I have found the last four years of my life to be quite draining. In 2017/2018 I was still coping with the sudden loss of my parents. 2018/2019 I had a challenging pregnancy with my fourth child and we were hit with a super typhoon. Mid-2019 we moved to Missouri, USA where we all had to adjust to American life, and honestly, I’ve never enjoyed the American life. The year 2020…no one needs an explanation for this year, we all know.
I have always struggled with the American life. When I was a sophomore in college I started taking 21 credits every semester, while also working full time, just so I could graduate and get out. This country works for many, but for a girl like me who enjoys different cultures and roaming the world I often feel quite trapped. For those of you who love America and don’t understand, please hear me, I am not criticizing the land you love. There are many benefits to living in the States, life is simple and much easier than in most countries in the word; yet this does not mean it’s the best country in the world for everyone.
We came to Missouri to spend a few years living closer to my brother Chris and his family, who, ironically, will soon be heading to Italy as missionaries. In a normal situation we would just move somewhere else once they left, but my husband has found his dream job here. For the first ten years of our marriage he always worked night shift in hotels, which was hard on his body, our marriage and our family. He finally has a job he enjoys and loves and I will not ask him to leave it.
For the first time ever I am a stay-at-home mom and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I miss teaching, especially my island kids. Of course I could teach here, but the idea of teaching American kids terrifies me. Don’t ask me why, it just does and we will leave it at that. Childcare is so expensive here anyway, that I’m sure it will be several years until I can return back to work since I’m pregnant with baby #5. Maybe by then we will be elsewhere!
I do miss island life on Saipan; its beauty, people and tranquility far outweigh its challenges. I keep asking my husband if he can work remotely from Saipan so we can move back and I can get back to my students. What is it about the islands that always calls you back?! Even my babes often ask when we can go back. Maybe it’s the fact that most days on island feel like an adventure!
The last few months I’ve found myself feeling quite lonely and my mind quite foggy. I know that being pregnant and being home 24/7 because of this year hasn’t helped. Thus I am returning to the best mind de-fogging tool I know: writing.