The sun feels different in Hawaii. It’s hot, but not excruciating – it’s more like a hug, a warm embrace. The breeze wraps around your face like a soft shawl. The birds sing melodies only the islands can understand.
I have moved away from Hawaii many times in my life, but I have always been drawn back – it’s as though I am magnetic and the islands are only attracted to my type of metal. So when I was struggling last year, I knew that the islands would heal me. Being back here, where everything is familiar, where the sunshine has healing powers and the waters wash every bit of negativity away, I knew I would be okay.
In the last 8 months that I have been back, I have been transformed inside and out.
I came to Hawaii seeking comfort, refuge, clarity, and support. I left with so much more.
As I type this on the plane, watching the islands grow smaller and smaller from my window seat, I’m reflecting on everything this place has done for me.
When I stepped off the plane a few months ago, I was broken, distraught and hurt. I had lost everything I had and I had no plan. But the island had plans for me.
Over the next few months, I put everything I had out in the open. I poured every emotion, regret, grudge, and negative feeling out and for the first time, I didn’t allow those feelings to come back inside. I let them out and kept them out, replacing them with positivity, growth, light and joy. After many, many months of grieving, crying in the shower, in my bedroom, in the closet, on the drive home. After breaking down and asking the universe WHY, I finally let it all go. I spent many hours and days soaking up the sunshine. Laid in the sand. Hiked in the mountains. Swam in the sea. I wrote down every thought – good and bad. I just wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I went to church. I practiced yoga. I started loving my body, my skin, my heart. I prayed. I forgave. I accepted my life for what it is, not what it ought to be.
I searched high and low for answers, but the only thing that made sense was this: You are here now, so be here now. After all this time of thinking and planning and wishing and wanting to be someone else and somewhere else, I finally let go and let it be. Say it with me:
I am who I am, and at this moment I am where I am so I will appreciate this for what it is.
Throughout the years, the islands have been my safety net, a home that nurtured me and taught me to appreciate life for everything it is, a place I come to when life gets hard, a place I love that loves me back, a place that is comfortable and familiar.
Hawaii is every definition of home that could ever exist, and it is going to be excruciatingly difficult to find another place that can compare, but I have peace in knowing that everything I need is inside of me and so long as I carry that with me, I can create a home wherever I go.