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Hawaiian beaches are the stuff dreams are made of. Clear water, sweet surf, breathtaking sunsets. It looks as good in person as it does in the travel brochures. Until it doesn’t.
My work brought me here several time a year. It began to feel like a long commute to the office from Mainland to Island. Business and speed of life on the islands held dramatically different values. I naturally thought maybe it was the fact that I was working instead of playing that left me feeling not-quite-right about it.
One morning as I sat having coffee on my high-rise balcony overlooking Waikiki beach and the Pacific Ocean, I stopped long enough to listen. This is what I heard: Loud traffic noise. City traffic. Garbage trucks backing up. Buses honking horns. Police sirens.
What was sorely lacking was the sound of nature. In fact, I couldn’t even hear the surf over the busy din of a city waking up.
Beautiful views, distracting background noise. Kind of like my life at that time. I felt trapped in so many ways. While my life looked good from the outside it didn’t always feel good to be there.
There is so much more to happiness than outer trappings. How we look, where we live, what we drive, who we love.
The bigger questions are: How does it feel to be in your skin, in your car, in your home, in your head? Are you pretending it doesn't hurt when it really does? Are you thinking if you ignore the problem it will go away? Are you waiting for someone to rescue you? Are you hatching an escape plan? Are you staying too busy to notice your feelings at all because if you did, you might have to do something you're not prepared to do?
I answered those questions in my journal that day and shifted my life. How about you?
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Kim Halsey is an entrepreneur living in the leap from the life she was programmed to live into the life of her dreams.