Essay Draft

My New Life In Honolulu

I moved to Honolulu in October 2002. I came here to clear my head, eat some sushi and visit some beaches. I needed a fresh outlook after a difficult senior year of college, not to mention countless years of battling a mild, long-lasting form of depression, which I would later learn is called dysthymia. I expected to stay for a year, relax and see a therapist.

This didn’t go quite according to plan. Anxiety and stress surfaced whenever i thought about the process of finding a therapist. The idea of ‘shopping for a shrink’ put knots in my stomach and kept me up at night. It was clear by then that I needed to see someone, but now, aside from trial and error, do I find the doctor that’s right for me? Fortunately, I got lucky. On my very first attempt, I found a doctor who was great.

I spent nearly three years in therapy and at the end I was declared ‘mostly cured.’ The depression I had dealt with since I was a child had all but vanished and it was agreed that whatever work remained, I could do on my own. I still work every day to be the person I want to be. Hawai‘i has been such an important part of my recovery that I truly feel like part of this place is in me. Maybe I’d feel that way about any other place I might have ended up seeing a therapist, it’s hard to say.

In the last two years, I’ve made much of my life about local politics and making this place better for residents and visitors. While I prefer detail, for the sake of this truncated essay, the list of accomplishments of which I am most proud include my work on the 2006 Akaka reelection campaign, my election to the Co-Chair position of the Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i, and my work as Chair of the Registration and Credentials Committee for the 2008 State Democratic Convention.

My family and life long friends all remain on the mainland, but when I think about where I’d go, were to I return, no place seems quite right. I don’t feel I belong there anymore. My place is here. Hawai‘i is my home. It is for this reason that you are in receipt of my one and only law school application. Yes, I want to attend law school. Yes, I want to work in Hawai‘i and life in Hawai‘i. Regardless of the acceptance letter I hope to receive, neither of these facts will change, nor will my determination to struggle for those things I believe to be right or my commitment give back to this place that has made me the person I am today.

Thank you for your consideration.

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