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.