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 ‘memories’ 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 »

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 »

A small moment in time: Waking up in Honolulu

Posted by Jenni C. on January 8, 2013

I woke up today back in Honolulu, back from my holiday vacation. What in reality was only a two week long east coast getaway, or vacation if you look at it that way, seemed like a much longer period of time. I feel like time stops in Honolulu whenever I leave. When I come back, I hit play and pick up where I left off.

I woke up this morning back in Honolulu. It was raining, and a bit windy. Eventually the clouds semi cleared up, of course it is a nice day. Whether it is rainy, voggy, cloudy, or sunny, it is a nice day in Honolulu. I felt refreshed when I woke up, although it took me a minute to readjust because I still thought I was in my parents house, in my room, and in my bed in New York. How did I know I was in Honolulu, well I wasn’t freezing because my mom had turned down the heat before she went to work. I didn’t have layers of 5-6 sheets on top of me and under my very thick blanket. I slept in shorts and not sweatpants, I was excited to get out of bed because I knew I would not be freezing as I made my way to the shower, no fear of getting out of the shower due to the thought that the whole house was cold. I woke up this morning in Honolulu, and I felt blessed. As I wake up I say, “Thank you God”, not just because I am in Honolulu, but because I am alive, I am healthy, I am ready to face another day, except today that day is in Honolulu.

Yesterday, I woke up in New York, went to the airport, and got on the plane to return to Honolulu. Now, I love with a passion being able to travel back and forth from New York to Honolulu, however, the plane ride can get annoying at times. Yesterday it was annoying. A straight flight from New York to Honolulu will take from 10-11 hours, that is a very long time. This blog is titled, “Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day” because it literally takes a whole day to travel from NYC to Honolulu. When my plane left Honolulu it was 10 am est, I arrived at 6:15 pm pst, which is 11:15 pm est standard time. The whole day was spent in transit. I did not fly direct, well I sorta did. See I few on United, which does have a direct flight to Honolulu from NYC, I didn’t take that flight.  The first leg of my flight was from NYC to Dulles International Airport in D.C. (less than an hour of flight time), My next leg was from D.C. to Honolulu ( a little over 10 hours of flight time), sound fun? No I didn’t think so.

10 hours on a plane. At least there were some free movies, I stress free movies because there certainly was no free food. Shame on you United Airlines, how do you have a flight that is traveling for 10 hours and not serve free food. I was upset because my ticket did say that they served dinner, silly me to think that the dinner was free. Instead they had meals for purchase. That is the biggest hustle if I have ever seen a hustle. Smart for the airline, bad for the stupid passenger that pays 600 dollars for the plane ticket. Really I am up in the air for 10 hours, you know at some point hunger will set in and the only food on board is the overpriced snack box and your 10 dollar cheese burger. What ever happened to the days of having free meals on long flights, are times really that hard? No chips, no peanuts, well I guess I am lucky the beverages are still free, for now.

Traveling from NY to Honolulu will never be fun, well maybe when I am able to afford a first class ticket it may get a little bit better, at least I can eat worry free on the plane.  There is a small silver lining however, as the plane prepares to land in Honolulu the view from the top of the clouds in priceless. The serene look above the clouds makes you want to just lay on them, as the sun sets it feels like earth is face to face with Heaven, and God is saying,  “be still, I got this”. As the plane goes into the Honolulu  airport, a moment of calmness passes while flying on the pacific, it seems so close yet you hope that the plane does not get any closer to the ocean (not sure how many pilots have perfected that water landing yet). Life seems to stop for a moment while in the air, the noise and chaos of what happens on land is non existent. Above it all, life is good.

Then suddenly you remember why you hate flying.   From the long security lines, to the overly annoying TSA agent checking your bag, your body, and every crack in between, to the flights that are constantly oversold, flying is not fun, ever. But since the only way to get from NY to Honolulu is by air, then I must fly, and sometimes starve.

I woke up today in Honolulu, but I also miss east coast life. I miss the fast paced, overly driven world of the east coast. some days in Honolulu I feel slow, I feel like my drive is gone, motivation lacking. When I go east it all comes back, I am excited to get back on my grind. With that feeling, I feel my days in Honolulu slowly coming to an end. My story may be done here, it may be time to start a new book. Honolulu has a life, a spirit, that I don’t feel can be matched anywhere else, but I came to Honolulu to grow, and now I may have out grown Honolulu. I will always be that girl from the east, and each day I feel the east coast calling me back louder.

So as I wake up tomorrow in Honolulu, I will remember to cherish the day, enjoy the moment, and take in the Aloha spirit  because I know that one day I will longer be waking up in Honolulu.

Posted in Life, memories, New York, Paradise, Relocation, single girl | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Maid of Honor wedding diaries (part 1)

Posted by Jenni C. on January 3, 2013

Here is a piece of backdated good news. In 2012 my best friend got engaged. With a 2012 engagement, comes an exciting 2013 wedding. Now I have known my best friend for the past 15 years. We met in 10th grade, and have stuck together ever since (well that was before I moved to Hawaii). However,  prior to my move to the other side of the world, we remained in close proximity of each other. We survived each other through the torturous high school days, through four years of college, and slummed through our post college days together.

If there is one person who knows me and all my crazy, well I must say it is her, and that makes us best friends. So when she told me she was getting married, I was nothing less than excited. If one of us gets married, then it is like both of us getting married. We always say that combined we would make the perfect wife, we just needed one man who could take the both of us (well not literally), but she found a pretty good man, and in turn we get to have a wedding.

With wedding excitement in the air, she informed me that I will be the Maid of Honor. Instantly I was overjoyed, just because being the Maid of Honor sounded so cool to me. Then I quickly realized that I had  no type of the slightest idea what a Maid of Honor does. You guessed it, quicker than I could blink my eyes, that joy turned to anxiety. My next move…I do what any non suspecting, I have never done this before Maid of Honor does…I Google it. Yup, I Googled” what the heck does a Maid of Honor do”. That actually worked pretty well, Google had a lot of great and not so great websites to help the lost, confused, unorganized Maid of Honor.

After I completed my Google search, my next thought was…man I hope I don’t suck at this. See my best friend, the one who is getting married, has done a lot for me over our 15 year relationship. If females have a better half, she is my better half. She would be the world’s best Maid of Honor, she would know what to do, and pull out all the stops. My only hope is that I can be half as good. I suck at planning, organizing, and staying calm when the sky is about to fall, so why would anyone think that I would really be a good Maid of Honor. However, since I was picked, (and your not allowed to say no to these type of things…right?)I guess I need to do my best to just suck it up and kick major Maid of Honor ass.

After my Google search, I went to two of my other friends to inquire more about this Maid of Honor stuff. They have both previously held that role, so I figured they would know best what to do. The outcome…well I was told about a book I could read to help me prepare (wait is this a test?), and I was told that it would be a lot of work.  Enter the common theme;  every time I tell someone that I am the Maid of Honor the response is, “wow that’s a lot of work”. Wait! This is not my wedding, this is HER wedding, I am just the Maid of Honor! I stand in a pretty dress next to the bride, make sure that she gets down the aisle, smile, and take cute pictures.  No Google didn’t tell me that, but that’s what I made up in my head.

What did Google tell me? That it was going to be a lot of work.

Suddenly I began to feel like the Sucker of Honor. I love my girl to death, but planning and picking up loose ends is just not my thing. I don’t make decisions, I’m a Pisces, the emotionally crazy sign of the zodiac.  Good thing her wedding is set at a resort in the Bahamas, so I don’t have to worry about minor details like flowers, and things going completely wrong. If I am lucky, I can really get away with smiling and looking cute, oh and making sure that she gets down that aisle.

And now for the Bachelorette Party

One task in the is whole Maid of Honor saga that was very important was the bachelorette party. That was MY TASK. My very own make or break this Maid of Honor moment. It happened this past weekend and it was the one thing that I had to take control over, the one moment to show my best friend that I could handle this whole Maid of Honor thing, despite how scary, overwhelming, and anxiety provoking  google made it sound.

The planning for the bachelorette party was tough. When it all seemed like it was going to fall apart I wondered how I got stuck holding the the task of this major event, I was told it was because I was the Maid of Honor. Oh.

I knew I wanted to have an epic party that we could always remember and laugh about, and hey since it may be the only bachelorette party that we have the chance to attend,  it would be the party that was the finale of all parties. So how would I make that happen?

In my regular life, I am a dreamer, I have great ideas, little of which could actually be reality. So in planning a bacholorette party, my party was one that would be a major blow out. In my head there would be a psychic, a tarot card reader, a stripper, a club, a party bus, an airplane, a beach, and a ton a food. But let’s be real, a major party costs major money, and when planning on a budget big great ideas, get cut to little great ideas.

My next thought…How can we have a major single girl finale with a little bit of money?

Due to money constraints the party planning was tough, well tough is an understatement, I was stressed out for two months on how to make it all come together. Planning a party in New York, from Hawaii with a 5 hour time difference is no easy task. My days were filled with waking up early to make phone calls. From deciding on if we can afford a party bus, or do we have to travel by limousine, which club we go to, and where dinner would be, I suddenly became the bachelorette party planning expert, well with the help of theknot.com, and amazingbacholoretteparties.com I found enough ideas so everyone could have a memorable time.

The budget remained a constant issue, so there were no psychics, no  tarot card readers, and no airplanes.  We did have a stripper, an amazing party bus, I found a great club, and we even had money to eat dinner, thank God!

A piece of information that I didn’t tell my best friend is that I almost did not think that I would make it to the actual party. See a few days before the party, my sister was sick with a stomach virus. In true bad luck fashion while shopping at Party City the night before the party I was not feeling so great. I started to feel extremely dizzy, nauseated, and knew I was about to vomit at any minute. I had no time to be sick. I still had to pick a friend up from the airport, and make sure everything was party ready for the next day. I went home and immediately took pepto , drank ginger tea, ginger ale, and anything else to lose that nausea feeling. The next morning I was about 70% better, still knew I had to either die, or make it to this party. I knew the only excuse that I would have to miss this party was if I was dead, so I needed to pull it together, and pull it together quick. I drank more pepto, more ginger everything, and went about the day. I didn’t have much of an appetite and I was afraid that food would make me vomit, so I didn’t eat much during the day. Well the only thing I ate was a piece of bread. My best friend was having a bachelorette party that I planned, my stomach needed to be on its best behavior. Well I made it through the day without passing out, and without vomiting, so I was ready to party (well slightly).  My motto: The party must go on, and I had to be there.

Did I get sick? Of course I did. By dinner time I was throwing up in the bathroom of BBQ’s. Not sure if that was stomach virus vomit or alcohol on an empty stomach vomit. Oh yeah, I still drank even though my stomach was not feeling so yummy all day. Hey don’t blame me, It was a bachelortte party!!! My nausea didn’t ruin the show however, I was better after dinner, and able to enjoy the club scene. And by the time we got home….well that was a completely different story, but the party was over and I survived through the night.

Considering the amount of worry I placed on myself, my first ever bachelorette party was the ultimate successes. The bride to be, had an awesome time, we were hung over for the next 72 hours to prove it. Everyone was happy and hung over. I no longer felt like the sucker who got stuck as the Maid of Honor, I felt like a real Maid of Honor, and a pretty good one at that.

Now that the bachelorette party is over, bring on the wedding! And I will proudly stand next to my best friend, smile, look cute, know that I can be a great Maid of Honor.

To be continued…

Side note:  The wedding is in March in the Bahamas, since everyone lives all over the world, bachelorette party was in December in New York, more like an end of the year blow out.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Posted in Bachelor/Bachelorette, bachelorette parties, Friends, memories, relationships, single girl | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams

Posted by Jenni C. on May 20, 2012

dramatic dream

dramatic dream (Photo credit: unNickrMe)

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams.

I never thought that anyone besides me would ever get what that means, but I recently told a friend that, and she understood it completely. Now I’m wondering to other people experience the same thing?

Again, I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams.

Honestly, I love sleep. I think sleep is a great thing, one of my favorite pastimes, however I’m not really good at it. I am not a good night-time sleeper. Now you would sleep would be something that is easy to do. You don’t have to learn how to do it. Babies are born with the innate ability to sleep. It is a natural body response. Sleep. You can’t go too long without sleeping, and if you try to stay awake past a certain amount of time, your eyes get heavy, you mind gets delusional, and your body begin to take your whole self into a forced shutdown.

So why is it so hard for me to sleep?

My dreams. My dreams make it difficult for my body to rest. At night my body and mind are ready to sleep. It wants to sleep, and my mind is begging for a shut down period after running in overdrive to an over extensive amount of time. However once 11:00 pm to midnight come along, my body starts to despise sleep. It fights with sleep, goes into panic mode. Not an anxiety driven panic mode, but an avoidance  panic mode, ready to do anything else besides sleep.

My dreams are intense, they trigger intense emotion that have caused me to wake up in the heart of the middle of the night crying, anxious, worried, scared, and angry. My body responds to the dreams. My heart starts beating fast, if I am having an argument with someone I wake up angry with the biggest migraine because I am upset. Even though the emotion comes from the dream world, in the real world the effects are very much real.

I have intrusive, somewhat annoying dreams about ex-boyfriends. I am working on keeping the past in the past, but when the past pops up as a reoccurring item in my dreams it sends my mental state into a zone of chaos and confusion. This then takes a number of waking hours to recover from. I feel like I went from past to present real quick.  I wake up with the thought of wanting to make a phone call or send a text, but I often find myself fighting to stay grounded, it is not a good idea. It was just a dream.

My dreams have caused to me worry about my family. The realness of when someone dies, or when someone gets hurt in the dream world makes it hard to separate that from reality. I wake up with real tears, with real shivers, with a real feeling of emptiness. I become afraid in real life.  Once I know that everyone is ok, then and only then can I return to a state of calmness.

Am I crazy?

Probably just a little bit. Every once in a while, I have a very dark and frightening dream about being involved in a shooting massacre.  I know this is going to sound very strange. But this dream is reoccurring, and I am not sure why. I am always at a public place, the place my be different each time. It may be a school, a mall, or just outdoors. There is a mass shooting, one shooter is involved, I watch other people get shot, then the gun is pointed towards me, I am afraid, I feel the fright through the dream. I never get shot. As many times as I have had this dream, the shooter never shoots me. My life is spared. Then I wake up. I wake up in shock. It feels so real but, I have never been in an experience like the dream, but the dram is vivid.  The tears and rapid heart beat return, I can feel that intensely. That is real. I am alive. That is real. The dream was just that, a dream.

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams. Does anyone else feel this way?

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Posted in Dreams, Life, memories, random, Self Discovery | Tagged: , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Life Happens: Be ready for the changes

Posted by Jenni C. on December 24, 2011

Life happens quick, watch out for the changes.

In a week 2011 will be over. What the heck happened to the last 365 days? I am having a hard time grasping the fact that it is already December 24, 2011. I feel like I missed something. Maybe an entire year of life.

I  feel as if  I grew a lot this year. Even though I did not have any major life changing accomplishments in 2011, I feel vastly different from this time last year. Recently, I have had an immense feeling of excitement, and inspiration. Normally I would blame that feeling on the super large amount of caffeine I intake each day, or  possibly a sudden passing moment of mania because I have labeled myself as having bipolar moments every so often. But no, this time the excitement is different. I feel like I am ready for what’s next. Does that mean I am ready for 2012? Maybe. As with every year-end we often say, “next year is going to be my year”.  Or the cliched, “next year is going to different”.  I am not hoping for so much to change, however, I have a feeling that 2012 will be my breakout year.

In therapy, we often talk about stages of change with clients while doing motivational interviewing.  The stages go from  pre-contemplation, to contemplation, to preparation, to action, to maintenance, to relapse (well its an addiction counseling modeling actually, hence the relapse), but I always think that the concept of the model can be translated to any change in life. Over the past few years I have been going through my cycle of change, and I would say from 2010-2011 I moved from contemplation to preparation (everything before that was pre-contemplation). In 2012 I will be ready for action. I am ready to act on the ideas that have been processing in my mind, follow my path, and show the world my purpose. Does this sound a little manic? Well yeah maybe, but if you are going to have a dream, be sure to make that dream big.

Even though I did little in 2011, I grew a lot. It’s funny because when I think about the last three years since I have been in Hawaii, I feel like I grew up more than I have in my entire life. Excuse me while I sound a bit cheesy, but I have truly gained understanding and clarity. With insight comes a sense of peace, and life will be just fine. Everyone I have met has had an impact on my life, and I am finally starting to realize why I needed to be where I am, why I needed to meet the people who have entered my life, and what I am capable of doing next. The future used to scare me, now I wake up excited to enjoy the present.  No one can predict life, it is filled with uncertainty. The uncertainty makes it all the more interesting.

Normally I would end the year by feeling sad that another year has passed me by, I would want time to slow down. I will end 2011 with acceptance that the year is coming to a close, grateful for all that I have learned, and excited that I am fully prepared for whatever may come my way.

Life changes quick, be prepared for the changes.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Posted in 2012, Finding meaning, Life, memories, New Year, random, Self Discovery, self help | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »