No matter where you're driving in Maui, chances are you will see at least one of the bumper stickers that never failed to make me smile.
slow down, this isn't the mainland
I not only miss that bumper sticker, but the mentality. Everything moves at a rapid pace here - time most of all. And traffic. Dear god, the traffic. Why is it necessary to go 90mph to get everywhere? And the tailgating. Don't get me started on the tailgating. It's enough to give me a stroke every time I'm behind the wheel. Just let me peacefully camp in the right lane cruising at 55mph. Go do your dance of death in the other lanes and leave my tailpipe alone.
Time, on the other hand, is doing a whole different kind of dance. It swirls and dips, then pauses for just a moment. Just enough to catch your breath. Then whips you back into a frenzy before your exhale is complete. It's mind-boggling really. I can't believe it's been only six months since my last post. It feels like time stood still and like a lifetime has passed in the same instant. I still mourn Maui life every day. I miss the people, places, and attitudes that fit so well. I don't know where I fit here. Or how. I feel like a shoe on the wrong foot. Sure, I'm kinda serving a purpose, but the whole thing is just uncomfortable.
I feel like I need to explain me. I never felt that way on the island. I existed and there were people happy about that. I didn't need a mission statement. Explicitly identified motivations. I wasn't asked what I was implying because there was no implying. My words and my person were just accepted. No explanation needed. That experience has now left me feeling a little invisible since our return. Without a prescriptive existence, who am I in this world in which I now live? Hell if I know. I just am.
There's been a lot of effort put into preserving that simple sense of just being that emanated from life last year. Pausing to simply focus on breath is scheduled into the day. How ridiculous is that? Scheduled breathing time. Without the conscious reminder to do it, however, it's too easy to get swept into the raging river that is each day. And without the breathing time, anxiety feels free to knock on the door.
I need a break from this madness. A day at the beach to let my soul refresh. A grounding walk in the jungle. An opportunity to just share life with other people that doesn't involve moaning about the daily grind or searching for solutions to problems. A laugh so deep it leaves the body trembling. Awe so inspired you are left as who you are, where you are, when you are with nothing past, present, or future weighing in. But how do you get that scheduled into a life whipping by in a flood of light and sound? Again, hell if I know.
But maybe that's the lesson in this chapter. Perhaps I find myself back among these familiar surroundings because I had one more piece of the puzzle to place before moving on. Learning to create the life I want around me rather than allowing circumstances to dictate my path? Seems like a worthy topic to explore. Epic timing for this question as NaNoWriMo is imminent once again. I hadn't planned on participating this year. But maybe I need to reconsider. Some keyboard therapy may be just the thing I need to get that mental break I so desperately want. I may not be able to create the physical world I want right now, but I sure can create it on the page.