When I made the bold decision to migrate back to the mainland I was bombarded with some pretty typical questions, my favorite one being, “Did you ever get island fever?”
Good ‘ol Google defines island fever as, “the phenomena of feeling claustrophobic from the close proximity of each shoreline, and feeling disconnected from the outside world.”
Now anyone that knows me knows how much I love sitting on the shoreline and being disconnected from the world, so to answer your
annoying question— No, I didn’t get island fever.
If anything, I became a little lost.
Believe it or not, when you put an ambitious
girl Mermaid on a small kine island, the possibility of opportunity is endless. However, with that possibility comes many roads to wander, and every twist and turn in my Hawaii journey, eventually led me to a point where I had no real sense of direction.
So what’s a misplaced Mermaid to do when she has no idea where the hell she is anymore?!
Call her Dad, duh!
And he pretty much told me everything I didn’t want to hear, “It’s time to come home Gennah.”
Feeling defeated, I packed my bags and headed back to California.
Then, as irony would have it, I began to experience that sense of “island fever” people wouldn’t shut up about. Every day I was just going through the stale motions of life and doing what was expected of me — make money, pay bills, and binge watch Game of Thrones.
This mainland mindset left me feeling stuck in my life, unable to be my happiest self.
Which led me to the realization that this fever doesn’t come from being trapped on an island, it’s the result of not living everyday to your fullest potential. It comes from feeling stagnant with where you are in your journey and having a strong yearning to do something more.
Ok, so maybe this year of life sounds a little more melodramatic than it actually was, but I know reconnecting with my California roots was a crucial part of my own personal growth. It gave me time to step back and see how much these islands have truly changed me for the better.
It takes a special kind of person to call Hawaii home, because not everyone has the power to find peace in each moment. Not everyone is able to be thankful for what they have, proud of who they are, and experience the essence of joy by simply being.
It’s crazy how many mainlanders are worried about this so-called “island fever” and allow the fear of feeling trapped, hold them back from experiencing a life full of freedom.
By now you are probably thinking, “Wow I never thought of it like that…so are you moving back, or what?”
Well I’m glad you asked, because no.
However, my quick trip to the ‘āina this week helped me discover why my heart led me to paradise in the first place. I know there is more work to be done before I can call Hawaii home for good, but I am beginning to see my life take a clear direction again.
I mean, I don’t really know exactly where my journey headed, but let’s just say I won’t be calling my Dad crying like a lost little bitch any time soon.
Even though this time last year he told me the one thing I didn’t want to hear.
Trust me when I say, Daddy always knows best, and this time around he told me everything I needed to hear, “Life is about uplifting others and bringing joy into the world anyway you can.”
And now we both know— for me, that’s what being a Mermaid is all about.
Until next time Hawaii.
The Waikiki Mermaid.