25 August 2011

The martyr complex

When I am stressed I am homesick.

Thomas pointed this out to me one day when I was saying maybe it's about time we packed up and moved on outta here like he's always been saying we would one day.

He said he gets nostalgic when he is stressed and he starts wishing for simpler times like when we were dating or back in the day with all his buddies he grew up with.

It's only natural to wish for something you've preserved in your mind (and maybe even candy-coated over time) when things aren't exactly ideal in the real world you must inhabit.

When something or someone annoys me I start researching social work jobs on the mainland.

When I am buried in a pile of papers to grade I check prices on flights to my sisters.

When I am overwhelmed by the mess or mundane of everyday life I call my parents and either whine a lot or over-sell how great we are doing and they always patiently hear me out and offer advice or applaud.... whatever the situation calls for.

I was discussing this with my brilliant pal Emily on the bike path the other day and she laughed because it seemed so familiar to her. She said, it's the classic "martyr complex" all of us mainland transplants have.

We know we live in one of the most absolutely amazing places on earth but the lure of cheaper housing, food, EVERYTHING is almost too much to bare. Add in the fact that we all miss our families and mainland friends so much we die a little inside each time we call home and happen to hear everyone gathered around enjoying each others company..... without us!

My parent's California phone number on my cell phone is still set as: HOME.

BUT WE HAVE THE BEACH!!!!!!!! And lots of it. Is the beach really worth it? I was starting to think: NO.

And then last Saturday, I was enjoying a wonderful anniversary with Thomas after a week where my martyr complex was thick and fierce and hanging around my family like a threatening storm. We went to a really cool movie, but before the really cool movie there was a preview for a George Clooney movie set in Hawaii. I cannot begin to tell you what the movie was all about but Thomas and I sat motionless for at least 3 minutes while it played out in beautiful scenes of Oahu. Even the neighborhood's colors it was set in made my heart ache a little and Thomas would excitedly whisper to me, "OH! That's totally the Pali!" etc. etc. and I missed Hawaii.

More than I have ever missed cheaper housing or food or anything I missed Hawaii.

I don't know how we will ever leave.

Thomas says someday we will.

I think I know where my roots are planted even if they feel a little foreign sometimes. No matter what we are together, we are here, so I guess we are home.
I want to live in this picture. Next best thing: I get to live with the people in this picture.


kimball said...

We can't wait to come visit you.

Kahilau said...

I feel for you girl... I know what you mean. Hang in there! Praying for you all!

rachel said...

I just watched the trailer!!! Hawaii looks better than George Clooney! I want to be your child and grow up in Hawaii. Also, I wish I could feel the way you feel at the end of this post about SLC (where I am now). But, after teaching little cute kids, being a room service server and riding my bike to work isn't fun like if I lived in Hawaii or Europe. Also, if you ever want to go stay at a Marriott my discount is so easy to give now. I just send an email.

Megan and Keli'i said...

We all certainly go through this. Not sure there's a solution because I tried moving back to the mainland and it didn't feel like home anymore. I missed Hawaii so bad. The question is: "How does one leave Hawaii?" And after being here so long, I have no clue.

It's home to me now. Should be after eleven years, I guess.

echo said...

why did this post make me cry? oh, because it is so true and so what i am/have been going through. i just keep wishing to somehow get any family help with the new baby coming and i just get even more sad thinking that no one. no one. will be coming to help me. i think about job offers we have had/have on the mainland and my heart aches to be there. literally feels like it will fall out of my chest. but then again, the thought of leaving hawaii, all thats here, makes my heart ache too. friends that have become family (like you) have a unique effect on us and creates a super strong bond. more than it would had we met and been friends on the mainland.
life is hard sometimes but that is how we learn and grow. that is how we learn faith and truly put the gospel into action. we are here. you are here. and all is as it should be.

ps. that is a great pic of you.

Brady and Rachel said...

It wasnt' till last spring when the kids and I flew to Utah to visit my family that it really hit that Oregon is HOME for us. At that moment it REALLY felt like home and Utah was no longer home, but a place to visit and see friends and family. The reality that we will likely never live near my family again, near the farm I grew up on, etc my kids will never have the everyday experience of helping out on the farm, playing in the dirt there, picking fruit, helping at farmers market on a regular basis, etc (all the things I had as a kid) has eaten at me over the years, until last spring, somehow I was finally able to let all that longing go and I realized but they will have all these new and great experiences I never had and these will be the experiences and the life they will dream of for their little ones. And that is all A OK! It is fun to go to Utah to visit once in a while, but it is great to be HOME here in Oregon, and I can't imagine us anywhere else. It feels great to feel at home here. If Hawaii is where you are to stay it will become HOME to you (though at times as I read your blog I think down in side you already feel it is HOME. And wherever life takes you guys or us, we will gradually make that new place our HOME, because we will be with our wonderful Hubbies and adorable, stubborn, independent and challenging children.

Karen in Progress said...

I think we all feel this way sometimes to a certain extent. I feel trapped here on the mainland sometimes simply because I don't have the time or money to visit other places enough. Every time I visit Montana (my home state) I start dreaming of ways to be able to move back there. Who knows? Maybe I will someday.

Rebecca Waldron said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have the martyr complex too. I feel so guilty not appreciating Hawaii as I should, but there are so many things (people mostly) on the mainland that seem to call my name.

My situation is a little different since I know we will be moving in a year or so depending on where Tyler gets into school. But it is hard knowing that I will be here when I have my first child and my family will all be in CA.

Dang you Hawaii! Why are you so awesome yet far away from other awesome things?!

melissa said...

i wish you lived next door, but i hope you don't move until we can afford to come visit.

i've always been jealous of (in addition to the BEACH!) your tight friends there. what i wouldn't give for just ONE friend to do crafty and girly things with, or to go with me to a matinee of the help. which i really want to see.

it's cool that you've got this time capsule of your time there, however long it ends up being.

xxoo your pen pal

lizzie said...

I recognized myself in there too. That is definitely how I felt living in Hawaii. But now I live in New York, which is almost as far away from "home" as Hawaii was. It is just as different as Hawaii is. It is probably just as isolating as Hawaii is (in a very different way). But I don't get homesick anymore. My conclusion is either that Hawaii just wasn't the place for me or that New York is. It could be either one, and I'm not sure which yet.

I hope you find your place.

Alli said...

In a spirit of sympathy and cheer-up-edness I would like to share that last night I dreamed that the entire Hawkins clan was attending a poolside funeral (?) and you and Thomas had the privilege of participating from the bottom of the pool with scuba gear, sitting there so appropriately solemn with your black clothes floating all around softly. Now if you didn't live in Hawaii I doubt you would have had that special seating, am I right? So there's something.

Erin said...

it must be in the water. i haven't felt that way in a LONG time, but this week--WOW! I would have been happy to up and move and never look back.

But I suppose I would feel like that anywhere, but the opposite for hawaii. I guess you just can't win, so we try make the most of it where-ever we happen to be. A time and a season for everything and every PLACE :)

liko said...

you know what? we (me and the hubby) have been feeling the exact same way!!
coming back from alaska i felt how i imagine a mainlander feels coming here. the lack of bugs, the pleasant cool weather, the lovely homes and lawns, how much further your money goes = all very persuasive, appealing, tempting incentives to leave paradise.
and i've been here all my life so sometimes i just want a major change.
but then i think about how great it was growing up here - how simple life was, yet so rich in the things that really matter.
sure your car rusts a lot faster and it costs $5 for a gallon of milk and there are roaches and ants and it gets hot.
but we have lovely beaches, hikes, good friends, jobs. these all account for something too.
the grass is always greener. but it's nice to be content with how wonderful life is here and now.

Emily said...

Living in Hawaii, especially as a transplant to Hawaii, makes you a forever imbetweener. We go to the mainland and I find myself talking about how things are in Hawaii and talking up the differeces. Then we come back to Hawaii and I realize that even if we live here for 26 years, we will still be the "new people," and that's the reward for putting up with no AC, Foodland prices, and a 45 minute drive to EVERYTHING. So what are you going to do? Take up the martyr complex and run with it. And run with a great friend. And realize how great NOW is, whatever color it may be.

Mariko said...

I feel it too. But even Jake, who was born here, sometimes feels it. It's defeating to live in a place that tries to reject you with $$.

That George Clooney movie is a really good book, actually. I'm afraid that the movie doesn't look very good though. I have a copy if you want to read it!