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!

Advertisements

Skydiving…We all should do it, at least once!!!

So I did it! I went Skydiving! Yes me, I jumped out of a perfectly good plane for no reason and lived to tell about it. Whew, that’s a good thing! To some who know me personally it would be a surprise that I actually went skydiving. As my mom asked with the tone of deep concern for my mental stability in her voice,  “why would I want to do that”?  Well why not do it! It is an awesome experience that makes you see life from a whole new level, and hey if all goes well (hopefully it does), you always have another story to add to your collection. 🙂

Me and my tandem Instructor Wyatt, great guy!

I am facing fears. I once thought that I had a fear of heights, but then I realized that I am only afraid when I stop, think about it, then tell myself that I am supposed to be afraid of being up in high places. There is really nothing really scary about being up high, but if I think that I will fall then the fear sets in. So I don’t think about, just do it! I moved to Hawaii it seems to be going well, I jumped out of a plane and survived, am I pushing my luck? What can I try next? And what do I really have to be afraid of?

While prepping to go up onto the plane that I was about to jump out of, I must admit that I started to have feelings of fear. Yup, doubts, wondering “what the heck am I doing”, and “if I die, am I ready to end my life”. It was a battle between negative thoughts, and the positive thoughts of “this is going to be great”, and “I can’t wait for the experience”. Positive thoughts are good to have, they help to relax your mind.  As I watched other people end their jump by smiling as they landed, the positive thoughts had the edge of hey this is not so bad after all 🙂

The moment as I was about to jump out of the plane with the instructor on my back was a life moment that I will never forget. Looking down into straight clouds, and feeling the breeze of the brisk air in my face  from the edge of this tiny plane (yeah tiny, I was more afraid of the engine blowing on the plane than actually jumping out of it) was a great moment. The free fall down was an experience like no other. The closest that I will ever get to flying. The feeling of freedom. Strong winds blowing directly into my face, seeing the sky from an angle that I would never imagine. Dropping to the ground from 14,000 feet high! But I had no fear! Just enjoying the moment because I have never felt anything like it. No roller coaster has ever given me that experience. It was as if life stopped and I was a brand new bird in the sky. New to the environment and wanting to feel every bit of this experience because I knew it would be over quick. And it was, next the parachute opened. A slow decline to the ground, I could see land, houses, and the beautiful scene of the pacific ocean. Thinking if I dropped suddenly I would rather fall  in the ocean than on land. The tandem instructor led us safely back to the ground, I even landed without breaking my ankle! Which I must admit was my biggest fear before this whole ordeal.

I survived, jumped out of a plane, with a man strapped to my back of course, and survived. What a feat! Hawaii has really been good to me so far, and this is another thing to add to my list. Would I have done this in NY, probably not. Having the freedom to try something new, not be afraid, and let go is actually working, and I hope it continues to lead me in great directions in the future.

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!

Want to meet new people?

In case you ever wanted to move to a new place, on the other side of the world, but fear that you won’t know anyone and be all alone, here are some tips for you to meet people. No matter where you decide to live or visit in the world there are always people around. So there will always be someone for you to talk to and new friends to be made. Don’t be shy. People don’t know you, so they have no expectations of you. Everyday is a new chance to make a first impression all over again. So I advise you to take it and run with it. Bring out your inner extrovert and enjoy life with the people who are around you. I have learned that people come from so many different places in life, and with each new person brings a whole new experience!

I think the greatest website to get out and meet new people is meetup.com. Meet up groups are a great way to find activities that you like, and also meet people who like to do those same activities as you. In Hawaii there are so many different types of meet up groups. My personal favorites are the ones for hiking, fitness, and project singles. These groups give me the chance to see so much of the island and meet really cool people while doing it.

The island of Oahu is filled with so many exciting activities, so since I came here without knowing anyone, I had to find a way to meet people do explore the island with me. And it has truly been an amazing experience. I have been hiking on so many trails that I would never have the opportunity to see as a tourist. I have climbed to the top of summits that overlook entire sides of the island, and I must add that the view is spectacular.  Through meet up I have been able to find groups who work out on the beach, and beach body coaches who help me to continue to reach my fitness goals. Yup, I have to keep my body in shape since its summer year round

Project singles gives me a way to meet other single professionals as myself, and even if I am not attracted to any of the males in the group there is always a cool activity to have a good time at. Meet up groups are great for meeting like minded people, people who are open to culture, to experience, and they are filled with a wealth of knowledge. Many of the people I have met have traveled to many places in the world, and have done great things in their lives. So why not give it try, it never hurts to go out and make a new friend!