An Ode to a Home (pt. II)

ode to home

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.

An Ode to a Home (pt. II)

Life Lately: Two more weeks left in Hawaii

The title of this post makes me cringe. If you read my last life update, I had two MONTHS left in Hawaii. Time is really escaping me! It’s hilarious too, because I had this entire elaborate plan of posts to write, but I have no time to write them. I’ve been so, so busy lately. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Packing, packing, and more packing. The last few weeks have been full of running to Home Depot to buy more boxes, paper cuts, lots of dust and heavy lifting, garage sales, and rediscovering old photos, trinkets and memories. The movers came and took everything, and next week all the furniture will be gone. I purchased my one-way plane ticket. Now it’s REAL! Any guesses where my destination will be? 👀

I started writing again! (Not on this typewriter, because inefficient and I gave it away to a kid at the garage sale, but you get the point). I finally started writing my book way, way back in January (oh, God), but it got put on pause because of travel and starting a new job.

In the shower the other day, where most of my life-changing thoughts happen, I wrote an entire scene in my head. I hopped out of the shower and brought it to life on my computer. Slowly but surely, it’s coming along and it feels great!

Any other writers out there? Please tell me I’m not alone with my shower thinking! 🙄

In between everything else, I’ve been trying to find time each day to slow down, let my brain turn to mush and watch a show (I’m really into Parks & Rec and Twin Peaks right now!), read a book (currently reading The Child by Fiona Barton!), or go for a walk around the neighborhood.

Mother’s Day was beautiful. I felt so lucky to spend it with my mom for the first time in 3 years! (I can’t believe I was away that long… sorry mom!) We took her out to brunch at restaurant that overlooks the entire island, and I think she felt really special, which was the point ❤

Since it was Mother’s Day, I also spent some time walking down memory lane and found these photos. This was the last photo I took with my stepmother before she lost her battle to cancer. She was a very special person to me, and I feel grateful for the 10 years she was in my life. And this little angel was her therapy pup, his name is Chemo! 😊

The weather here has been pretty strange, and I can’t help but think it’s because the island doesn’t want me to leave (I sound like LOST. Remember that show?!) In all seriousness, the Hawaiian culture is very in tune with nature and spirituality – so it’s hard not to think this way. When I was vacationing here back in August/September last year, we went up to the summit of the mountain to watch the sunrise the day before we left to go back to Canada. And it poured, we were covered in clouds, and we didn’t have a sunrise. Never in the 20 years that I’ve lived here, has that ever happened. I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t leave. Now that I’m about to leave for good this time, it’s been cloudy, gloomy, rainy for months. Call me crazy…

Although it’s been pretty stormy and gloomy lately, sometimes the sun peeks through the clouds and lights up the sky with orange and yellow hues. And that’s like life, really. It can be bleak, dismal and dark. Sometimes it feels as though you’re under constant cloud-cover. But then there are moments when the entire world explodes with color, the clouds open up, the air stills, the birds sing in unison, and all feels right.

Amidst all the craziness that IS life, I live for moments like these. I hope you find some beauty and some calm this week.


 

 

*Some links may be affiliate links because these 4 cups of coffee a day won’t pay for themselves! 

Life Lately: Two more weeks left in Hawaii

Springtime | A time for embracing change

There’s something I love about all seasons.

Summer for all the fond memories and sense of nostalgia it holds.

Autumn for the drastic change from lush greenery to oranges, browns and reds. The way it brings together warmth and coldness.

Winter for the way it exposes the earth, strips the trees of its leaves and the world of its color – yet at the same time, brings so much cheer and coziness and familiarity.

And Spring, the time of year when things come back to life, flowers bloom, creatures (and people) emerge from their winter hibernations, and change is embraced with open hearts.


The first phase of Spring is a time when plants begin to defrost, shed themselves of the winter cold and emerge from their dreariness.

In the second phase, they begin to grow, their roots take hold and they grow, grow, grow.

In the third phase, their leaves reach up toward the sun and embrace warmth, embrace change.

And then one morning, seemingly out of nowhere, a flower appears. Beautiful, vibrant and full of life.


The last 7 months have been a season of change. In these last few months, I have shed myself of my dark, cold winter. I’ve grown. I’ve realized my beauty and allowed myself to strengthen and improve myself – for myself.

Right now, I’m in the third phase of spring. I’m embracing the change that is happening in my life and in my heart. Every day, I’m working toward becoming the person I want to be. The joyful, calm, kind, radiant me.

And I can’t wait to bloom.

 

Springtime | A time for embracing change