As simple as a phone number

I changed my phone number today. It’s a rather big step toward the direction of my upcoming move to a different state. Don’t get me wrong, I have been planning to change my number for a while so the change itself is not the surprise. I had gone through all the different rationale behind my choice – local businesses wouldn’t want to call an out-of-state number, a lot of the jobs I’m applying for will not consider an out of state applicant, etc. (I really should have put more thought into the applications I have already sent out as well. *cringe*)

What really surprised me was the sadness I feel letting go of my 808 number and area code. I’ve had the same number for over five years, probably closer to ten years – from around the time I received my first cell phone. What I didn’t realize until today was how important that number was to me. It was something that immediately told people something about who I am and where I came from. See, depending on who I gave my number to, I would either get “Where is that area code from?” or “Hawaii area code? What the hell are you doing here?”

At some point, I got tired of telling my story over and over – “I left for college and decided to stay. Yes, it’s beautiful there. Yes, the weather there is a lot better. Yes, I was crazy to leave. No, I don’t want to go back. Yes, I’m crazy.”

I got tired of telling that story; but, what I didn’t understand was that it didn’t matter if I changed my number – my story is still the same and I can’t run away from it or hide it. With my new number, I may not get the same questions – I may not get questions at all. I haven’t decided if this is a good thing or not.

I thought it was time to move on. Changes are good and necessary for life. Hawaii has and always will be an important part of my life – nothing will ever change that. Now, it will just be a little bit harder for people to learn about that part of my life (even though all they have to do is ask). So, I hope they ask.

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