Missed my last post? Read Part 7 of My Highly Sensitive Recovery where I discuss how as HSPs we walk to the beat of our own drummer.
Now, at 57, I live in Hawaii. Paradise, yes … but what a journey to get here!
During my phase of profound burnout that I described in Parts I-VI, my only true refuge was to take one-week vacations to Hawaii every 4 or 5 months. Other that the obvious beauty, warm ocean water and swaying palm trees, there was something more, something bigger. I felt at home.
Finding paradise, I also found where I belonged
Due to a not-so-pretty childhood, I had never felt at home anywhere. More than that, I felt a sense of peace that I had never felt before. Having been an ocean swimmer for 25 years allowed me the extended ecstasy to be one with that glorious turquoise Pacific I now call my sanctuary.
I could not get enough. No matter how bad, or ill, or burned out I was when I arrived, a few hours in Pele’s playground, and I felt immensely better. It was as though the peace and restoration went all the way to my bones (and beyond). It was an immediate healthy addiction and became my spiritual life raft.
Whether in the water or hiking up mauka or driving around the Polynesian land, I felt at home and as though I was healing at every given moment. What an extraordinary discovery for this highly sensitive gal! Mere strangers would approach me the first months I lived here, kiss me on the cheek or hug me and say welcome home.
It was as though I was coming home
However, those one-week vacations would always pass in a flash and I would cry my way back to San Diego on the plane. I felt a bit ashamed and ungrateful as it was a place that many would love to live. It had been my home for 25 years, but it was never really home, and it had been way over populated for me for years.
The traffic was insufferable and my daily commute made me crazy. I began to save every hour of vacation and go to a different Hawaiian island to explore them all. When I would pay off my credit card for the last trip and accumulate 5 days of vacation from the University where I worked, I would book the next trip.
Looking for more? Continue reading Part 9 of My Highly Sensitive Recovery where I discuss answering the calling of this profound trait.