HAWAIIN TIME IN HOLLYWOOD by Brittany Ross
“I’m in a hurry to get things done, I rush and rush until life’s no fun, All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why,” was the national anthem of my family growing up. (Alabama song, what can I say we’re Texans!) Constantly running from one thing to the next, and rarely taking a moment to breath was our way of life. We were black belts in staying busy. We had a lot of fun, and sure got a lot done, but one school of thought that was skipped over in my childhood was the concept of down time.
When I decided to attend Hawaii Pacific University, I figured my toughest lessons would be in Biology, Algebra, and Spanish, but boy was I wrong. As the Hawaiians say, “A`ohe pau ka `ike i ka halau ho`okahi. All knowledge is not taught in one school.”
“What do you mean we’re going to sit at the beach for a whole weekend, don’t we have things we have to do! Are you crazy we can’t wait until next week to do that; we have to do it now! What are we going to do today!?” My 100 mph life was suddenly screeching to a halt, and nobody seemed the slightest bit worried.
Hawaii is the place to go to get away from the responsibilities of everyday life. What was I to do when Hawaii was my everyday life? I felt as if my life was going to be on hold while I was on this four-year vacation. I was exploring the magic of Hawaii; camping, hiking, surfing, and lounging at the beach. I was thrust into an environment that allowed me to slow my racing thoughts and enjoy the moment. I was living it up, but a part of me knew I was not there to be a tourist. I had a desire to carry on with my responsibilities of everyday life. Finding the balance between work and play was my task at hand.
Something surprising started to happen to me, and I learned that playtime was essential. I became much more productive in the hours that I allotted for work because I knew what I had to look forward to. My mind was clear, and I was getting so much more done in less time. Knowing that my work would be over allowed me to enjoy the productivity, and
not look at it as another thing that must get done. The more I gave myself time to relax and enjoy the pleasures of life all around me, the more I enjoyed working. Playing hard allowed me to be more creative and joyful in my work, and working hard allowed me to enjoy the new concept of downtime.
It took me some time to relax into the mindset of the Islands, but it was the most valuable lesson I learned in college and it will stay with me always. Stopping to enjoy your life while it is happening instead of constantly planning for the next moment.
Once I stopped and slowed down a bit I found that I could enjoy everyday. I worked my butt off and finished school in three years, but I also had the time of my life enjoying the tropical paradise that I was blessed to live in. There is a reason that one of Hawaii’s most popular sayings is “I stay on Hawaiian Time.” The locals had it figured out that were you are in that moment is the only place you are supposed to be. “Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly where you are standing today.“
I never became a black belt in Hawaiian time, but I did learn to take it easy. My books were covered in tanning oil, a trail of sand fell out of my backpacks, and my professors were held to the most prestigious dress code, Hawaiian shirts! By the time I graduated I had adopted much of the Hawaiian lifestyle, but I was done and it was time to go once again. I loved my life on the islands, but Hawaii was not favorable for furthering my career as an actress.
Next stop on my destination was Los Angeles, California. A city that is conducive to the mindset I held before the islands took hold of me. I was once again back where I started, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Only this time having a much harder time rushing due to the parking lot of cars on every freeway. Always planning for my next moment, and forgetting about the one I was in. “I don’t have time to enjoy this, I have to make a move!”
Stuck on the 405 freaking, out about being late, and all the things I needed to do I got a call from my sister who was on vacation in Hawaii. A sense of homesickness for the islands swept over me. Hanging up the phone I looked around at where I was and noticed the mountains surrounding me looked exactly like the mountains on the East side of Oahu. I laughed out loud, and thought, “Who says you’ll never use what you learn in school.” Call me crazy, but I was experiencing a sense of gratitude to be stuck on this freeway surrounded by an amazing view.
The mindset of the Islands is to be grateful for exactly where you are in the moment. I don’t want to miss any moment of my journey in life because I rushed by it. Life can get busy and hectic, but we were out here to enjoy it and have pleasure in it.
When I feel myself speeding up to 100 mph, I’ve learned to stop, take a breath, and know that it is my right to enjoy my life every moment. Downtime to reflect on my life has become a priority that is equally important to me as working. I have come to learn downtime is a gift that enhances every area of my life. “I stay on Hawaiian time!” No matter what city I live in.
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.