I Get By With a LIttle Help From My Friends

I get by with the help of my friends
Flower growing in Hawaii textured with Kim Klassen texture

Quote of the day: “Nobody ever tells a story about the guy who played it safe. Nobody talks about the girl who did what everyone expected her to do. Nobody makes a movie about the person who spent all their life blending in. Do something remarkable. Something worth writing about. Something Impossible.

Fear is real. There’s something else about fear. Fear is beatable. If you’re not going to die, what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the absolute worse thing that could happen? You might lose a few bucks, get a bruise, take a few steps back or have to start over. Frustrating? Maybe. Devastating? Definitely not.

You don’t learn to get over fear. You learn to coexist with it and press on anyway, in the midst of its presence. That’s why you need courage. Courage allows you to look fear dead in the eye…

Pick the inadvisable route. Every time I’ve made a decision to take the scarier route, I’m glad I did. Every time I’ve made a decision to take the easy way out, it has always come back to haunt me. I realized I wasn’t meant to be comfortable.” — Joel Runyan, Impossible: The Manifesto

Bed & Breakfast where I will be staying and working in December

For months I dreamed about going to live in Hawaii for 4-6 months, absorbing the rhythm of the islands, capturing its beauty in photographs, exploring my own limits and courage.I almost gave up on the dream. I had all sorts of reasons. It  will be too expensive. I can’t leave my home and family for so long. I can’t handle the physical demands of so much travel, especially because I have so many pain issues when sleeping in hard beds. It’s crazy to do this. It’s a selfish dream.

Despite all of my negative self-talk, I finally had conversations with family members about going, and I gave myself permission to go. Then a funny thing happened. The day after I realized I might actually make this happen, I convinced myself that I didn’t really want to go—for awhile.

The trouble was, I was scared. I really still wanted to have this adventure. But I didn’t know where to start. And I was overwhelmed with figuring out the logistics. At first it seemed easier to give up on my dream, rather than walk through my fear.

Finally I started asking my friends for help figuring out how to do this trip. My best friend, Elizabeth helped me see that I didn’t have to figure it all out before committing. I just needed to commit and start asking for ideas and help.

So I committed. I emailed the owner of a unique bed and breakfast on the Big Island and asked her for ideas for part-time work, cheap places to stay, and advice on car rental. She emailed back with a wonderful offer of 15 hours per week work at her B&B for the month of December and a very affordable monthly room rate, and a possible second month there with the same deal if it worked well for both me and her.

Wow! I couldn’t believe how great it felt to have that figured out. I had a place to start. But I was still concerned about the sleep/pain issues I face. When I travel with the car, we take 2 bulky foam pads to use on motel beds and still, I have difficulty with older, hard beds.

I get by with the help of my friends
Akiko’s Buddhist Bed and Breakfast

My daughter told me about a really nice Therma-rest foam/air pad that she thought might help my sleep/pain issues. I went to REI and found out I could buy the sleeping pad, try it out, and if it didn’t work, return it at no cost. So I bought it.

Last weekend I tried out the sleeping pad when we traveled to Iowa. It worked ok, not great, but ok. I was sore by the end of the weekend but I slept well enough. I’ve decided that I can put up with some discomfort to pursue this dream. What’s the worst that can happen? If I find that the pain becomes too much, I can buy some foam pads in Hawaii and try to make them work. In the worst case, I can pay a little extra and re-schedule the plane tickets to return home sooner than I had planned.

At least I will have tried.

I watched airline fares and booked my tickets last week!

To make the trip easier, I contacted a friend who had just moved to San Diego and asked whether I could do an overnight with them between flights so that I wasn’t on such a long flight. Such a deal! I get to see my friend and his wife and see a bit of San Diego on my way to Hawaii.

Then after another afternoon with a good friend exploring various online options for finding places to live in Hawaii, I found the Hawaiian Farm Sanctuary. It’s a 44 acre farm and eco-tourism place also on the Big Island that offers internships for people to join the community for 1-3 months.

I get by with the help of my friends
Akiko’s Place near Hilo, Hawaii

I contacted the farm and had a Skype interview yesterday, and it looks likely that I will stay there from late January through the end of my time in Hawaii, working 10-15 hours/week on the farm.

The other difficult issue—renting a car for over 3 months without spending a fortune was hopefully resolved during my conversation with the Hawaiian Farm Sanctuary. The interviewer told me about a guy who rents out “beaters” for longer term for much more reasonable prices than the rental car agencies. The cars aren’t fancy but they run and if you have problems, they bring a replacement car to you.

There are still many details to fill in. And I know that there will be times of discomfort during this adventure. Who knows what will happen? But I am glad that I chose to take the scary route instead of giving up before I even tried.

I get by with the help of my friends
Plantation House at Akiko’s Buddhist Bed & Breakfast

Note: You can see a slideshow of Hawaii photos from the Images of Gratitude photography workshop I attended in March 2011 HERE.


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