We did it. We moved to Hawaii and survived the first year.
It feels like an achievement to me. Some naysayers back in DC didn’t think we’d make it 6 months.
I’m sure there’s plenty of people who are all “whoop-de-doo, you survived moving to paradise.”
Whatever. Starting completely over in a new place, in a new career and leaving plenty of good friends behind is really, really hard, no matter where you go.
I still have plenty of days where I still have a hard time (and maybe shed a few tears) because I really miss my friends, or Old Town Alexandria, or (don’t laugh, Shane) seasons. Notice, I certainly don’t miss my old job, that’s for sure!
The past year has been full of many, many blessings not least of which include Shane’s completion of the police academy, purchasing a new home, and expecting another little one to join us soon. However, a lot of the past year (at least for me) has been challenging and somewhat lonely.
Living apart from Shane for 6 months during the academy was probably the worst. Nothing felt so good as being all together under the same roof again when we moved into our house.
I’ve also been adjusting to life as a police wife. I’ve always been quite independent, but sometimes it’s just nice to have your husband with you and to help you with certain things. I’ve had to learn to suck it up and deal with those tasks on my own since a patrol officer’s schedule isn’t always conducive to family life. It’s definitely an ongoing adjustment and will probably take a couple years in all honesty to completely get there. Part of me dreads what it’s going to look like come January when I have two little ones to manage on my own.
I’ve made big cross country moves in the past when I was a kid. (I still shudder when I think about moving in the middle of 8th grade with a bad haircut and wearing a back brace – not the best days in my book). Even so, moving as a kid is so much easier than as an adult. Just attending school presents you with so many opportunities to make friends. It’s possible as an adult, but you just have to work so much harder at it.
I was feeling pretty good about putting myself out there the first half of the year while living in Kona. I found a couple different moms groups (having a kid is a great ice-breaker!) and was feeling somewhat a part of them. The downside to that was when we decided to move to the other side of the island (we’re talking a 2 hour drive) and I had to give up a large part of that and start all over again. The good news is that we’ve found a church home over here, with a good community that we are a part of. I found a MOPS group here too, which I managed to attend twice before they broke for the summer. Still waiting to hear when that will start up again. I just really miss being able to meet up with a girlfriend for lunch or get out of the house to spend time hanging out with friends without Tristan tagging along. It’s hard to feel like you’re still a person when you constantly have to wear the mom hat and have no place to go without it.
It seems like it’s been a bit easier on Shane since he has all of his classmates from academy and now his fellow officers to spend time with. It gets lonely sometimes when your husband is either sleeping or working most of the time. Evenings are the worst when I would love to chat with one of my friends after the kiddo is in bed for the night but the darn 6 hour time difference gets in the way! Don’t even get me started on the expense to go visit my friends and family on the mainland – the price I pay for living in paradise.
I realize this post sounds like quite the downer. I’m just being honest about my feelings as I recognize our first anniversary here. I do know that the challenges I currently face will get easier with time. Please don’t worry. I really am quite happy with the decisions we made that led us here. I feel so privileged to be able to spend each day with Tristan, who never fails to amuse, instead of working at the Capitol. I love that I am able to spend so much time outdoors and that we have more time together as a family (even with the police schedule) than we did when we were living in DC.
We are lucky to live Hawaii and I look forward to many more years here!