Greetings from Island Life,
Day 9 Day 13 of my life on Kauai and each day brings a whirlwind of new experiences and unexpected changes. (I started writing this days ago). I can’t tell if I’ve been here for five years or five minutes, it feels so new and familiar at the same time. I bought a car on Tuesday, which really made me feel like I was moving up in this world. I learned a lot about the devious and unpredictable used car market. Throw in island used cars and it’s a whole different ball game. People here are just looking to buy anything with four wheels that won’t blow up, and people are selling things with four wheels that might blow up. Not seriously, but…kinda. Being that I came into this with no knowledge of used cars, it was an interesting process figuring out who to trust and what to buy. I ended up with a 2003 Ford Focus and I love her. She has cold AC, a new radio and a clean interior. Such luxuries weren’t important in my decision making, but are a major plus while island living. I had a good feeling about the seller and condition of the car. It was because of this feeling that I just went with it. Fingers crossed that in 2 months I won’t be hitch hiking my way through Kauai.
The experiences of finding a house, buying a car, searching for jobs and getting acclimated to this unique place have taught me a lot about releasing expectations. Our subconscious minds frequently try to plan out our lives for us, so that we are prepared and know what to expect. I thought I knew how certain things like buying a car and getting a job would pan out, but of course I ultimately had no idea what the future had in store. Us humans like being in control and knowing what’s going to happen; this natural coping response of ours makes things like creating a life from scratch on an island uneasy at times. Taking life day by day, not knowing what type of place I’ll be living in, where I’ll be working or if the car I’m driving will break down is a true test of patience, trust and self-reliance. It has taught me to release my expectations and just roll with it. We need to remember to not control the outcome, but how we deal with the outcome and our attitude throughout it all. Expecting the best out of life is a good thing, it’s what we should always be doing. But we must remind ourselves to not get so caught up in fine tuning the details. We can experience much beyond what we imagine if we focus more on the feeling of the outcome, rather than the physical outcome itself. For example, if you think the best outcome is buying an island SUV, but all you’ve found are great compact cars, you’re not losing. It’s a different version of a great outcome. The goal of getting a reliable island car is still achieved, it just appears different. Learning to release expectations of exactly how things are supposed to look and instead embracing how they turn out is so important. Perception is key, and altering it is a practice, not a one time thing. I thought finding housing would be my biggest challenge, and finding a job would be the easiest thing to take care of, but it is turning out to be the opposite. It’s not so much about finding a job that’s difficult, but finding one that I want. The timeline for such pickiness is running it’s course, so I’m trusting things on the job front work itself out soon. Or I’ll have to alter my perception of a “good job” and take what’s available.
It’s been this way for a lot of things. Since I originally planned to move to the Virgin Islands, and specifically wanted the St. John lifestyle, I have to remind myself to stop comparing here to there. Kauai is unique and wonderful in it’s own way, and WAY different than St. John. This is true of anywhere and anything we do. If we compare our present to how things could be, we’re missing out on the beauty of here and now.
I received an email from TUT* the other day that perfectly explains our role in such situations.
“Of course you don’t know “how.”
It’s OK that you don’t know “how.”
To be honest, Lauren, you’re not really supposed to know “how,” because it’s when you don’t know that you’re pressed hardest to learn that I do; to see that the hows are my domain and that your job is only to define the end result and keep showing up.
All so that you might quicker learn that the path you sought lies beneath your skipping feet.
Releasing expectations is about releasing the how. This note reminded me that how things are going to work out isn’t in my hands; it’s how I react to the turn out and opportunities presented that is.
I love the line “your job is only to define the end result and keep showing up.” This form of digital moral support really helped me in trying to release control throughout my transition here. Once we release control, but keep our goals on our mind, we find that what this life has in store for us is way better than anything we could have imagined. Hey, the version of moving to an island that I created in my head is super different than the current turn out. But I know what’s happening is meant to be. Trusting and releasing is a part of embracing everything that comes your way.
I’ve been exposed to many truths and lessons of life during my time here, and it’s only been two weeks. The journey of this life is something else. I’m just riding the wave and love rolling with it. Roll with me.
*TUT is a service that sends personalized “notes from the Universe” emails. I receive them daily and they always lift my spirits. I like having little notes like the one above to read everyday. This is the one email I always enjoy receiving. Highly recommend 🙂 *