Evidently, I arrived on this peculiar little island exactly a year ago. It’s an anniversary that almost passed by unnoticed until it came to my mind and dared me not to forget. It was as if I had a silent alarm to remind me. The year that has passed has certainly been full and I would never be able to capture the gratitude I have for my moments and experiences that I have had in such a short period of time. I feel that I am a million times richer in friends. I have an infinite number of nights and days I wished went on forever. I feel that I have learned the most important lesson I knew once before but sometimes forgotten, and that is: Strive to be Happy.
Day after day, I only need to look out the window to be reminded that we live in a wonderful world. The day is almost always picture perfect. The mountains always stand gloriously, the ocean glimmers with light like a sea of treasure. But more than anything that has happened and more than anything I am eternally grateful for the people that I now call my friends. The people that surround me; whether they themselves emit a positive glow, or only slowly discovering the light within them have significantly changed my life. Whether it was by choice or chance that we found each other, these people, these misfits; with their baggage, their troubles, their joys, their successes, their tears and most importantly their laughter. I owe to them, perhaps, the best year of my life.
Soon I met people and rapidly they became my friends. Almost instantly bonds were formed and whether that is an attribute to the industry we belonged to or not, it’s undeniable that the friendships were noticeably unlike any other. They welcomed me with open arms; I was invited to their happy hours, their birthday celebrations, their camping trips, their hikes, and Volleyball Mondays. It didn’t happen overnight but within a few months they gained my trust, and I’d like to think I’ve earned theirs.
Sometimes, I wonder whether our friendships are shallow. Held only by our common desire to “party” and “play,” but as I look back on just this one year. The moments I’ve shared with them have been above and beyond just that. Some I may have gone to another world with on that one trip to Maui, others have come running to my aid when I needed them and I’d like to think I’ve been there for them as well; whether it was my couch to crash on or company when it was needed, or a simple hug when things are just super shitty. And while I might have lost a friend here and there,or have grown distant from friends that were once close. And while there have been screaming matches, curses and insults thrown, silent treatments given and forgotten… there’s still a constant underlying truth that their impact on my life is no less significant. Though, I think the true testament to our bonds of friendship is that I know they will answer if I call. Unless they didn’t pay their phone, that is.
One full year. From my first Yokes experience to the most recent Waimanalo Beach Day and to all the times we saved the night and bravely fought the break of dawn. To the short, long and reeeaaallly long hikes I’ve been on. To the boat rides and the celebrations at Queens or Fort de Russy. To all the scars I proudly wear. To all the bottles of liquor and beer consumed. To every single bar I’ve numerously closed down with the best people I have ever met. It has been a magnificent, amazing and wonderful year. To every single person who I call friend and vice-versa. Thank you, for sharing your happiness with me. THANK YOU, you sons of bitches! You know who you are!