I should never say never because it always backfires on me. Even when I have the best intentions, and vow to make real changes, those vows and intentions look suspicious later. Dramatic. Emotional.
Remember how a couple months ago I said I was done with Hawaii? No more going back now that Flirting with Forty was nearly done? Well, I lied. I’ve been back and not just back to visit. I’m buying a little house in Waikiki, sandwiched between the Honolulu Zoo and Diamond Head.
Why? I couldn’t stay away. I love Hawaii. And I needed change…the change that said I’m not just a tourist anymore, but a ‘local’. Someone that belongs. With my perpetual tan, sun bleached hair and passion for Reefs I’m always asked these days if I’m a ‘local girl’ and for the past six months I wanted to be a local girl. I wanted to belong. I wanted to be more than a frenzied tourist taking in the sun and the beaches and the beach boys. I wanted the real Hawaii. I wanted the beautiful North Shore and the stretch of Kamy highway from Kailua to Turtlebay which is just one beautiful beach and vista after another. Hawaii felt like home even if I was in discount hotels and budget travel deals.
But now I have a house. A tiny little termite-infested 1938 cottage in need of new foundation, new sub floors, new windows, a bathroom, a kitchen, a front door, a backdoor, a hardwood floor, a laundry, a garden…and that’s just the beginning. But I love it. I love that it was built in the 30’s and it has ten foot high ceilings and (termite softened) bead board walls. I love that I can jackhammer the cement yard out and plant some grass and flowers. I love that by ripping part of the carport off I shall see Diamond Head from my tiny living room window. I love that I have something to love that’s new and different and creative and not a book, and not shaped by words, but by sweat and time and effort and energy. I’ve needed something that isn’t about couples or families, that doesn’t symbolize marriage, career or success. The house is so small it is what it is. And it reminds me that is how life is. And what I am. I am not more than I am and not less than I am. Life is not more or less, either.
I hope by January to be able to live in the house for long weekends and holidays and hopefully summer break. I hope to have a place to leave my beach girl clothes and my Reefs and my sarongs and bottles of 30 SPF sunscreen. I hope to buy groceries and cook for myself and sleep in a real bed of my own and enjoy my daring little venture in a not so glamorous neighborhood. But I’m glad its not a fancy place and I’m not surrounded by fancy people. I’m ready for casual and comfortable, honest and real. I’m ready–hungry–to belong. To be local.