Dear Martha: The Off-Island/On-Island Pull

Should I stay or should I go?


Dear Martha,

It's not easy, you know. And those who pretend it is are desperately trying to make it work, they might have a great situation, or just landed on the Rock in the past week. Well, I didn't. I've been here for what feels like a while and I'm in a bind. 

I am highly educated and experienced, I have all those "highly recommended" assets you see on a job description but I don't feel, well, valued here. More importantly, I feel like America is literally calling my name from the perspective of possible relationships, jobs, and hobbies. 

Better question, am I being completely shallow and short-sighted? I do love it here but I feel like I need to explore a bit. Moving away feels insane but that's the zone I am in. Have you been here before and can you help?

- Turning On and Off


Dear On and Off - 

So let's begin here. You are normal and your neurons are firing in exactly the right directions at exactly the right speed and time. What you are dealing with is the (terribly annoying) subjective part of it all. The heart always gets us in trouble, does it not?

While living on Martha's Vineyard it does feel that jobs are better in America, they pay better, they have enticing benefits and are less intense.  We hear the men/women are plentiful and varied, offering just the right combo (the combo we find often extinct on the Vineyard). We hear, it's well, easier. 

To the thoughtful Vineyard-loving mind, there is a very strong opposition. Just hear it out for the sake of building a stronger you. 

To quote the "Godfather 3:

""Just when I think I'm out, it pulls back in!"

Need more than that? The Vineyard named by Martha might seem like just a name, don't be fooled, there is more at work than a name, take it from the Godfather. Dollar signs, low rent apartments, and networks and networks of friends seem like a winning ticket but Martha has a song all her own. I've heard some equate it to the Song of the Sirens.

Not to be explained or rationalized but simply honored and respected. 

We find it rational to leave our lady Martha to go find that one or two or three things that are missing, and often at the end of the day, the that one thing is most often something we could have created had we been diligent, dedicated, and full of true intention. Food for thought I'd say? 

Classicaly though, easier said than done.

I'd gamble on your potential, talent and love for Martha's Vineyard and I'll say that your last ditch effort would be you giving yourself fully to the island and maybe the island will then give herself fully to you? 

Maybe not. That's fine to, to each his own. If you leave you will find yourself pining and missing this place like you miss a best friend, a sister long gone, or a brother in a far off time zone. 

Life will not feel the same till Martha is holding you again. It's a sad truth and it might haunt you forever, but better to hear it now than later.

Give her a chance, she does love you after all. 

Shelley Christiansen January 04, 2013 at 02:47 PM
The ability to be happy, or not, follows us wherever we go. BTW, isn't the "Godfather" quote from "The Sopranos?"
Michael West January 04, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Think that quotation comes from the Godfather. But Shelley is right. Outer circumstances can easily change. Happiness is driven from within. That said, I sure get how difficult it is for well-educated professionals to find their way here, but the essential skill for survival on island is flexibility. If you can add new skills, you'll make it here.
MV washashore January 04, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Kat, you said it perfectly! I am currently having my own debate about whether I should join the real world again! Martha's Vineyard will always feel like home, but as a 20 something year old wash-a-shore I have to wonder if I should take a break for a few years. In fact, I have even tempted myself by looking for apartments off island... although, the grass is always greener on MV!
Verily Jones January 05, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Do you make up the questions too? Valid topic but it comes across to me as disingenuous. Also, I spotted at least 7 typos/grammatical errors. Mostly overuse of commas. Find someone to proofread your articles before publishing. Even an editor needs an editor. Sincerely, Dear Abby you ain't


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