Question of a Lifetime

After a good but all-too-short night’s sleep, I awoke and smelled breakfast cooking in the kitchen. When I got there, my dad was behind the stove serving up some Portuguese sausage, eggs and rice, just like he did when I was a kid.

“What are you doing up so early?” he asked. It wasn’t even 6 a.m. yet, still considered an ungodly time of day by me in normal circumstances.

“I’m still on East Coast time so it’s already lunch there,” I replied.

Despite all this time away (and the fact that I wasn’t even living with them before I left), being at my parents’ house took me back in time. Having breakfast with them seemed so normal (even though this is a completely different house than the one in which I grew up).

As we ate, I looked at my parents and noticed for the first time how old they are. It’s not that they’re exceptionally old looking or anything, but they just seemed older than I remembered them being. Could they have aged so quickly while I was away or had I just been too caught up living my life to notice before? This was a surprising revelation for me.

Before leaving for work, my mom asked, “So what are you gonna do now?” Isn’t that the question of a lifetime? It was certainly something I thought traveling would help me solve. However, in actuality, it’s a question that has become more complex over time.

I’m not sure if it’s due to some quarterlife/midlife crisis from which I’m suffering or the reverse culture shock of being back home in Hawaiʻi. Whatever it is, there is an overwhelming feeling of being “stuck” back where I started again (without a job this time) as if nothing has changed.

It was definitely too early in the morning (and too early in my return – day one for goodness sake!) to contemplate the future with such intensity. So, to avoid the matter altogether, I decided to just leave it for another day.

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2 Comments

Filed under Hawaii, Personal

2 responses to “Question of a Lifetime

  1. A. Sanj

    When I first returned to HI after living in CA for a while, I was shocked at Gramma and Grandpa’s appearance too. I thought they had aged and told Gramma she looked like A. Kazuko (the last one of the Nakamichis 95 years old when she died last year, not blood tho, married to Grandpa’s youngest brother). Gramma was a little peeved cuz she thought A. Kazuko was way older than she. LOL

  2. Haha. Well I was smart enough not to tell them 😉

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