The story I want to tell here and in my coming video podcasts will probably be the collective story of all of humanity.
We all share similar experiences. Our cultural traditions, our familial relationships, our upbringing, our religious and political affiliations uniquely colors our experiences so that we handle them differently. But at the core of the human condition, we share the same search for happiness and how to connect to the world outside of our experience.
Whenever I meet someone, I like to hear their story. Most people have a spiel already created in their mind. It's their go-to summary of who they are. Mine always starts with who my parents are. In Hawai'i, and probably in all Pacific Island groups, we search for our connection so that we can relate to each other and that starts with, "Who's your family and where are you from?" The theory of six degrees of separation is all too true in Polynesia. No matter where I find myself in the world, I will always know someone who knows someone who knows someone and we connect.
I am a Pacific Islander. My mother is Samoan/Swedish from Vaitoloa, Western Samoa and my father is Hawaiian/Chinese from Kaneohe, O'ahu, Hawai'i.
I reside in South Carolina right now. I moved here in November 2017, just over a year after a very seamless and quick divorce. My ex and I were together for 13 years before we called it quits. That certainly colors my life right now. That event has surely changed me and forces me to look at my life with new awareness. And I am here to tell that story; to talk about the lows and the triumphs of overcoming grief. Sometimes I wake up in tears. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep. Maybe it's loneliness and not knowing why my marriage fell apart and maybe it is the uncertainty of moving forward without my best friend. I truly considered my ex my best friend. The way we bounced ideas off each other and laughed and had good times. The way we worked so well as a team. The way we held each other up. These are things I think of when I miss him. I miss that connection. I miss that feeling of knowing that when I go home at night, someone is waiting for me. No matter how hard family and friends try to fill that void, it is not the same thing.
Here I am at the midpoint of my life forced to reinvent who I am. In the year from when my ex and I split to the moment I left the islands, I did a whole lot of soul searching. I continually analyzed the condition of my life. In my mind, I asked the following questions:
What will make me happy again?
How can I live my best life?
How can I change the circumstances of my life so that everything I do is intentional and not a reaction to outside forces?
So here we are. I am going to tell that story!