Birth is a messy process. I’ve given birth a couple of times and, trust me, there is no dignity behind it. However, when that beautiful little soul is placed into your arms, dignity becomes a thing of the past. Nothing else matters, but the life you just helped to bring into the world. The only thing that a loving parent wants for their child is to be happy. This is something I have been contemplating lately. As a child of “God” or the “Universe” (or whatever you choose to call this all-encompassing power), I know that this energy just wants me to be happy, so why have I always fought joy so much?
It seems that most people routinely battle with their “purpose” in this life. They allow the world to tell them they are not enough unless they wear the right jeans, have the trendiest hair, or buy the latest brand of shoes. Growing up in a middle-class family, my parents were conservative with their money. At the beginning of each school year, my two sisters and I each received one pair of new shoes. When those wore out (about 6 months later), we received another pair. That’s the way it was and we were content with that. Yet, I was always secretly jealous of the “popular” girls (those who carried Esprit bags and wore Guess jeans). I vowed my children would have more.
Time went on. I grew older, got married, and had two children of my own. Eventually, I decided to work my way “up” in corporate America by accepting a sales job with a nationally recognized dental supply company. I was proud of my title. I got eyelash extensions and wore the most fashionable clothing, so my clients would “accept” me. When my girls started school, it became obvious to me that I must also do their hair perfectly and provide them with the right clothes, so they could fit in with the rest of their classmates. I simply could not tolerate my beautiful girls being ridiculed. They hated it and so did I. One day, my youngest daughter had a hair out of place and began to cry because I told her she was being overly self-conscious. This was the beginning of my re-birth.
“What have I done?” I asked myself. I had spent my entire life feeling bitter at society for insisting I conform and I was pushing these same standards on my beautiful girls. If I didn’t do something quickly, they were going to turn out just like me….superficial and discontent.
About the same time of my revelation about my girl’s upbringing, Hawaii “called” me. She had been whispering her sweet, luring song for years, but I refused to listen…pushing her song into the background of my aching soul. She didn’t give in, though. Louder she called until I could no longer ignore her.
“Fine!” I stated. “I will do it. I will put every last ounce of faith in you and trust that you know what you’re doing, because my way clearly isn’t working!”
I received my tax return that day and used it to purchase four one-way tickets to Hawaii in three months. I trusted the rest would work out. It did.
As my family spent the next three months “cleaning house” and selling everything we had ever accumulated, Hawaii continued to speak to me.
“This is not going to be easy,” she said. “You need some humbling.”
I didn’t like her words, but I knew I needed them, so I simply responded, “Ok. I am ready.”
It’s now been over two years since my family landed on the Big Island of Hawaii. No more eyelash extensions, no more makeup, and no more fashionable clothes. My girls are happier than I’ve ever seen them. They truly love themselves. I have been humbled. I am reborn. It’s been a slow, messy process, but the beauty I have discovered along the way has been worth it. I cannot tell you how many times we have hung on by the “skin of our teeth,” only to have unimaginable rewards waiting for us on the other side. We love this island. We are committed to the end. The pain can sometimes be unimaginable, but the rewards are too. Each day, I look around and marvel at the beauty in front of me. Just like a newborn child, I will continue to appreciate the butterflies, the birds, and all of the beauty that encompasses the Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, birth is messy, but it’s also the most amazing thing in the world.
Just another soul trying to make it in this messed-up world, Jenny Webster is an admitted “hot-mess.” She embraces her ability to lose track of time and forget important events by reminding herself that she “does the best she can” every day. Just over two years ago, Jenny and her family moved to Hawaii Island and they had no idea why. They are figuring it out as the island continues to teach them. They enjoy sharing their journey with others. Mahalo for reading!