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it certainly has been a hot minute since i've sat down and blah-blah'ed to you, hasn't it? seeing as how this blog was meant to document my "raleighwood to hollywood" experiences--when i took a two week break from the city of lights to vaca with my family in hawaii, my blog took a bit of a hiatus as well. 

i just discovered i know how to spell hiatus.

turns out that my little world has still been spinning despite the fact that the blogging was somewhat put on hold for a while. i'll save the lovely vacation pictures for another post, but the most important part is that it was a much needed, relaxing, and amazing two weeks with my family. it was so wonderful to get away for a little while and to only be concerned with things like my forehead getting too sun-burnt, and the fact that we didn't have any dijon mustard in the fridge.
when i returned back to LA-LA land--olive immediately began to explain the reasons i should have brought her along.

although i'm saving most of the pictures for a whole other blog dedicated to the trip, i had to share this one with you.
how often do you see a rainbow wrapped around a mountain?

other than in a skittles commercial of course.

in hindsight, the below photograph was an interesting picture to take the night before my plane ride back to the real world.

there is a quote about hawaii that i love...

there is something about the relaxed hawaiian lifestyle that i absolutely adore. it's not just because i live in a place where you have to fight your way into a lane of traffic--while in hawaii, the first person to see your blinker will immediately let you in front of them. it's more about the slowed down pace that the people of the islands live by. don't get me wrong. one of the things i love about los angeles is the big, fast, constantly spinning city life that i've  always wanted to experience--but something about hawaii can be very calming. although aloha means hello, goodbye, and love or affection--to me, "living aloha" is just a way of slowing down life and taking it all in.

the morning of my flight, i bought this:

...two hours later, 
i forgot one of my bags on the way to the airport.

needless to say,
the f***ing bean did not work.

although i would love for this anecdote to end by saying that we turned back around and got my lost luggage, but then this would be a fictional story. the airport was an hour away, and we were just a few miles away from my terminal. the practical side of this story is that not having the things in that carry-on bag were going to be a huge inconvenience for me. i was once again without keys. i had no way to charge my phone. i wouldn't have a computer for the next few days.

the emotional side of this story is about the panic that was going off inside of me when i realized the things that i would be missing the next nine hours of traveling.
let's cut to the chase: nobody likes flying...but i LOATHE it. after a horrible plane experience when i was seventeen, i've grown a fear inside of my body that is terrified of flying. 
for me: flying = a panic attack.
luckily over the last year and many coast-to-coast flights, my fears have begun to calm down and i've actually gotten much better at dealing with this. everybody has their own routines and rituals for planes. mine basically includes doing everything possible to tell myself that i'm not actually flying on a plane. if i can distract myself enough to calm down and breathe--then any waves of panic subside. for especially long flights, there are certain "tools" i never leave home without. truthfully, these items are pretty basic--my computer, a handful of DVD's, magazines, my ipod, and a teddy bear named sasha that i've had for almost 24 years. something about each one of these objects distracts me and calms me from any anxious feelings that i know the first sight of an airplane with bring up.

when the realization of not having my bag (and every single one of those things) hit me--a wave of panic slowly started to creep through my body. it bounced off of my heartbeat and then landed directly in my gut.
i told myself to take deep breaths. i reminded myself that the long plane ride wasn't even that long. 

and then i remembered that the most important thing was in my purse:

okay that was a joke.
...but i really did have socks in my purse.

the MOST important thing was the reminder to myself that all i needed,
all i REALLY needed,
was air in my lungs.
i may have attachments to important personal possessions (hellooo future blog post), and i may think i need specific distractions to get me through something scary like a plane ride--but the truth is that all i really need is myself. a major life lesson i've battled with for twenty five years is learning that i can be okay when i'm away from home. this year has obviously been a gigantic step forward for me (you know, moving across the country and all). whatever that panic is inside of me--that fear that tells me that everything is not going to be okay--doesn't hold up to what i know to be ultimately true. 
i'm okay anywhere.
i'm okay when i'm home in my parents' living room.
i'm okay when i'm in south carolina.
i'm okay when i'm in new jersey.
i'm okay when i'm in california.
i'm okay when i'm on plane.

like i said, there will be a whole other blog post on this subject in relation to a very important possession that i recently lost in the pacific ocean. for now, i wanted to guide you into the next part of this blog with the now-familiar expression:
living aloha.

as i boarded the plane and reminded myself to "live aloha" and simply calm down--i began to breathe again. i allowed my thoughts to travel elsewhere. 
my mind bounced back to the beach the day before...
as i laid on my stomach--head propped up on my hands and sunglasses on my nose--i carefully turned the page of my book. my best friend had given me a 550 page-long book called the forgotten garden (which we both never thought i would actually read).
i surprised us both by diving full force into the story and hardly being able to put it down. as i flipped to the next chapter, i noticed a small fold on one of the pages and realized that this crease belonged to sara. i suddenly realized that just as i was holding this book and giving so much care and attention to every single part of the story--somewhere in the past, sara had done the exact same thing. just a few months before, she was holding this very same book and reading these very same words. without even realizing it, i had hugged the book close to my chest and felt an overwhelming sense of connection to my best friend. 
with the warm smell of coconut sunscreen in the air and the thought of summertime in my heart-- i closed my eyes and thought about the past.
and then this thought hit me like a seagull to the head:

i miss summer with my friends.
i miss the pool days, the nights at rudinos, the beach bars, the coors lights, the tan lines, the mix CD's, the trips to the lake so many years ago, the card games, the sunroof back, the country music, the days at the ocean, the nights on the sand...
i know that the world is still spinning on the east coast, and i miss so badly all of the wonderful times that i lived with my best friends. i couldn't help but look through old pictures and remember the years of sun-kissed, coors light filled summers that i shared with so many people that hold such a special place in my heart.

so push play,
scroll through the pictures,
and know that somewhere in the past--all of us are still living these memories together.
i miss you all terribly.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Slater said...

I love this post. Keeping the Aloha spirit with you where ever you go is so important. We learn so much from our trials and tribulations. It is so important to be present with each moment and enjoy exactly where you are. Today you are getting ready to start some improv and acting classes in the next two weeks in LA- something you always wanted to do! Olive will probably make you a breakfast surprise to make sure you are ready for the day. (she sent me a text for a recipe). I love you. Daddy-O