I began this blog to help me remember to appreciate living in Hawaii. It was so hard to work, not make a lot of money, and try to raise a family in paradise…all the while remembering why paradise was paradise. The blog was originally intended to chronicle the wonderful things that we could do in Hawaii…but unfortunately for us reality persisted in rearing its ugly head. We found we couldn’t live in a state that has lower wages and a higher cost of living with children. I think Sam from Financial Samurai asked a good question when he asked if the top 1% was better at raising kids than the 99% - and in my husband and my’s view, it’s not that the 1% is better, but that we didn’t want to struggle and compromise our dreams just to live by a beautiful beach. I guess basically, we moved away from a place where we would always fall into the lower class bracket to a place where we could raise our kids middle class. It was mainly a choice for the boys, for their education and the opportunities that they would have on the mainland rather than Hawaii.
It took a lot of crying though…
It was hard the last few weeks. I had a few days of full-blown crying because I had had a dream for our children to live in a place where they could run to the beach and into the waves as often as they wished. My aunt told me that it was a good thing we moved back, because if we hadn’t we would have always wondered if we were making a mistake not leaving Seattle in the first place. Sadly, and I guess this was an important factor too, the only thing I miss is the beach. I don’t miss the job that I hated there, I didn’t have many friends, and I definitely didn’t miss my family. I asked my husband what our boys would do without the beach, and he said “live like 99% of the rest of the kids in the country”.
So I guess in some way, we were the 1% for a little while…
We spoke to some friends we had before we left, friends who are in the same situation we are: 2 boys, better job opportunities on the mainland, the wife born and raised in Hawaii. They plan on moving out of state as soon as she complete her nursing degree – for the same reason as us. Neither them nor us can fathom paying $45,000 a year for private school for two kids (after taxes, so pretty much a $60K salary wiped out), live in a small rental that our parents own, not save for retirement or our kids college tuition, just to be near the beach. As the other wife said, “I don’t go to the beach enough to make it worth it.” I hear you sister.
I find myself constantly justifying our decision, and I realize it’s because I think I failed.
I had a dream when I was younger, to the point that my husband knew when he first started dating me almost 11 years ago that moving to Hawaii was the end-game. Basically for 11 years I had an end-game – and my end-game was a big fat flop. I feel like I let my family down by dragging them 2,000 miles away, only to have us move back three years later.
Who cares if I failed though? Does my family?
And that’s a big no. My son doesn’t care (yet). My unborn son doesn’t care (yet). My husband doesn’t think I failed, he thinks my parents failed us. My cat doesn’t think I failed (she’s just pissed she had to go in an airplane twice). So I guess the only person who thinks I failed is myself. Maybe I have some friends who think I failed too, but no one’s said anything about it yet. So it’s still just me who thinks I’m a big fat failure.
Do you think I’ve failed?
Oh, you want to read about more interesting things? I don’t blame you. How about how you use WIC checks? I got you covered on that tomorrow…seriously. Ever stumble around a grocery store with checks in hand trying to figure out exactly where the 46oz juice in a can that matches the brand listed in the WIC book is…it’s an experience to be sure. A PF blogger on welfare. That’s where I’m at now, and it’s an interesting place to be.