I had two books with me on the plane: The Picture of Dorian Gray and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass. I felt this was appropriate as both books deal with the self-realization of their respective main characters. Dorian Gray finds a new world within himself, where beauty leads to morbid terrors, and Alice finds herself in a new world, beauty in terrorizing morbidness. Both are ultimately set free, in a manner of speaking.
I made the recent impromptu trip to Hawaii partially in an attempt to find myself. Self-identity was something I struggled with continuously in college: the dilemma of living in California while having grown up in Hawaii. In visiting home, I felt like I had no claim to either place because I really had claim to both. I would dream, then, of living on a boat, traveling from port to port, existing between worlds and having loyalties to none. It’s amazing how lost one feels when one doesn’t know where “home” really is. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, which in turn made me unsure of who I was.
I’m very thankful now for being quite certain that San Francisco is my home. I’m even more thankful for all the good friends I’ve made since. And while there’s a soul to Hawaii that could never be replicated here (I always forget how beautiful the beach is at night when all the stars are clearly visible), there’s enough wonder and discovery to more than make up for it in other ways.
I found my apartment as I left it weeks ago. It was at once familiar and foreign to me as the underside of my palm, a familiarity committed to feeling but never noticed until actually thought of. It stood as if frozen in time, though I had changed and experienced so much since. I suppose mine was a combination of the adventures of Dorian and Alice, where I rediscovered aspects of myself by both delving deep within and tumbling, tumbling away…