Hawaii and I have an interesting relationship.  Here in Hawaii I savor sun and warm winds and the clear blue ocean.  And here in Hawaii I smack–continually–into my shortcomings and limitations.

Hawaii reminds me that I am a control freak.

Hawaii’s laid back nature reveals my suffocating Type A personality.

Hawaii’s open sharing makes me feel like Scrooge, miserly, money-oriented and obsessive about what’s mine.

If I just stayed in Bellevue I could feel smug.  I could feel altruistic and giving and good about myself.  Don’t I donate to a dozen different charities?  Don’t I share my writing tips and techniques through my b-board and workshops?  Don’t I treat people well, speaking with compassion and kindness?

Um, apparently not so much.  At least not in Hawaii.

Because Hawaii knocks me out of my comfort zone.  Hawaii is about change, and diversity and different people with very different goals (or at times, for some, no goals other than having a good time).  Everyone that knows me well, knows that I operate under the very strict Protestant work ethic–which means being happy is less important than working hard–but here in Hawaii that makes me feel like a freak.  Like I’m walking around with a massive suitcase of Hangups and Heavy Ambition and it’s just not cool.

I’d like to be cool.  Or I’d very much like to be okay with being intensely nerdy, and ambitious, and book hungry, and idea hungry.  I’ve very much like to be okay with everyone and everything instead of having constant talks with myself.  “Relax, Jane.”  “Chill, Jane.”  “Enjoy the ride, Jane.”

If its so much work for me, why come to Hawaii?  (Besides needing and wanting to see Surfer Ty and warm sun and tropical breezes and lapping azure waves?)   Hawaii shakes me up.  Takes me out of that blessed comfort zone and makes me confront myself, along with those ugly limitations of mine.  Truly, I don’t need to control that much.  And I don’t need everything to be quite so all the time.  And different is good.  Even if that different rubs me the wrong way. 

Without Hawaii, I’d just be a princess.  Diva Jane.  And how tragic would that be?


  1. I really liked this post and am I really the first one to leave a comment?? I think a lot of women struggle with the whole control freak/Type A personality thing–I know I do. You were just so honest in your posting so I really loved it and admire you even more. Jane, you always inspire me with your insight.
    Love ya!

  2. Ah, from one Type A to another…I feel your pain, Jane! Do try to relax and enjoy just “being” for a while. MUCH easier for me to preach than follow my own advice. 😉

  3. Jane, don’t be so hard on yourself. I think we as women beat ourselves up for so much. Just remember that you are good enough, smart enough, and gosh darnit..people like you! I have to repeat that mantra a lot! Have a mai tai and relax!

  4. I still have trouble letting go and really enjoying myself. I find that when I think less, I’m happier. It’s still hard to quit analyzing and questioning everything, but the freedom you get feels amazing

  5. hey, i was just reading about you on your site and i realized what i have been wondering… is your book “Flirting With Forty” a true story about yourself?

  6. Jane! You seemed totally relaxed and cool to me; I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you in Hawaii and i think your blog is really cool too! Stop being so hard on yourself; EVERYTHING is as it should be! Trust it. Oh, by the way, i’m LOVING the book! Aloha Carla.x

  7. Wow. I love this post. I lived on Oahu in my my early 20’s and I moved back to Ptld. after 4 yrs. to spend more time with family, travel some, make more money… I was so struck with how people my age were excited about collecting things… china, clothes, money, etc. I thought it was so boring and felt I’d never stay away from Hawaii for long- that people on the mainland had no idea what they were missing. I love how people in Hawaii have resisted that mainland pressure that we are what we own. I think some of it is the constance of the weather- you can’t freeze to death in Hawaii… in the mainland you have to “hoard for winter to survive”. But it is great to go to Hawaii and soak up some of that way of thinking – the Be Here Now, the Don’t Worry, Be Happy… I hope it always stays that way over there so we mainlanders can at least have a little time over there to be around that. I did move back there- but came back again… and am again thinking of moving back again… it gets harder the more you’re settled though. It’s an awesome place and we are so lucky we can just hop a plane and go there!

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