Lost in the Right Direction: Thoughts on Moving to Okinawa

Nago Citizen Beach l Okinawa Hai!

CONTRIBUTED BY DEVAN KACZYNSKI/ARCHIVE PHOTO

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Whenever I’ve moved to a new place, I knew that if I needed to, I could go “home” within some short airplane hours. Moving here is different, and I should be more uncomfortable; I should be more scared that Texas is out and my circa-1975 concrete base housing bunker is now home. I do feel homesick, but it’s for the places I’ve never known.

The madness of a deployed husband while preparing to PCS to Japan brought out my crazy, and I’ve got to give the “keeping it normal” gold star to my sister Skylar for being and bringing the sanity to this journey.  Now, on to some of my not-so-proud moments …

Sorry to the Mr. Important Marine officer that I might have called incompetent and to the undoubtedly helpful and sweet-faced female Marine that I might have made cry. And, to the male overseas screener who asked me wildly inappropriate female health questions … I am not sorry.

To my 18 Kindergarteners that I left in North Carolina, I miss y’all so much. I’m sorry to my best friend for moving across the world when you’re seven months pregnant; Skype dates will have to be a new normal. Sorry to my liver for consuming too much red wine. I’m sorry to my family who has supported me and my husband no matter how far away we are. (Thank you Snap Chat.) I’m sorry to my two four-legged babies who I forced to make this move with me. You can chew up as much of my stuff as you want and I won’t be angry.

And, sorry to my husband for all the questions: “Will there be (fill in the blank – I’ve definitely asked it), in Japan?” I can’t wait to share this adventure with you!

The apology I never want to make is to myself for not collecting the moments that I’ve never known, the moments that I feel homesick for.  I may be lost, but I’m lost in the right direction.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Mrs Devan! I did not even read the author until I read the line about the kindergarteners and I thought… hmm I wonder! We hope your settled and enjoying your time !

  2. What? I hope you’re joking. Otherwise, that was really mean and insensitive. What happened to MILspouses sticking together?

    To Devan: Thank you for this post. Your honesty and openness are appreciated. Please know you are FAR from alone in your sentiment, as MANY spouses have experienced the same mix of stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, longing, loneliness, and uncertainty (and every other emotion!). Living on Okinawa is definitely an adventure, which you seem to have come to terms with and are ready to take on. That’s great! Once you settle in and familiarize yourself, the fun begins! Welcome to Okinawa!!

    • Please get a great sponsor who will alleviate most of your anxieties. Okinawa will be different from NC but you will find a lot of support. Keep an open mind and you will enjoy this beautiful island paradise. Take time to learn the Japanese language (start now). You mentioned that you are an educator. Apply as a local hire here at DoDDS Okinawa. A lot of spouses who are certified teachers are able to work here. Apply with DoDDS and have all your certifications ready. Explore the beautiful island, visit many other countries, and soon you will find your 3 year tour here go by quickly…you might even request for an extension…good luck with your journey to Okinawa…

    • Hi Tammi,

      We have removed the offending comment. This is not a place for put-downs. Thank you for your encouraging words to the author.

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