Thursday, March 26, 2015

And the Answer Is...

Sometimes, we pray for God's answer; the quicker, the better.  In my 30-something years, God seemed to have taken His time to give me His answer to my questions, desires, and needs.  It has not been easy waiting.  I am impatient and untrusting.  And since I am human, when I don't get the answer I desire, I get angry, sad, and frustrated.

The last 3 months have been hard.  The last 3 weeks have been especially agonizing for me.  I'm sure that it was for Josh too.  A year ago, we have come to a decision to move back to Hawaii.  I started to plant the seed in him that it will be best for us to be closer to family.  I have to admit that when I planted the seed, it was for selfish reasons.  I was sad and depress.  I missed my family.  At the same time, I was tired of traveling back and forth between Hawaii and Virginia.  I want to have and feel at home.  I wanted to set roots.  I wanted to have friends and be committed to something.  I want to stop feeling like a transient.  With the stress mounting and frustrations with work, Josh agreed.  In addition to being close to family, I would also be able to go back to work without worrying who will take care of Sam.  We will be more financially stable.  Yes, with the cost of living in Hawaii, that might be a little hard to achieve.  But with both of us working, we felt it is possible.

As mentioned in a previous blogpost, Josh was given the opportunity to stay.  He just had a job interview recently, and he was offered the position.  He set an amount that he felt would be a fair pay based on his experiences, education, and overall abilities.  He did extensive research on how much a company would pay for someone with his resume.  When the offer came, he felt it too low and countered a reasonable pay based on his research and what he knows of the position that he was offered.  Unfortunately, his company refused to negotiate and stuck to the offer, which is below our expectations and what we felt was fair.  So last friday, Josh declined the offer.  And now, we're moving.

The initial reaction was of shock.  In the last 3-weeks, I have stopped thinking about moving because it was giving me anxiety attacks.  At the same time, Josh's manager was very encouraging and so sure that he will get the pay he desires.  He seemed very reassuring that I had thought that the possibility of us staying was almost a guarantee.  I should have known better to believe that.  There are no guarantees in life, no matter if you're at 99.9% probability.  There is that little 0.01% that it will still turn the other way.  Then came the anger.  How unfair is that?  I believe Josh works hard even with the low pay that they gave him (he was already underpaid for the job he was doing).  He worked hard to get things organize and to the point where things are smooth sailing.  He worked hard to make sure that everything is being done right and efficiently.  He has saved the company money at times because of that efficiency.  I felt that his manager and the HR was completely unfair and insulting.  They are looking at what Josh is currently making and not his resume and what he should be worth.  Since entering the company, Josh has completed his 2nd masters degree in Instructional Design (which is basically his current job).  Prior to working for Lockheed, he has an MBA.  He knows the product that he works on because that was his job in the Navy.  He is considered an expert on the products and systems that they are producing, making him very qualified to teach sailors.  He fits the job perfectly; but when all is said and done, it didn't matter.  What mattered is how much the company can save by underpaying my husband, who's done nothing but to work hard for that company.  It is frustrating.  I am angry for him.  I am insulted for him.  I am sad for him.  They don't deserve him.

I must admit that my initial anger was not for Josh.  Over the few months that we waited for this, I decided that I no longer want to move.  I wanted to stay.  And when I found out it didn't work out, I was floored.  And it wasn't easy to accept.  It's still not easy.  Over the past week, i've been trying to come to terms with it.  To see the good in the situation.  I mean, I did ask God for an answer.  I didn't asked Him for Josh to get the job or the pay.  I asked for an ANSWER.  And He did.

It took me a week to write this blog post.  I read, re-read, changed, erased, wrote, then change again.  Each time I started to write, I was in different moods:  I was sad, angry, accepting, calm, frustrated, anxious.  It's hard.  But as my sister told me tonight, everything is temporary.  Including this life.  Change is inevitable.  She told me it's okay to feel sad, to feel hurt, to feel that impending feeling of doom and loss.  Despite all the bad feelings, there were also good.  With the loss, I also gained:  wisdom, the chance to see my son grow, gained good and wonderful friends.  She told me that all things, in the end will come full circle.  And that things will be okay.

I started this blog as we were moving to Virginia 4 years ago.  And here I am, full circle, as I start my way back home to Hawaii.  My family's sojourn is not ending here.  We've only just began.  There will be more changes to come our way, who knows where we will end up next.

In all my 4-years here in Virginia, I am so grateful.  Thankful for my time, my travels, my home, my friends.  I will miss my friends.  I will miss the home that I made here.  I am also thankful that even though I am leaving the home that I made, someone will be here to take good care of it.  In a few weeks, I will say goodbye to my Virginia friends, and say Aloha to my friends back home.  As they say in Hawaiian, "Ahui hou."  Till we meet again.  Love to all.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Roots and Wings

On nights when I perform bedtime routine with Sam (Josh primarily does bedtime), I sing to him a song I learned from high school choir called "Roots and Wings."  It is such a poignant song that it always brings tears to my eyes every time I sing it.  Even more so last night when Sam started singing with me.

Roots and wings, are precious things
It's all I have, it's all you need.
One day you'll fly, and wave goodbye
I give you roots and wings.

A place to grow, safe and strong
Where I will always be.
And when it's time, to try your wings
I will set you free.

Roots and wings, are precious things;
It's all I have, it's all you need.
One day you'll fly, and wave goodbye
I give you roots and wings.
Fly, fly away.

Sam asked me why he's going to wave goodbye.  I said, when he's all grown up, he will have to leave mommy and daddy and live your own life.  And he said, "mommy, I will never wave goodbye.  I will always be with you."

In those days/nights when I feel that I have failed as a mother, I think of this song.  I think of what kind of lessons (roots) I am instilling on Sam's young mind, so that someday he will be able to spread his wings.  And I always think to myself, tomorrow is another day; tomorrow I will do better."  And in my son's wisdom, he made me feel that I must be doing something right if he wants to stay with me.  That he loves me despite of my shortcomings.  And that someday, I will not be afraid to set him free because he knows how to love and care.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

In Case You Were Wondering...

In case you were wondering why we are not back in Hawaii yet...well.

After the holidays, we have tried to keep on schedule about the time frame of when we will be moving.  Josh and I agreed that it would be best for Sam and I to fly out to Hawaii in February, get settled, find a pre-school for Sam, and I can go back to work.  Sam and I were to fly back to VA at the end of May to pack up the rest of our things, drive to California with Josh, visit family on the way to Cali, and then fly back to Hawaii.  In the in between, Josh was supposed to keep working until the end of May, get the house ready to be rented out, then go back with us to Hawaii around beginning of June.  Sounded simple right.  I was okay with it.

Then came the discussion... what would it take for us to stay?  Good question.  Many times over, we've talked about the pros and cons of living in Virginia and Hawaii.  Many times over, the conclusion is that we needed to be close to family.  We HAVE to be close to family to keep our sanity and to begin to be a couple again.  We need to go out on dates, have time for each other.  Josh and I felt that we don't spend enough time as a couple.  The advantage of having family is that we will have someone to watch Sam on those date nights.  We will have "couple" time again.  On days when it gets stressful and too overwhelming, I can have my parents watch Sam so I can get a breather.  I can go back to work, be a career woman again. We will improve our income if we both work, and being with family will allow that.  We will be more comfortable financially. We won't be "alone" during holidays.  Sounds good.

 But if we move to Hawaii, I'll be working.  Instead of Sam having a parent at home everyday, he won't have any.  I won't be able to spend as much time as I can, watch him grow the way I want to.  Public education is not as good, so therefore if we want to provide him with good education, he will have to attend private school.  That's costly.  If we buy a home, it will be smaller than what we have now, and probably 5 times more expensive.  He won't get to watch the color change in the fall, play in the snow during winter time, see the cherry blossoms in the spring, and eat ice cream at Nathan's in the summer.

I can't even begin to tell you how often this played in my mind.  How agonizing it is to choose.  I've thought about it over and over.  The more I thought about it, the more that I didn't want to move anymore.  The more that I just wanted to stay.  The move will prove costly not to mention time consuming; we'd be starting all over again.  Josh said that I've had a lot of time to think about it and he's right.  In one conversation with a friend, she asked me what is the most important reason why we're moving.  I said it's because we want to be close to family.  She asked me, "what about YOUR family"? Meaning Josh and Sam.  What about them?  She asked, "what would be best for YOUR family?"  It's interesting when you put it that way...My family back home are and always will be family.  But I also have MY family now.  And the way I see things changes when you put it that way.

Staying here would mean better opportunities, not only for Josh's career but for Sam as well.  Sam will have a better education, more opportunities to explore (I'm not saying he's not going to get that from being in Hawaii, but it will be more costly), more possibilities.  If and when Josh gets frustrated with work, there are many job opportunities here.  I can always go back to work when Sam goes to school.  We can experience many things:  the culture, the history of this place.  We can just hop in the car and drive somewhere, as opposed to spending so much time traveling via airplane.  This is home now, it has become home for MY family.  We've made friends, set roots.  I have book club, and dinner club each month.  I know women who are amazing and loving, and selfless.  And part of me is having a hard time letting it go.

So going back to the question:  What would it take for us to stay?  Financial stability.  An income that will make us financially comfortable that will allow us to travel back to see our families, for as often as financially feasible.  That way, we can still see them, visit, go there to spend the holidays.  Josh and I want to be able afford not only a babysitter,  but also to afford going on a date.  I think it would be pointless to have money to pay for a babysitter and not have enough for dinner and a movie, right?  In my mind, it's that simple.  But it's only in my mind.

Josh has been given an opportunity.  He just finished an interview with his company for a job that will basically be a promotion.  If he gets the job, and he accepts the offer, we will be staying.  If not we will be moving sometime in the summer.  The next couple of weeks will be tough.  It is already hard on me.  I am having anxiety attacks as I type this.  It is hard waiting.  In our married life, Josh and I have lived mostly in limbo.  And here we are again.  But God is faithful, and I know and pray that He will lead us to where He wants us to be.  So in case you were wondering, this is where we are.  I hope and pray that we will have an answer soon.