Coffee With Me – An Unapologetic Birthday Celebration

Last week, I turned 27 on 2/7. To celebrate my birthday, here are 27 questions with fully unapologetic answers. It is me, unapologetically – this year’s motto. A few friends compiled a list of questions – I gave them free range to ask me anything and everything, with the promise that I would answer all questions fully and honestly.

Without further ado… (Yes, I did have to Google how to spell that. The honesty starts here)


1. What is your favorite coffee drink?
Since I’m being honest here… I have not been able to drink coffee the past year. I drink tea every day – Jasmine and Earl Grey are my favorites.

2. What is your 2020 vision for yourself?
To actually do the things I keep saying I want to do.

3. What is your greatest achievement?
Keeping alive imagination and creativity. Imagining endless creative possibilities. It’s not only reserved for childhood. Even as an adult, an elephant does not need to be colored grey and within the lines. A pink elephant with polka dots is much more exciting.

4. What is your greatest disappointment?
Decisions I’ve made based on what other people think.

5. What is one lesson that your parents taught you that you’ll never forget?
Treat everyone equally. Equality is never underrated.

6. If you HAD to (not COULD) redo one moment in your life, what would it be?
To give my brother a birthday gift on our birthday last week (we have the same birthday but are three years apart in age)… Sorry, Jevin! My indecisiveness got the best of me. I’m working on your gift, I promise!

7. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To see the history of an art piece come to life right before my eyes. Can you imagine? To see the conception, creation, and all the people that have experienced that piece of art throughout time?

8. What is your life motto?
“Find the smile.” Find a reason to smile, even in the most unfortunate and challenging circumstances. There is always some positive light that can be found even in the darkest of moments.

9. What is your #1 goal in life?
To change the world. To inspire a happy, peaceful, and sustainable world by inspiring others to make positive changes themselves in their own life and in their own community.

10. If time travel were real, what time period would you like to visit?
I’d visit the days when my dad’s mom had just moved to Hawaii from Boston. She sounds like the most fun life of the party – I think it’d be a ball to meet her and spend the day out and about with her.

11. Dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would you choose?
Wassily Kandinsky, Yoko Ono, John Baldessari, and Andy Warhol. I can’t decide on just three! These four artists inspired change in art, culture, and society. They are a few of my most favorite artists – they challenged the social norms of their time and created brilliant pieces that enlightened viewers to see the world and themselves in a new way. How exciting of a dinner it would be!

12. What is your favorite literary character?
I hardly read fiction. Actually, the last novel I read was probably a requirement for high school… I did enjoy novels in elementary school, however. One of my favorites was Matilda. I loved how she took it upon herself to make things happen and do what’s right, regardless of the doubters and haters.

13. What movie should every person watch?
Chasing Coral, the Netflix documentary. Also, though not a movie, the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design.

14. What is your favorite year of your life thus far?
This year. It is indeed epic thus far.

15. What is your ideal first date? (Please, don’t say coffee)
A stroll through an art museum, with coffee 😉

16. What one question do you ask someone to learn the most about them?
“What’s your story?” It’s an open-ended question that allows them to answer in anyway they wish.

17. What is at the top of your bucket list?
I don’t like to keep a bucket list. Rather, I keep a to-do list. It seems more actionable. Top of my to-do list is to see the Great Barrier Reef and the amazing art and architecture of Europe.

18. Of all your side projects, which one do you enjoy working on the most?
What a difficult question. Between photography, jewelry design, art, and Coffee With Shay… Conceptual art is my favorite. It’s the most freeing. Though, I do love a good Coffee With Shay chat.

19. What do you miss about living in Eugene, OR?
The rain!! I miss the gloomy weather dearly. I’m a vampire at heart, keep me out of the sun please. I also miss being able to walk everywhere – I’m always driving here on Oahu.

20. What would you say is your worst quality?
I constantly need to stay busy and occupied but I always procrastinate on what actually needs to get done. Though, in my defense, it usually gets done.

21. What is your biggest fear?
On a larger scale, the disruption of peace in the world – both environmental and mankind. In every day life, bees. I don’t know why, but they are the villain of all my nightmares. I also have an immense irrational fear of characters in costumes, masks, or anything without face. Reasons for this are unknown. But even in Disneyland, you can find me running away from Mickey Mouse, retail store mannequins, and even Santa Claus.

22. What is one thing that you’d like to make time for in your daily routine?
Yoga and meditation. I need to bring this back into my life.

23. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New York City. I’ve wanted to live there for as long as I can remember, even as a little girl. I’d also love to live in either Seattle or Berkeley. Though, I can’t complain about living in paradise.

24. What is the best bad decision you’ve ever made?
Most recently… Extending my trip to spend five extra days in New York City by myself. Also, spontaneously getting my two tattoos done on a whim right before leaving for my trip this past December.

25. Where did 17 year old you see 27 year old you?
Rocking killer outfits somewhere in the world of marketing… And here I am 😉 Though, you should know that 17 year old me wore a uniform to school every day. So, any outfit that wasn’t a uniform would suffice as a “killer outfit.”

26. What do you hope to accomplish in the next ten years?
Still rocking the killer outfits, have a full portfolio of completed artwork, release the jewelry concept that is currently in the works, and travel the world.

27. So, now what are you going to do unapologetically?
Eat more vegan cupcakes from Wholefoods!