Life needs to be experienced to be appreciated, there is no other way.
I was born in the American Midwest, raised in Asia, by a single parent (and my Asian family), and also spent seven years as a single parent myself.
Leaving Toledo, Ohio and all that was familiar as a kid, including my mom and brother, I grew up in the country of Singapore. It became home in a unique way; I had great Adventures with Dad, and when people ask me where I am from, I am grateful that being a Third Culture Kid (TCK) is part of my identity. I also recognized the need to fully restore the relationship with my mom which I did as an adult. It was not easy, and was certainly worth the journey to get there, every mile.
Being raised by my Dad in Asia, as a minority in a country that became home gave me experiences, relationships, and perspectives that I would never have gained otherwise. I learned that when it came to getting to know others and forging relationships made through school, church, or neighbors, any divisions and arbitrary walls can be broken down.
I spent seven years as a single parent myself, and as a Father’s Day gift to my Dad in 2012, I started to share learnings and encouragement on my blog by getting through what I call The Coconut Husk. The purpose was to get to the heart of matters, and matters of the heart:
Getting to the heart of matters having spent seven years as a single Dad, and having been raised by one myself in Asia it took ALOT of the same. My Dad and I are scuba divers and diving as often as we did in the South China Sea we would swim ashore, take off our gear and get out our dive knives out. We would gather some coconuts and use our dive knives to get through the tough husks and just talked and spent time together. We also certainly ate our share. I learned so much from my Dad and the symbolism, now that I think about it of getting to the heart of matters and having meaningful times is akin to getting to the heart of all those coconuts with our dive knives. It takes awhile to get through the tough husk, but once you do it is certainly worth it. He would often say to me “can’t have quality time without quantity time.”
You never know where the next conversation will lead, and met my beautiful wife Angela on a blind date in July 2016. After our date, she said she just wanted two more minutes; and I’m grateful and blessed that it led to a much longer than that!
Me and my wife Angela on our first date
As we go through more coconut husks, I look forward to getting to, and sharing about, the heart of matters because we all bleed as one.
Please feel free to connect.