It’s always sunny in Hawaii

Festive view from the top of a really hard hike!

It’s overcast and drizzly outside my studio in San Jose, a stark contrast to the always sunny disposition of Hawaii.  Even when it’s partly cloudy and storming in the winter, there’s a chill exuberance of life with the valleys and mountains coming alive with a rich coat of green.

A dull ache sits in my heart; one that I haven’t felt in awhile in my constant travels…I think it’s homesickness!  I haven’t felt this way in a long time, especially since returning to the freezing dreariness of New Haven for second semesters.  I know this feeling like all others will pass but I allow myself to slump into the drowsy heaviness of jetlagged ennui.

Popping fireworks to ward off evil spirits for 2018!

Being a nomad, “home” can be a different place day to day, week to week.  But somehow, big H “home” will always be Hawaii.  Since I come home more frequently now, I don’t feel this identity crisis each time.  Being in Hawaii allows me to express that part of me that is uniquely Hawaiian…my private school pidgin kicks in, I’m in slippahs all the time, a mokey tank top is an acceptable form of clothing in most situations, I can walk a little slower without freezing or getting left in the dust.

Even though I was home for less than two weeks, I feel like I’ve grown the equivalent of months, made all the more poignant by my existential drama in Abu Dhabi.  I think a big part of my experience was being more present, less filled with expectations and attachment, and free of the angsty buzz of Bay Area city life.  A good mix of seeing old and new friends, hanging out (peacefully) with family, eating local kine grindz, coming out to my mom, and me time doing yoga, lego, hiking, writing, and swimming.  I feel incredibly grateful that my hometown also happens to be a bomb ass place, so family time can double as vacay time!

Nature:   I hit up my favorite spots and got back into the water!

Family traditions:  My family is pretty chill for the holidays.  I make a Christmas breakfast spread with crepes where we use the same Nutella jar once a year (that’s safe, right?).  This year, since we were too lazy to go across the street to see our annual Christmas movie, we watched an entertainingly predictable Hallmark Christmas film.  My dad records dozens of these movies from Hallmark and Lifetime, consuming them over the spring.  He loves them, because there’s little drama, happy endings, and formulaic plots.  There’s always a super driven girl living in the city, who has to go back to her rural hometown to save her family’s Christmas tree farm/inn/skating rink.  She ends up meeting a local boy, who is really smart but chooses to stay in Smalltown, USA, because he has better values than her shitty boyfriend in the city.  Guess what happens?  Check out this hilarious SNL skit that pretty accurately parodies the genre.

Christmas breakfast spread!

Lets get pyro!

Me being a scaredy cat and lighting the fireworks for good luck!  We probably should have hung it up, because we definitely got pelted by some stray pieces.

My cousin and I at Chainsmokers concert!

Food and Friends!  Hawaii is all about delicious food and old friends.  I think a part of letting go and being more present is allowing friendships to be where they are and not be consumed with where it used to be or where you might want it to be.

Me time: It was great to be away from work long enough to feel back in the nomadic mindset…forgetting what the day/hour/date is, doing what makes me happy, enjoying the down time, and investing in self-expression!

My Lego community from the past few years and of course, a Hallmark movie going on in the background.  Unfortunately, this year, I didn’t finish my 4,000 piece set!

After 3 years of thinking about it, got my first tattoo! It’s my last name written by my mom and means woods/forest. Reminds me to see the forest for the trees, the power of nature, and the grounding force of family.

Double rainbow…pedicure!


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