Wearing my wicked watch tan,
my sore feet covered in blisters from hiking
And walking the famous Kalakua shopping street each morn
Along with my black, brown, blue and green bruises all over
especially on my hips and my rib cage from the surf.
I cannot say I’ve ever had all this before.
It was totally worth it though.
At the top of a hike, it feels like you’re high on life.
Surfing feels like balancing on the earth’s current in the most perfect of ways.
It is all too exhilarating to stop
Where time gets left behind to be present.
I might need to buy my own surfboard…
and hiking boots.
I got awestruck by tremendous sea turtle inhaling oxygen next to me
So much that I flipped off my longboard
Then I met a guy named Micah
Who coached me and told me I wasn’t centered.
Hawaii feels flawless most of the time
But man of man I’m over these prices
It’s a pain to buy breakfast that’s alway in double digits
But the Kona coffee is so pure
The gasoline is four dollars minimum for a singular measly gallon
It’s hard to say no
And all the bowls
There’s the poke and the açaí
I never can make up my mind.
You’ll never run outta rice here.
There’s the delicious Spam Musubi rice meal a dollar 95 at the ABC
I buy those for a meal like 123.
There’s dim sum, Korean kimchi and hypnotic Chinese on a spinning Lazy Suzanne
The time zone is kinda whack
And taking time to adjust to
I mean I post anything and for hours
the only people who see it are me, myself, and I.
And I can’t call my rents at night
Only in the morning.
So I’ve been making friends up the wazoo
I’ve never lived in a hostel before
Everything is so transitory
But it’s oh so fun.
To go from a handful IRL physical friends
To meeting near 100 people in a few weeks
I’m not lying that it’s quite crazy.
On my arrival day I was asked if I was homeless.
Yes, I hadn’t showered and was jet lagged,
But I had a home and had insomnia a few days.
So I sat on a bench and waited for the sun to rise,
Without knowing it was on the other side of the island.
I feared I lost my social skills
I think they’re coming back.
I’ve been meeting some of the most interesting people
Like a sped teacher seeking to support dyslexics
Who surfs, produces music, paints and fixes motorcycles
A plethora of uber drivers in the military
A girl who makes spoon rings
A 19 year old entrepreneur who bakes gluten free cookies
An aspiring videographer who has a way with the lens
Rigorous students studying remotely
A flock of drunk germans at Taco Tuesday
A father supporting his family of five with three jobs
A compassionate Moroccan who moved to Maui.
A guy I rented my surfboard who thought I was 19.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Age is just a number here.
The ceiling is invisible with opportunities.
As for the job that relocated me here:
My title is community manager.
In actuality, I feel like a caring adult camp counselor.
elevating young professionals to discover themselves.
While in mom mode I make sure to support them in their ‘street smarts’
And flex some empathy of what it was like my first time studying abroad.
They look up to me
And I look up to them.
They make me feel younger again
Like when I lived in a retirement condo building in Florida last March
When Fred called me kiddo each day.
My students started a mindfulness club with me.
They reminded me what it was like to meditate and journal
for the first time.
What a beautiful feeling that is.
The diversity here in Hawaii is mind-boggling.
An intersection of humanity like none other I have seen before.
Its uniqueness is unmatched.
I could people watch in the Ala Moana park all day.
Who knew that this Polynesian part of Oceania was a magnet for everyone?
This is just the beginning.
I cannot wait to keep observing life as it goes by.
There’s something about this place.
I’ve never seen such calming sunsets,
Or glistening stars in the pitch black sky,
The mountain peaks are all shy and vanish into the clouds.
My pass times are in a limbo,
In the best of ways.
I want to surf and hike every day
when I never have before in my life.
Fishing and dancing are still on that list,
And I cannot wait.