Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gracie & My Hawaii Story

I think Gracie looks different every time I take her picture.

This morning, we are both happy because there is only a small fever in sight!

Now onto the topic at hand:


I have cousins who hail from Hawaii and I only saw them once every few years growing up. They aren't of the Hawaiian descent, however. Their dad, my Uncle Darl, works there as a lawyer (I wanna say something to do with real estate, but I'm not sure). My Aunt Michelle is my mom's younger sister. The cousins that grew up there can be found here, under Ryan, and here, under Susan. There are two others without blogs, if you can believe it, under the names of Rachel and Mitchell.

I love this family! They are some of the nicest and most talented people you will ever meet.

When I was 17, I hit a semi-rebellious phase, as any 17 year old might. (I have apologized to my parents for years about it because of the horrible and selfish things I put them through.) The jist of the phase included a blood-sucking, manipulative boyfriend and a relationship I couldn't get out of, not for a lack of trying. I decided to suck it up and tell my parents I wanted to marry him because I felt there was no way out of this guy's grip.

As you can imagine, this did not sit well with them. At the beginning of my Senior year in high school, they decided that if I went and lived with my aunt and uncle in Hawaii for 4 months and still felt like I wanted to marry this guy when I got back, then I could. I just had to stay the entire time and work and go to school there. Looking back, it's a brilliant plan because this guy always found me, no matter where I went. He couldn't hop a plane to Hawaii and I could have been perfectly safe there.

So I went to live with them and they were so good to me. My Aunt Michelle and I did everything we could to find a way for the situation to work. She was so positive and happy and I am not really one of those types of people, which made her a great influence, even to this day. That all lasted about 3 weeks before I started getting antsy and irritated, as 17 year olds do. I wasn't liking the arrangement and it was turning into a situation where it would be dangerous and too much unnecessary work to go to the public school there (like taking Hawaiian History), especially since I only needed 4 credits to graduate which I could do in 1 semester at my regular school. So if I did stay there, I was going to have to take my GED and I didn't like the sound of that.

The bottom line was I was forced to live in this beautiful habitat that tormented me (and regretfully, left a very bad taste in my mouth). I started hating everything about it: (1) The weather was too humid and sticky and the windows were always open because nobody had A/C as they felt there was no need, I guess (I'm still not sure on that and they do the same in San Diego). (2) The driving was too limited because there was only one highway that went all around the island (like that's even a big deal, I just remember everything I didn't like about it then). And (3) I didn't have any friends there except my aunt and cousin, Susan; two people I didn't know very well and had a hard time relating to at that stage in life (which is sort of understandable because everyone misses their friends).

I made myself more and more miserable this way and since I was already struggling with depression, it was easy to fall into the trap. I tried to take control of whatever I could because it felt like I had no control over my life. Without going into detail, I figured out a shifty way for my mom to come and get me. I'm in no way proud of this and still feel awful to this day. It makes me sick just thinking about what I put my aunt and uncle's family through for, what it seemed, no good reason, and what I put my own family through. That is the one thing I might change about my life if I could.

Now, I don't like Hawaii. I don't have any desire to go there. I have an entirely different life now where everything is going well for me and I still can't get over this small problem. I want to like Hawaii, but I don't. I have no problem with people who do, though, because it's normal to want to go there. It is beautiful and there is no denying that.

Robby had a great time when he went so he would love to go back. But I can't get past this. Maybe because it's only been 5 years and I still feel guilty (which I do). Maybe because I know we won't be going any time soon and I'm shielding myself from disappointment. Whatever the case, I don't like Hawaii and I don't want to go. No matter how badly I wish I felt differently.

To those who have been: Enjoy your fond memories and longing to return.

To those who haven't: Hold on to the dream and keep building it up.

And to my family: I apologize again for my stupidity.

To those who don't care one way or the other: Isn't Gracie's hair hilarious?


Sadie said...

Gracie has the best hair!! Your Hawaii sounds like my Washington D.C. (maybe we're secret twins)

Martha said...

Mel -- I had a hard 17 and 18 year old years also.. I wish I could turn back time and do it all over again, just so I don't have to see my dad cry the way he did the night that I left thinking life was great... But I totally understand about not wanting to be somewhere and wanting to come home any way possible.... Hopefully things are all well in your house and everyone is getting back to being normal..

Karen said...

So you've apologized, your family has certainly forgiven you ... now it's time to realize that you are just like everyone else.

EVERYBODY has something in their life that we'd like to just delete, yours just happened to be surrounded by palm trees and an ocean.

There are lessons that you were to learn from that AND there are lessons that your family learned ... thanks to you!

It's time for some catchy phrases.

"We take the ups with the downs."

"This is what makes the world go 'round."

But the best one of all ...


I don't even think it matters if you like Hawaii ... as long as you like Arizona! We love you girl!

Anonymous said...

You have the best way of telling stories. I love it.

The Holmes Fam said...

LOL! Those last two sentences made me laugh out loud, literally. You are so funny, sister. Only one week until we get there!

Oscar said...

Gracie's hair is hilarious :) I agree with a previous comment that we all do things we aren't proud of and wish we could change. I think it is good to analyze and reflect on mistakes to make sure we learn from them. I have a hard time deciding when to stop apologizing/analyzing and forgive myself and move on. That part is tough for me.

emidinkl said...

this comment has two parts: First part-- My mom still hates Hawaii after like 30 years. She lived there in her early 30's and had some bad experiences--still hates it and I think everyone would agree its just fine to not like things by association. Part two. I think we all did things we regret in our late teens. Thats part of that stage of life. I certainly did and am still a bit embarrassed by those choices, but hey, we learned from it right?