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drifting curls a trailing path

if we’re being honest, i don’t think about hawaii that much. i like to tell people that i went to school there because hello, it’s awesome. but my time there was cut short and i was so distracted by the things that have happened since then that i haven’t really stopped to realize that it’s over. so, a year later, here’s a tribute.57988_10150335962145621_5053683_n (1)

everything in hawaii is beautiful. everything. the roads are lined with palm trees and flowers and foliage and everything green. there’s no upkeep or coaxing for most of the landscaping; it just happens.

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i loved the quaint houses with barren white walls and shabby furniture, inhabited by starving college students who use surfboards as decoration. i loved riding bikes and longboards to the beach or the store or just around neighborhoods, as the winding roads always led to some new place to be explored.

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living in hawaii was completely foreign. from bus riding to surf lessons, everything was new to me. i didn’t know a soul and found myself befriending people from countries i’d never even heard of (like niue!). we snuck into hot tubs (and got our bikes locked up by security), went downtown to the state fair, hitchhiked, ate strange foods, and went to a new beach every weekend. it was absolutely enchanting. there was so much to do & so much to see, yet such an unhurried feeling. it was going to be there forever. there was always going to be a new trail to hike, a new roadside shrimp farm for a saturday lunch, a new surf shop filled to the brim with odd trinkets.35394_10150199763860621_5139027_n606430787_10150167384735621_7334176_n154886_10150335962695621_1543182_n150540_10150335962850621_6380180_n

the absolute best thing that came from hawaii was this girl:156207_454937961733_374503_n225934_10150579580235621_4886158_n

alyssa is the epitome of a best friend; she was always there for me. she cried with me and laughed with (and at) me. everything that was good about hawaii i associate with her. we spent our time crushin’ on polynesian boys (who all told us their name was sione), cutting our own bangs, being barefoot, caring so very little about school and so very much about life. insurmountable challenges didn’t seem to be such an obstacle with her around, and she made everything an adventure. whether we were playing dead for a CPR class, getting stranded in waikiki, or rapping for a talent show, she always had me in stitches. she lived down the hall from me and anytime i turned on music she was guaranteed to come waltzing down the hall with her weird unique little dance. we worked together, ate together, went to church together, and had classes together. it’s rare for me to be inseparable from someone and not get annoyed with them, but she was one exception. never at any point did i wish for less time with her.75853_453159026733_1947296_n73144_489600353626_1750430_n76698_10150303040370621_5473289_n216116_10150541244590621_1001008_n

but anyone can be fun. people are easy to be around when things are good and happy. what i really love about her—what she did for me that no one else did—was stick around when things got hard. i dealt with some pretty rough stuff when i was in hawaii, things that i couldn’t have handled on my own. and she was there. she’s a crier, and boy do i love me a good cry. i’m certain i was miserable to put up with at some points. there were days when i didn’t want to get out of bed, when i hated everyone, when i felt like things were utterly disastrous. and she was always there. she’d drag me out of bed to get breakfast before the cafeteria closed. she’d insist that i go to work with her, even if we spent the day hiding in the trees, ripping plants apart and throwing berries. she’d always cheer me up, no matter how long it took. she loved me, and it was obvious. i wish that everyone had someone like her.  215239_10150146399443192_3114797_n215836_10150146399513192_6657151_n

we both worked at a plant nursery for an incredible tongan boss who was like a father to us. which meant that i pushed his buttons daily, usually to the point where he’d get so frustrated with me that he couldn’t even form english sentences. we spent a lot of time driving a box truck and watering plants. we did a killer job:229164_10150579581015621_3380973_n

literally. killer.

one day we were watering a plant that was above a computer. evidently we got carried away with the water and the plant started dripping on the computer and keyboard below. the owner of the computer wasn’t very happy. (i realize that watering plants doesn’t sound very hard, but it was for us.)

through this job we met our favorite friend, richard. he always looked out for us, listening to our problems and treating us like family. he loaded us up with coupons for food from L&L’s, which we always redeemed for piles of chicken, plates of rice, and mango smoothies. we obviously took our job very seriously and worked very hard.

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hawaii was very much healing place, a good place to confront pain and deal with disappointment while being coddled by the beauty of nature. i spent countless hours—days, nights, sunrises, sunsets—sitting on the beach listening to the crashing waves pull in and out. i love the way the water washes up on the ocean and back out to the sea—doing the same thing over and over again but being new and different each time.

while i like to think that being in hawaii changed me, it didn’t. it more permanently set in stone who i already was and helped prepare me for the things that were coming. hawaii is an enchanting, quaint place that is a world away from anywhere else i’ve been, & i’m humbled to have spent time there.

[title from currents by dashboard confessional]

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