I suspect that I will be speaking Islandlish for another few weeks. So in the interim, please bear with me.
Ohana, for those not versed in Hawaiian, translates to family. And over the last two weeks, if there is one moment from my wedding reception I have on loop, it is when Steve’s and my family took to the stage to toast us.
Let me contextualize.
One of my chief critiques of a traditional wedding is that it celebrates a couple for their love, for their beauty, for their decision to spend a lot of time, money, and energy having other people do the same. While my mother and aunt will undoubtedly spend a long time relishing in the reality that I conceded to wearing a ludicrous tiara and sash for a night of bachelorette revelry, neither Steve nor I felt lauded on our nuptial day for simply embarking on a hegemonic heterosexual right of passage. But rather, our family celebrated us for who we have been as people- thinkers, innovators, citizens, family members, and how we have already left a legacy that we should be proud of. To be toasted by my older brother for inspiring him to achieve professional excellence…. for mirroring the values he hopes to live in his own life and engender in his beautiful daughter….. I’d divorce Steve and get re-married just to have the opportunity to hear such affirming words again.
When I made the decision to relocate east exactly five years ago this month, I regret that I focused solely on what lay ahead rather than taking time to account for what, and more specifically whom, I left behind. I have been blessed with a lot of wonderful ohana, primarily residing in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I need to make a concerted effort to ensure that they are more of a physical presence in my life. I’m an aunt now, four times over. I’m ready to start acting like one!