. In this manner, she's even accompanied me to my reporter beat checks at court and the police station, which are places I'd never visited until I was in my teens or even early 20s, as part of college field trips.

This pretty much sums up exactly why she loves Mommy's work:

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Not long ago, the Surf Paws Animal Hospital vet told me she'd bring in a kindle of kittens, so I asked if she'd mind if Olivia came on set with us holding a kitty. Dr. Cristina Miliaresis said OK, and Olivia was thrilled.

Luckily that segment is at 7:20 a.m., so it wasn't terribly early for Olivia or Claus to get to the station. (Not like a 5:50 a.m. guest segment.) So, Olivia got to hold kitties and be on TV (the latter, she could care less about).

Surfer China Uemura brought us pastries!

Surfer China Uemura brought us pastries!

Following that, as they left, I invited her to grab a pastry and brownie outside. Pastries, from one of the other guests. Brownies, which I brought for Taizo's birthday.

Justin Cruz as Darth Vader, for Taizo's birthday

Justin Cruz as Darth Vader, for Taizo's birthday

When she got to school, some of the kids told her they'd seen her on TV, which was a little fun for her. Mostly, she enjoyed bragging that she got to play with kittens.

With Dr. Miliaresis and all the felines!

With Dr. Miliaresis and all the felines!

To sum:

Kittens
Brownies
Pastries
Kittens

I'm glad she thinks I have a cool job. I do, too.

Explaining rejection to a child

May 6th, 2016
By



The letter came in the mail. We all suspected this was coming, but we all hoped - Olivia  most of all - that it would say otherwise.

She was not accepted to Kamehameha Schools for the fourth grade year. It was crushing.

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We're crushed to see her crushed. I hate these moments as a parent.

We had prepped her that the competition was stiff, and that even with amazing test scores, the odds of its quota system were still high: 1,008 applicants, and just 64 openings.

That's a six percent chance to get in. Those are stupid odds. The only odds I've heard of that are worse are for CNN, which my friends in Atlanta tell me is a ratio of 1,000 resumes for every one on-air position.

It's a difficult place to be. In order to get her excited to do her best, we had to sell the school to her. Otherwise, she didn't want to leave her current school and friends. Ever since we tested in January, she'd been asking regularly when she'd know.

I understand the feeling. I recently attempted something I wanted badly, and though I tried to endure the process with detachment, it's hard not to get your hopes up. I couldn't explain the concept of detachment to an eight year old, so her process was even harder than mine.

She moped when she came home. She asked questions about why she wasn't good enough. Her dad gave her all the right answers and made her a smoothie. It helped, but still the long face.

I decided to show her something. I have saved most of my TV rejection letters since the start of my career. I say most, because there was a busy period where I know I forgot to save one or two dozen letters.

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At first, it was just a way to track which stations I applied to, since most times they don't even bother to respond. That's how you know in TV news that you didn't make the cut.

Seriously, it's nice he even wrote back.

Seriously, it's nice he even wrote back.

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So a lot of the papers are actually my notes and lists on when I sent in a resume, so that I would know to follow up. But let's just call them "letters" for short.

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After a while, though, I decided to save it as a testament to perseverance; a symbol to myself that hard work pays off, that I needed to keep believing in myself, and that for every 20 no's there is a yes.

As I've blogged before, I knew I wanted to be a reporter, and that was that. I wasn't going to let a little (actually, a lot of) rejection divert my plans. This was the career I wanted, and I was going to have it.

Over the years, as I developed success and still occasionally filed a letter in the folder, I also started seeing it as a humility check. In a job defined by lights, cameras, and a high-profile, I never wanted to become someone who thought they were "all that."

Perhaps now, because I've been on air in this one town for over a decade, I have a modicum of name-recognition. I don't ever want that to get to my head.

I generally presume you don't know me unless you indicate you do. Not everyone watches TV, and not everyone has lived in Hawaii for years.

It's fun, and it's a privilege to experience, but the file takes me back to my beginnings, when doors shut on my face all the time. Remember who you are: you're just a person with a job.

But I digress. Back to Olivia.

She always tells me she thinks I have an amazing job. The entire time she's known me, I've always been an established newscaster. She has never seen the struggle.

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I held her rejection letter in one hand, my file in the other. It's almost an inch thick. It's impressive! Her eyes widened when I presented it.

"Just because you didn't get into one school, it's OK. It doesn't mean you're not worthy. It just means you need to stick to your goals and try harder. Don't give up," I encouraged.

I explained to her that in my follow ups, I'd ask the manager what they didn't like about my resume and how I could improve. Then I'd work on that so the next station might want me.

I really appreciate any manager who took the time to give me feedback!

I really appreciate any manager who took the time to give me feedback!

"That's what you need to do. Keep being the best student you can be," I said. "Then next time you try for a school, you have a better chance. And always believe in yourself, because we believe in you."

The only handwritten rejection I ever received, and he was so nice. This is my favorite.

The only handwritten rejection I ever received, and he was so nice. This is my favorite.

It perked her up a little, but she said she was still kind of sad.

"That's normal. It's OK. You sit with that for a little while, but then you use it to make you stronger. You tried, you didn't get what you wanted, but you'll pick yourself up and figure out what you need to do to get what you want. Mommy and Daddy are proud of you for trying, and we're always here to help you dust yourself off and support you," I soothed.

That seemed to do the trick. She said seeing my file was both a shocker and helpful.

Then it was back to her smoothie, which in its own way was just as wonderful a Band-Aid as my pep talk. There ain't nothing a lovely dessert can't cure, right?

...How have you handled your child's rejection? What did you tell them? (Give me more tips for next time, because I know there's got to be a next time down the road!)

 

 

Yoga training: Contemplating challenge

April 20th, 2016
By



One month, we studied what the yoga sutras have to say about challenge. Essentially, they're there to help you clarify your own desire.

"Many obstructions are purposely put in the way for us to pass through... We seem to need to be challenged and tested in order to understand our own capacities," writes Sri Swami Satchidananda.

The example that came to mind right away when we discussed this in class was of my career in news. I pursued it right out of college and lived it with burning enthusiasm for over a decade.

When KHNL had mass layoffs in 2009, I decided to try another career, and enjoyed pushing the boundaries wildly, contemplating cake decorator, lawyer, social worker, behavioral therapist. It's not that I disliked news anymore, but it's that I felt this might be a chance to try something different.

I made this purse-shaped cake.

I made this purse-shaped cake.

In the end, a fancy PR job meandered across my path, and I did that for several years, learning and enjoying what that had to offer, until family crisis called me away. (Mom, Alzheimer's.)

Me at my PR job.

Me at my PR job.

Mom and me.

Mom and me.

Soon after my mom's situation stabilized, the job at KHON2 came to fruition serendipitously. I hadn't thought about my next steps very hard, but returning to news became an attractive idea. I knew I had missed lots about it during the now-five years I was away.

Me at KHON.

Me at KHON.

I like the culture, the energy, the excitement, the type of people it attracts, the craft itself. I was grateful to return to a career I have always had passion for. Most people don't get to work their passion.

Considering this situation within the framework of the sutra, I see my love for my craft didn't diminish during the years spent away, and sharpened my realization that it's what I still like to do.

Which is nice to see in retrospect, because sometimes you go through challenges and wonder why such sucky things happen to you. So maybe there really are no coincidences in life?

15-3-17 4 shot Jai

Is there a time in your life when challenge helped you sharpen your focus? How did you handle it?
Related blogs:

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/03/16/hawaii-woman-teaches-peace-through-yoga/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/11/yoga-teacher-training-begins/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/13/yoga-training-breath-is-life/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/15/yoga-training-changing-karma/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/18/modification-of-the-mind-stuff/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/22/yoga-training-emotion-and-the-body/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/25/yoga-training-metta-meditation/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/27/yoga-training-conclusion/

Kaneohe woman competes on American Idol

January 27th, 2016
By



Musician Ashley Lilinoe shares her love through her music - a clear, soulful voice accompanied by acoustic guitar that stirs the heart. At 21 years old, this accomplished singer/ songwriter is now meeting a national audience as one of the contestants on American Idol (FOX).

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"The producers found me online, because I post my music videos. They asked me to audition, but the first couple times I ignored their emails because a television competition just didn't resonate with me. It's not my calling," she remembers. "The third time, the producer said, 'I believe in you and want you to try out.' I felt his heart and I decided to do it. What have I got to lose, right?"

She's right; she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. When the show debuted in mid-January, her Facebook page went wild. "I got hundreds of notifications every five minutes. It was crazy," she laughs. She's definitely on a bigger stage now.

Lilinoe also learned about the business of show-biz. "Presence is important. I saw how I was portrayed through the process. I also realized being myself is exactly what I needed to do. I stuck to my true self."

Who is the true Ashely Lilinoe? The born and bred Kaneohe girl is a stunning mixture of eleven ethnicities: Predominantly Filipino, but also Native Hawaiian, Native American, Swedish, and Chinese.

Her last name is Swedish: it's Soderberg, and Lilinoe is a stage name, derived from part of her incredibly long Hawaiian middle name. "It means 'the misty lei that lays upon the flower of the heavens.' Lilinoe is 'fine mist,'" she enlightens.

"What I really am, though, is universal. I don't connect with just one culture," she clarifies.

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Lilinoe grew up in a musical family in Kaneohe. "We live on a lane with lots of families, and when someone comes out to celebrate something, we'd all go out and play music. I'd be in the garage watching, and then I'd practice what I heard. My parents, my angels - they guided me to practice. My ear was my teacher," she recalls.

She was about six when she first picked up an ukulele. At Castle High School, she started playing the guitar.

"I love how music makes me feel and how it can make others feel. Everything is a song: The ocean, the environment, the blue sky," she breathes as she looks up at the clear lazuline sky of a Honolulu winter.

In fact, it's the Earth that inspires her through its wordlessness. "I'm learning to unlearn traditional songwriting techniques. It doesn't have to be 'verse, chorus, bridge. It's not necessary. My heart says to listen to the silence."

She is lovely and thoughtful, gentle and poised. She seems unconcerned about fame and fortune, instead focused on a metaphysical goal of unconditional love for self and others, living in the moment, surrendering to life. She strikes me as wise beyond her years.

Lilinoe says she needs the silence more than ever in the overwhelming "aftermath" of American Idol. It was a high-intensity, non-stop experience. "I'm still observing with my heart. There are no words to describe it right now," she decides.

"Yes, it opened doors for my career. More importantly, it opened doors to peoples' hearts, to let them connect with me and see there's another human being like me in this world," she smiles.

Actually, she says she didn't really know what her music sounded like until a year ago. She was too busy playing gigs to stop and listen to herself, and then it was a powerful moment for her. "What I have to share - my love - is so great. It's a lot of power. I was afraid of it, and I'm still learning to gently introduce it to this world," she announces.

This means she doesn't have a regular gig. Not that she's lacking for offers, but she's spontaneous and has certain preferences. For instance, "I like playing where children are allowed. I like to entertain at places where everyone can be together," she expands.

"I love children. I love how they inspire, stretch my imagination, and guide me to my heart," she says. "I am a child. They remind me to love, to play."

Play is how she answers the question, What do you do for a living? "I flow day to day. Music provides me the monetary exchange, but I surrender to life."

As for the practical questions, she shrugs. "I'm know I'm taken care of greatly. I've given the amount I need, which is small. I'm a minimalist and an alchemist; I will recycle and upcycle things. My Earth Mother will take care of me, my friends support me. I'm always provided for."

Lilinoe's typical day is... atypical. The commonality is that it usually starts without a jarring alarm clock, and with the luxury of a slow rising from bed. "I greet myself, I greet the new day, and I welcome what comes."

As you may be able to guess by now, Lilinoe eschews labeling her music with any one genre. For purposes of print, she acquiesces to give me some kind of description: neo-soul/blues/jazz/R&B/funk. However, she prefers to call it "soul-filling music." If you hear her sing, you'll understand.

Lilinoe has no plans set in stone for the future. When I ask where she sees herself in five years, she chuckles. "Five years? I don't even know what tomorrow brings."

She does, however, know this: "I honor myself deeply. I show up for life, and I navigate life through my heart. I live by feeling, and if it feels good, I do it."

While her calling may be as a musician that sings emotion into people's hearts, she says her soul-mission is "to return to self. To be into my heart so that I can truly hear the voices who call for help."

Lilinoe leaves me with a parting thought for you all: "Wherever I am, everyone is my family."

American Idol airs Wednesday and Thursday nights on KHON2 (FOX).

Lilinoe's website: http://www.ashleylilinoe.earth/

Other coverage of Lilinoe: http://khon2.com/2016/01/14/meet-american-idol-hopeful-ashley-lilinoe-from-kaneohe-3/

Update: Lilinoe was eliminated on the January 28, 2016 episode.

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