Where does a pasty-white Michigander with Polish/Irish ancestry get off throwing around the term aloha?
If you’re an avid blog reader of mine, you’ve likely heard me dropping alohas like f-bombs. And if you follow me on social media, you’ve certainly witnessed my tired aloha gear. Annnd, if you’re in my physical space, you’re surely exhausted of the trite tales of Hawaiian grandeur.
Clearly, I’m not Hawaiian. Hell, I don’t even live in Hawaii anymore.
So what’s with the fascination?
Honestly, I’ve never really sorted this out for myself. Annnd I think— it’s about time we get to the bottom of this— together.
Ah yes, it’s Tuesday— my designated day for client coaching calls. First up on the agenda— fresh meat.
“Hello, Miss so-and-so, this is Coach Katie.” “Hi Katie! I didn’t expect to receive a call from Hawaii. Do you live in Hawaii?!” (And there’s my cue…) “Unfortunately, not anymore. I live in Florida now.” “Why would you ever leave Hawaii?” “I know, right? Foolish.”
That has become my narrative. And aside from sounding like a sad tale, it’s drenched in negative inflection and reinforced with low blows. Wow! Ya-bish.
Now, if any of you Florida folks are tuned in— I’m gonna give you an opportunity to make an exit, because it’s about to get really ugly.
Florida, the “Sunshine State.”
I’m told we live in paradise— and who could complain about 365 gloriously sunny days? Ya got me there. It’s not the weather (or the wildlife, or the oranges)— you’ll never hear me complaining about bugs, sunshine or hot, humid weather— I’m like a lizard.
For most, Naples Florida is absolute paradise— and the last thing I want to do is take that away from them— because if someone came at me, trying to take my paradise away, you better believe I’d be swinging fists. I just want to express my personal experience with the “Sunshine State.”
You know what comes to mind when I think about Florida?
Real estate Botox Sterile existence Politics (Trump in particular) Old drivers (love you Gramma) Manicured Flat, soggy land Rednecks Old pretentious money Leaf blowers Community regulations
Did you know, there are communities in Florida that won’t allow you to own a motorcycle? Even if you keep it in your own damn garage! So I assume my moped is off the table— God knows, we wouldn’t want to lower the property value with a ratchet knock-off Vespa doing wheelies out the entrance.
Going on 4 years of living in this shit state and I still don’t get it. What’s with the leaf-blowers? It’s not litter. Let them be— or at least let me get through my morning coffee before making all that ruckus.
See! I said ruckus! I’m getting whiter and moldier by the minute!
So I take that back, what I said before about Florida being a shit state. Florida is as it should be— very vanilla. I’m the shit-head that continues to live in a state that doesn’t speak to my soul.
So let me tell you what comes to mind when I think of my soul state.
Hawaii, the “Rainbow State”
Enchantment Rainbows and G*d damn unicorns Exposure Raw experience Unadulterated Free Daunting Fearless Playful Adventurous Primal Magical
It’s hard to explain really. It’s a feeling, more than anything else— It feels connected, yet singular, vulnerable, yet powerful— it feels like coming home.
So why did I leave?
Why pack up and move from a place I felt such a cerebral and spiritual connection to? Why put myself through the heartache?
Why continue living an un-enchanted life, in un-enchanted space?
Whoa whoa whoa sister! Who said anything about un-enchanted life?
Yes, Naples Florida leaves much to be desired. And at times, when I’m feeling nostalgic, the mere thought of Hawaii could bring me to tears. But that’s not to say I don’t have a mountain of reasons why I’m eternally grateful for my time in Florida. Florida has brought about reconnection with my sister, the love of my life, personal growth and defined sense of purpose— those aren’t small things— not by a long f*cking shot!
I knew leaving Hawaii was going to be hard. I knew I’d bawl my eyes out like I’d lost the love of my life. I knew I’d be lonely and vulnerable and uncomfortable— really REALLY uncomfortable. But I was sure, if there was ever a roadmap to progression and self-discovery it was in the clutches of uncharted territory.
So if I wanted to grow, I had to go. Leaving wasn’t about pain or punishment (though it often felt like it was), it was about pursuit of purpose.
So I surrender.
I get it. Now that I’ve defined my life’s purpose, I’m sure to spend a lifetime working towards its fulfillment. So at this point, I’m free to go, right?!
And that’s when things get really magical. The moment you stop feeling trapped by the life you’ve built for yourself, or the narrative you share of yourself, and start feeling free— free to just be— is when everything from walking your sisters dog to enjoying an east coast sunset feels like a tremendous opportunity.
Sorry Florida, I’m not leaving just yet. Just wanted to thank you, in advance (in some ass-backwards, twisted way), for your generous contribution to my growth and progression.
With much love and aloha, Katie