This post is an experiment. I don’t know what I’m going to write about, I don’t have a plan. I’ve been listening and learning the past few months, trying to understand myself. Trying to be true to me for the second time in my life. My adventure the first week of October was certainly 100% me. It’s the most me I’ve been since October of 1994. That was the month I knew I wasn’t moving back to Hawaii, well, that was when I admitted it to myself. Oddly enough, it’s also the month my birth father died.
I wonder, now, how that impacted me? I wonder if I felt something that day, some extra sadness that I couldn’t quite put my finger on?
In college, I lived in Hawaii, going to school at BYU-Hawaii. I was working on a degree in Travel and Tourism. I LOVED Hawaii. I loved everything about Hawaii. I loved my life in Hawaii. The ocean soothed and inspired me. The simple way of life of the people there felt like home. Life slowed down, days were longer. Sunset walks on the beach became a daily activity. Bike riding in the small town of Laie replaced driving. Evenings that I wasn’t working for catering were spent exploring the Polynesian Cultural Center. I completely lost track of how many times I watched the parade of canoes or sat in awe through the night show. Perks of having roommates who worked there. Another perk, no one there knew anything about me except what I told them. For the first time in my life, I was no one but me.
I’d lived there just over a year when my parent’s decided I’d been gone long enough. They said they missed me, I suppose they thought they did, in their way. What they really needed was my help. My dad was gearing up for his annual eight-week camping trip/Geology and Psychology courses at the college where he taught. He had yet to find himself a camp boss. He was facing seven weeks of camping with thirty college freshman and no cook. I’d done it before, twice for him and twice for a different course in the Biology department. I was good at it, really good. I was also perfectly happy in Hawaii. They bought me a ticket back to Idaho. I told myself I didn’t have to use it; all the way to the airport. In the end, I barely made my flight, ran through the airport, the last one to board, covered with my friend’s good wishes in leis and flower crowns. As I made my way to my seat, I tried to control the emotions running rampant. Instead, I ended up sobbing quietly into the night. Lost in the stars above the Pacific Ocean. The poor stewardess kept bringing me bottles of water and asking me if I was sure I was okay. I was most certainly not okay. I wouldn’t be for a very long time.
Why didn’t I follow my heart? Why did hurting myself seem to be the only way to make the people who loved me happy? Those things were stuffed deep away and I let my head take over. I could do this right. I would show them I was worthy because it had never crossed their minds to instill in me, my worthiness by existence alone. I would spend the next twenty years failing miserably. Hurting myself, punishing myself, hating the person I couldn’t be. Wondering why it was so hard just to be.
Of course, those twenty years weren’t only failure. I gained much experience, saw distant places, had my children, moved from state to state. I’ve thought many times that there probably was not another string of events that would have brought me to North Dakota. I’m fairly sure about that.
I haven’t found all the answers yet, but I am much more at peace with myself. There are still emotions that crop up, almost daily, that I have to deal with. Little things like what I wrote about last week. Bruised parts of myself that need recognition, need a little sunlight and ocean breezes; a little sand between the toes. But there is also joy, SO MUCH JOY. Something that I didn’t fully realize until the concert in Chicago and yet another thank you I owe the Bangtan boys. Whatever shell I was still trying to hide under, they broke wide open. The events of the week showed me I still have power, I still have resilience. The music started to throb and the stadium shook and I had to surrender to the staggering elation of twenty thousand souls. I could no more be a calm, quiet onlooker, they simply wouldn’t allow it. I could only take a breath and let my soul soar with the music. No history or labels or heartaches could withstand it. It was my Magic Shop.