Here are the other posts in this challenge I’m participating in:
Yesterday was all about our (ehem, rather bad) decision to get Travis out of the Marine Corps. Today I’ll be talking about the choice we made to move to Texas and how difficult it was for both of us.
Before we go on, here’s an interesting fact about myself: by the time I was 7 I had lived in Florida, California, Oklahoma, and Hawaii (no, I wasn’t a military brat). So when we moved to Texas I felt like I knew enough about moving and culture shock that I thought it would be a piece of cake. What I failed to realize was that I was still quite young when I had moved as much as I did which meant that I was still young enough to be flexible about where I lived. I had no idea that because I was a bit older i would have a much more difficult time to adjust to a different culture.
Our move actually went quite smoothly. Before we left Hawaii I put a request in to be transferred to the Home Depot’s Kitchen and Bath Design Center since I loved my current job at the Home Depot in Honolulu. My request was easily accepted and I was excited to have a guaranteed job.
When we got to the states we first stopped in Oklahoma to visit with Travis’s family who outfitted us with furniture, dishware, silverware, a bed system, a mattress…the works. Then we packed a small sized uhaul and made our way to College Station, TX to the apartment complex we’d already made arrangements with to live in.
Once we got there, however, everything seemed to fall apart. The apartment complex we signed a lease with before we really got to see the place was not what we were expecting. The counter tops were coming off of the cabinets, the paint jobs were poorly done, among so many other things. The pictures we had seen online when we agreed to sign the lease were clearly deceiving and we were kicking ourselves for signing anything before really knowing anything about the place. It is one of those things I still kick myself for. It could’ve been much worse so we just bit down and dealt with it.
But then I found out that not all Home Depots are created equal. The management at the new Home Depot was severely lacking and they were very low on employees. This meant that if there was not a worker in a certain area I usually got all of their questions and phone calls regardless of whether I was trained in that area or not. More often than not, I had not been trained to deal with the work so I was constantly stressed out. I only worked there for 3 months before I had enough and I walked out. It is the only job in which I walked out of and quit on the spot without giving my notice.
Once again we began to struggle with our finances. Travis and I both had a very difficult time finding jobs and I had an even harder time making friends. The churches in the area were so much different than what I was used to. Most of them had an air of legalism and felt dead. I struggled to feel the Holy Spirit in any church we found and since my faith was still pretty weak I began to struggle with depression as well.
The church we finally decided to become a part of I still didn’t like, but it was better than nothing. It was fraught with gossip, back stabbing, and arrogance. I often got the feeling that everyone thought that they were better than everyone else and it drove me crazy! The main reason we decided to stay with the church was because the teaching was quite rich.
Still, I didn’t like the people much and ended up making friends with only one person who is still like a sister to me to this day. But because of the difference in the cultures between Hawaii and the south and because I had such a difficult time relating to the people in Texas I began to burn with anger. My relationship with my husband and God also suffered as a result of it and I found my own soul worse off than it was before I made the choice to get to know my Savior.
Hawaii and the south seemed to be complete opposites. In Hawaii everyone is family, but in the South no one is family, not even your own family. Granted everyone has their blood relatives, but because of the total independence taught in the south they weren’t very close to each other. In the South everyone is conservative, but no one is spiritual. In Hawaii everyone is spiritual, but no one is conservative (depending upon how you look at it). In Hawaii everyone includes someone new into their conversation with open arms. In the south I had to learn how to eloquently fit myself into someone else’s conversation without looking like a fool, or else I was simply an outsider.
I found myself crying myself to sleep for many nights and feeling stuck because we didn’t have the money to move back to Hawaii. My husband tried to console me and teach me how to get to know the kind of people he grew up, but because of how stubborn and angry I was it did little to help.
When we finally found jobs things began to settle down a bit which was just enough to help me to accept where we were. Then, another curve ball was thrown at us when we found out that Travis’s father had passed away.
Stay tuned tomorrow and you’ll find out about the pain my husband struggled with when he lost his father and the life that came out of his passing.