Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yup. I'm alive.

I'm so sorry to have disappeared on you all. A combination of jet lag, a dead laptop, and being on the job hunt has led me to neglect this blog. I'm returning slowly but surely.

Right now, I'll admit it, I'm having a bit of anxiety. (Not having a job does that to you) I like working. I enjoy being a go getter. I want to build towards my future and get started as fast as time will allow, but I do realize that I have to be patient. I'm grateful that I don't have a family to support. I know that I have my parents support should I need them, but I want to break out on my own and be self-sufficient, as I'm sure any young person does.

On the plus side, I'm getting interviews. There is a position I applied for that I believe is the perfect fit for me, and I would enjoy it. In addition, this position would allow me to build a future, and work toward the goals I need to achieve. I usually do not ask of this, but your prayers (or well wishes) would be appreciated. Stepmom said that whatever is in God's plan will be. Hopefully, we're on the same page.

Also wanted to add that I miss reading your blogs all the time. When I get a new laptop, I'll be back to reading and commenting on all of your blogs regularly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Random Epilogue.

Excuse the rambling. I'm still a bit jetlagged.

After a whirlwind journey (seriously, was that really almost four months of being away?!?), I have arrived "home" safe and sound. Well, it's as home as it's going to get for now. The plan was to move into my new place when I returned to New Jersey. That plan was delayed due to unexpected (and very expected) repairs to the house. (You gotta have a working toilet and a kitchen y'all. Although, not in the same room of course) So for now, I am in my parents new apartment. If I ever reach my main goal of complete financial Independence with some bank to spare, I want a place like theirs. You see, their place has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, which has always been a dream of mine.
That's pretty much it. I don't ask for too, too much. Oh, except I also want a farm with some dogs, a goat, and some mini pigs. (In case you can't tell, that last part was a pipe dream)

I didn't expect my return to New Jersey to be a difficult adjustment, but I'll admit that it has been. I'm so grateful for the opportunities that Hawaii has given me, including a new found sense of confidence, but I'm feeling a little lost in my return to the mainland. I'm a bit in flux I'm afraid. I'm thankful I have wonderful parents who will happily let me stay with them until my place is ready, but I'll admit it: I'm ready to sleep in a room that is MY room. Not a couch. Not a futon. Not a guest bedroom, but my room, with my colors and my pictures and my pillows. I'm currently sleeping in a guest bedroom--in my old bed--but it still doesn't feel like my bed. I'd like to settle for a little while.

And yet....
I also want more adventures like the one I just had in the future. Traveling is for me. I want to continue my trek at some point, although there is no set date on that yet. First, I need a home base to forge myself in, a bigger work history and more savings. Then I'll go discover more of what this country has to offer. I'd like to go visit the West Coast (San Diego is nice I hear), and the south. (I want to visit Austin, Texas, which a friend of mine says is awesome) It's official, I've got a traveling bug. For now, I'm back on the job hunt, and I'm looking into Freelance Writing classes. I'd like to eventually turn my hobby into a job down the line. Writing I've discovered, is something I love.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The End of the Road....

...Literally. The other day, Auntie and I drove to the "end" of the main country road on Oahu and ended up on the other side of the island, near a remote area I had never seen before. We parked in the grass (something you had to do since the road was so narrow) and enjoyed the simplest--and the best--thing about life on the islands: It's pure beauty. The scenery. The mountains. The sunset. It was a pleasure that I knew I wouldn't have at the tip of my fingertips much longer, so I knew not to take the moment for granted.

I wish I could say these photos were mine, but it would be a sin to to call them my own. These photos are Auntie's, who wanted to share them with you all. She really didn't even want the credit for them. "You could say they're yours if you want", she told me. I didn't dare.

It pains me to write this, and I can't quite believe it, but today is my last day in Hawaii. It's currently 3am, and I have yet to shut my eyes, because I don't want to waste any of that precious time sleeping. (although I suppose I should at some point) My flight leaves the islands at 10:50pm Hawaii time, 3:50am Wednesday East Coast time. My bags are (mostly) packed, my boarding passes are printed, my dresser drawers are cleared out and my laundry is done. I have said goodbye to most of my new Hawaii friends, like Cassidy. I will say "See you later" to my best Hawaii friend, Pai, this morning before she heads off to class. I have said goodbye to all of the wonderful employees at the Oahu SPCA, and of course, the animals, like Blue the cat, and Teddy Bear the dog.

I have waved so long to my favorite bus driver, who has taken me across every inch of the island that he can. I have bid adieu to the schoolkids who ride that same bus, greet me every morning and refer to me as "Auntie" when they tell me all about their adventures in learning. I wish for them to continue to grow and to always be open to new experiences, as I have discovered in the past three months.

Today, my itinerary is cleared. I am doing nothing but finishing my packing, going to the beach, and spending my last day with family and friends. Thank you to everyone who has made my experience possible, especially to you Auntie. Without your guidance, gentle encouragement and support, I don't believe I would have made it as far as I have out here. You have helped find the Katie that I thought was lost, and I don't know how I can repay you for that. The world is at my fingertips once more. I can achieve what I want to achieve, big or small. Thank you also for taking me out to dinner, my trip to Maui and giving up your space to accommodate me. It's not easy to do so, and I want you to know that I appreciate it very much. You will always have a place to stay in my new home, should you ever need to, and you will always have a place in my heart.

I hope that all of you blog friends will stick around here, even though my Hawaii chapter has come to a close. I look forward, with nervousness but excitement, at what awaits for me back home. It's onto the next adventure. Where ever I end up, I'll be sure to write it down. 

I confessed to Pai that I didn't want to say goodbye to her, other friends, or the island. "It's not goodbye," Pai said. "Just say 'See you later.'" I have decided to take her advice. And so, I will close here.

See you later Hawaii. It has been an experience I will always treasure.
It's time to go home now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Almost over....

I can't believe I'm typing this but: I head back to New Jersey on Tuesday night.

There are many mixed emotions that I'm coming to grips with on this fact. One is that I'm looking foreword to reuniting with family and friends that I haven't seen in almost 4 months. Especially Brother. I'm thrilled to see old decor as well. I miss NYC. I miss street fairs. I miss diners and great bakeries. I miss good pizza. I miss my bed. I'm a bit nervous on returning though, because I don't want to fall back into the old habit of feeling stuck. Since I've left, a lot has changed. For example, the family house was sold and my parents and stepsister have moved into new places. They have been situated for quite some time now, but I do not have that settled in feeling. The rental house that I'm moving into with friends is not ready yet. Because of this, I'll be under my parents roof again for a little while, which makes me hesitate. This time I don't have my own room and my things are still in storage. I've loved this adventure and I'm so grateful for every one's hospitality, but at this point, I'm becoming a bit worn out with sleeping on different beds and futons. I miss having my own space, a place that feels like home. I know I'll eventually have that, so I'm telling myself to stick it out a little longer. I'm also terrified that I don't have a job. A 28 year old should probably have one of those....

...And yet: I love the adventure of not knowing what's going to happen next and trying new things. I love it here. I love coming and going whenever I want. I love the fact that I'm not worried about anything or anyone while I'm out in Hawaii. The people here have been amazing to me and I have enjoyed the slow pace. I've made new friends and have been to so many new places. I've rediscovered a lot about myself that I thought was lost forever, like the fact that writing is probably what I enjoy the most and that being independent is the goal I've always dreamed of. I don't want to stop learning, or discovering new adventures. My next goal is to (eventually) travel to a new city. I'd like to stay in a hostel for my next trip. My long term goal is to move to the West Coast or the south, but I have to see what this country has to offer first, before I commit to one destination. All I know right now is that it's been amazing to not feel pain in my legs from the harsh, cold elements and I'd like to keep it that way. I'd love to have two places that I call home (a feeling that I have gotten since I've been here in Hawaii) Two sets of friends, two places I feel comfortable. I already have the two sets of friends part, and for that I am very lucky.

We'll see.

The best part about life is that you never know where it will take you. I've learned that too. In due time I will have what I want. In the meantime, I'll have to figure out what that is.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You might be wondering why I've been MIA.

Or not. But I'll tell ya anyhow.

Well, first of all, I've been out and about seeing as much as I can before I leave the islands. (wow is it that time ALREADY?) Second, is this not so charming news:

My computer--one that's barely 2 years old--has sputtered on me and died. As in, deader then a doornail. I've managed to place a back up, VERY temporary disk in place, to get into programs like Windows 7, and get onto blogger if I'm lucky. Most of the time, when I turn on my computer, I get a black screen and nothing else. Also, my caps lock key keeps blinking. Don't know what's that about. The cause of this is being narrowed down, but the Geek Squad guys and a lovely Hawaiian local computer store owner both think that my hard drive and motherboard is shot. Why this has happened is unknown. Geek Squad says it'll cost hundreds to fix. (about as much as my laptop cost in the first place) Local computer owner says it can't be fixed at all, to cut my losses, and get my Hawaii pictures saved ASAP.

This is not the first problem with my laptop. (brand shall remain nameless) The first time, the hard drive crashed. Got a new computer under warranty. The second time, a virus got through my firewalls and wiped out my hard drive. Had to get a new hard drive. (not under warranty) the third time, ANOTHER virus got through my Norton and destroyed the whole damn thing. My awesome Brother-in-Law spent weeks trying to get rid of the virus, then put in a new hard drive and Windows 7. I almost feel bad to say this is now the fourth issue, since Dave put so much work into bringing Stanley back to life. (yes he has a name) Tech support wants $800 dollars to fix Stanley, and $300 for "consultation" which they will reimburse. (snort.)

I think it's slowly time to save for a new laptop entirely. Even if this guy gets fixed (doubtful honestly) I'm afraid our relationship is strained at this point. You see, I always end up footing the bill, and on top of that, he keeps leading me on into thinking he's a good computer. No sir, I am not stupid. You don't even return my phone calls.
I'm breaking up with you Stanley. It's time to move on.

P.S. I want my CD's back.