Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 100

I have officially been in Hawaii for 100 days.  Although that doesn't sound like much, it has felt ridiculously long.  Someone suggested the other day...again, not in the comments!...that I talk about what the first 100 days has felt like.  To be honest, I'm not sure yet how I feel about the entire experience.  Obviously I am doing a lot and experiencing a lot of the island culture.  That said, I also miss being close to my friends and family.  Turns out, it's pretty impractical to just fly home for a weekend when you live in Hawaii.  Before I left everyone kept telling me what a tremendous opportunity it was to live out here for a couple years.  "When else will you have the time to live in Hawaii," they said.  I also talked to several lawyers who are well into their careers and they all repeated the same thing, "if I could go back and had the chance to clerk in Hawaii, I would definitely do it."  So alas, I took the leap of faith, sold all my stuff and moved out here with 2 suitcases and no place to live (yeah, I stayed in hotels the first 10 days until I found a place).

I think most of my friends would say that, as a general rule, I hate change.  At the same time, I have a tremendous fear of waking up one day and looking back at a life spent doing nothing.  I can't think of anything worse than being stationary.  Consequently, I tend to seek out new opportunities and adventures and (begrudgingly) welcome radical change.  Hawai'i, while I criticize it sometimes for its ass backwards way of doing things, is proving to be an experience and challenge that I am happy I embraced (begrudgingly, of course).  I've always loved to travel, and I regularly try to figure out ways to get someone to pay me for it.  I also have a few bucket list destinations floating around in my head that I insist will come to fruition one day.  One of the toughest things about moving here, though, was that it seemed like so much more than just a "trip."  1) I'll be far away from friends/family for two years, and 2) I just spent the last 8 years in school preparing for a career that, for all intents and purposes, won't start until I get back.  Selling and packing your life away to move to a new place, to a new part of the world, and leaving everything else behind is a pretty daunting feeling.  I wholeheartedly recommend it.

I recently read two blogs by guys I went to middle school and high school with.  One is teaching English in China for 2 years and the other recently got back from teaching English in China for 2 years and is now a radio broadcaster in Alaska.  I don't know why, but reading about their experiences made me feel much better about being isolated in the middle of the pacific ocean.  I mean, the first thing I realized is that things could obviously be much worse: Being in an entire country of Asians? No, thank you.  Being in a place where temperatures can drop to -50 degrees? I'll pass. At least it's warm here and people speak English.  The second thing is that they helped me remember how young we are.  At some point in the process of moving here I think I forgot that.   Almost everyday I hear about people I went to high school with buying houses, getting married, settling into their careers, etc.  I have no interest in that stuff right now and am nowhere near being ready for it.  Nonetheless, hearing it everyday made me think that here I was finishing law school - the point at which your career is supposed to start - and I up and move to Hawai'i.  It was nice to hear about other people tackling new adventures.  It made me much less crazy.

I know what you may be thinking: uhh...are you complaining about living in Hawaii!?  No, I am not.  Just the opposite, in fact.  I am fully embracing the adventure.  That doesn't mean it's always easy.  Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the last 100 days.  Having moved from a big city with plenty to do, I was nervous that I would get bored quickly.  Instead, I have been shocked at how much there is to do here and I look forward to doing even more.


  1. What's really hard about a big move (or at least what has been true of mine) is that it's hard to get people at home to really understand the place you're in, both mentally and geographically. There are so many subtle details of place and climate and attitude and language that are almost impossible to convey even after hours of conversation. So despite Hawaii or Alaska both being part of the US, they are so far from Delaware or Maryland or the east coast or the entirety of the lower 48 that they might as well be another country. And unless the people back home have uprooted themselves and gone through something similar, talking about it can be really hard. They simply have nothing to compare it to, no antecedents in their life that are remotely similar. If you're lucky, a few good friends will care enough to listen. But most people ask "How's Hawaii?!" and they'll be more than happy with a simple "it's going well." Just the way it is, I suppose. But you'll never forget it, and it'll make you a stronger person with a better understanding of the world we live in, and that's why you do it.