Sometimes I accidentally turn this blog into a breeding ground of injustice and other dreadful news because my mind is focused on those stories instead of new outfits or an eyeshadow tutorial. Of course everything I share here is directly related to who I am as a person, so it’s not always glitter and rainbows (though my outfits may seem otherwise) after reading the news. However, I want This Is Noelle to include as many personal moments as possible, so I wanted to share 5 moments in which I was the happiest. Similar to that of 5 things, these 5 moments are random, but made a unique impact on my life and my mental state. I don’t remember everything about each of these 5 moments, but I know I was extraordinarily happy with some of the best people I know!
The first of the 5 moments was when our marching band (The Kamehameha Schools Warrior Marching Band and Color Guard) went to Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration in 2013. That trip changed everything in my life, but on this particular day, Brandon and I were fooling around while examining a hot air balloon basket in one of the Smithsonian Museums. We thought it would be funny if we pretended to fly inside (hence the arm placements) and we couldn’t stop laughing after the photo was taken. I don’t know why I think this picture is so hilarious, but it’s still my favorite we’ve ever taken together and one of the few times in my life where everything felt perfect.
Skipping several years, the second of my 5 moments in which I was the happiest took place at my graduation from Baylor in May 2019 (somehow nearly four years ago!!! What is time?). My entire family on my dad’s side flew up for the occasion and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that type of relief and pure joy after an accomplishment. There were so many times I wanted to give up on academics, but knowing that I would one day graduate from Baylor University in the presence of all the people I love made me work even harder to accomplish that goal. Having my parents and sister next to me and cheering me on was just the icing on the graduation cake.
Last March I went to visit my Waco best friends Jonathan and Lo for the first time in over two years, and I was so thrilled to see them again! We text, exchange Marco Polos, and send voice memos all day long every single day so it wasn’t like we had to catch up on everything that transpired over those two years, but reuniting in person was one of my favorite moments ever! Because of the busy March Athletics schedule we didn’t get to see each other every day, but the few times we spent together were wonderful! I can’t wait to go back to Waco in October to see them again and meet my one and only nephew!
Now that we’re all adults, it can sometimes be difficult to arrange times for my Hawaiʻi best friends to gather altogether, so our annual Christmas parties are some of my most beloved parties of the year. During COVID we started having almost all of our hangouts at Kai’olu’s house, and because she and I basically grew up together as best friends, spending time with her family is like being with my second family. Last Christmas we ate dinner, decorated sugar cookies (as always), drank Parker’s mocktails, sang our regular karaoke favorites, and laughed and laughed all night. I feel exactly like myself at Kai’olu’s house with our best friends and her family, so I’m lucky to add this memory as one of my 5 moments I was the happiest!
My last favorite of the 5 moments in which I was the happiest was a few months ago when my Hawaiʻi best friends went to a Korean BBQ place and my cousin and bff Conor came along! Conor doesn’t really hang out with my friend group (although he, Parker, and I are three musketeers), so it was so fun having him come along with us to dinner and for karaoke after! Conor and I work together and talk almost every day, which is one of the best parts of my life now. We had the most fun eating all of the food Parker cooked for us and scream singing the songs we all love the most at karaoke. Going out with my friends (+ cousin) is one of my all-time favorite pastimes and I’m euphoric after every karaoke moment!