Remember that one time at band camp…no not at band camp…but that one time I sold everything I owned and moved to Maui? That’s right…my car, my elliptical machine, my TV, my furniture, the kitchen sink and my first born. Haha! I’ve birthed no babies so that last one was a lie. But I promise that I truly sold everything I possibly could to make the big move. That was a trip, man. Talk about radical. That’s about as radical as it can get. But they say the greater the risk the bigger the lesson learned and the greater the reward.
So, let’s see. What have I learned? Well for one thing: I learned that paradise is where the heart is. You see, before “the great MOVE” I actually thought that I could outrun myself and that the grass must surely be greener on some proverbial other side, right?
By that I mean I thought I could get far enough away from my broken heart that I could erase the pain. Gloss it over with a beautiful beach and butterflies and rainbows and make it disappear somehow. But now I know how ridiculous that thinking was. Because like the saying goes…wherever you go, there you are.
My heart just traded one pain for another. True enough, I did realize how foolish I’ve been for a very long time, and I have definitely realized that I had my priorities all screwed up. Let me just say, I don’t think I could have come to the conclusions I have without this radical move. That lesson in itself is priceless.
For instance, I get now how important my family is. I truly had lost that insight somehow. I allowed myself to get so caught up in my own little HELL that I lost sight of the most important things in life: Stuff like my family and friends and the freedom to use my time wisely when I had the things in life that provide true security in order to do that.
Now that I am a world away from all things familiar in a place surrounded by such breathtaking natural beauty in every direction that it is awe-inspiring; ironically, I still feel empty inside. I guess I naively expected to just fall into some magical paradise and VOILA, be happy! Instead, all I want to do is go home.
What is home? Where is home? Somehow I know it is not Maui for me. Nothing feels permanent or real here. It feels too surreal. Mostly it feels too far from everyone who truly cares about me.
Will I feel all better when I return to my birthplace once again? I was cursing it just two short months ago, and now I just want to click my heels like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and be transported back home. Back where I can hug my parents and tell them I am sorry. Sorry for being such a jerk for so long. Sorry for taking them for granted. I want to have the chance to help them more. To be a better daughter than I have ever been, before it is too late. I want to go back and be a better trainer, a better friend, a better sister and a better me. Perhaps in those acts of service I will find my true home.
Some may say I didn’t give Maui a fair chance. Many people will judge me and think me a failure. Well, that is their prerogative, I suppose. But I am tired. I am tired of making decisions based on what people may or may not think of me.
The truth is I came to Maui running and hiding and I found out that no matter where you go you finally have to face your own truths.
Many people go their whole lives living in denial or never going deep enough to truly investigate the bigger questions lying dormant in the recesses of their minds. Instead, they numb themselves to their pain through whatever coping mechanisms they may choose, like applying a Band-Aid to a broken limb, and then they wonder why their wounds won’t heal.
I, personally, have always lived my life on the deep side of the pool, sometimes to my detriment, I’m sure. My survival techniques have ranged from think tank to drink tank. I fluctuate from ecstatic epiphanies to nearly drowning in my own backwash. The juxtaposition of this constant mental dance can be exhausting and keeps me gasping for air much of the time.
For me, this two-month adventure was a fast track cosmic wake-up call. As if the Universe slapped me in the face and said, “Snap out of it!” I had hoped to find true happiness on this enchanting and mysterious island, but I now know that I cannot find true solace by merely changing my physical location no matter how dreamy the destination appears to onlookers. I must face my own demons that reside inside myself no matter where I go.
This is what I had to travel so very far…fourteen thousand miles round trip to learn. My inner voice is screaming, “Go home and continue to face your demons there!”
And so, home I will go. I will return to my haven of security with my new-found wisdom, and I will carry on with my journey…my journey to the “real” me…my journey HOME.