I've recently started taking fantastic trips to celebrate the New Year in a place I've never been. This time I went by myself to O'ahu for some much needed relaxation. Below are my thoughts and learnings from that time. With each day a different song rang in my ears on repeat. I've linked those as well. I hope that even though the time alone was for me that you can benefit from it too.
Day 1: Let it be
Today’s lesson was learning that instead of thinking about what I’m supposed to be doing I should consider what I want to be doing and that just this week, doing nothing is an acceptable answer.
Song: Hey Jude
Day 2: Treat yourself
I think everyone realizes, during the overindulgence that usually accompanies vacation, that they should take more time or do more things for themselves. I was reminded of that and also that I can be a source of my own happiness. I can reward myself for the things I am proud of instead of waiting for acknowledgement or recognition from someone else.
As I sat seaside, eating shave ice, I began to feel powerful and confident. You can’t stop the motion of the ocean. It’s pulled by an unstoppable and invisible force with purpose and precision. Low to high. Dawn to dusk. No one can't stop me because I am also driven by forces they cannot understand or control.
Song: Somewhere Only We Know
Day 3: Respect your own boundaries
I got up early and saw a rainbow. I climbed a crater surrounded by hundreds of people. I like people. People are great. But sometimes I just want to be alone. I've learned that I need the quiet time to remind myself of my truth, to center my focus, and to reflect on my life. To be honest I think I would be hermit if so many lovely humans hadn't pulled me out of my cave and showed me the joy that comes from loving others.
But regardless, I get to decide when I accept the limitations of who I think I am and when I'm ready to push myself to do or be more than I know I am. When it's my choice there are no excuses and no one to blame. There is also peace in the decision because I constantly seek to know myself. Sometimes I'm just not going to climb the mountain. Sometimes I'm going to put on my headphones and walk with my head down. Maybe I'm not being my best self but at least I know that.
I am thankful for the people who remind me who I am and who I could be.
Song: Know Who you Are
Day 4: Being adopted
It would be great to be here deepening bonds with friends I already have but it’s been amazing to see how people have responded to my singleness. I thought that maybe they felt bad for me or maybe I'm emitting some positive vibe that makes people willing to engage and welcome me to be apart of their existence.
Each day during an excursion a family or couple would take me in as their own. We would eat together and talk about life back on the mainland. I met a woman who lived in the city I just moved away from and recommended that she check out the church I loved. I met a couple who were both surgeons who let me talk to their sons about what it's like to be an engineer.
Lastly, I met a mother with her two adult children who were away after the 10 year anniversary of the death her oldest daughter. For that day she let me fill that gap. She let me be her lost daughter with all the perks, benefits and love that comes from a mother. It was an honor.
Day 5: Don’t blow it
Today was pretty emotional. I was disappointed in myself, again, for not doing more things and going more places. I was regretting risks that I had taken and things that I had done before I got to Hawaii. I was tired of being by myself. I longed to get back to my to-do list so I could feel the pleasure that comes from getting things done. It was raining. I was missing Seattle and the life I had left behind. I felt like one in a billion.
By some random happenings I ended up meeting up with 2 girls I had met days before to have the deepest real talk session in the history of my adult life. After that I realized that, despite what seemed like a track record of success, I was afraid to face this next year. I was worried that my best was behind me and that there was too much new for me to get a handle on it. I met two women who shared their stories of pain, growth, and triumph with me and became determined to continue writing my own.
Everyday is an opportunity to be an example and encourage. Everyday is an opportunity to be encouraged and to seek an example.
Song: Famous Last Words
Day 6: Peace, be still
Contentment follows gratefulness. In the rush of life there are few moments reserved to admire the beauty in the world and acknowledge your own place in it. I sat quietly most of this day not wanting to leave. I enjoyed the level of mental stimulation I achieved, the absence of distractions and the newness of everything I saw, heard, ate, touched and smelled. But adventure is all around us. Home, no matter how long you've been there, can surprise you with unexpected wonders if you change the way you look at it. So I think I'm ready to go.
Song: Be Wherever You Are
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the full 6 days, 7 nights playlist (with bonus songs) and pretend that you were with me.