Look how far we’ve come
Look where we started from
Best thing about it is you know we’ve only just begun
They say life’s a dance
Ten percent circumstance but
What great adventure ever plays out just the way you’ve planned it
We’ll fly into the turbulence
No telling where we’re gonna land
Isn’t that just part of this romance?
Should we take the easy life?
Should we take the smoother ride?
No need to ask, I see the answer written in your eyes
So sail the ship onto the sand
No telling where we’re gonna land
Oh that’s just part of our romance
On and on we’ll go into our lives through the unknown
On and on we’ll fly, write the legend of our lives
On and on we’ll fight for every day and every night
The greatest stories ever told were written with a heart that’s whole
It’s been a beautiful adventure in the Hawaiian islands for the past year. Together, Trey and I took a leap into the unknown. We seized a moment that would provide us with an incredible story to tell for the rest of our lives. We’ve experienced highs and lows, we’ve grown together, we’ve learned from each other, and we’ve had the rare privilege of seeing life from a different perspective. That was all I really wanted from the whole thing to begin with. And that’s exactly what I got.
I grew up within an hour of the hospital where I was born. I always loved Texas, but I was beginning to get scared. I was scared of only ever seeing the world from my 40-mile wide telescope. I was scared of feeling trapped. I knew I had to change that or my restlessness would only grow. When an opportunity at Hawaiian Airlines presented itself, we jumped on it. A few months later we were almost 4,000 miles away on the island of Oahu.
The highs presented themselves quickly and often. To name a few… making some lifelong friends, hiking to lighthouses, caves, tidepools, and WWII pillboxes, scuba diving with sea turtles, soaking up the sun and the salty air, island hopping to Kauai and Maui, traveling to Japan, hosting friends and family for holidays and vacations, and of course, growing in our relationship with each other and making memories together that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
The lows presented themselves as well in the form of rent checks, gas prices, traffic, amazon delivery (or lack of), and culture shock. But the one that hit the hardest was homesickness. We missed our family and our friends. We missed Texas. We missed the South. We missed all the things we thought we needed to get away from. I’m grateful for the good times we’ve had in Hawaii. But I’m even more grateful for the bad. Because they taught me who I am. They taught me what I value in life and what I appreciate about Texas, my home. It’s funny how you never truly appreciate something until it’s gone. I never realized how much Texas means to me. Now I know undoubtably, family and friends are the most important thing in the world.
Growing up I’ve always taken on as much as possible. I’m someone who gets bored easily, so I guess I respond by keeping myself busy. But that kind of life naturally comes with stress. And I’ve always been able to handle that stress in a very healthy way. But a few months after we moved to Hawaii, I started to experience something I’d never dealt with before. Anxiety. All of a sudden, I couldn’t manage my stress anymore. I had anxiety attacks and constantly felt uneasy and nervous. I stressed myself out even more trying to figure out what was causing it. But on some level, I always knew. I had lost my support group. My family and friends who I had always been able to rely on in times of need or high-stress were 4,000 miles away in Texas. Of course, I could always call them. And Trey was beyond amazing. He was as amazing as anyone could possibly be. But I was homesick. I was out of place and out of my comfort zone. And not in a good way.
That support group is the reason I am who I am today. The reason I’ve been able to achieve the things I’ve achieved. Moving to Hawaii could provide all the opportunities in the world to hike, snorkel, swim, and travel, but it could never be my home. Texas is my home. And if there’s one reason why the stars aligned and allowed us to move to Hawaii for a year, it was for me to realize and appreciate that fact. I guess there truly is no place like home.
I try to live my life with no regrets. And as surprisingly tough as this year was, I will never regret it. I wanted to get out of my hometown, broaden my horizons, experience a different culture, make memories, and get to know myself better. And that’s exactly what I did. I got to do what many people only dream of doing. For a year, I lived among swaying palm trees, majestic mountains draped in green velvet blankets, turquoise waters, white sands, ancient lava rock, and cool tradewinds. I will always appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the islands. And now, I can come back and visit this little green jewel with a fond familiarly I am lucky to know.
Mahalo nui loa, Hawaii. Thank you for everything. The islands have changed my life and will always be a part of who I am.
Until we meet again…
A hui hou