Perfection: A state with my very own NY-Hawaii mix

Lately I have found myself missing New York. I never ever thought I would  feel this way because when I left the chaos of the big city, I couldn’t escape the state fast enough. I was done, it was time to experience life at a different angle. But now I think I miss life as I knew it in New York. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not the feeling of wanting to permanently move back to New York.  The chances of me ever living in the city again are slim, yet the overall atmosphere of city life cannot be matched by living anywhere else.

I can’t figure out what it is exactly that I am yearning for at this point in time that is making me miss the city. Maybe its the summer NY air. A New York summer is always filled with good times. Block parties, loud music, and excessive drinking  during all hours of the night, what an experience! The humidity,  the extremely hot air, overcrowded subway stations, mounds of tourist, and walking for blocks while window shopping and enjoying the scenes of a good New York summer are consistently invading my mind. From open fire hydrants that kids play in, to waking up in the morning with a heat wave index of 100 degrees at sunrise, there is something that I am missing while I am Hawaii, and I know I just can’t get it here.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I love Hawaii, and I love the fact that a Hawaii summer is a year long event.  While the rest of the country is enduing a dramatic heat wave, In Hawaii there are always cool breezes and low humidity. It feels like a dream state with the most perfect weather.

There is nothing like waking up to the sun and warmth every day. Its great!  I have become the queen of tank tops and flip flops (slippas in Hawaii). I know some people like the four seasons, so for you I would say Hawaii is not the place to live. But since I am an all time hater of winter, it has become a perfect destination. Unfortunately for me I do not plan on living in Hawaii forever, and I must return to the the mainland. The mainland is reality. And I need to return to my reality.

Once I return to the Mainland, I feel I will yearn for my life in Hawaii, and miss that too!  The reasons why I love it so much cannot be compared to life on the mainland. I wish I could mesh my two worlds of Hawaii and New York. But alas, they are a world apart, with the entire continental United States in the middle, and an airplane ride that takes a whole day to reach either destination.

So with much thought here is what I find myself missing about New York City:

  • Free summer concerts in the park: I am an avid lover of Central Park Summer Stage, no matter who is performing, the experience is amazing and truly a NY must see! Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a summer full of Celebrate Brooklyn concerts, Flushing Meadows Park in Queens will have an occassional weekend celebration, and many of the other parks in Manhattan will truly have a great weekend event that will bring pleasure and delight for any age.
  • South Street Seaport: I just love the area, enough said!
  • Washington Square Park/Greenwhich Village: While attending NYU as a broke graduate student, I discovered the joys of the Village. I have walked this area many a time for hours just for my own entertainment. It is truly an NY gem. In the Village you never have to spend a lot of money, and you can have a great day! With street fairs, amazing food, and cool people you will defiantly be entertained.
  • Harlem: It has everything including Sylvia’s!
  • The hole in the wall fish place outside the west 145 st subway station. I would kill for some greasy fried fish, shrimp, and plantains all for 7 bucks!
  • West Indian food: Not that I eat it that much, but for some reason I have been craving oxtails with rice and peas.
  • Astoria: The cutest outside restaurants and Hooka bars! Summertime is a great time to just walk by a restaurant or stay for dinner while sitting outside to eat.
  • Rockefeller Center: Many a days I would walk over to Rockefeller Plaza, look down at the restaurant and  think about life. They also have free outdoor movies some nights.
  • A DELI: There are no corner deli’s with Boars head meat in Hawaii. Can you believe it? No corner deli’s at all! I want a grilled honey turkey sandwich!
  • Domincian Hairdressers: I really miss a getting my hair done for 40 bucks or less oh so nice!
  • The Subway: As much as I hate it, I miss it too. I have many memories of excitement and sadness that I have went through all on a subway ride.
  • Broadway: I love love love a good show!
  • Baseball games: Although I hate going to the games, its nice to have an option to see the Yankees or Mets play!
  • Lectures/Speakers: Hey I do have an intellectual mind! So I do miss hearing talks on a variety of topics and meeting professional scholars who speak on their area of expertise. With the many colleges in NY, there is always an event to attend.
  • Finally: PIZZA: Once I realized the Bronx had the best Pizza ever, I became a addict for life!

Then I realized once I leave the island I will miss so much about Hawaii,

What I will miss about my Hawaiian Paradise:        

  • The beaches, oh such a beautiful site
  • Morning workouts on the beach, running next to the ocean waves  is the best way to start off any day
  • The outdoor spin class in Waikiki: Imagine spinning while overlooking the surfers in the ocean along with the amazing evening sunset! Even though an outdoor spin class is hot, hot, hot, the view is well worth it.
  • The mountains, hiking is a surreal experience. Strenuous activity, but the reward of the views makes it worth every bit of the pain.  Try it, it will take you away from the everyday problems of the real world.
  • The Weather!! Yeah its just beautiful everyday, what else can you ask for
  • Shrimp at the North Shore, just delicious!
  • Giant waves at the North Shore, Oh do I wish I could surf
  • The entire North Shore, though it seems like a long drive from Honolulu, it is wonderful and Haleiwa is a great quiet little old town.
  • Surfers, gotta love them!
  • The Shaka! :Where else can one hand gesture stop people from getting upset, save you from getting your ass beat, and always say “hey everything is cool bruh”!
  • The macaroni salad, and white rice that comes with every meal! Trust me you get used to it after a while.
  • Poke, Ummmm just kidding, I still haven’t got used to the idea of eating raw fish! 🙂
  • All the other food, there is always just so much of it!
  • Waterfalls, though I always have the fear of getting leptospirosis from swimming in them, I just have to because a Hawaiian waterfall is 100 times better than a NYC public pool!
  • Sea turtles, Whales, Dolphins, and Sharks! You just have to develop a strong love for the water creatures
  • My job, truly awesome, from the program director, to my supervisor, to my coworkers, I could not ever dream about working with such a great group of people.
  • Finally I will miss the spirit of Aloha!!! No where else have I experienced such kindness, happy spirits, and a genoristy to help others. Thank you Hawaii for showing me that people can have a sense of genuine kindness and giving!

The quick and dirty east coast tour

After a year and two months of driving around in circles on the  island (because you can only go so far before you run out of actual land), I decided it was time to make a trip back to the east coast. Why not right? I figure a year is more than enough time for friends and family to miss the wonderful Jenni C 🙂 And I thought this would actually give me a chance to make a true comparison of NY and Hawaii, just in case I forgot anything about living in NY while on the island.

Now originally when I packed my bags and hopped on a plane a year ago, I didn’t think that life would change too much in a year. Heck when I was there life was the same every single day. I was in my very own version of groundhog day, except every once in a while the dialogs changed.  So what was I really going to miss? Apparently a whole lot! Another growing experience, life changes quick so hold on and be ready for sudden turns. Friends end up getting married and they don’t tell you, people have new babies and they don’t tell you, and people move to different states, they don’t tell you that either. Ummm…I didn’t die, I just moved to a different part of the world.  It’s funny how I did not realize that life happens at quick speeds while in the moment, because when I was in the middle of it all life seemed at its own permanent standstill.

Let me tell you the realizations that I did have on my limited edition east coast tour. And I do mean limited, because really who knows when I will be back that way. First I just have to say that New York City has wayyyyy too many people.  The locals say that the island of Oahu has too many people. Well they must have not been to NY.  I quickly remembered that there is no room to walk, and if you don’t walk at the speed racer pace of the city that doesn’t sleep, then yes, you are leaving yourself open to be trampled!

The city still smells the same, you know  that good old NY smell of hot piss and garbage, AHHHHH where else in the world can you get that smell. The subway, still dirty. Oh the  price to ride public transportation has increased, and the metrocard discounts are worse than ever. I will admit gladly that I was happy to drive in the city, and actually be allowed to honk my horn. On the island there is the widely known unwritten rule that no horn honking is allowed! I am very serious about that. Honk and you will quickly get  the stink eye, or cursed by a really big Samoan dude.  Have Aloha, be patient and wait. I think I went horn crazy in NY, and just honked for no reason, I cut people off, and didn’t even throw them the Shaka, like they would care I would just get the finger in return.

In NY I must say that I did enjoy myself. Maybe I kinda missed that fast paced, always on the go, if you sleep then you are wasting time hardcore mentality. I would see the look of work and money in the eyes of people racing through the streets, and running for trains. People are focused, determined, and will not rest until they are dead. There is no sense of relaxation, and work is a never ending concept that is an eternal flow through the body that is needed for survival. The hustle game is on, and it is truly the city where people are about getting that paper.

As as walked through Waikiki tonight, I came to the conclusion that I cannot compare NY and Hawaii. They do not fit into the same category of lifestyle. Lets say they are like apples and tomatoes. They both taste good, but you would have them at two completely different meals.

I like the relaxed pace of Hawaii. And the spirit of Aloha is something that comes in true form only in Hawaii. In Hawaii you can reach the epitome of happiness with the bare minimum. There will be  few competition for the hottest new jeans or sneakers. If you do see it, it will be between people who are from the mainland away. Locals are happy with just wearing slippers (flip flops), t-shirts, and shorts. No need to take out you Sunday best in Hawaii there is no where to wear it to! Men just need to have an Aloha shirt and they are all set for every event possible. Very few locals talk about getting paper, or whats the next big hustle. Life is great with just family, who cares if they live in a tent, at least they are together. It’s refreshing, its calm, and it works well for them.

When you are in a New York state of mind, well Jay-Z said it best, “the city never sleeps better slip them a ambien”. In NY money is being made at continuous speeds, and people are always trying to make more. If you sleep you may be missing out on the next big business opportunity (please excuse my slight over exaggeration, but not really). Now don’t get me wrong, both NY and Hawaii are equally expensive, these are not cheap cities to live in. But it is amazing to see lifestyle changes between the people of each city.  So if your into a slow (very slow) paced calm lifestyle, then Hawaii may work just fine. But if you are on your 24-7 focused driven, I gotta make it, and I gotta make it big, state of mind, the NY would be the right place for that!

Things I now know at 28, Just because I wasn’t paying attention at 27

MY BFF Dana and I on my 28th Birthday!!!

So I had a birthday! Last month, on March 19th to be exact I turned 28. Or as some people like to say…30 minus 2. Lets count it down!!!  But I’ll just say 28 for now.

It took me a while to really start to feel my brand spanking new age,  and say out loud that I am being pushed into becoming a year older, which is why it took me a month to post this blog.  Yes people I am 28! No longer can I claim ignorance as an excuse when I really just want to get wasted and pass out in some strange place. Nope I know better now, and I am not allowed to engage in my old college girl acts of random, crazy, fun!

Since turning 28 I don’t feel any different from when I was 27. But I feel a huge difference from age 18!  I now sit and watch CNN…OH NO!!! And I actually turn on Fox news, (as I wait for the day that that network will suddenly disappear),  just to see what nonsense, or new socialist theory Glenn Beck would like to rant on today. I am starting to think the Real World on MTV is not good television anymore, maybe because I am now too old to ever be a cast member. Actually, the only good show on MTV is 16 and pregnant. That is because I like to watch the unrealistic ways these girls think they can manage their lives and a newborn at the same time.  Now that is good television! Oh and the cast of the Jersey Shore will always be a bunch of idiots in my head. But I do wonder where they will be in 5 years…hmmm.

I understand that life means real responsibility, and every choice I make falls on me. No bail out for me! At 28 I have felt the joys and disappointment of love, and I still continue to move forward on the journey of learning more about love, life, career, and everything else that comes along with being 28 (Or the prepping phase for 30).

28,  in my late twenties, officially. The point where women start to get really anxious about being 30 and alone. No kids, No husband, Oh no, will I be myself forever!! No I don’t have those feelings just yet, I still feel great being just me, but I am clearly making a mental note to myself not to settle for a fool! I remember I am better than that, and settling will lead to eventual unhappiness.

So here is a brief list of things that I now know at 28, that maybe I didn’t want to accept at 27, but life is about reality right?

  • I will probably never hit the lotto to become rich quick
  • I will probably never marry a rich millionaire athlete or movie star (I think I am too old now, LOL)
  • A retirement account is a good thing to have
  • Being on reality TV is not exactly the best way to become famous
  • Bad days do not last forever, and a even greater day will be coming soon!
  • Love does not happen in a day
  • I will have to compromise in any relationship I am in
  • Men do like women who cook
  • Men like to be pampered as much as women do
  • Dating younger guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing
  • It is ok to date guys who have reached the age of 40 without thinking he is an old ass man, and the fact that he likes me is repulsive
  • It is perfectly fine to date outside of my race ( sorry black men, but can some of you please step your game up!)
  • If I want something in life, then I will have to work to get it (damn it!)
  • It is a great thing to budget your money
  • I can survive on my own
  • I will get married to an awesome guy, who will also be my best friend
  • I will never ever get back together with my ex because he is worse than a total jerk!  (hey that is really good to know!)

I am excited to see what life has in store for me at 28, the first month hasn’t been so bad, so in the next 11 months I will continue to move with the changes of life, and embrace the good, grow from the bad, and continue to learn how I can improve on just being a better me!


The Tsunami that never happened! (Oh thank goodness)

Never before have I been in a Tsunami, and to tell you the truth I really don’t want to be in one. A large series of waves over taking dry land does not sound like a cool thing in my head. But I have learned when you live in Hawaii, there is a risk that you may be in a Tsunami. So everyone search for high ground, and prepare the emergency kit, because Tsunami’s are real, and there may be one coming for an island near you!

Ok let me be honest with you, before 2004 when the big Tsunami hit the south pacific, I had no idea what it was and the type of damage that it could actually cause. I had never even heard the word used before that time, but when it hit I was surely made aware that it is a seriously dangerous disaster that caused a huge number of deaths. Who knew that an earthquake could hit in one place, then a Tsunami is formed to add damage on to another. Well it real, and the threat of actually being in the middle of one quickly threw me back into a reality check, that I really do live on an island in the middle of the ocean, strictly surrounded by water.

When the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile on Friday, the world had one natural disaster quickly followed by another. By early Saturday morning the tsunami alarms were sounding on the Hawaiian Islands. At about 2 am I got a frantic phone call and text message from a friend in NY asking me if I was alright. My thoughts were did something happen to my family in NY that I didn’t hear about, because I was fine, and trying to sleep! Then she told me about the tsunami warning in Hawaii, and wanted to make sure I was ok.  I just went to thinking, damn girl your crazy, of course I’m fine, and why are you waking me up at 2 am for this! I had no idea how serious the alert seemed to the outside world. Next came the loud blaring alarm starting from about 4 am in the morning. Remind you I have never been on tsunami alert before and had no idea what that annoying noise was. So my thoughts: “why don’t they stop making all that noise so I can get some sleep”. I had no idea news channels were broadcasting that an impeding natural disaster was on the way and the country was praying for Hawaii to be safe.

As the night went on more alarms, and to me, more annoying noise, nope I didn’t get up out of my bed to find out what it was. It was just noise disturbing my sleep. For a quick second I thought maybe it was a fire alarm, but figured I would hear people outside or someone would knock on my apartment door if we were in serious danger. Right? So I just attempted to sleep through the loud sirens that would wake sleeping giants. When morning came so did the phone calls. Friends on island telling me that we were on tsunami alert and to get to hight ground. Well I live on the 8th floor in a high-rise in the middle of the island, so I am safe right? That would have been one serious world ending wave to reach me, so what is all the panic about? Then messages from friends in NY asking if everything was ok, wow I didn’t know so many people cared about my well being. Well I guess it takes a near death experience to find out that people really do care about you. Sad? Yes.

I finally woke up from my bed when the sun was up, turned on the TV, and realized the island was in full on panic mode. On facebook, messages about this tsunami on the way to Hawaii. People sending out prayers for Chile and Hawaii. Wow this is serious! Food stores flooded with people. Gas stations running out of gas. Stock up on food, water, and toilet paper! Too bad I had a fully foodless house, and only a few bottles of 16 ounce water. By the time I had woke up to go to the store, yeah you know it was out water completely!! I have never seen shelves so empty in my life. I guess they were really preparing to be shut in for a few days.

Poor me I had no food, limited water, no batteries, and only two rolls of toilet paper. So they say Hawaii dodged the bullet. The major Tsunami never happened, no waves, we were left high and dry. Luckily, nothing happened. But maybe it was me who really dodged the bullet, it wasn’t until the threat of a natural disaster, that I realized, I am not at all prepared for one. So big Thank you’s go out to Mother Nature for looking out for me on this one! I am oh so glad that we had the Tsunami that never happened.

Oh yeah my gas tank was on empty too, so I would have really been shut in my apartment with no hope! 😦

In Hawaii they like and put a ring on it!

I have realized something about Hawaii that is not so apparent in NY or at least not in such high numbers. Girls in their mid 20’s and early 30’s are married! Yes they have husbands and kids to match. By the tender age of 23 a local girl may be married and have at least 1 but maybe 2 kids! Even girls who look like they are still in high school have rings on their fingers. Rings, rings, everywhere! And here I am the lonely girl from NY, approaching 30 with no ring. Is there something wrong with me? Heck No, at least I don’t think so. But to the older local women, I know it leaves them to wonder why?

When I go to the nail salon to get my nails done and my eyebrows waxed the little Asian lady who is always so very nice to me, asks me the same questions each time. Did you work today? and Are you married? My answers, yes and no respectively. Next comes, why you not married, you are so pretty, and getting older. I guess my job is no longer important at that point. Well it is good to know that I’m pretty, but I guess the closer you get to approaching 30 the less likely the chances you will get a man to marry you. Is that true? Maybe not, but on this island I am starting to think that is a truth.

Apparently the culture of marriage so different in Hawaii. In NY it is a social norm to be in your 20’s or 30’s and not married. It’s a time to have fun with your girls and talk about your dates. You have a job, your own money, and have the chance to develop into a strong independent woman.  You don’t feel like the single girl leper who is about to die alone. In NY you get the chance to play your own rendition of sex and the city with your girlfriends, with everyone having their own version of the infamous Mr. Big.  Conversation is enlightened by the bad dates you go on, and the cute guys you meet on the train. Not the cute thing your toddler did today and how your husband is driving you crazy.

I haven’t really been able to pinpoint why the girls in Hawaii get married so young but I guess it just goes with the environment and the culture. I have Hawaiian  friends who were married at 18, 19, or sometime in their early 20’s, and have really big kids to match. So here I am floating around in life like a nomad, and these girls have families to take care. Believe me I DO NOT want to switch places with them for a second. I know some girls who are divorced by 30, and have to take care of their kids, and do not have much of a social life. Leaves little time for fun. In NY women has a sense of independence, they set goals, dream about influential careers, and want to be the woman in control. In NY girls are more likely to follow a path of doing well in college and moving up the corporate ladder. They play with the big boys, and that focused drive leaves you to put marriage on the back burner. Woman of the big city are on a path to being at the head of the board room and set themselves up so they do not have to rely on a man. The rush to build a family, and have the man go to work while babies are made is not so apparent.

So what is it. Why do girls in Hawaii seem to live with their boyfriends and get married before they have had any chance for independence. Does that really work? I can’t speak on another person’s happiness because they seem happy to me. Maybe self exploration and independence is not as important for some people as it was for me. And if it works go with it! Having a long happy marriage is never a bad thing in life. It also seems to be a generational thing on the island also, parents are young, grandparents are also young. I guess that’s good so they can help you take care of your children. When looking at military wives some of them are also very young to.  And may I just add from the ones I met they seem to be just a bit unsure of themselves. Who can blame them, when you are 20 what do you really know about life, although you may think you know it all you really are just starting to build a sense of identity.

When I look back on myself and the relationships I was in when I was in my late teens and early 20’s , I am extremely happy and overjoyed that I did not get married at that age. Not because they were bad relationships, but because I was so not ready to be a wife. A marriage is a serious commitment, and if I could not understand what it means to be a wife, and for a man to be a husband then I know I would eventually not be happy. People change, good people grow, and learn from life, they learn together, they learn as individuals. They learn to have a sense of understanding, and continuous growth together that is necessary to make a good marriage. But first you need to know your self as an individual and love your independent self without your other half. This will lead you to better appreciate your half of the relationship, and give the most unconditional love to the other half of your relationship.

Before I learned to be independent on my own, and could stand alone, I admit, I would have been a horrible wife! I would have been defined solely as a man’s wife and not as a woman who is amazing and the perfect complement to her husband. My sense of identity would have been non existant because it would have never had a chance to fully develop on its own. And the worst part is I know that I would be left with the feeling of “what if”. So do I think as I approach 30 my chances of finding a husband will decrease, maybe. But that is only because I will be able to weed out the men with a strong sense of insecurity about having a woman who does not need him, but is willing to work with him. I will weed out the men who have fear the confidence and  success of a woman, and are challenged by a woman expressing valid opinions. I don’t mind though because, that will leave me with a man who is confident enough to be part of a team, who has an intellectual mind, and who can keep me on my toes because together our bond will be so strong that it will create a force that will not be matched.

My Mr. Nice Guy

I think I may have met someone. Yeah someone who has boyfriend potential. Checking his stats he has boyfriend potential, and so far, so good, so he may be the one. Or least the one who can hang around the longest for right now. Going down my check list he meets most of the qualifications to pass through to the next level of building a deeper relationship. He has a college degree, he can talk in complete sentences (don’t ask, but yeah that seems to be a missing trait in men), he is very outgoing, down to try anything new, is in to living life, and he is cute. He is an all around wholesome nice guy.

Uh oh!!!! I said it! He is a NICE GUY. Ok ladies now let’s admit it, we are secretly attracted to the bad boy. The bad boy has a certain I don’t give a fuck attitude about him that makes us want him. The bad boy who is no good for you,  the guy that makes you wonder why he doesn’t call you back, or why he is not giving you attention all the time. When he does give us attention it comes in little spurts, but we eat it up, and want more. The bad boys are the ones who get the girls. Sometimes they are sweethearts, other times they are complete jerks. But they find a balance in their attitude that leaves girls wanting more. The bad boy can be broke with no job, and find a woman to let him live on her couch. He has game, and also has two, three, or more chicks all at the same time. People ask me what type of guy I like, my response, the cute jerk! I don’t like the extreme bad boy because I personally find his sense of arrogance annoying, but I like the slight bad boy. He is nice at times, jerky at other times, but he is so damn cute which in my mind cancels out his annoying pompous cocky attitude. I know he will protect me when needed, and his swag is so on point that he has every other girl wanting him too (which sucks!!!). But that is my cute jerk.

So as I get older, lets try something new. The Nice guy, the guy I would normally shoot right to the friend zone. My new nice guy is a sweetheart, really a sweetheart. He doesn’t do extreme chivalry but that’s ok because I don’t like that anyway. But he does the little things. Such as, wanting to hold my hand when we walk down the block, or walk on the beach and just talk. He refuses to let me see him as a friend so for now he says we are companions.

The problem: He is in the military and is going to be deployed for six months. I feel like I am holding back, and can’t get too attached to him because, I know soon he will be gone and I will miss him. I don’t want to miss anyone. I am so over missing people. I missed my ex boyfriend for so long, now that I am done with that, I am just not in the mood to miss anyone else. I want someone who is here. Who is with me, and who is not going to leave. So although I can see myself really falling for Mr. nice guy, now is not the time. It seems like for me, timing is always wrong, and I just patiently wait for timing to be right. Wait and wait for that day when it is the right place, the right moment, the right time.

Mr. nice guy is in the Marines.  Now my personal opinion, don’t date military men. They have a certain element of crazy about them. But he doesn’t come off as crazy, or at least I haven’t seen his side of crazy. He talks to me, he communicates well, we laugh together, and we can enjoy each other’s company. For Valentine’s day he took me to see Brian McKnight, it was wonderful!  A magical moment that would make two people fall in love. Ok I did not fall in love with Mr. nice guy just yet, but it did make me appreciate his company more. I have a sense of comfort when I am around him that I haven’t had in a long time, and it’s just nice to relax in his presence. He thinks I am beautiful no matter what I look like, and he is impressed by me just being myself. Wow what a breath of fresh air!

So hopefully all will continue to go well with my newly found nice guy, and I will keep you updated on our progress. Maybe his six month deployment won’t be so bad and we can start a real relationship. We will see with time, but hey if all goes well maybe I will be willing to give up my single girl lifestyle for an even better relationship lifestyle!