One of the biggest adjustments of internship has been figuring out how to live on my own. There’s no family or roommates to come home to and despite the protests of the 6th graders at Our Savior that I must certainly have a husband “because Ms. Kayla, you’re so pretty and nice” I don’t have one.
It’s the adjustment I was told about year after year when DCE interns came and visited campus each January and an adjustment I’ll certainly be talking about during my own visit this winter.
The first night was the hardest. I panicked finding my little studio apartment to be suffocating. My tears wouldn’t stop falling. I didn’t know how I was going to make it on a little island with insane traffic all on my own with familiarity thousands of miles away.
Now, as I look back on that first night, I can smile to myself, because I’m making it. I might even be blossoming. Hawaii definitely is not the Midwest, the traffic is still insane, and family and friends are still thousands of miles of away, but it doesn’t scare me so much anymore.
At placement, we were told to bloom where we’re planted, and I’ve found it’s pretty hard to bloom wallowing in self-pity. Blooming happens by making roots and reaching toward the Son, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do these months.
The unfamiliar has become familiar. My little studio is now a haven to recharge, play whatever music I’d like, workout to cheesy YouTube videos, and embrace solitude. I’ve mastered the art of one portion meals and experienced the beauty of one recipe lasting for days. I have my own little ohana here.
There are moments though I feel as if I’m being pelted by rain or just drooping. The Friday or Saturday nights when I’d love to have plans. The things I’d love to share with someone when I get home each night. The void I feel sometimes after a phone call that’s stretched thousands of miles and I just want the person on the other end of the line next to me.
The showers make the Son even sweeter though. Last week came with some unexpected challenges, but Saturday as I was hiking with some of my new Hawaii friends, I found myself laughing, scaling the side of a waterfall, and filled the euphoria of making it through another week.
In all moments, whether I feel as if I’m simply surviving, thriving, or growing somewhere in between, it’s not something I’m doing on my own. I’m really not on my own either. I’m being sustained, and my Sustenance doesn’t come from this world.