When I think back to one of the luckiest breaks I ever got, I think of one particular trip home to Maui. The story starts back in the fall of 1999. I was living in New York working freelance doing production on junk mail at the company that would one day become Digitas. Because I was freelance I boldly planned to return to home to Maui for Y2K – for a whole month. Being a smart person, the last place I wanted to be when all the computers crashed was NYC.
Little did I know, that shortly after I purchased my ticket and rallied the boyfriend and some friends, that my boss would walk up to me and offer me a full time job. I sighed at him and said, “Well, I’d love to but… we probably have to wait to close this deal when I get back from my trip in January.” He said – it being boom times – “Nah, we’ll just give you a month’s vacation that you can take right away.” The bills from the temp agency must have been HUGE!
It was Tom’s first visit and we had a wonderful time playing locals in my old hood. We drank black tea (Tom was strictly a black coffee man) and ate papayas every day for breakfast. We found a yoga studio within walking distance and, though he had never done yoga before, by the end of the month he was waking me up at 7 am every morning to drag me there.
This photo was not from that trip, but it easily could have been. In fact the entire time I have been writing this I thought it was. If I had thought about who took this photograph I would have known that (Sorry Su!).
Well, no matter. It’s that look on my face that matters – peace. The peace of sitting in your mom’s kitchen. The peace of the love of your life by your side. The peace of a warm breeze through a screen door on your bare shoulders. I am not sure there is any less self-conscious photograph of me that has ever been taken. I often forget through my time in New York and Seattle, that I am really an island girl.
When I was in therapy years ago (for depression probably due to lack of sunshine) my therapist told me to do a mediation everyday. It was basically a “go to your happy place” practice. For me this is how it went:
I walk towards the beach and feel the warm sand hit my feet. I lay out my towel, and run towards the water. I run into the surf and as it gets up to my thighs I dive in. I open my eyes under the clear water and hear the sounds of the whales. I surface and turn and look back at the beach treading water. I swim back to shore and slowly walk back to my towel. I lie face down on the warm towel, on the soft warm sand, out of breath and dripping wet. There I lie under the warm sun with my eyes closed until I am dry and do the whole thing over again.
Hmmm… What? Sorry, I got lost there for a minute. I think I need to make sure I book a trip home to Maui before this hundred days are up. Or at least make paying for such a trip the reason to start working again.