Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day!!!

True stories about what happens when a girl from the big city moves to a rock in the pacific without a life raft

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Posted by Jenni C. on August 3, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2

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Posted in Friends, Goals, Hawaii, Life, Love, memories, men, Moving, Paradise, relationships, Relocation, Self Discovery, self help, single girl, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Starting over: life’s trials and tribulations

Posted by Jenni C. on January 5, 2014

Ever have one of those days where you just feel lost and uncertain? Not sure where to go, what to do, or what happens next?  So many possibilities and not sure what direction to turn to.  I am falling in on life’s uncertainty and I am not sure what makes absolute complete sense anymore. Let me back up a bit.

After about two years of living in Honolulu, I thought that I needed to move off the island, more specifically I felt I was ready to move back to the mainland. East coast, west coast, where was not important, but I felt the essence of the mainland calling me back. That was in 2011. It wasn’t for another two years that I would actually take advantage of the opportunity to move back. That was scary. I had a plan, executed that plan, now what?

Whenever I tell anyone I meet in the D.C. area that I spent the last 4 years of my life living in Honolulu, I always get asked why I moved back. Well, my move to Honolulu was never meant to be a permanent home, I never really thought that it would be a home, but for a brief period in my life Honolulu was my home. In some weird way I felt apart of local culture. Everyday I woke up the sun was shining, it was 80 degrees, and from my apartment I had a breathtaking view of the mountains that one could only dream about. I lived that life. For the most part life had minimal stress, I was in optimal health, and I was learning more about myself each day. I was living my best life.

Although it was my best life, it was my best life only for that time. In life things begin, but they also end. The end finally came. Why did I come back? Well although I had created a new life, I very much missed the old one at times. Your past will always be a part of you, and no matter how far you travel, you will never leave the past behind. I never left to run from my past, I left really to understand my present self. I needed to go to a space where I could learn about me. Away from distractions, away from expectations, away from what I once was. I found a me that I loved. I found life. I learned to slow down. To appreciate the simple pleasures of life. I never knew how peaceful life could be at the top of mountain, until I actually climbed to the top of that mountain and just sat. I never knew how much I could enjoy my own company, until my only choice was to enjoy my own company, and I never knew that I could survive so far away from everything and everyone I knew, until I had no other option than to survive. Looking back I did a pretty good job. But I knew it had to end. I miss it. But why do I miss it so much, when I knew it would be over?

I grew up along the way. I built attachments. For the first time in my life I was attached to my job. It was the first time I had ever had the feeling of wanting to cry as I submitted my letter of resignation, and every day after second guessed if I was really ready to go. I met friends who cared for me, friends who were sad to see me go, friends who showed me  Aloha from the day they first met me. I miss it.

Now I am on the mainland. Working in D.C. This is what I wanted. I am surrounded by friends who love me, my family is now only 4 hours away in New York, yet at times I still find myself dreaming and reminiscing of my time on the island.  A time of my life that is never to be forgotten.

Now it is time to start a new chapter. Which leads to that feeling of uncertainty. Where do I start? How do I start this chapter? Life is happening. Am I doing it right? I am on the mainland. The mainland is filled with opportunity. How do I take advantage of that opportunity? How do I continue to live my best life? That is a question I frequently ask. Adjustments take time, and transitions are not easy. I am adjusting. Winter doesn’t help. Its 9 degrees over here and 79 degrees in Honolulu. Those are the times when I want to return to Honolulu. But life goes on, I continue to grow, to learn, and to live. My uncertainty will eventually go away, and I will be back in tune with my purpose. But for now, I will continue to learn, focus, and stay motivated to conquer what is next. To Honolulu: I came, I saw, I conquered, To DC: Ok I’m here, let’s get it!

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Posted in Fears, Finding meaning, Friends, Goals, Hawaii, Life, Love, Relocation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2014: The year of focus and personal accomplishments

Posted by Jenni C. on January 1, 2014

Today is the first day of 2014. Happy New Year! Wow now what happened to 2013 again? I feel like a lot has happened in the year the last. It was another year of transition. A year of memories. A year of saying goodbye to old friends, and once again saying hello to lifetime friends. It was year of meeting new friends, it was a year that is worth remembering.

Exactly one year ago I would have never imagined that I would be once again living on the east coast. I would have never imagined that I would be permanently living in the an area with freezing cold winter nights, cleaning snow off my car, and wearing layers of winter clothes. Life again has worked out in an unexpected way. In 2013 I learned more about myself. I learned that I am in control of my life, no matter how chaotic it may seem, ultimately I have control. 2013 was a year of personal accomplishments, I ran my first half marathon! I learned to accept my love-hate relationship with running. I laughed a lot in 2013. Life was good. I smiled even in those times when there was little to nothing to smile about. I learned to appreciate me. I took risks, and I fell back in love with me.

I feel like 2013 was the year of me. When I look back over the year I feel like I spent a lot of time alone, yet I hardly ever had times of feeling lonely. I was able to enjoy the things I loved, not do the things I didn’t, and somewhere along the line I feel like I grew into a better version of myself. I hope that growth continues in 2014.

Life changed over the last few months. Adjusting back to the mainland after living on a rock in the middle of the pacific is not easy. I feel like I was thrown a curveball even though I know what is expected from life on the mainland. Yet it still remains slightly difficult some days to get used to. A challenge yes, but a necessary challenge indeed. 2013 you were a year with unexpected surprises, new friends, new home, and new job. Life is always changing, here is another change to overcome.

2014 will be my year of adjustment, always working on me, continuing to grow, learn, and accomplish something that is truly amazing. My personal theme for 2014 will be focus. To focus on all aspects of life a little more. Take in each moment and remember that life moments are always changing so enjoy them while I can. 2014 will be my year! My year to stop saying what I want to do and just do. Go for it. I feel the need for increased motivation, internal fulfillment, and to remember to live a life worth living. Personally I think 2014 will be a big year, and as always the best is yet to come! And finally I am ready.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Posted in Fears, Finding meaning, Friends, Holidays, Life, Love, memories, New Year | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Adventures of my first Match.com Stir event

Posted by Jenni C. on August 28, 2012

Match.com advert

Match.com advert (Photo credit: Adam Pilarski)

A few months ago (well like 2 to be exact) I decided to re-enter the world of online dating. I like to break up my dating patterns with periods of me not wanting to date so I forget why I hate it so much. Then I get bored and occasionally I get hungry. So I date, again.  Since I feel like I am working 100 hours a week, and really hate the bar scene, I decided to hit up my computer to find me a future husband. Bring it on Match.com, I’m ready! What can say I love meeting men while sitting in my pajamas, with messy hair, no make up, and eating a bowl of cereal, life doesn’t get any better than that.

The outcome: well lets just say I went on a date. Now that is a different story for a completely different day.

However, recently Match.com has started having Stir events. Events where people on match can meet  IN REAL LIFE, and you can pick who you want to date on the spot IN REAL LIFE! Sounds cool right? Uhhh hold that thought.

If you have a TV, I know you have seen the commercials for the Match events, and you probably even thought how cool it would be to attend one because they look life fun. Well I decided to go to one IN REAL LIFE, and umm fun is a nice word but I would like to say that AWKWARD is the more appropriate word for the whole Stir event.

Before I get into this story let me just give you a little caveat. To date in Honolulu is a different type of dating experience. Honolulu is small, so if you are single, you have probably seen many of the same single people at some type of event. A Match. com event is no different to the Meetup group for Honolulu singles. So if you want to save money join Meetup and socialize with other singles in Honolulu.

I will admit originally I thought going to this event was a great idea. Well it was actually held at a bar right across the street from my apartment building, so since I didn’t have to drive, even better!  I figured why not just go to see who shows up, maybe I might meet my husband. Then I remembered that this is MY reality and my life doesn’t exactly work like that.   So I went on the thought that I had nothing to lose, and since I was getting there an hour before it was over, one hour out of my life was not going to hurt, well at least not hurt too bad.

The Stir event was from 6-9  pm, I got there at 8. Really not my fault, had to work late, duty calls and clients need a good therapist. As I walked over I began to get nervous. Honestly as my elevator hit lobby and I walked outside of my building I began to think, “What the hell am I doing”, I wanted to run back upstairs, but I headed to the corner to proceed across the street.

As I stood at the stoplight I felt extra nervous, suddenly I realized that I was actually going to this alone. I then thought that I should have brought a friend along for moral support, or at least as a crutch so I would have someone to talk to. I began to feel scared. I kept walking towards the bar, still thinking “What the hell am I doing”. My mind was racing, well since my mind always races, it decided to race faster than ever. I had no idea what I was going to do or say, all I knew was that there was no turning back.

I walked up to the bar, met the bouncer, he was a very nice man. He asked me for my ID, and asked was I nervous. I lied and told him no. He wasn’t a dumb man, so he could read the look of nervousness and discomfort all over my face. I asked him how it was in there. For some reason I felt strangely comfortable talking to the bouncer at the door. He told me that it is like a seventh grade dance with boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. I hoped he was just joking, but a part of me did not really think he was joking. I laughed with him, then nervously went inside.

As I entered the room it appeared as your typical happy hour, but I knew it was like speed dating without the 8 minute time limit. I noticed people chatting, I guessed everyone already claimed who they were going to hook up with. I noticed some guys standing alone, and girls talking in groups. The bouncer was right, I was at a seventh grade dance expect everyone was either in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.

I then headed to a comfortable space on the wall. Thank goodness for walls. Tempted to pull out my cell phone and act distracted, I then mentally slapped myself and refrained from using the cell phone distraction. I decided to be brave. No crutches of my friends, or my cellphone. Just be bare and let the magic happen.  I wanted to run out of the there in a time that was faster than my walk over to the bar, and trust me it did not take me that long to walk to the bar. Instead of leaving, I figured I would make myself busy and got a drink. I got a sprite. I don’t even drink soda. I would have drank something with a lot of vodka, but I was on call for work. So sprite it was, and the sprite was flat.

I paid for my flat sprite, and headed back to my spot on the wall. Less than 30 seconds later, I got my first hit. Well a guy started talking to me. I noticed him awkwardly standing next to me. He decided to speak. He was a very, very tall, White man. 38, divorced, in the army, from Oklahoma. Ok, so not my type!  But I am trying to be open-minded, I was at a Match.com event, so I engaged in a conversation. However, after his first question was, “so what do you do?”, I knew that this conversation was not going to last long.  He spoke, I listened. He asked questions, I answered. He asked if I wanted to sit down on the couch in the back of the bar area, the area where the deeper conversation happens, I went. Hey, why not a conversation can’t hurt right?

We spoke some more, I felt like I wanted to cut my wrist. I started to figure how I could plot my escape as he talked about his divorce from his wife of two years, and how he should have been an officer in the army instead of going in as enlisted. I looked to my right, I saw three girls talking and laughing on the couch, they looked “happy hour” happy. In front me I noticed a girl and guy appearing to have a great conversation. He was talking, she was laughing, they looked comfortable, I wondered if they would get married. Then I came back to my own awkward situation with the bitter divorced man who wanted to move back to Oklahoma, thoughts of how I would get away raced through my head.  He asked me if I ever watched “A Different World”, I chuckled as I said yes all the time when it was on. He then told me that I reminded me of Kim Resse from the show. I then thought, White men always say the strangest things to me.  Maybe he was just nervous, but since I liked Kim, I didn’t think too much of it.

Finally I decided I was done with him, I wanted to see if there was anyone else to meet, so I told him I was going to walk around and got up to leave. He said no problem. I was free! I looked around the room again, 20 seconds later I bolted for the door! I was done. My 12 minute experience at the Match.com stir event was complete, I felt good, it was 4 minutes longer than a speed date. I went back outside.

The bouncer who I actually felt comfortable talking to was still outside. He asked me if I was done, I told him that I was going back home to sit on my couch. He laughed. I spent the next 35 minutes talking to him. He has never been on Match.com, is from Jersey City, NJ, and has been living in Hawaii since 2004. Of course I would go to a social happy hour to meet single men, and end up talking to the bouncer of the bar. But it was a good conversation, he was funny, and easy to talk to. No  I didn’t get his number, but maybe I will see him around again.

Suddenly it was 9 pm the event was over. I was relieved that I had made it through. No dates, no numbers, no persons of interest, but I went. As I started to walk back home it started raining. Great no umbrella either. Now in the movies, girl walks home in the rain, cute guy comes out of nowhere with an umbrella and offers to walk her home. Next they start dating, and three months later they get married, have kids, live happily ever after. Oh wait my life is not a movie, it is my life,  I ended up wet. Better luck next time.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

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Match.com

Match.com (Photo credit: PABLO.SALVADOR)

Posted in Bachelor/Bachelorette, dating, Hawaii, Love, men, relationships, single girl | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Evolution: The dating edition

Posted by Jenni C. on July 4, 2012

One of the greatest things about life is that it is always changing. Change is constant, and because of this we always know its coming.  We evolve. As a species we are always evolving. Evolution signifies growth, without change there can be no growth.  The mind cannot stay stagnant, it grows, and by growing we know we are living.

In the midst of changing (or growing older I guess), I have come to realize that my whole entire dating life has made its very own evolution. I must admit that it is an evolution that is a long time coming, and one that was much needed. As I look back on my dating past, I do so with the hope that I have taken in the lessons learned, and my dating future will be better and wiser. The past is a reflection of a point where we once were, I quickly realized that I want to be somewhere else, not there.

Recently I have noticed a common theme when I go out on dates, I am bored out of my mind! I find myself waiting for that moment of climax that will add meaning to any date, but it never comes. Let me explain more: My mind travels a million miles a minute, I have tried to slow down my thoughts…it doesn’t work.  I have an endless array of thoughts that are constantly occupying my brain space. The thoughts are never ending and always changing (hence why I suck so bad at yoga, and why I struggle with sleeping through the night). Therefore, due to this  fact it is pretty difficult to hold my attention. When one thought enters I am already about 10 more thoughts ahead.  I end up purposely looking for an attention grabbing something, just so I can focus. The focus is much needed, and when I am focused, I am finally at peace.  When a person is able to hold my attention I am in delight. I am yet to find a man who can hold my attention so I can enjoy a date with him.

With my evolution in dating I have discovered what I am genuinely interested in…A good conversation! With excessive dating,  I commonly get asked the question, “what are you looking for?” Finally I have discovered the heart of what I am looking for. Intellectual stimulation! A mental orgasm that will lead me yearning for a second and third date as soon as possible. In my world of thinking, if a man can easily bring my mind to a state of climax with his words, the sexual climax must be a million times better. Right?

But seriously, I usually would not think that it would be this difficult to find a date with conversation that is motivating and inspiring, a conversation that you want to never end. Am I asking for too much? Probably. But I don’t care. I like a man who can make me think. A man who is not afraid to challenge me. I know I may seem brilliant, but I do have my moments when I am wrong.  Does anyone read books anymore? I will even enjoy a great conversation about why our whole political system is so messed up. Wow am I boring or just old? Not sure.  A few years ago I would have thought these were boring topics, now they are topics that I chase after.

A friend told me that I have evolved myself out of the dating pool, that doesn’t sound so good to me. I don’t ask for too much. I just ask to date a grown man. I’m not a total prude, I love talking about sports, music, movies, but I want more. I want depth. I guess I want to finally be an adult, in an adult relationship. Can we say scary?

Now that I have embraced my evolution, I just have to find my male counterpart who has embraced his.  In my 20’s I was only attracted to the physical appearance of a guy, that was enough for me and all that I needed to make him my boyfriend. Now don’t get me wrong, I still am a sucker for a physically attractive man, I actually need that too, but maybe not as much. In hindsight, it’s never going to be all I need, and I truly need more to make a lasting relationship.  So where do I start? My new place to pick up men who read books…the bookstore! Wait, do any bookstores still exist?

 

Positive thought, positive energy, positive experiences

 

Posted in Black women, dating, Finding meaning, Life, Love, men, relationships, Relocation, Self Discovery, single girl | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No more first dates please!

Posted by Jenni C. on May 18, 2012

So I have a confession: For the first time ever in my life I ran out on a date. I didn’t even say goodbye. I just left. I had enough. I wanted to scream. To avoid screaming, I made the most non under dramatic exit possible. Like a superhero I bolted out the door with lightning flash speed (we were at the movies, I ran out on the movie. Who does that?) The first,  hopefully the last and only time that I will ever have to engage in such a act. But to be honest, I couldn’t take it anymore, I just had to go.

The details of my bad date aren’t really that important. Since I left, trust me it was bad. I am 30 years old! In my own right, I have a higher standard of dating. To engage in a date with a drunk guy at the movies is not on my to-do-list. Yet it happened. So long story short: he was drunk and obnoxious, I was mortified and sick to the pit of my stomach, and I bolted towards the end of the longest two hour movie date of my life. I was tempted to walk home at nearly 11:00 at night, yeah it was that bad. Lucky for me, I have awesome friends who are willing to rescue me from the horror of my dating life (thank God, maybe the heavens do like me!). I was saved from walking, the night ended with great laughs, and another story to add to the book.

I never fail to get that all too common reminder as to why I hate dating.  When I seem to have a memory lapse, suddenly it comes back to me, the reasons why I can do without a first, second, or third date. In fact I have come to this conclusion: I never want to go on a first date again! I feel the need to be saved from the pain of having to endure the torment of horrible conversation, or sitting across the table from someone who should probably be at the nearest AA meeting than out in public with me.

Yup, its official, I am throwing in the dating towel. In a perfect world I would just be able to bypass all the mundane initial date “stuff” and move to the actual relationship. The relationship, the stage where we are exclusive. The stage where we are comfortable with one another.  He tells me how much he loves my smile, he knows what to say to make me laugh, I do sweet girlfriend things and  he enjoys listening to my useless tidbits that should probably land me a spot on Jeopardy. That stage where I don’t have to shave my legs every single time we go out because he is fully aware that hair grows on them, and if I want to sit around that house in sweatpants, then fine! Sweatpants are perfectly acceptable attire, he doesn’t care.  I would much rather prefer that stage, than the stage of the awkward first, second, third, fouth…..date.

Who said dating was fun? They lied. The truth, it sucks. No wonder speed dating is so popular, the commitment only lasts for 8 minutes. Short, sweet, and to the point, to me that equals perfection. If I can’t stand you at minute 8, we can part ways and never have to speak to each other again. So much better than waiting for minute 120 or 180, those minutes seem to last forever.

If only life had a fast forward button. If I could close my eyes today, and be in a completely monogamous relationship tomorrow, well I’ll take it. We know we will work, we have what each other are looking for, and we want the same things in life. Sounds good to me. Oh wait, life doesn’t really happen that way. I must endure the pain of a first date to get to that point.

Did anyone watch “What Chilli Wants” on Vh1? I see now why Chilli’s list was long enough to circle the entire earth…twice. To go out on a date and have an utter sense of disappointment is a pure waste of time and energy. At least if you know what you want to can see, attack, then conquer. Well maybe not so harshly, but you get the point.

To move to the relationship stage, dating must come first. If anyone knows a way around it, trust me I am open for ideas. As I eagerly hope for that amazing date that happens with ease involving  great conversation,  encompassing moments that I hope can last just a little bit longer, and a feeling of utter calmness, I will do what I can to stay positive. I will still go out, after a through screening process 🙂 Believe me the screening is not that bad.

At 30 I have a new take on dating. No wonder it is far more difficult than when I was 20. I am in a new realm. I have evolved. I have higher standards, I have expectations. Yup, dating is more complex now than ever. But, as with everything else in life, the more I try, the closer I am to getting it right.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Posted in Life, Love, relationships, Relocation, Self Discovery, self help, single girl | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »