Hawaii for me is… Part I – Conversations.

There are many things that one can say of paradise. Most tell you about all the great adventures you will have, its beauty and overall awesomeness. All of which is true.  None will tell you much of the rouge, rugged, sad or everyday life you can have here too. The following is based on my personal observations…experience of the island and of the hard working people here. PART I. This does not include all my fun times here… that will be Part II.

I’ve been here 10 days; I’ve had the pleasure of meeting awesome bartenders who have a follow praising their names. Random people who ask me how I am doing, as I walked the streets asking who I was, and what I am about. I’ve had awesome front desk people telling me where to go and what to do while I’m here.
I’ve also shopped at the biggest outside mall ever I believe, eaten at various Boigie too expensive places, other places had the BEST beef skewers for only $5. Amazing right?  Talk about Happy hour. Some places are the same as in Los Angeles, only cheaper in LA. I went to a wal-mart…bought groceries to reduce non-sensical (i think i just made up a word) spending. I’ve gotten my skin color like the natives here and I’ve even been asked if I live here a few times.  I’ve had tweekers (I will assume…who asked them to be their gf before even knowing you? LOL) ask me to be their girlfriend about three times by different men. I don’t even know what to say about that.
Currently, I am riding the bus to hit a different part of the island to enjoy the beach of north shore, a place about 2-3 hours away from Waikiki (got to love my blackberry). And, although I have been taking the buses everywhere, exploring, I am STILL dumbfounded as I see homelessness everywhere. This saddens me, literally made me cry when I saw a family trying to reach over from the rain. Coming from Los Angeles, I hoped I would not have to see this… Families, children, elderly ladies sleeping at and on the bus stations. Did I mention children? Children! I would assume if I were to be homeless why not in paradise. But to what degree does someone feel that living on a beach, searching for home shelter, being burned from the hot sun, not being able to drink water, and yet being surrounded by it.  I personally would feel trapped, angry and lost.
I spoke to the lady at the bus stop. She was 71 years old. She use to own a home and it was taken away from her because she was unable to afford it. “All the jobs they give to the young ones.” she told me her story, how she had become sad after her husband passed away. She took a week off from her. Job only to find that they had hired a younger person for less pay. Where is the loyalty for her?
The lady then continued saying that I was the first person in months she had spoken too. It broke my heart. In a place where I was talking, meeting, laughing with strangers, she was not spoken too. Granted her main language was not English…but of I was able to speak and understand her, I am sure other could. My question here is…how hard is it to sit down and communicate with someone. She said she tried to speak to visitors as they took the bus, but they paid no attention. I can only imagine how rejected she must have felt. Thankfully there are new emergent programs like REACH that will help.
Facebook: REACH 808.  “REACH is a organization created and focused on renewing and reviving the economy one COMMUNITY at a time. We would like to assist you in any fundraising events or community service Events that you may have.”
Website: REACH
Time. Everyone that lives here is always working. Always! Trying to live the island life. If you come from the mainland, then you will find this place to be expensive. I expected it to be expensive… Understandably so, everything gets shipped here from elsewhere. They have Wal-Mart and Costco… You can buy a week full groceries and cook the recipes the natives give you… I loved cooking such recipes.So much hard work to make this place into paradise. Thank you. 

Paradise is defiantly a state of mind for everyone who decided to see it that way. Everyone I spoke to that came here from elsewhere came here because of his or her thought of paradise. I met a lot of awesome people. Everyone with his or her own paths in life… Searching for peace. Strength. Love. Faith. Hope. Understanding.

About 75% of the people I met told me what they left in the mainland. And for a lot, it was sadness. Feeling like they needed a new start. A new adventure to get taken out of their old life. Some still working through it, others not working through it and now feeling more depressed. At some point I hope they fill their empty whole.
I met others who say that their lives came around. Some had lost loved ones and came to fund healing.  They say this island is a healing place. I would agree with this. I came with the only expectation to enjoy and take it in. I found that I was not a burden to the people who accept you here because that’s just what you do here. You support others when you allow yourself to be kind. “Everyone here is nice because they are in vacation, who wants to deal with bull shit when they are on vacation?”
Recently, I was caught in the rain. I was at the beach, chilling, taking pictures, enjoying myself and I found a tall tree to hide behind as the rain fell. It was also windy, so you can only imagine how painful the rain hit. Thank goodness for that tree. After the rain calmed down I walked to the bus station. Still, raining, not as hard, but defiantly wet. I had my towel wrapped around me, hair wet, and hoodie on under the towel. I was standing in a bus stop with no rooftop. Just the bus sign and me. Loads of cars passing by. One Gentleman asked me if I needed a ride to the next city. I declined because I was alone. Second car that stopped was a surfing chick that asked if I needed a ride…there really was no space for me in her car, she had her surfing board, and so I declined. Third person stopped, asked me if she could take me to a bus stop with a roof, I accepted.
I was tired of being soaked, wet and hungry. LOL an experience I tell you.
While at the bus stop I met a young woman. She had come back from the main land because she just endured heartache, parting from a 5-year relationship. We spoke about life, the differences, how most men are cheaters and don’t care how they can hurt someone. I understood her all too well, been there. My question on this is, as a woman, what do we or should we allow, compromise for having “someone/company?” Being an Independent woman is great, but we, at least I do, still have the want of a man in my life. I can only imagine what conversation can come from this. 
Do I have to bare pain from a man’s stupid choices? I’ve always been told that someone else’s choices are just that, their choices, you did not do anything wrong to lead him there… they did it all on their own. You can opt to continue to love them, deal with them, forgive them, and move on. Hoping they don’t continue making you look like a fool. Or you can do the same thing to them, of which is VERY common sense that a man cannot handle their woman to cheat on them. But in the end, I guess its what one allows, and the choices we make… choices.  I hope she make the best choice for herself, makes sure she is valued in high regard, adored, respected and loved back by her man.  All I have to say is what my friends once told me, first time, shame on him…second time shame on you if you stay after two. And Hopefully there is no Two.
People surely come here for many reasons. A Get-Away is the main one. Which only takes my mind to the word avoidance. And my question then is… Avoidance? Coming from my training and thinking, avoidance only then creates other problems… Eventually causing underlying issues that overtake with out you even expecting things to change in your life…a general theory…but wow. Imagine?  That was my mind running.
But I’m one also having a Get-Away. Avoiding the workload of letters, emails, writing, and home life. Coming for fun, adventure, which I’m surly getting, a twisted ankle after slipping coming out of the Ralph Lauren store while it is raining and I’m wearing sandals, (yeah I know, only me). Wanting the closeness of my boe, because I choose to be in a long distance relationship with someone who makes me laugh and is not always bombarding me with what are you doing or woman you NEED to do this or that…  Coming for the awesome weather, and its VERY awesome, way better than LA right now. The weather helping reduce my bone pain. Also, trying to figure out what I want for my future too… getting away from stress for a bit.
 All I can say… this took my mind away. 

Overall, I have found that no matter where I am, or where I travel I am blessed that I am able to enjoy and live life. I am constantly reminded that I have the choice to view life, as I want it. I have will. If I put myself out there to be successful I can be. Also, that I can make anywhere paradise. After all, California is not so bad. I also come out with the knowledge that homelessness is universal. Mars probably has homeless people too. But it reminded how sentimental I am as a human. Something I felt I’d lost while working as a psychotherapist. I though I’d lost that part, only to find that I’d avoided that part of me. So now that I’ve found it, I’m ready to go back to helping.
You will be surprised what re-kindling you do when you are away of the daily hustle and bustle. Much-recommended place in Oahu: North shore. Be one with you, nature, play some golf and be with God or whatever you’re higher being is.  My adventure still continues for 6 more days in this island.  Ok, Back to Vacation for me.
Leave me a comment, Want to hear what you think.
Smile (if you want)
Jes Sofia Valle


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