After completing my college education and receiving my diploma, I surveyed the job market in my state of Texas for a career fitting my degree. Given the economy and my lack of personal ambition, after a short time of looking I said screw it, gave up on career searching, and moved to Hawaii.
Family would ask me, “When are you going to get a real job?” Moving to Hawaii became an easy excuse to say jobs suck in Hawaii and I’m living my dreams on the islands. Hawaii was my escape. I didn’t need a reason for going. It’s Hawaii. Who doesn’t want to be in Hawaii?
When I first arrived on Oahu I immediately drew comparisons to Super Mario Sunshine. I walked around Waikiki with my jaw dropped. I kept sending texts to my brother, a fellow gamer, about how it felt like I was on Isle Delfino. The sand, the water, the atmosphere! He and I had sunk hundreds of hours into our Gamecube, and he told me all he could picture when I told him about my adventures on Oahu was Mario, running around with FLUDD strapped to his back. For me, it was kind of like that, but even more fun. More fun because I lived it.
I walked on the beaches, I hiked, and I snorkeled. It was motherfreakin’ Super Mario Sunshine.
When the vacation ended, I went to work doing the same crap I did in Texas. But I was still happy because HAWAII! But you know, that feeling can only last so long.
Five months later and the outlook is a little different. Hawaii is expensive and you have to work all the time to afford to stay. It’s tiring. And if you have no free time, what’s the point of living in a tropical paradise?
At work, I told a coworker how it seemed to be getting harder to make it and I wish I had a real job. He said he felt the same way, but it’s hard in Hawaii. He was a local guy, Hawaiian, born and raised. He was a fun-loving guy and I think the topic was a bit too depressing and he asked me if I played games. We started talking about different games, and when he mentioned Assassin’s Creed we both nerded out. “Freakin’ Ezio, brah!” “I know, ya!” He said he was anticipating Assassin’s Creed III more than any other game. “I like the idea of Assassin’s Creeed III the most,” he said, “it takes place in America and it will be really cool to see how they make the mainland look during the Revolution.” The guy was pumped for a video game adaptation of colonial America. He had never been off the islands, never been to the mainland, but he was excited to escape to mainland America in a game. To play a game, and maybe for just a moment, to escape the nagging question, “When are you going to get a real job?”
I don’t know how much longer Hawaii will be my Super Mario Sunshine, but short bursts of fun every once in a while help me to stay here. But who knows. A one-way ticket to the mainland and a copy of Assassin’s Creed III doesn’t sound too awful either.
*Compare my uploaded photos with the Super Mario Sunshine images. Thanks for reading!