Three months later: in a new apartment, got rid of my new job, got my old job back, still single. I’m going on 6 months here yet I still feel like a stranger. What goes through my mind often is, “When will I feel at home?” or, “What do I need to do to feel at home?”. I mostly draw a blank. I am not sure there is much I can do except let things fall into place. Moving has definitely tested my patience and I am having a hard time understanding why it’s taken (and taking) me so long to settle in. And then I remember how hard it was when I did it before and that it will take time. There’s not much I can do about it.
I changed the “theme” and name of my blog. I don’t really like it, but it’ll do for now.
So I did it: I picked up my life and moved to the Bay Area, got a new job within 2 months, bought a car, and am on my way to finding an apartment. Why don’t I feel as great as I thought I would? I didn’t expect it to be this hard, but I suppose if I knew, I would have never made such a drastic change. My memory is lost on whether I had such a hard time adjusting to Hawaii – I’m trying to find a frame of reference for how I’m feeling. DC…definitely even worse since I knew almost no one and it was COLD.
I miss Hawaii horribly: often, when I close my eyes, I see the gorgeous blue water, clean waves, sunshine and see me laughing with my people. My people. It’s something I don’t quite have yet here and can’t expect to yet. I have childhood and college friends here, along with other Hawaii transplants, but they don’t feel like “my people”. I question if I ever will have the friendships I did in Hawaii. I recognize the luxury of time, access to recreation and the culture of Ohana (family/friends) coming before work, is not the norm here on the mainland – or at least for the East Bay. I knew this moving here. I knew all of this was true. Yet the sadness of letting go is no less of a shock to my core.
What I may find is a good group of friends and colleagues who are close but our time together is penciled into our planners (more like iPhones). We will go to dinner or a bar instead of hanging out at the beach. I do know I can find friends who surf and enjoy a similar lifestyle that I’m used to. This I do believe, despite feeling discouraged and cynical right now. Though instead of this being the norm it will be an exception to the rule. But I’ve never been one to follow the societal rules to begin with.
What I do hold on to is the understanding that my experience in Hawaii and the memories I created are still mine to keep. They have not gone away but live within me and always will. I can carry those memories and experiences with me every day and let them shape who I am today and forever.
I question why I’m here almost every day, sometimes several times a day. Is the lifestyle change, traffic, fast-paced life and high cost of living worth it? I can’t answer this question yet, though I wish I could. I want to say, “yes”, but I fear my answer will be “no”. I strongly feel I am meant to be here – I feel it in my soul – but for how long, I am not sure. So I need to take each day, each moment, as it comes and remember this to shall pass, I’ll find a home wherever I go (and within myself) and the answer to my question will eventually reveal itself.
It’s been a little over 3 weeks since I moved and I’m dealing with a lot of grief. I would say I’m in the denial stage at the moment, but slowly coming out of it. The fun and excitement of something new has been interweaved with the realities of getting settled, feeling homeless, carless, jobless…and often feeling alone. I’ve done this before and I know it will pass, but what seems most challenging is adjusting to a new reality. My life at the moment does not include daily surf sessions, gorgeous weather every day and a life full with amazing friendships. I am in the middle of a city, feeling slightly trapped and lost. How I spend my days will differ for now. What I value is being outside, nature and friends – I know that awaits me, perhaps just not at the moment. I can and will find that again it may just look different.
I try to tell myself this is part of the transition process and to take it day by day. I am not where I want to be and I’m not sure when I will be but I got to have faith. I came here to find love and career inspiration – when I remember this it brings me comfort and reminds me of why I made such an abrupt move. All this takes courage and strength and a willing to take risks. I trust my desires will be honored and come to fruition.
I know Hawaii waits for me, as I wait for it. The sacrifices I’ve made seem overwhelming right now but I trust this is exactly where I’m supposed to be, without a doubt. I take it day by day, trusting in myself and the process of letting go and being open to new experiences.
So here I’ve landed, in North Hollywood for the evening where my brother and his wife live. The name is deceiving: one would think it’s exciting but the city is actually in the Valley which is far from interesting. In fact, I haven’t left the apartment all day. So being cooped up in an apartment with no car is not what I was dreaming my first day back in California would be like. But so it is…
My first goal (and I’m trying to break them down into bite-size pieces) is to buy a car. I’m going to focus solely on this otherwise I fear I will continue to overwhelm myself which I’ve already managed to do so this evening.
I don’t like feeling homeless, I suppose no one does. My plans seem to change day by day which is maddening but part of the process of moving. I miss my friends, I miss the warm balmy weather, I miss familiarity. I feel a heaviness in the pit of my stomach and a deep sadness for what I’ve left behind. I wait it out, as I know from experience this is how grief works.
I missed not surfing today as I’d gotten into the routine of going every day. I’m excited to check out the surf breaks in northern California, but it may be a while until I get a wetsuit and new board. My old one should be arriving in a month or so.
I’m sure this is the beginning of what will be a long process of letting go. Though I’m open to the possibility of it being easy and not long. I have to remember I’m resilient, I’ve done this before, and I know how it works here: it’s where I’m from. Whether I like it or not, it is a part of who I am.
What I do know for sure is I had an amazing time in Hawaii and I’ll never forget it. It feels strange to refer to my time in Hawaii in past-tense. I still ponder about how a place so seemingly perfect couldn’t be what I need right now. Though I’m already mentally planning my visit back.