RIP Lance Buesa...I love my friends...

This past weekend was bitter sweet: it was the first time I went back home to Hawai'i for almost two years, but it was to attend the funeral of a good friend of mine from college. Originally from Maui, I met Lance at the University of Washington and he was one of the Hawai'i boys that I kicked it with throughout college. The ceremony was beautiful and it was also the first time in a while that a lot of us were all in the same place together so it was great to see everyone again. We drank, ate, laughed and reminisced about simpler times. In light of the event, it also gave me a lot of time to reflect on a few things: my life, my relationships and what's really important to me.

At first it was kind of weird being back home. Everything was exactly the same but felt completely different. The scenery was as beautiful as I remember it, the food just as delicious, but everything seemed new despite being completely familiar. It took me a while to get into vacation mode and on my first couple of days back, I woke up finding myself antsy and yearning for something productive to do.

I had the same feeling when seeing my friends again; it was the same, but completely different. We were the same, but completely different. Time had changed us and we weren't those same kids drinking in the dorms anymore. We were responsible, working adults and that realization sucked.

With most of my friends, we laughed and spoke as if we never left each others side, while with others, you can tell that with time we had grown apart and when we said goodbye it was almost like saying "Take it easy..I'll see you when I see you" to a stranger and I even wondered if I'd ever see some of them again.

During the funeral service, my friend Makana gave a eulogy. He was Lance's roomate and best friend and as he went on about how amazing of a person Lance was and how simple, caring, and a completely unselfish person he was, I began to realize how close they really were. He really knew Lance well and everything he said was so beautiful. As the eulogy went on, I thought, "If I were to die right now, what would be said at my funeral? Does anyone truly know me well enough, as Makana knows Lance, to really speak about me beyond, 'Oh, Conrad was funny and he loved to laugh and crack jokes'?" I really didn't know. I've been on my own and we've been apart for so long that I felt we were all different people. In fact, when I was reminiscing with friends, recounting story after story from college and high school, I realized that I didn't have that much stories since I moved down to LA.

But as the weekend went on, everything came back and I saw how much I really, truly loved these people and I don't think I ever told them. I knew them when I did the most growing in my life. I knew them when I laughed the hardest, cried the hardest and had the most heartache. My only regret were the times early on when I acted like a jerk and pushed them away from me (sorry guys, a lot of pent up anger during that time haha) because as we sat there and laughed in Gordon Biersch, I saw that these people were my family and despite being grown up and maybe growing apart, we were all like meat in a crock-pot: the main bulk and meat of our personality and of who we are are still there and with time, we change and get better, making our personalities more juicy.

As my plane left airport and I looked down at O'ahu, being able to see practically 3/4 of the island out my window, it really hit me on how small the island was and I remember thinking, "How can everything I've ever truly and completely loved come from a such a small place?"

Now back in LA, laying alone in my bed, this weekend juxtaposed by the last, for the first time in the 9 years since I moved from Hawai'i, I feel homesick. I've been hustling alone in this city for the past year and a half, staying in my cocoon, promising myself that I won't rest or leave until I "made it", and this trip really made me realize what's more important in life. I miss my family. I miss my friends, both in Hawai'i and Seattle and even the few ones that I've met and have here in CA since I never see them. Probably more than they know or than what I let them realize. I guess that's why I'm always joking around with friends about moving to LA because I want and need people around me who I care for, especially in this lonely ass industry that I'm in.

I just reread this post and it seems kinda all over the place and random. But oh well. Just know that I'm really gonna try to tell the people whom I care for that I care for them. I'm gonna cherish every moment with them like it's our last. Life's too short for stupid drama. I'm too old to be worrying about that shit. I'm more worried about cancer.