Okay, that was a horrible title for this post.
I thought that song was corny as heck when Britney Spears “sang” “I’m not a girl not yet a woman.” (Yes, that was a snarky commentary on Ms. Spears’ “singing” ability. Oops, I did it again.)

Anyway, we returned safely from a week stay at Hawaii, the first time I’ve been back since we moved out 5 years ago.
A lot has changed.
A lot has remained the same.

Throughout the week, there were many moments that reiterated the fact that time only moves in one direction.
I’m no longer the 16 year old that moved from Santa Barbara to Hawaii. Instead, I am the 32 year old that is visiting Hawaii from Santa Barbara.

Of course, through this decade there have been incidents that made me aware I’m getting older.
Me: It’s like… you know, Chandler Bing.
Youth: … who’s Chandler Bing?
Me:… Friends? The show? You know, Monica, Ross, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, and Chandler?
Youth: … hmmm… I think my mom used to watch that or something…
Me: … go away.

Or during a hike while we were in Hawaii:
Student: Do you know any students still at your high school?
Me: No. Kid, it’s been 12 years since I graduated high school.
Student: …. wow. That’s… like a whole education cycle!
Me: … Thanks. Go away.

I got to meet up with a lot of my friends from high school. We got together for dinner at someone’s house, like we’ve done many of times before.
Except this time, instead of meeting at someone’s parents’ house. We met at one of my friend’s place.
And, my friends brought their kids.
So there I was, meeting all of my friends’ kids for the first time. Playing with them. Realizing, all the married couples have kids.
It was a surreal moment, considering 10 years ago, this gathering would’ve looked drastically different. My friends have kids! A few of them have more than 1.
But here we were. As grown ups. Talking about grown up things. Far removed from the gossips of high school drama.

On top of that, the purpose of this trip was for my brother’s wedding. I got to witness my brother, who’s 7 years younger, get married. My kid brother getting married… that was surreal, too, as I watched him and his, now, wife exchange their vows.

It was great seeing all my friends and the people who we left behind in Hawaii.
It was great eating all the great food we have missed.
It’s great to call a place like Hawaii my hometown — even though I moved there when I was 16. It’s the friends that I have gained and the people I have met in Hawaii that I can easily call Hawaii “home.”

Someone said that “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”

But it’s nice to know that I’m doing a little bit of both.

… I think…

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