I’ve been packed since July. Moving across an ocean was such a huge undertaking I started the process a month in advance. When I got to Oahu in mid-August I spent two weeks in a beach cottage up in Hauula while I looked for an apartment. The place in Kaneohe was always meant to be temporary as well. I didn’t have any furniture there, just a twin mattress on the floor and a table and chair in the kitchen that my landlords let me borrow. For six months I lived out of my suitcases. I never unpacked at the downtown place either. I knew from the day I moved in it was a mistake that needed fixing.
So finally here I am, seven and a half months into this island adventure, actually unpacking for the first time. Part of the delay has been in regards to finding the perfect place to settle. The other part has been about truly committing to it. I think I’ve been afraid to unpack.
It’s like so long as everything was fitted snuggly into a suitcase, I could up and leave at any moment. If the going really got rough I could sprint home in a dash, run away from this ridiculous idea to set up my life so many thousands of miles away from home.
The simple thing my friend reminded me of is that when you’re single you get to decorate however you please. No one makes fun of you for owning seventeen journals with bird patterns on them and furthermore no one makes fun of you for wanting to display every one of them on your bookshelf. You don’t have to run the bird magnets by anyone either. It’s just OK that bird images make you feel grounded (does that make any sense?) and you get to be surrounded by as many of them as you like.
So I took out all my ‘stuff’ and continued the process of settling into this dream. The clock my grandmother bought me for my first apartment back in 1998 is on the wall, as is the metal sun art I got on my first trip to Kauai and my Aztec calendar from Mexico City. The birds have been arranged, the books placed on shelves. My spices and canning jars all found homes in the kitchen. And with all of this stuff out and in view, I’ve started to relax and feel like I’m home.
I’ve stepped from chaos and discomfort into bliss. It took me three years to get here and, for the most part, I did it with grace. This cottage in Aina Haina Honolulu is a literal dream come true. My new living situation, my new life, couldn’t possibly be more “me”. My new surroundings couldn’t be more peaceful.
I believe this is how life goes when you are sincere, open and happy.
If what you really want is to sit cross-legged on the impeccably kept Pottery Barn sea grass sofa you found on craigslist as you eat steamed greens with scrambled eggs and titter away at your memoir ramblings for the blog that brings you so much joy, with only the sounds of exotic birds and cool ocean breezes in the early morning air, with your cat by your side and your dogs lounging outside in the Hawaiian sun, then that is what you will get to do. So long as you are patient and grateful.
Someday maybe I will have someone to share this with, someone who will complement the decor without needing to change it. Perhaps I just need to visualize him as clearly as I’ve visualized everything else.