Not Just Vacation — My First Week on Oahu

January 22, 2018

It has been 3 weeks since I boarded a plane with a one-way ticket and crossed the Pacific to the little island of Oahu. WUT.

hiking with dogs in hawaii

The first few days were a vacation with my sister Kendall around and Katie in town— we joined Kendall’s friends for nights out to dive bars and house parties, rang in the new year at a Gatsby-themed soiree, soaked up some sun on the beach, drank too many mai tais, and got fresh ink on the North Shore. Our musical friend Peter even island-hopped over from Kauai for a brainstorming sesh and yes, a few more mai tais. We went out in Kailua and Waikiki. Spent too much money on expensive appetizers. Got my honorary first sunburn.

Vacay life, ya know?

But not all island living is sunshine and coconuts.

north shore pipeline surfing

Once Katie flew back to the mainland and Kendall went off to San Diego for more Navy training, I was left alone back at the house with myself, my thoughts, and one very fuzzy golden retriever. I realized since the bustle of holidays and moving, I hadn’t really been alone alone in a while. So when the outdoor voices quieted, the weight of the past two month’s-worth of big moments and big decisions let themselves be felt in their entirety.

No matter where you move, your feelings still follow you. Insecurities still exist. The questions and even the fears are still there. I couldn’t 100% expect heartache and missing my dear friends, old co-workers, and yes, even The City disappear in a bubble of beach happiness.

dogs on the beach in oahu
After a good cry with Chesney snuggled up in my lap, I hopped in the car, drove to Whole Foods, and grocery shopped. Somewhere in the vegan cheese section I reminded myself this wasn’t vacation — this was real life, my life, and I chose it. It was a dream ten years in the making, and it was here.

It took a few 10-hour nights of sleep, unpacked suitcases, and pictures hung on walls for a comfortable reality to set in. I wasn’t alone — I was a phone call away from those I love, a few steps from a welcoming roommate, an hour’s drive from the North Shore and another dear friend on it.

But most of all, I was here — with me, myself, I. 

hiking in hawaii

So far this new chapter has been all about taking a long, sandy stroll back to myself, and I’m OK with it. Let the adventure continue.

2 Comments

  • Reply Michelle January 23, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Although your ride on the roller coaster is expected with any major change in life, I find your courage and sense of adventure refreshing and inspiring. I can count on one hand, people I know— that have the same gumption and stand brave, willing to try something new— like you Avery. Be encouraged to press-on towards the path that will lead to your next flicker of joy. Happy Tuesday.

    • Reply Avery January 29, 2018 at 11:48 pm

      Michelle I cannot thank you enough for your empowering comment. I’ll treasure that up and remember it next time I begin to doubt!

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