After I had lived in Hawaii a while, I came to realize that, the vast majority of individuals who move here from the mainland, eventually leave. Many women I know have come here came with a man (and they are usually no longer with that man). Like me. Those are the most prevalent stories. People stay for long periods of time and people stay for short periods of time. In my mind, I have been her for about ten years but that is completely inaccurate. My son is eleven and will be twelve this year. So that means that I have been here just shy of around twenty years. That is a really long time.
In that time, I have made friends who have left the island. But I have stayed. It is tough. You get to a certain time in your life and realize that the East Coast is very, very far from Hawaii. And that your mother is getting older (as much as she would not want to admit that). And it just builds up. And it just makes it hard to keep staying. On the flip side, I have a good job. We like where we live. And the significant other’s family all lives here. I know that this is the issue that many couples have. There is no easy resolution. And I still have none. I go to NY every year. I try to stay longer and longer. I even stayed for six months once.
And, mostly, these days, the people that I know are the kind that are going to stick around. They are older and maybe have kids. They are staying. Until they are not. I heard tickly rumors this week of one for sure and one potentially shocking leaving along with another that has been known for a bit of time. This goes along with my friend who hightailed it off the island recently to go to Portland. She did not want to go. But kind of had to. It was like pulling off that bandage. I had forgotten what the leaving feels like. And I don’t like it. So then to hear about the new two today. It fills me with a mixture of sadness and a bit of jealousy.
I know that there are difficult decisions to be made as time goes on. Decisions about my family, both here and in New York. I worry and fret and don’t want to make them. Don’t know if I will be able to make them. I learned about these impending moves while hiking today. And, ironically enough, towards the end of the hike, coming up the trail from the other side, I ran into my old paddling coach. I credit paddling for me staying after the breakup with the ex. It gave me a sense of community. I relived my twenties in a grand fashion. And it really helped me. I wonder, what the universe was trying to tell me today. Stay strong? Go now? I just don’t know. In fact, I don’t even know what I would want to hear it tell me at this point.