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.