It was NOT supposed to go down like this. Not at all. A milllllion percent not what I had envisioned for myself and my kids. Hawaii. It’s supposed to be paradise, right? Try jumping on a plane and heading to Maui literally two days after you have served your spouse divorce papers. Yea, not a very cheerful experience. Now, you may be sitting there thinking to yourself, “Why even GO!? I would rather just stay home!” And you know what friends, I did contemplate that. I did consider staying home to avoid the pain that was the death of my fantasy vacation. But then a couple things started jangling around in this head of mine.
“You have been telling your kids you’re going to Hawaii for months. Their mom should be there with them.”
“Hey, guess who helped pay for the airline tickets and the room? Uh, you. You worked your ass off for this.”
“Even though it isn’t what you thought it was going to be…you can still have fun.”
“Hey Emily, you DESERVE this.”
So I went, guys. I freaking went to Hawaii with my husband that I’m splitting from and my two small children and I’m here to tell you I survived. And if I’m being honest, I didn’t just survive. I had such joyful and beautiful moments during this trip that I feel strengthened as a mom, woman, and human being.
Did I cry a few times? Yes. Did I experience wicked self doubt? Oh yes. But I stopped and I breathed, I reflected on a few of my mantras, and I remembered that I’m strong and capable and I have so much to be grateful for. And then I pushed on, mamas.
For anyone that experiences anxiety, you’ll know going to new places can make you feel uncomfortable. And I’m sure some of you reading this know that can be an understatement! Add on being solely responsible for young children and it takes it to a whole other level. It can make you want to stay right in your bubble. You may tell yourself you can’t leave the safety and comfort of your house, or your hotel room, or your routine for fear of losing control. I get you, mama. But pop the damn bubble and go. You just gotta do it.
During my marriage we always did trips and activities together. And if I wasn’t doing these trips with my husband, it was with my parents or with other mom friends. I cannot remember a time when had I been on a trip where I was the one calling the shots about where my kids and I would head to for the day. It felt scary. It felt like I could make a mistake and we would end up not having a good time. What if something happened with one of the kids? What if I had car trouble? All of these things clunked around in my head. But my kids were looking to me to give them the best vacation possible. I was terrified of disappointing them, as well as leaving the comfort of our resort, but I was determined to pop that bubble of fear.
I came up with a plan. I spoke with the concierge, got a map, packed our bags, and we took off. As the kids and I piled into our rental car, my heart was racing. I didn’t know where I was going really and I didn’t know how the kids would react if our day trip was a bust. But I pushed on. We sang to Taylor Swift, we played “I Spy”, we went through the alphabet with “A my name is Andy and I sell almonds and I’m from Alaska.” And then we arrived to Ho’okipa Beach Park.
The wind was blowing, the water was clear, and it was magical. I didn’t shell out $100 + to entertain them by zip lining or rappelling down a waterfall. We went to the tide pools and my kids explored for an hour or more. It seemed like the rest of the island had forgotten this small section of the ocean and we had it all to ourselves. We found fish and Grant tried everything in his power to catch them with his hat, to no avail. Claire discovered itty bitty hermit crabs and delighted in watching them scuttle away. But the best part, you guys, the the BEST part was as I was scanning the gorgeous view, my eyes fell on a giant sea turtle, a mere 100 feet away, sunning himself on a rock.
It was in that moment that I found strength. It was right then as I saw that massive gentle creature that I realized had we just stayed at the resort and played in the pool again, we never would have experienced this. It was in this moment I thanked the universe for this beautiful gift. I realized that sometimes pain can bring about beautiful things we may not otherwise experience or know. We then hiked back up to visit a roadside vendor and wound up crossing something off our Hawaii bucket list: enjoying a coconut on the beach! The kids and I frolicked on the beach for another hour or so, experiencing the powerful waves and the clear water.
Our day wrapped up with a visit to a pizza place. You guys, I even parallel parked!!! As an individual with zero spatial reasoning, that’s a big deal for me. (Thank God for back up cameras).
As I drove back to our resort with my kids sleeping in the back seat, their tummies full of pizza, and their minds filled with memories, I felt really proud. I did it on my own. I gave my kids and myself an amazing day in Maui. I didn’t rely on anyone but myself and my intuition. I will always have this memory. I hope my kids look back on it, and I hope they see a strong, powerful, capable mom that loves them to no end.
So friends, get out there and pop that bubble. Get out of your comfort zone. Try something that will make you feel scared and strong and powerful. Empower yourself to live your best life, because you deserve it! I can’t wait to tell you more about my Hawaii adventures! Please share and tell your tribe about my blog if you think they would benefit from my stories! Thanks for reading, mamas.