A week before my 18th birthday, I was clutching a one-way plane ticket out of my small town, Pearl City Hawaii. I
had a sudden burst of sadness on my first night in New York, the city where I have decided to settle. The
tears though was not so much about being homesick or regret, it was all about the claustrophobia I held
Losing my childhood was like taking my shirt off. But in time, it rewarded me with my freedom too.
Not long after I have adopted the new life, I became the person I have always wanted to be – proud. I
had so much in control of my life and my choices, and I got the chance to do all the fun things I couldn’t
dream of having done if have I not left home.
My hometown isn’t so much of a terrible place. The weather was always nice, its fringed beaches always
got me in the mood, and of course – my family, they were always by my side. I remember always
spending so much time with my sisters, running around the house chasing each other with paint and
getting scolded because of the dirt we caused. We used to cook noodles by ourselves and spend the
entire night watching romantic movies. I remember there were always big trucks that come by
Grandmother Alice’s house. I spent summers carving boys’ names on the trees in her backyard. I
remember the old wooden chairs in our church and the old lady that sells candles outside.
My maternal granddaddy was a favorite teacher at the Pearl City Elementary School. He always gave me
lollipops, and then shows me off to his friends. He has always made me feel special more than
I do miss my hometown more that I should. I don’t see myself living there again but I don’t consider
forgetting my childhood or the place where I grew up. Pearl City will always be my home and it will
forever be in my heart. Everything about it will be fragments of beautiful memories that I will cherish