I cried on my way to work as I drove up the street and looked out at the mountains. It was as if they were glowing- shimmering even. The way the light hit them and the clouds just barely rolled over the tops. It was beautiful, and I thought to myself, “Wow five years of this.”
Then I cried again a little later on in the day right after work. Finding a new place to live has not been the most stress free or predictable situation to be in. Then mix in people telling me what to do, how to do it, and not to buy the things I want to buy, and I just feel helpless. Like no matter how hard I try or what effort I put in, it’s not ever going to be enough. And the thought crossed my mind, “Wow it’s been five years of this.”
And that is the most true way that I can describe the past five years of living in Hawaii.
Because it has been beautiful. Indescribable most times. Take my breath away, is this even real life, how can I be living here. It has been great!
And then it has been rough. Barely having the strength to come up for air. Constantly feeling like the water levels are rising up around me. Not knowing where to put my feet or where the stable ground is. No friends, no family, and no good food just pasta.
It has been a fair share of crap and warm rays of sunshine, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other life.
I work a whole lot. 8 to 4 from Monday to Friday and then another dozen hours on the weekends. I am either driving to work, at work, or doing something related to work even though I’m not physically in my workplace. And it sucks to work so hard to just barely survive. But a couple years ago as I listed out these complaints to my cousin, he said, “But Meg, you still live in Hawaii.”
And guys, I still live in Hawaii.
I have quit jobs- actually just one job. I have intentionally broken ties with the people who were the reason I moved here in the first place. I have felt burnt out, and I have witnessed firsthand what it’s like to lose myself in the mess. I have maxed out credit cards, cried myself to sleep, and lost best friends. But I’m still here.
And no matter how tough it has gotten or how absolutely emptying it may feel, I have still chosen Hawaii. Because at the end of the day, it’s Hawaii. And the sun shines so bright. And the ocean sparkles in the light. And my job is incredible in every possible way- shout out to public service loan forgiveness and a great boss. And God is still so infinitely good.
Because in Hawaii I learned how to be an adult.
How to purchase a car. How to get a job. How to rent a house and how to pay for the utilities in said house. I’ve learned how to cook, and if you talk to Auntie Julie she will forever be proud of me for expanding beyond my quesadillas on the electric stove top. I love to roast broccoli, I can make French onion soup, and I’ve used my body weight in butter for all the things I’ve learned how to bake. Goodness if I walk away tomorrow, at least I can say I learned how to cook while living on my own in Hawaii.
I’ve chosen Hawaii and it has not been a bad place to choose.
Sunrises at Lanikai. Evening walks around my neighborhood looking up at the Ko’olaus. Beautiful beaches, warm water, and a constant 80 degrees year round. All good things.
So I think back on the past five years and the rollercoaster of a ride it’s been. The heartbroken tears, the beyond words breath taking moments, and everything in between… I would not trade in this life, but I do hope the next five years are a little bit smoother sailing.