This past Monday I said goodbye to Arizona and hello to the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hawaii is now home – for the time being anyway.
The first time that I visited the Big Island, I was living in the Bay Area and my girlfriend (Luanne) and I needed a break from the traffic, the noise, the grey, and the fog, so we booked a ticket and had a blissed out 10 day escape. We relaxed, we swam, we snorkeled, we read, we drove around the island, we ate fresh mangoes and papaya and pineapple. We did what people do when in Hawaii for vacation. We chillaxed the hell out.
After 10 days, we weren’t ready to leave, but work was waiting for us, and at the time, we both had bosses other than ourselves who were eagerly awaiting our return. As we solemnly packed our bags to go home, Luanne looked at me and said: “Hey, let’s move here one day”. I believe “Sign me the fuck up” was my exact response.
And there it was – our message that one day we would call this place home had been released from our brain, into our mouth, past our lips, and into the universe, where it was left to marinate and ripen.
When we arrived back in San Francisco it was late, so we collected our bags and took the last train into the East Bay to our crappy (and unbelievably expensive) house in Berkeley. As we were waiting for the train, bundled up and missing the warm Hawaiian nights, a drunk chick threw up right in front of us. Her puke landed inches from our feet.
Welcome home us.
Luanne and I were seconds away from turning around, catching the last train back to the airport and returning to Aloha, but our train home interrupted our escape plans, so we boarded with the rest of the Saturday night drinkers. We found a seat and crossed our fingers for no more drunky debacles.
Later that morning, at 3 AM, Luanne and I were woken up by the sound of our car alarm going off. We shot out of bed and ran outside in the rain to find the driver’s side window of our Jeep smashed in and glass everywhere.
Between the puke and the broken glass, I took it as a sign that we weren’t meant to be back in the Bay Area. We wanted nothing more than to leave our bags packed, sell all of our shit and go back to Hawaii ASAP. But it wasn’t time – it needed to marinate a bit longer. The bug had been planted though, and we were confident that one day we would make the move.
Four years later, here we are.
It’s pretty anti-climactic, really. We loved the Big Island and we didn’t want our vacation to end, so we decided to make it our home. That’s the short of it.
The compressed long of it is that we got fired from our jobs. We moved to Arizona. We started our own business. We spent every dime we had to grow our business. We finally scaled our business. And THEN we moved. It was ahellofa four years.
So that’s some insight into our move, per the request of our awesome private Facebook group. But today’s fuckery isn’t about rosy new beginnings or how cool it is that I now have two avocado trees, countless papaya trees, banana plants galore, and coconuts growing wild in my yard (though, did I hit the plant based jackpot with that or what?)
Oh no. Today’s fuckery is a reminder that change can be gut-wrenchingly painful, regardless of how beautiful the awaiting landscape. Even if that change brings you something that you really want, it can still sting like a sonofabitch as you approach the diving board.
And this is with anything. Changing how you eat. Moving. Leaving your partner. Changing jobs. Starting a new exercise regime. Caring for a loved one who needs you.
The outcome of these things might be golden, but it doesn’t mean that doing them is easy.
And this is exactly why we resist change. Even if we KNOW it’s good for us. Even if we WANT the outcome more than anything. It’s because the shit leading up to that change can suck as much as being puked on by a drunk chick when you’re fresh off a plane from paradise.
And the truth is, we ALL share the human experience of change. It might look different on the outside from person to person, because each of us wrap things up and reveal to the world what we want the world to see based on our personal sensitivities, our vulnerabilities and our comfort levels.
But at our core, we all feel the same shit.
Change can hit us in the pit of our stomach. It can make our head pound. It can make us feel dizzy and disconnected. It can make us sick with worry. It can make us unsure of ourselves. It can tire us out. It can blind us with fear. And it can make us really damn sad. And sometimes….sometimes all these things hit us at the same complex, uncomfortable moment. Now that’s what I call a shit show – especially if we desperately WANT the outcome of the change we’re facing.
For me, leaving Arizona and moving to Hawaii was incredibly painful and sad. Even though it’s exactly what I wanted. Here’s why.
Saying goodbye to my parents was unbelievably hard. Preparing to no longer have my papakins stop by for a visit every morning during his walk. Getting used to the idea of not having my mom stop by my house during the day just to say hi and chat. Not being able to give them a big hug and smell the familiar and soothing smell that you only get from your parents. I still have a thick ass knot in my stomach when I think about it.
Saying goodbye to my close friends – especially my friends who are expecting a baby in a few months. Damn it! I love babies but I’m not having any. And I wanted to hold their baby ALL THE TIME. You know those friends who within seconds of meeting them you know that you’ll be friends with them forever? Yeah – leaving those friends is stupidly hard.
Saying goodbye to the city and specifically to the house where two of the most important things in my life happened, and one of the saddest things in my life happened, was unexpectedly hard and tear jerking.
Before Luanne and I moved into the house that we just moved from, we lived in a big beautiful craftsman house with an orgasmic kitchen, great floors, high ceilings, blah, blah, blah. We decided to move into a tiny, funky, humble house to save money so that neither of us had to take a full time job while we were building and growing Clean Food Dirty Girl.
When we first moved in, I wasn’t a happy camper – mainly because living in that house felt a lot like camping. The kitchen was the size of a pinto bean. I barely fit in the shower. The whole thing had old yucky carpeting. The windows belonged to that of a shed. And we didn’t have AC (not pretty when it’s 110°F/43°C outside ).
Turns out, the funkiness didn’t matter. That tiny house was the best and most special house I’ve ever lived in.
That was the house where I got sober and started Clean Food Dirty Girl. Two of the things that I am most proud of and hold dearest to my heart. Leaving the walls that held the struggle, the magic, the inspiration and the happiness of these two epic things in my life was counter-intuitive and came with tears.
That was also the house where my cat, Panda is buried. Shit – I already said goodbye to my Panda boy when he died – why was leaving the backyard that holds his decomposed body so fucking hard? I’ll answer:
Because you don’t want to let go Molly, and even though you know that Panda isn’t in the hole that you and your dad dug for his lifeless body, walking away from it was like walking away from him because it’s the only tangible connection that you have to him and you were comforted by the fact that your Pandies was laid to rest in your backyard, and you could go out to his grave everyday and talk to him and tell him how much you miss him.
Come on Mol, wipe your eyes my dear, this fuckery isn’t going to write itself.
So – what I’m getting at as I sit in my new house in the lush jungle, with rain gently falling outside, hundreds of birds chirping, avocados ready to be picked, and the beautiful pacific ocean just 10 minutes away, is that I write this with a heavy heart and salty watery eyes.
Because change is fucking hard, even if it’s exactly what you want.
So the next time you go through change and you’re having a hard time with it – even if it’s for the best- even if it’s something that you really, really want, know that there’s not a damn thing wrong with how you’re feeling.
Part of being human is accepting the complexity of feeling excited and sad in the same breath. Happy and terrified in the same second. Joyful and unsure in the same moment.
When this happens, do not feel bad.
Do not feel guilty.
Do not feel the need to explain yourself or make someone else understand it.
Do not run away.
Go through it and allow it to be yours.
Hold on to the reality of impermanence and know that the intensity of your feelings will eventually come down a notch.
They will morph. They will change.
And finally, remind yourself that it would be weird if things didn’t change.
If there’s one thing that I know for sure, it’s that neither you nor I are alone on this beautiful and sometimes painful ride. We’re in this together and I thank you for being part of it.
Eating nourishing food during times of suckage makes things a little easier. And sometimes a little easier makes a big, huge difference. My weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans will keep you on track and inspired to eat whole plants foods, regardless of the changes you’re going through. They’re only $20 a month and you can cancel anytime. They’re almost as good as having ripe papayas 30 feet from your front door.
Today’s recipe is part two of last Saturday’s recipe.
Fried rice without oil is a thing – and it’s damn delicious. I adapted this recipe from Luanne’s staple fried rice recipe. Thanks Lu!
Veggie Fried Black Rice and Lentils
Veggie Fried Black Rice and Lentils
- 1/4 cup red onion 30g, diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup cabbage green or red // 90g, sliced and chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms 85g, sliced
- 2 cups Black Rice and Lentils 285g
- Sprinkle of white pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Avocado slices
- Sesame seeds
Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water when they start to stick to the pan.
Add the garlic, cabbage and mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt and stir. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the mushrooms to sweat. This should take about two minutes.
When the mushrooms start to get soft, take off the lid and place the Black Lentils and Rice, white pepper and soy sauce to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, until everything is heated. At the very end, crank up the heat to high for about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top each portion with a few avocado slices and some sesame seeds when serving.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with embracing the suck and then enjoying the bliss.