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.
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.
At this moment, in two weeks, I’ll be departing to California. I can’t figure out if it’s because I’m leaving or if I’ve just learned to be a happier person, but these past few weeks have been amazing. Shortly after I decided to move, I made the conscious decision to live in the moment and enjoy myself as much as possible until I leave. I understand that it may be a while until I return to Hawaii and I may never have the chance to live here again; I want to spend my time relishing my Hawaii ohana and the immense beauty that surrounds me. Outside of work, I’ve been mostly surfing, spending time with friends, gardening, hiking, etc. Of course I’ve spent time packing and taking care of the particulars of moving, but I’ve been able to simplify the process due to choices I’ve made.
Making this choice to live in the moment has been revolutionary for me. I normally would be suffering from crippling anxiety and instead I’ve decided not to worry about my future until I have to. I’m going to let life unfold in California when I get there. And I’m not afraid. I feel like this is how I’m supposed to live – moment by moment, trusting myself – and I have somehow now just learned this at 39.
A word that has come to mind lately is “liberated”. I’m okay with not knowing the future. I’m okay not knowing if things will work out or not when I move. I’m okay with trusting things WILL work out…whether it’s in California or elsewhere.
The bigger question is…what will I call my blog???