Although it’s been seven years since I first came to Chicago, I always find myself craving everything I was forced to leave behind in my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii. I know the past is the past and I can’t truly relive it, but trying to makes it priceless, and a part of me that is unforgettable.
The first memory I can recall is living the life in Mother Rice Preschool, with those amazing days of snack time, playtime, and of course, naptime. It’s sad that I can’t remember as much as the photographs and videos remind me of the years prior, but at least the picture is somewhat complete. I remember my best preschool friend, Rachel, but I don’t know if I got a chance to say goodbye. I remember that I was once tall, that I spent hours at 7-Eleven, that it was normal wearing a jacket in 60 degrees weather. I’m flooded with memories, many confusing and some more or less enjoyable than others. Each recollection shapes me and makes everyone else different from me. Even if we share a memory, how you remember it may differ from how I envision it.
As a child, I remember fireworks the most and how it was a huge deal in Hawaii, maybe it still is. The noise made me stick to Morning Glories and snapping Pop Pops, but the colors kept me in a greater awe, along with the way traditional celebrations expanded my little neighborhood called Kolo Place, my second family. I love how I believed everyone (Chinese, Japanese, Samoan, European, whatever) related with each other, how everyone was united. It seemed like simple living days back then, probably because that’s how I considered it, being a child and all.
The further away I get from my memories, the more significant they become. However, my move to the mainland created a fork in the road. I was looking forward to creating new memories in a new environment, maybe a little too much, because it took a while to grasp that there would be no turning back. Within myself I found more reasons to “hang loose” and take life as it comes. Even today, I still laugh at the countless memories one word, “humuhumunukunukuapua’a”, can bring. On the other hand, I also recall learning so young that the number of things I once lived for were not heaven until they were gone. Spam musubis, malasadas, beaches, paradise; I’m okay with my life as it is, but I know I’ve been and still am missing out on so much.
I believe in myself through my becoming and that my memories will keep me strong. The aftermath of my move was both terrible and wonderful because my reminiscences will become and linger for as long as I will remember. This doesn’t really satisfy me, that what I value so much is not tangible for me to hold on to, but it’s the closest thing to the past precious moments of my life.
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