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

Posts Tagged ‘Relocation’

No expectations, no regrets, A life worth living

Posted by Jenni C. on November 18, 2013

The best things in life are often the most unexpected.

I love moments of self-reflection. Looking back on life’s moments always offers me greater insight into what I am fully capable of accomplishing in life. Life always has a way of working out if we choose to let it work. For that I am eternally grateful. Moments of self-reflection help me to realize how far I have come in my own personal growth, and remind constantly that life is a journey. At times that journey is slow, at times it moves faster than I can ever imagine, but I am always evolving on this journey.

The exciting part; you never know where the journey will take you. The scary part; you never know where the journey will take you. But you feel the need to go. I like to go fast.  In February of 2009 I packed up everything I had, left everything I knew, left everyone I knew, and moved to an island in the middle of the pacific. Having no idea where I was going, and vague plans that I could only hope would work out I began a new journey.  I had no idea of what I would find, no idea who I would meet, and had no expectations. It felt right, so I ran with it. Scary? Well, yes maybe a little. Was it needed? Yes most definitely.

In September of 2013  it was time to close my Hawaiian chapter, a bitter-sweet ending to an unbelievable journey. I arrived on the island emotionally empty. To be honest, I had hit life’s emotional rock bottom. Nothing mattered. To be in a state of going through the motions just because you have to, felt like a state of not living. My life needed more, my challenge was to find it.

I spent the last 4 and a half years of my life on the island of Oahu.  Wow writing this from a Washington DC coffee shop, it’s still hard to believe that it was not all a dream. I arrived with nothing, I left with more than I could have ever imaged. I was happy.  How did that happen? My emotionally empty glass was suddenly full.   I gained a new family or Ohana as they say in Hawaiian. I never thought I would meet people who would overwhelm me with a sense of Aloha. I was embraced by an amazing level of kindness from day one.  Friendships were formed. People cared about me. Strangers grew to love me, and will always have a place in my heart for them. I always thought the only people who would ever care about me lived on the east coast. I was never alone on the island in the middle of the pacific. I had people who loved me. Why is that so hard for me to believe? Even as I sit here and write, it seems like a dream. A false reality that never existed. A made up adventure of my life. But it really happened. I lived it. A  time in my life when I was able to let go and live. To prove to myself that I could live. Living was OK, I gave myself permission to just live.

When I was packing up all my belongings to leave Hawaii, I wondered to myself how did I get here. Seriously, I felt like I was in a fog when I left New York on that cold February morning in 2009. I cried all the way to my first layover in LAX. It was a day I will never forget. That force of knowing that my life needed change, gave me the strength to leave. When I was packing up my apartment in Honolulu, many times I wanted to cry. I had that part of me that wanted to stay. I had built a new life. Fearful that I would have to start over again. Fearing what the east coast would now hold for me. I was leaving different. I wasn’t the same girl who arrived on the rock in 2009. In essence I had changed. That’s what life is about, changing. I could never have lasted as long so far away from familiarity if I had remained the same. Somewhere along the line I grew up. I found hobbies. I fell in love. I fell in love with the island, with adventure, with mountains, with the ocean, with the culture. In my mind, shoot I was local. Even though I could never master the art of speaking pigeon, and still would never attempt to pronounce many of the Hawaiian street names, I still felt a sense of local flavor.

I went with no expectations, and gained more than I could ever imagine. I made new friends. My newfound extended ohana took care of me.  Those friends  pulled me through the bad days, and made good days all the more exciting. It worked. Life worked the way it was supposed to. I learned lessons. Even though I wanted to figure out if I could really cut my own safety net of my family and friends in New York while managing alone, that was impossible. I learned that no matter where I am in the world life can never be done alone. Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. I found friends. Friends that helped me adapt. Friends that cared, friends that loved me, and made me feel at home. Friends that would miss me when I’m gone.

As each day passes here in the east, it all continues to feel like a dream. Was that time a brief intermission in life a time solely for me to recollect myself? Or maybe it serves a greater purpose that I am yet to find out. Not sure what is up next. All I know now is that as I begin to settle in again on the east coast, and embrace winter, God is always at work, and He always has a plan. I just can’t wait to see what happens next, but until then I will continue to live.

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Posted in Black women, Finding meaning, Goals, Hawaii, New York, random, Relocation, Self Discovery, self help, single girl, Turning 30, Twenties | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The next chapter: Life changes quick, so here it goes again

Posted by Jenni C. on October 7, 2013

I am feeling the need to re-introduce myself right now. The last time that I actually posted a blog was in May! For real! I am feeling a bit disillusioned right now. Wondering where have I been for the last 4 months. In some strange way I feel like I just woke up from a super intense nap. I want to say that I have really been living on an island with no power, no way to access the internet , and no connection to the outside world. Perhaps you will see me as a contestant on the next season of Naked and Afraid or Survivor. No, in reality I have just been in a writing coma. 

I looked at the date of my final article before my blogging sabbatical. I always say life changes quick, you just have to be ready for the changes. Since May, boy has life changed. Let me take you back a few months, then we will quickly jump into my ever changing present.

A few days after I posted my last blog, my apartment flooded. Seriously there was an actual flood in my apartment. Lucky for me my computer was not damaged, but I really wasn’t inspired to write much after that either. The floors were destroyed, holes drilled into the walls, closet doors taken down, the majority of my clothes…ruined. Bad, bad times. In true to form Jenni C. style, I did my best to stay positive, however I still was not inspired to write.

My apartment took 3 months to finally fix. What I learned, in Hawaii things actually do take a long time to complete. And quickly a true understanding of the saying “patience is a virtue” was developed.

In the month of July summer was in full swing. Then life changed again. I received a call for a job interview in Washington D.C., a real job on the other side of the country. Suddenly my array of racing thoughts went into complete hyper drive. Was it time to for my island adventure to come to an end? Or, did I have a little more island life inside of me?

Here is what happened: In July I had two phone interviews. Luckily it was over the phone, saving me the trouble of having to fly to the other side of the world, and buying a stuffy interview suit along with that overly expensive plane ticket. Life continued. I nailed the interviews, got the job. Next, I accepted the offer. By August it was official, my island adventure was coming to an end. I was moving back to the mainland. 

After spending over 4 years in Hawaii, I knew that one day I would leave. Yet, I never, ever imagined how hard it would be actually leave. So I couldn’t write. I was in mourning during the month of August. Yes, I know writing may have been therapeutic, but it would have also bought my Hawaiian departure into reality. I spent a month in denial, well a little over a month. I actually left Hawaii on September 4th 2013.  

My life on the rock in the middle of the pacific : February 6, 2009-September 4, 2013

So here we are in October. In a way I am still in mourning, missing my life in the pacific, but also embracing my new life on the mainland, back on the east coast, this time in the Washington D.C. area. Actually I am living in Virginia, working in DC, so to make it easy lets just say that I am now writing as a crazy, still single, awesome, talented, wise ass girl from NY, who moved to Honolulu when life sucked, but now lives in the DC area. DC sounds so much cooler than Virginia anyway.  

Wait but your blog is still jennicinpardaise? 

I know. I am still emotionally attached to my island in the middle of the pacific, and it hasn’t set in that the next time I return it will be for a temporary vacation. Please bear with me as I come to the realization that I know live back on the mainland. 

What will I write about?

Great question! Just promise to come back, I definitely have a whole new set of stories that will be more interesting than ever. 

So from New York, to Honolulu, to Washington D.C. the adventure continues. Life changes, it is unpredictable, happy, sad, and always full of something new. 

Can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

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