Today is my last day in Honolulu. It makes me really sad because I don't want to leave home.
Oddly enough, Hawaii seems to have this powerful aura that makes people who've grown up here always feel, no matter how long they live in other places, that Hawaii is "home." My high school classmates who left the islands for college and never returned to live have now lived more of their lives in other places than in Hawaii, yet many (though not all) still call the islands "home."
Ten years after moving to Lala Land, I still call Hawaii "home" as in, "I'll be 'home' until August 18th, then I have to go back to L.A." Over the years, though, I've developed this strange cyclical relationship to Hawaii as my "home." When I come home for the summer, I seem to go through a three stage process:
The Honeymoon Phase - I love Hawaii. I'm so relaxed. Let's go to the beach. Lots of carbs … Yum!!! Fresh mango. Fresh lychee. Fresh pineapple. Shave ice … People are so nice to old people here. People know how to cut Asian hair here.
This Place is So Damned Frustrating Phase – So much damned traffic, why don't people want to start building this train system??? Why are people driving 40 mph in the right lane, 41.5 mph in the middle lane, and 41.6 mph in the left lane??? Why don't people signal a left turn when they're stopped at the intersection until AFTER the light turns green??? Why are people so threatened by outside ideas here??? Why is it considered heinously rude for me to tap my car horn to tell you the light is green, but it is fine for you to distractedly check your texts until the light is yellow then you go through and I miss the light??? Why is there so much racism and homophobia here???
Separation Anxiety and the Sadness of Leaving Phase – I miss being everyday close to my family. I miss hanging out with my closest of friends. I miss not having to go to work everyday (I suppose this one shouldn't count, though).
Leaving Hawaii always leaves me conflicted forI love Lala Land. It's has been WONDERFUL to me for ten fantastic years. Lala Land has allowed me to learn to embrace, love, and like myself … All of myself. It's helped me to grow a wonderful relationship with Significant Other. I've learned to be so much less fearful of the world and I've grown up a WHOLE lot. I don't think that I'd trade my experiences in Lala Land for anything and when it comes time to leave Lala Land, I know that I'll struggle and grieve and yet for now, I grieve and miss my life here at home in the islands.