A Week In Paradise…

When it’s time to say goodbye.

I’m sitting in Naupaka Terrace… the restaurant in the hotel, and it’s only the second time on this holiday that I’ve had ”formal” breakfasts.

What a week…

It was just about a week ago, tomorrow, really, I was on the phone with Amy, having the full on meltdown that I absolutely could not and did not want to take this trip. The circumstances of what I thought would happen versus real life were far too different and painful to take on. Alone.

Amy, as any amazing friend would, dropped her life. Like dropped it. All if of it. To meet me for breakfast and again give me the space I needed to continue to grieve what the last nearly three months have dished out to me. I cried, and was sad, and she sat there with me right in the middle of the ugly, all of it.

Tuesday. I met Sheritta at the airport, to commence with this trip, because Big Girl Things include facing what you thought you’d never have to. And let me tell you about Sheritta… she’s a wingman. We started with breakfast at Elways, and boarded the plane, to Lihu’e Hawaii on the island of Kauai. It was a crazy long flight, but the attendants were amazing, and looking back, 7 hours in an airplane wasn’t nearly as crazy as say trying to make this trip when you did so by months at sea with scurvy being a thing…

I had a beautiful date with Starbucks, the sun, the beach, and the hermit crabs every morning for the last five mornings. I’ve spent that time really in ALL of the places. In my heart. In my head. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say there have been some very hard moments in this. I know I’ll still have more. They sneak up on me… totally boogey man style.They did again this morning. They are fewer and farther between and that’s a win. And after the boogey man goes, what I am left with is me.

And I’ve been spending time getting to know this woman.

And I like her.

She’s a little bit crazy… she’s beautiful, with or without makeup, with or without filters, and with or without having combed her hair in three days. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and sometimes wonders if what’s coming from her lips or finger tips has any business out in the real world to be seen or heard. And she’ll do it anyway. Because she’d rather wear her heart on her sleeve for the good, bad, and ugly rather than face a lifetime of careful compartmentalization or God forbid inauthenticity.

She’s brave. For feeling the feelings. All. Of. The. Feelings. For her honesty. For her integrity. For her ability to be shaken to the core and hurt more than imaginable and still realize there’s a person for her. All she need do is believe in this, look for him… and understand more fully what she needs in a partner and being a great partner in return. To build the wall that’s tall enough to provide some protection, but not so tall as to not let him in if he’s willing to make the short climb to get there.

She’s brave because she’s learning to navigate her sometimes too loud to bear loneliness. Man that’s been a thing this week. Usually in the morning on those lovely dates with the sun, the sand, and the crabs….She went on an exploratory mission for rum tasting and found that she’d be just fine being there without a partner or even wingman, because this woman, the one right here, finds friends wherever she is… it’s God’s gift to her, the ability to connect, seamlessly. She need no longer worry about what other people think. She may sometimes still, because it’s a hard thing to unravel.

She’s brave… because she can eat breakfast by herself and not feel like she’s the only lepar in the room. And that, my sweet friends, sometimes takes a bit. She’s brave because she’s trying things she’s never done. Dancing on the beach, who cares who’s watching? Walking, and then walking just a little bit more, because you never know where you’ll find the next beautiful thing. Puka Dogs… not her favorite, but none-the-less, worth a try. Helicopter rides into the canyons and hidden valleys of Kauai. Loco Mocos, though, I don’t recommend before the helicopter ride. Old Fashioneds and Dark Stormy’s… thank you Chef. Chef… really thank you. For All. Of. The. Things.

She’s brave… because today she returns home. A bit more ready to face the next turn of the page, the next chapter, fully confident, at least in this moment, to navigate the next thing her life presents. To take on new relationships… some that are just beginning to form, for the ones yet to flourish. To start packing for the move to Arizona, to finding her short term landing place while the house finishes. She’s ready, more than she has been, in a hot minute to simply be herself, authentically, and unapologetically.

Big. Girl. Things… live intentionally, live unapologetically, and LIVE. OUT. LOUD.

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