Monday, February 22, 2016

Reflecting on Life and Accepting Change

It is less than often that I find time alone to myself to be able to think clearly and write. Having three children has taken its toll on my free time. So when I do get blessed with an hour to think to myself I try to really work through the week's (or month's events) with clarity and some overthinking.
We all lose our direction or way in our journey, even now and then no matter the optimist, everyone experiences bad days (or weeks, or months). I try to keep my eyes on the prize, which is not easy, because "happiness" is easily defined but not so easily attained.
When I lost my full-time job, approximately 3 years ago (2012). We tried to react rationally, because that's all you can do when your faced with heartbreak and sadness. You do your best to react to the events around you appropriately, then learn to grow from that experience.
But what do you do as war, hatred, poverty, greed, and negatively creep under your doorstep? For me, I try to recognize that this is just part of life's challenges and accept that the change is part of the lesson to be learned. 
One of the best communicators I've ever researched, William Ury, discusses how many of us are constantly waiting for our turn to talk rather than, listening to those who are speaking. As humans, we are reaction machines. We are ready, set, and go to speak about the things we are passionate about both intelligently and unintelligently. Yet, we often failure to actually put action where our mouth is. This is how we all lose, when you stop communicating with those around you, they can't help what they don't know or see.
But what do you do when the message or reality is hard to face? How do you preserve your dignity when your disappointed? How do you discuss what is hard to say?
In 2008, I moved my family to Arizona for an amazing job opportunity and a chance at a 'supposed' good 5 year plan. Well, 8 years later I find myself disappointed because the plan didn't work out. As I mentioned above when I lost that full-time job, our family reacted as best we could. I continued to work upwards of 6 part-time jobs to try to maintain the dream we originally had. I also tried to save face by not accepting defeat. Yet, each year after 2012, I watched my income become less and less and our struggles grew and grew. It was often, our family suggested we move back.
Why did we stay? One reason was because my husband was waiting in the neverending line to have a hearing for his disability and I had made a good life for us here. We are happy, and isn't that the most important? But the more I look at the things I have, the more I see the things I'm missing.
I joined an amazing hula hulau and have made friends with some of the nicest, most inspiring women I've ever met in my life. They became my ohana. I also  love my on ground part-time teaching job (even though it doesn't quite pay the bills). I love the students I've met over the years, and those that have become lifelong friends.
But, all good things must come to an end because otherwise how would they become fond memories?
As we approach my husband's eminent disability hearing, we have realized that no matter it's result - our 5 year (now 8 year plan) has ended and it's time to make the next 5-year plan.
Taking into account, the things we miss the most - it's become obvious that it is time to return to our home state of Pennsylvania. This decision was hard, but the one thing we have missed in our lives the most, has been the presence of family.
Despite our best efforts, it seems most obvious that the right direction to turn is to run towards the arms that have been open all along.
As much as I wish this decision was easy to come to, I've found myself grieving for the life I've come to know. I love the life we've built, I've had two children during that 8 years here and I grieve the loss of my hobbies. While here, I enriched my life by bringing faith back into it. I know that faith won't fit in as well back home. I've grown to love dancing with my hula sisters and I'm grateful of the lifelong friendships (ohana) I've made.
Where we ultimately end up is hard to say, a lot of that hinges on whether my husband has success with his disability hearing.
However, as I sit here weighing out our future I know a few things to be true. When I left Pennsylvania at the age of 25 with my eldest daughter and husband, we didn't know much but we had love. I know we will leave Arizona the same way, with 3 beautiful girls and love will still be guiding us.
And isn't that what it is all really about anyway, love and self-made happiness?

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