Jul 222015

I hadn’t realized it has been so long since I last posted. Guess I have been busy and taking some space to enjoy life whilst processing next steps.

This space will, as I am constantly saying, become more active soon. My plan is to return to more regular scheduled programming upon my return to the desert and have a chance to re-establish routine to my life. πŸ˜€ It will most likely happen this time around. πŸ˜›

It’s hard to believe that I have been traveling for over a month now. I cannot quite determine if I am ready to go back or if I am just ready to re-stabilize without having to return to the desert. πŸ˜‰ I imagine it’s the latter since we have been in one place now for the past few days and I am quite enjoying it. I think that next summer, I may look for more longer term stays in places rather than the jumping around.

That said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tour of 9 countries this summer. Amazing places I have visited, indeed! Pics and write-ups will come in time once I settle myself. I’ll try to make it a goal to post one country a day with all the updated pics once I am back in 10 days. Ha – ten days still left of travel and then two weeks of holidays at home!!!

So, that’s just a brief update. More to come as I can over the next week or so. πŸ˜€



 Posted by at 11:44
May 252015

In every heart there is a dream
In every eye there is a hope
In every mind there is a way

for it all to come true. 

In every child there is an innocence
In every woman there is an intuition
In every man there is an instinct 

for it all to come true 

We dare to dream
We hold to hope
We work to a way 

for innocence, intuition and instinct 

to dream and hope for a way
to live in even better days. 

May 24, 2015

 Posted by at 07:59
May 102015

For a while now I have been considering getting a new car because my lovely Materia has spent the last six years getting bullied on the UAE roads.


In general I have a thing against buying used cars in this country since people tend to abuse their cars and then lie about the usage. Also, not to be too racist, but there are certain groups of people here whom cannot be trusted.

Still, I wasn’t sure I could afford the larger kind of vehicle I was in search for.

I started with visiting some dealerships where I might be able to find a deal. Of course, I went with the dream options too because you just never know here.

First up was the Land Rover dealership where I fell in love with a 440,000dhs ($120k) Range Rover Sport. So that wasn’t happening! Then, I thought I might be able to make a 220,000dhs ($60k) Range Rover Evoque work on my budget, but still wasn’t sure.

Next, I visited the Toyota showroom as I am generally a Japanese make kind of girl. Well, they were offering a 20% discount for teachers on a Lexus RX350, but still the same price as the Evoque. It was nice, but screamed soccer mom with a lot of extras that I didn’t need (i.e. Video screens in the backseat = total soccer mom!!!!).

After a bit more thinking and visiting my folks, I considered the option of a short bed truck. It would be different from the soccer mom image and give me the size that I want on the roads. So I went to the Chevy and GMC dealers nearby my apartment. They had more reasonably priced options, but still nothing ideal to me.

I decided that I would go to the Ford dealership out in Mussafah the next time I took my car for servicing, which was coming up soon – i.e. When I got up the motivation to drive out there to do it!

Just as I was determining this, an ad appeared on one of my FB groups for a Land Rover Freelander at a very good price. I followed up and talked with a nice expat Austrialian who gave me the entire history of the car.

It seemed nearly too good to be true, so I asked M to go check it out as a man for me just to avoid any of the initial issues. He came back with a positive report though he said it’s not ‘new’, which was fine. So I agreed to a deposit and went out to check out the car myself. After a talk with the owner and a test drive in the parking garage, I decided to go for it.

So, after getting new insurance and transferring the registration I have a “new” SUV that doesn’t scream ‘soccer mom’ and is in the high end range that I first fell in love with.



Of course, my first day out with it would require breaking it in… OR have a small accident for the first time ever in this country…..

That story is for another post!

More to come,


 Posted by at 09:55
May 092015

The importance of space and time is often so misunderstood and under-appreciated. If I say that I’m an introvert to an extrovert, they may think that I’m just being selfish and giving myself a ‘title’ to justify it. Yet, an extrovert who needs to be social without an interest in space and time will never deem him/herself as selfish or justified. It’s just ‘normal’.

While I do not philosophically believe in ‘all are created equal’, I do believe in ‘all deserve respect’. Perhaps those who want the world to be equal really just want the world to be more respectful? I know that is my preference for the world.

I believe greatly in the power of human beings. In that sense, I believe we all have within ourselves the ability to overcome any obstacle put in front of us whether it is classifiable as a ‘first-world’ problem or a ‘third-world’ problem. It is the individual greatness that makes humans so potentially amazing and also the most disappointing of truths.

This weekend has been both lovely and depressing all at the same time. For the first time in a while I again contemplated the world without me in it. It would go on. People I know would live on. Therefore, why should I carry so much heaviness in my heart for the remainder of my unknown days? Can someone as ‘damaged’ as I am truly ever be full of joy and blissfully happy? Or, do we accept that we just make the best of our days – just because?

I have no children. I do not currently have a husband. My friends are some of the most beautiful and amazing people on this earth, but they all have their own lives and purposes. What exactly is mine? How can I fulfill my previously discovered life purpose Β – to be the spirit that inspires others to reach their greatest potential – if I do not know how to do this myself?

So, I go hm…. and let it go for another day to perhaps be answered…or continue the contemplation in streams of conscientiousness….

More to come,


 Posted by at 21:17
Apr 292015

burning-the-candle-at-both-endsI am exhausted…that’s truly an understatement. I thought I was doing okay in balancing my life out, but it seems that isn’t the case. It is affecting just about all parts of my life, which is not great, though I think work benefits the most. So, this picture nicely illustrates how I’m doing…balancing it all somehow on a very unstable point…It is best that I find a way to do better before it all falls to pieces….

One problem is that I am keeping myself WAY too busy. I realize this and shall adjust my schedule accordingly.

Another problem is that I do not have a ‘decompression chamber’ in my house where I can hide and re-energize my introverted sensibilities. Therefore, all my tension is building up as my energy drains with no way of getting it back.

So….I am hoping to find a better way and path. I am generally happy, but I know this calm that I pretend to have will not last given my tendencies and I can feel the downward trend coming up. If I fall, I might fall hard this time around, so it is time to be proactive and take care of myself first. This is not all that easy to do, but I need to…I feel detached from myself, my creativity, my core….

This weekend, M is away (:(), but it is a good chance for me to try to rejuvenate and rest. I’m not sure how well that will go given that I have plans throughout the weekend, but I will do my best!! πŸ˜€

In the meantime, I am going to try to be more consistent with writing at least on this blog, if not on my TUA site….. It will all come back in time, but time…yes, time…. πŸ˜›

More to come, eventually,


Apr 262015

I am working on my routine and life away from being ‘a PhD student’. It’s progressing well overall, though I still have a few loose ends to tie up with withdrawing from the university and putting together what I need to do to get an article (or two) or book chapter out of what I have.

Work is keeping me very busy and this week is going to be a bit stressful as we progress with my first ‘teaching’ gig to fellow faculty members on how to become better teachers! My skills are going to be put to the test and I’m gonna have to ‘put my money where my mouth is’, so-to-speak. (What funny idioms we have in English!)

Still, life is good and I’ve managed to actually tackle things on my to-do list with joy. Yay me!

I also plan to be on here a bit more regularly along with some other possible writing ventures…. πŸ˜€

More to come soon,


 Posted by at 21:12
Apr 192015



So, my second to lastΒ post had me all optimistic about finding a way to make my dissertation happen. Then, spring break came and went.

During spring break, I determined that I would go to a coach and figure out how to get my motivation going to finish the degree. So, this weekend, I went to see Lisa Laws, as she came highly recommended and I wanted to go to someone I didn’t know in the coaching circle.

Within about five minutes into our session, she helped me to determine the reality is that I do not actually want to complete the degree at all and I’ve just been looking for a way to justify not doing it.

Therefore, despite all the very excellent and reasonable reasons to finish the degree, I have determined to step away from the degree as it is for now. I am leaving the door open to the fact that I may someday decide to do the PhD in full down the road, but for now I plan to find a way to publish what I have already researched and done, then move on with my life. Should I find that I do want to have a Dr in front of my name, then I can always go back and either build upon what I have already done or start something else.

What I really needed to make this decision was a way of not looking at the past six years and thousands of dollars as a complete waste. However, what I have already done can be published. It can even be put into a proper book, if that’s what I wanted. Still, in the world of academia, getting published and presenting is just about as important as having a doctorate. Therefore, I believe I can publish a great deal from what I already have without the pressure of it being ‘good enough’ or having to meet someone else’s demands….

So…with that load off my shoulders and away from my brain I am thrilled! It just might be the third best choice I have ever made in my life! πŸ˜€

Of course, some people may think I have made the wrong choice or that I’ll regret it; however, they are not me and I’m quite comfortable with: Β my decision, who I am and where I plan to go with my life. πŸ˜€

Now, I can happily do my blogs, write for my own pleasure and take full joy in the activities that I am doing without the weight in the back of my mind of thinking I should be holed up doing something I do not want or feel the need to do right now! Yay for me!!! πŸ˜€


 Posted by at 21:33  Tagged with:
Apr 122015

My parents have hit the full retirement life and spent the last four months in their ‘winter’ home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. So, I decided to go for a visit during my spring break this year to see what the fuss is all about.

Well, let me tell you – it was excellent and I definitely see why they chose to live there. There’s tons to do and the weather is fantastic. Besides that, it’s absolutely beautiful with the colors of the mountains, canyons and water all mixed in with desert blends and blue skies. It was a really nice 10-days, even if the 28-hour trip from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to Atlanta to Las Vegas to Lake Havasu was a bit exhausting. πŸ˜›

Here are the pics from the holidays!

Mar 242015

While I’m on the topic of writing and understanding my calling, let me now address a greater dilemma that’s been going on in my head for a few weeks now. This freakin’ dissertation! 😐

When I started my quest for a PhD, I wanted to ensure my employability in Japan for a tenure position and not face a constant battle of renewing contracts every three years. Plus, in academia it’s cool to be a doctor. πŸ˜›

However, my love of study has never truly been there – at least not in the formal sense. Also, my PhD journey has been less than smooth, though this is common for many who embark on such an adventure. Still, I’ve plowed through and tried to stay focused. I go through waves of a lot of progress to a lot of talking about progress to a lot of avoiding progress. Now, I’m at the point where I really don’t care about progress at all, despite the fact that deep down inside I’d still like to be a doctor. πŸ˜›

In my current work, I am extremely happy and satisfied with my level of education as it relates to the experience I am getting. By the end of this academic year, I will have done so much that I feel as if my PhD truly pales in comparison. Who knew that was possible? Still, everyone freaks out on me when I even hint at the idea of stopping the PhD progress altogether. Some say that I’ll miss opportunities. Others say that I’ve already put in so much time, effort and money that I should just get it finished. Even some just say to get over it and finish it. Most realize that it’s their projection of what they want and hint at a disappointment they would have if they were in the same place and not wanting to finish. However, that’s them and not me. When have I ever done anything that everyone else told me to do? Stubborn – me? NO! πŸ˜›

Still…Dr Tara Waller sounds pretty freaking awesome, I gotta say! So…how can I connectΒ my current Calling dilemma with my PhD progress woes?

An idea is formulating in my mind…Can I convince my brain that by finishing my PhD, I am fulfilling an aspect of my desire to write? A writer can write from a variety of perspectives. A writer can take on a different persona through the different characters. A writer can create an imagined world to describe to readers. A writer can be academic and creative at the same time. It just might be possible to process in my head that by finishing this degree and writing my literature review, finding more data for my analysis and then creating a proposed leadership development framework that I am fulfilling a part of my calling to write – write for an academic audience in a way that is unique and ‘gifted’ to me.

One aspect of my current job is helping faculty put together their research proposals or break down ideas they have for research or writing. I have an ability to synthesize and spit back out something manageable and clear for them. I also provide the support and encouragement that is often needed. My dissertation can also do this on a formal level and perhaps, just possibly, this is what I can focus on to motivate myself to the finish line! πŸ˜€

I will process this, but as I do, I will begin to refocus my energies and dissertate!

~T πŸ˜€

Mar 222015

The way that I manage to get a lot of reading done aside from a few pages before bed is by exercising on the treadmill. Lately, the weather has been rather grey and windy as the heat slowly moves into the city, so I’ve been back on the ‘mill to burn off the days’ tensions. Although I was just doing yoga twice a week and it seemed enough, I’ve realized that isn’t actually the case. I need to both distract my mind and burn off steam daily. Yoga brings me some quiet, but it’s not enough release of the buzz of my brain – especially on busy or stressful days. Usually, swimming is a good alternative as well, but since the weather has been ‘cool’ I haven’t quite got back into that routine yet. Thus, I’m on the ‘mill.

So, I’m reading this book called The In-Between by Jeff Goins (read him before and a write-up of this one to come when I finish). In the chapter I read today, he talks about how he realized his calling to write – which led to the question of whether or not one is gifted with certain predilections for life than others. As Goins writes, he knew that he was meant to write early on, I knew I was meant for writing when I was eight. There was absolutely no reason for me to feel this way, but something inside of me said that I needed to write – to share my life stories.

What is interesting about this is that just like when I do not exercise, when I do not write I feel tense and un-grounded. I lack focus when I haven’t written in my journal or had a blog post. It seems to be the one way that I can express myself clearly without fear of being misunderstood or censored for my words. It’s the one way that I am taken seriously without offense or interruption to be told that I am wrong for my thoughts. It’s the one way that I am heard. And, I am satisfied.

Although I have swayed like an out-of-sync pendulum back and forth on whether or not writing is really a part of my life, I need to truly come to terms with this reality – I AM A WRITER. I need it to write like I need to breathe. I need to write to exist. This is my calling above all other things that draw my attention or offer unknown even unreal promises. This is my calling.

Now, if only I had a clearer idea of how to make this central rather than peripheral to my life….(guess that’s another post!).

~T πŸ˜€