• Etiange D.

Why I Moved to Maui

Because I heard the calling.

It's funny, a lot of people asked me why.

"What are you gonna do over there?"

"Do you have a job already?"

"Do you know anyone?"

"What is there to do?"

All these questions...that I didn't quite really have an answer to. I had 3 months planned out. That was it. I had savings from my unemployment after the pandemic came and swept my feet off the ground from what I thought would be my home, in LA. I returned to my childhood home in NYC with my tail between my legs a little after the lockdown occurred, in June 2020. Confused at how my life had just turned upside down, as well as knowing that LA or NYC was not the place for my nervous system to be at it's most optimal, my heart was open. I was ready to find my HOME. Tired of searching, I wanted to set roots. To find a space that best represented the kind of person I am and to create community from there.

I was heartbroken by loss, but didn't give up. Leaving LA meant I would be letting go of a lot. A lot that I had thought was a strong foundation, however, it was quite impractical. I had my head caught up in la la land when it came to the career I would pursue, romantic relationships, finances, etc. It made sense why I got hit with such a shock. My reality was so far from the things I truly wanted, the things I set out to do here in this lifetime. This time spent at my childhood home, locked in with my family, made me recognize the ways in which I may have limited myself. The ways in which I truly haven't allowed myself to explore the world trusting myself.

Around the 2nd or 3rd month of being home in NYC, I felt a little inkling. It started off with a thought, 'I wonder what it would be like to live in Hawaii...' My curiosity was tickling me. Unlike my escape to LA, this was a more calm and quiet nudge. I had always known I would one day visit, especially because after watching Lilo + Stitch (teehee) I was hooked, specifically on to surfing. From middle school to high school, I spent hours on YouTube watching other surfers. I would gain so much inspiration from watching these super water humans take on huge barrels and shoot out like it was nothing. They coasted on the surface of the water, dancing with the ocean... I dreamed for my life to one day look like that. To FEEL like that.

I also knew that, the city would not be a place where I could really focus in on myself and what I am creating. I am extremely sensitive to suggestion and influences. I am also prone to wanting to be overly involved in supporting others, that I forget to support myself too. In fact, it's most important to support myself first before I can even handle supporting another. I have never learned to create boundaries and speak up on them up until this point. I wanted a home that was quiet. Peaceful. A home filled with cooking and gardening, large enough for animals. Space for me to breathe in air, for me to roam, and not be shoulder-to-shoulder with 8 million other people.

I wanted time. Time to allow my creative process to actually be cultivated and to grow. Not to feel rushed by trying to get ahead of millions of people trying and fighting to become the next best thing. I wanted to place myself in a space where I can remind myself that the only race I am running is the one with myself. Kudos to those who are able to cultivate this IN the city.

Fast forward to August 2020. when that little inkling become a stronger thought. So much so that I was deciding which island to live on by then. Do I go to Oahu? No. It's just another city. More distractions. Do I go to Big Island? Eh. What about Maui? Just enough people to have a social life, but enough nature to really immerse myself in the beauty of it all. Perfect.

Was I running away again? Creating an excuse to take space from my family drama again? Nope. This time felt like a huge step forward in my life path. My soul's journey. I knew, intuitively, that this move was exactly the step I needed to take to open up a door that would push me to my new chapter. The quiet nudge became a roaring life wave that I could not avoid. September comes, and I buy my ticket, for November 29th, 2020. My birthday.

From the day I made my decision, to the day I left, I faced many trials. I faced my own self-doubt and doubts from family, but what was even stronger was the confirmations that yes, this was indeed the right choice for me.

I moved to Maui because I wanted to take a chance on myself. I wanted to trust myself, FULLY, for once. Ten toes down. To make a decision that was not influenced by anyone, not aided by anyone. I wanted this soul pilgrimage, for me. To witness what I can do when faced with doubt, opposition, hesitation, the unknown. And my gosh, am I happy that I did.

A year later now, and I am reminiscing over all that it took to get me here. What I had considered a "breakdown", was actually a breakthrough. I moved to Maui to strengthen my roots within myself. To know myself. To love myself. And to inspire others to create the same strength and trust in their own visions. I am happy to say that I am one step closer to that vision.

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