May 21st 2014. I posted the first picture I took as soon as getting off the plane, and I captioned it “Fell in love the minute I stepped off the plane. Sorry mom and dad, but I don’t think I’m ever going back home.” And little did I realize then how true that statement would be.
Because fast forward seven years, and Hawaii is my home.
I have crafted the most beautiful life I could have never imagined. My job could not be more in line with what I believe and what I’m passionate about- and it’s not even the job I moved here for. I live in a home where I get to bake and have friends over for game nights and sit on the couch and stare out at the beautiful view. Every aspect of my life in Hawaii is a reflection of the decisions and hard work I’ve put into being able to be here. And I’m proud of myself for it.
That’s why this question hurts so much. Because I’ve worked so hard. But really Meg, is this the end of my time in Hawaii?
And I know the answer to that is no, simply because every time I even begin to think about it my heart breaks and my eyes water and my breathing cuts off. But the reality is, life has not been easy lately.
So much so that even my dad thinks this is the year that I move back to California. Because even he knows that I’ve struggled so deeply and so much in the past year.
If I were in California, I’d have my mom to live with and pay for all my groceries. If I were in California, I’d have my dad to drive me around and buy me quesadillas. If I were in California, I’d have Cassie- no explanation needed. If I were in California I’d be closer to family, closer to Disneyland, closer to In n Out. There are just so many things that work towards my benefit if I were in California.
But on the flipside, if I leave Hawaii I leave behind the largest part of my heart. And already I can’t breathe just thinking about it. Because if I leave Hawaii, I leave behind the part of me that paved her way into adulthood. I leave behind the beautiful places where I have felt God’s presence. If I leave, I’m saying goodbye to a wonderful job, a church I love, and great friends. All of which play a huge role in why I call Hawaii home.
And so I just don’t know what to do or what to think or how to feel.
Because in a couple months I’m going to be out of a house and I’m going to have to decide. Is this God telling me that it’s the end of my time here, or is this another hurdle where I have to trust in Him and He’ll completely blow my mind with an unthinkable solution.
I’m leaning towards the latter, but I’m also so tired of struggling to survive that I could easily trick myself into believing the prior.
Life in Hawaii this past year has not been easy. I’ve had tough patches here and there while living on this island in the middle of the ocean, but this last year was constant hit after hit of bad news. And so I know that if I leave now it’s not because I’m ready for something new in California, it’s because I’m running away from something in Hawaii.
Running away from broken friendships and failed relationships. Running away from the financial burden of living in paradise. Running away from the loneliness I feel as I watch all my cousins have a game night together while I’m home alone on rainy, cold, Easter Sunday.
I flew here that May of 2014 bright eyed and bushy tailed with so much love and adoration for a place I had yet to even discover, but if I were to leave tomorrow I’d be going with a hurting, heavy heart and a load of disappointments.
And I love Hawaii enough not to do that. To not leave broken because eventually the brokenness will turn into resentment, and the resentment will mean I’m never touching foot on this island again. I love Hawaii enough- and I truly believe I’m strong enough- to not do that.
Because I can work a few more hours at Madewell and not buy that dress I don’t need in order to save a few more dollars. And I can be social and take the time to create new friendships so I don’t feel so lonely. And even if it means I won’t be able to bake or invite friends over or sit on the couch and read, I’ll find a new place to live.
I don’t think this is the end because I think I’m willing to suffer through it to make it last longer, but I just wish I didn’t have to struggle anymore.