Small Talk

The next step

February 19th, 2014

Three and a half: that's exactly how many years I spent at my hotel job before making the difficult decision to leave earlier this month. It's about finding better balance in my life. I feel really good about this.

Farewell lunch at work

Farewell lunch at work

I have things going on in my personal life and appreciate now having the time to attend to that, including being a more active and participating mother to my six year old.

It was a great job. I learned an incredible amount about the industry as well as myself. I believe I bring a whole new skill set to the employment table, for when that time comes.

Emceeing UH's Travel Industry Management School dinner, April 2013

Emceeing UH's Travel Industry Management School dinner, April 2013

The job also made me a better traveler! I will never look at the hotel experience in the same way. Not after I've been allowed to stay in two $7,000 per night suites. I'm spoiled, ha ha.

I liked the job and I liked the people I worked with, both in the hotels and outside of it. I am very grateful for what was a wonderful experience. I have lovely friendships I take with me and fond memories of two beautiful properties.

With Chef Grant Achatz and PR friend Sean Morris at 2013 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

With Chef Grant Achatz and PR friend Sean Morris at 2013 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

2011 `Iolani Palace Renaissance Ball

2011 `Iolani Palace Renaissance Ball


As much as I was looking forward to the freedom of housewife status again, I was bummed for a few days after I left. It was not about losing my identity or having regret. My low-energy state surprised me for a while until I realized I need to process this transition the way one needs to acknowledge the end of any major chapter in life.

The day that mood lifted, I was walking on the street in downtown Honolulu. A beautiful monarch butterfly appeared in front of me and dive-bombed me. Having anything fly directly at me surprised me, and I actually raised my arm in front of my face and stepped sideways.

When I looked again, it had landed on my sleeve! I was surprised and pleased. I moved my arm to look at it closer, and it flew away. It was just there for a moment, but I felt touched and special.

A butterfly has never landed on me before. I decided to look at it as a good omen that the day, which had started out terrific, would continue to be great. It was.

Later, my friends Ed, Lori, and Mark pointed out that butterflies are a symbol of new beginnings, of the grace and beauty that change can bring, and a reminder to have faith in life's greater plan. I think that is a beautiful sentiment, and will carry that forward as I write the next chapter.

Here's to metamorphosis!

15 Responses to “The next step”

  1. M:

    Hello Diane,
    God has a better plan for you, good luck on your new chapter in your life.

  2. Ken Conklin:

    Much aloha to you Diane as you move through the next phase of your life. Many people just drift along, letting events push them one way or another. But some people have the courage to steer their lives in new directions from time to time, as directed by their inner compass. The choices we make show not only to others but also to ourselves, who we are and what we value. Every choice is an affirmation of life because of doors newly opened; but every choice is also an experience of death because of doors slammed shut. Your sense of loss and grieving is normal because your work was not merely a meaningless job but it was an investment of your selfhood. I do believe in ho'ailona -- signs from nature which have spiritual significance. Your experience with the butterfly was awesome, and you correctly interpreted it as a reminder of the beauty and opportunity that can emerge from metamorphosis. Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Take time to be alone, not filling every moment taking care of house and family. Shhh. Listen to the inner voice which is always speaking but often goes unheard. Me ke aloha pumehana ia 'oe.

  3. kuuna:

    aloha Diane:

    seems to me that u did the right thing by taking the next step. peace be with u.

  4. Makahawahine:

    Love your columns. Mahalo for all you have shared with us and enjoy yourself in whatever you please. I am sure Olivia will have many more crazy things for you to tell us about. Life- live, love, laugh.<3

  5. Diane Ako:

    Thank you so much everyone for the nice comments!

  6. Kelli:

    Best wishes on the new journey. Me ke aloha pumehana.

  7. Stephanie:

    Looking forward to your new beginnings. Many people are never lucky to be able to reflect and recreate our path. Good luck!!!

  8. Donna Bebber:

    Good luck for the next chapter. It was nice working with you.

  9. Scott K.:

    When are you going to be back on the air? You are a fantastic news anchor, one of my all-time favorites! 🙂

  10. gale:

    Best Wishes, Diane, for a cool new delightful chapter of your life! It has been fun hearing about the Halekulani and the hospitality industry! We look forward to whatever life brings to you! I am so glad that you will be able to spend more time with your family.

  11. gale:

    Looking at the photos again, I have to say that departure really youthened you! OMG you look so so young in your farewell lunch photo, and beautiful but not as young in the ones before. So, this new chapter is going to be GOOOOOODDD! 😀

  12. Diane Ako:

    gale- Oh, how I love that comment! Thanks for saying that!!

  13. DIO:

    Good luck in your future. I'll keep reading what's going on, here, on your blog. 😀

  14. Kaimi:

    Aloha Diane:

    If you're getting bored waiting for school to end, you could help me with Ahahui publicity, etc. I sure just plod along but you skills could really help. Kaimi

  15. Diane Ako:

    Kaimi, LOL thanks for the offer, but I'm not sitting around eating chocolates in front of the tv! Ha ha. But you can keep sending me info about the things you want posted. I think you have a great organization. Hi to Doc for me.

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