I see all the pieces of my life, like little islands, somehow coming together to create a map. They don’t seem to quite connect but they make up who I am. They seem to have rigid borders but I’m not sure they need to be this way. I don’t know where I belong now, just trying to enjoy the day.
Walking to the beach yesterday after 3 bitter cold weeks in Europe and Washington, DC and a week lying in bed from a nasty cold was like a warm bath. I did some yoga at the tiny park before the steep slope up to Diamond Head and felt the sun beat down on my face. As I stared out into the sea, I reflected on the past few weeks, past year and the two and a half years since I moved here.
My life here in Hawaii is not what I’d expected: I imagined a quiet, contemplative life enjoying ocean breezes and lazy afternoons with few distractions and worries. There are days like this but it ends there; reality lingers and catches up to you. I didn’t expect to live in a cramped apartment in a city with responsibilities I am not sure how I acquired. Graduate school was supposed to be effortless and easy. I wanted professional exposure, which I got, but somehow ended up agreeing to do a detailed research project that hovers over my head on a daily basis. I don’t have regrets but it is a little bit confusing considering what I came here for. I want to remember the vision I had for myself here and to follow that. Adhering to expectations I never had in the first place is a recipe for misery.
I want to remember who I am, more than a fumbling grad student that never wears shoes. I want to see that I am more than a sum of parts but a whole being. My life didn’t begin when I moved here nor will it end that way. Despite some disappointments, I’m deeply grateful for my life here and the friends and love I’ve found. My life is closer to what I’ve dreamed of for years though being a student has put much of my life on hold, or at least it feels that way.
For this year: I don’t necessarily want to grow. I’ve done enough growing for a while and I’m tired. I want to expand and become fuller. I want to shimmer and light up like the Eiffel tower at night for those 10 minutes on the hour every hour. I want to live in that space and embrace each and every moment.