Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Year of Transition, A Year of Unknowns

2014 was so chock full of major transitions, both emotionally, physically and spatially that I feel completely stumped when it comes to reflecting on anything.

The biggest physical transition of course was my cross country move, which would be a major event for anyone. After living for 5 years on the West Coast, it took so much work to look for and secure a job in the East Coast, then physically move everything back here without even having a real apartment to land at (almost all of my stuff is still in storage). It was a bit of an unusual move because my husband, Roberto and I drove across the entire country to move my things in August, but he returned to our apartment back in Oakland, CA and was set to join me in January. But then came an unexpected monkey wrench in the form of a pregnancy (although an adorable monkey wrench I'm sure). Roberto scrambled to finish up his work with Habitat for Humanity in San Francisco until he joined me at the end of November, driving cross country again, this time with the rest of our things and two cats in tow.

Roberto on the road...with cats

Have you ever walked cats across the Great Plains? Never underestimate the insanity of cat people
It was beyond wonderful to finally have him back. My first few months back home were completely hectic and stressful to say the least. Though I was thrilled to be back home, I still didn't have an apartment so I lived with Roberto's family in upstate NY. Though it was great to be around them, they lived an hour away from my new job. Starting a new job, even a wonderful new job can be stressful, but add a two hour daily driving commute to that while going through serious morning sickness that lasted throughout the day made for fun times (heavy sarcasm). On top of that my health insurance was lagging, so for my first pregnancy I was uninsured for a month and a half and I was completely freaking out. I was alone and freaking out. I gained so much sympathy for women who go through pregnancy with no support or resources. Being uninsured for that short amount of time worried me so much, I can't imagine women who went through most if not all of their pregnancies without insurance or affordable access to healthcare.

Luckily, I was able to find an apartment in North Jersey a month into moving in, which made the commute more bearable and gave Roberto a place to land once he got here with our cats. We completely drained our savings to move back (moving is so expensive) so literally coming here is a brand new start from the ground up.

A very broke start, but I guess it builds character?
Now that it is 2015, there are still so many unknowns. I am about 6 months pregnant now and all the uncertainties and insecurities, let alone complete inexperience of giving birth is overwhelming at times. We have another upcoming move due to our apartment being too small for a growing family, and am still waiting on Roberto hopefully getting a new job to give us more economic stability (we have been living off one income since October). This is a story that so many have gone through as a young couple, broke, pregnant and starting anew. I am grateful to be sharing it with a wonderful partner and also with friends who have been there for me during the process.

There is also the question of where my career and future goals will go. A work/life balance with a new baby is obviously challenging. I guess that will be a bridge I will have to cross when I get there!

And there are my many civic and political involvements. 2014 saw me disengage from my activism in the Bay Area due to my move. I went from being super involved with the Democratic Party, API movements, and a lot of community work to leaving most of it behind. Living month by month in a temporary location doesn't really give me the time to engage with the communities I usually work with. I know this is all part of the transition process. I am still finding my footing, and even though this is my home, I have been gone for 5 years, so I need to work my way back to the place of local activism by learning and being humble.

Yes, yes I can?

So on this first day of 2015 I have a lot of hope and a lot of uncertainty. I am very excited to meet my child in 2015, what a monumental thing to look forward to! I have no idea what kind of mother I will be, which town Roberto and I will settle down in and where my new life will lead me regarding my continued commitment to activism, but I guess only time will tell.

So Happy New Years,  good luck exploring the infinite abyss, a fitting quote from Garden State, and yes I used it coz it's a Jersey movie.

Happy New Year! Into the infinite abyss we go!