This is a complete failure.
I leaned my head against the car’s steering wheel and sat in silence. I sold my house, put more money on credit cards, and moved my family to Hawaii for what? A job that I quickly found out I dislike? To work even longer hours away from my family? To satisfy our wanderlust and live somewhere “cool” like Hawaii? I sat up, took a deep breath and started my 40-minute drive home after an RN night shift. “And why do I have 10 mosquito bites!!!!” I yelled to whoever was listening.
Over the past 9 years, we’ve lived in San Diego California, Naples Italy, Anacortes Washington and now near Honolulu. They are amazing, gorgeous places, but since leaving Italy, we’ve felt lost.
The Navy was my life for 6 years, and that ended after Italy. But I don’t think that’s the reason.
In Washington, we made some great friends, but we never quite fit in. I know we’re a little weird and loud, but we’re not that weird. And now in Honolulu, we’ve again met amazing people, but it’s not the same as it was living in Europe.
On my drive home I realized what was missing.
We made lifelong friends in Italy, that we’ve still spent more Thanksgivings with, than with actual family. We all had our 2nd child in Italy. We explored Europe together. And we shared life together for 3 full years.
My feeling of failure is rooted in lack of community and my stubbornness in refusing to work at finding community again. Why try when my grand Hawaiian adventure and dreams of traveling to Asia/Australia are crushed by high living costs and our single income? Let me just wallow for the next 6 months of my job, in misery, sweating in the heat, and eating my pineapple popsicle. Or maybe a Dole Whip.
I’ve always had an adventurous traveling spirit, and recently one of my mentors gave me At Home in the World, Reflections on Belonging While Traveling the Globe, by Tsh Oxenreider. She found that community with those around her was what her family needed, no matter where they were or where they lived. She made me laugh, cry, and gave me the push I needed to get out of my failure slump.
I may not be able to travel with my family like I want to right now. I’m going to have hard RN shifts in the future. And another ginormous roach may scurry across the floor, causing me to scream like I’m 5.
But that’s ok. I needed this time of personal failure, this low point in my life, to redirect me back to what really matters. Community. Family. Friends. Love. Jesus.
I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason. That God brought us to Hawaii for a reason even if I feel like I’m constantly failing. We go to a truly loving church. My kids love the beaches, playing outside with our wonderful neighbors, and hiking. They will have amazing memories of here.
And now new job possibilities are on the horizon that could take us back overseas. Opportunities that we never would have thought of, if everything was going great.
So for the moment, I’m going to be patient in my failure. I’m going to seek out community. I’m going to plan that trip to Australia. And I’m going to clean the sand out of the bathtub every day.
Because failure can lead to amazing things.
What #epicfail have you had recently? Leave us a comment! We’ll chat and support each other!