Man, it’s been so long since I updated that I should probably begin with some basics about my status as a human being living on this earth. I’m pleased to report that yes, I’m still human, and yes, I am still living on the planet. At least physically.
We (and by “we” I mean myself, Jeff and the girls, along with the four-legged creatures) tried to move to Seattle in December. Jeff and I had lots of trouble last year, exacerbated by his jobless status and my psychological crises and myriad other things. Seemed like a good time to get out of Arizona. The problem is that we ran out of money before we even made it past my parents’ house. Fortunately, my parents were willing to let us move in.
We (same we) decided to stick it out here until we were in better shape to move. Specifically, until our finances were ordered enough that we have dealt with our debt situation (18 months of Jeff being unemployed ain’t pretty and it’s looking like bankruptcy time) and have put by enough money to foot the bill for the move and the first three months of living expenses. This was not a decision made with a small amount of angst. It was not easy. Anyone who knows me knows what I think of the town in which I currently reside. Perhaps this is the Universe’s way of making me deal with the last of my youthful demons before I move on to the next phase of my life.
Jeff found a job first, in January, working for the same company that laid him off back in 2008. Same company, different location = world of difference. Still, Jeff does not have the same slavish allegiance to the company he used to have and if a better opportunity comes up before we move (like one that doesn’t require a 45 minute commute), he’ll leave those folks in a hot second. For the time being, though, he’s making a decent wage and that is A Good Thing. He’s looking into finishing his degree online and should be starting in the next few months.
I found a job two weeks later and started on February 1st in my position as Prevention Coordinator for La Paz County Public Health and Prevention. Specifically, my area is teen pregnancy. The primary way I spend my time at this point is teaching a generalized curriculum to 5th and 6th graders. I’m trying very hard to start some new programming in the schools. This area desperately needs good sex ed training. The high school is … well, don’t get me started. I also get to work with high school jrs & srs on a tv show that runs on local cable – I freaking LOVE that, it’s been an awesome marriage of my BA coursework and interests with mentoring kids. My pay is good for the area and this is actually an excellent opportunity for me, particularly given that I’ve started grad school (online program through Grand Canyon University), working towards licensure as a professional counselor. Right now I’m working on a Master’s program. Once I get to Seattle, I’ll start the PsyD program at Antioch University that I dream about. The combination of my current work experience plus that degree should make me very marketable. That and my mad interview skillz.
For now, we’re living with my parents on the California side of the California/Arizona border. I live in CA, I work in AZ. It confuses people who’ve never been here. Gab is finishing 8th grade online via California Virtual Academy. It’s a good fit academically, but socially she’s going apeshit. Anyone who’s had (or even BEEN) a 14 year old girl knows that means she’s driving ME apeshit, though in a remarkably well-adjusted way. Because she’s awesome like that. She’ll go to my alma mater next year. Yes, that’s right. I’m subjecting her to Parker High School. Gods willing, it will only last a year.
Nina is going to Parker Dam, which is where I met Jeff back in 6th grade. Back in the day, it was a tiny school with a big heart. Now, sort of like the Grinch in reverse, that heart has shriveled. Key players retired, the money sitch in CA sucks, there are fewer students… many reasons, but the upshot is the school is a very thin shadow of what it used to be. I mean, it sits in the remains of what used to be a thriving company community, but they demolished the homes, cleared away the debris and left the school, trees and sidewalks behind. It’s fucking eerie.
Having said all that, Nina hit the jackpot with the fourth teacher she’s had in her first grade year. Mrs. K is awesome and really challenges Nina, who is an incredibly advanced reader/language arts gal. She’s in the 2nd/3rd grade classroom and Mrs. K really “gets” her and is NOT intimidated by Nina’s brain. As long as Nina will have this teacher next year, we will stay on the CA side of the border. It is possible that Nina could be bumped up a grade, but I care less about that than I do her having an excellent classroom experience. There is a chance, however, that her staying in that classroom won’t happen and if that’s how it shakes out, we’re moving to the AZ side.
Moving? Stay with me here, remember that we’re talking about an area that is literally on the state border and that we’re currently sharing a small house with my parents and our pets. To say that we’re crowded would be an understatement. To say “you can’t go home again” would be equally understated. I love my parents, and I am SO DAMNED GRATEFUL that they gave us a place to sort things out, but living with them is a constant test in every bit of personal growth I’ve done over the past 15 years. That’s a nice brush-up quiz to have every now and again – you know, How You’re Doing With That Childhood Angst but right now I feel like I’m taking the goddamned SAT’s of All I’ve Learned in Therapy & Life Skills every fucking day, ad nauseum. So yeah, by the end of May, if all goes well, we’ll have our own place. And if all goes REALLY well, we’ll be in a position to move by the following May.
All right, so those are the basics.
I should let your eyes rest before I type anything else, but things I have to write about would include stuff related to my psyche (depression has really raised its head here, as well as 10,000 Personal Demons From My Youth), my marriage (I think I’m starting to get some clarity there), grad school (I love it, but I can see that going to a Christian grad school means dealing with the assumption amongst the students that all students are über Conservative Christians, despite the fact that the curriculum is actually quite progressive and lovely) and work (I’m really excited about the opportunities here, but really scared of getting too invested) and friends (like how I didn’t expect it to be so damned HARD to leave my friends behind… it gets harder every damned time) and my spiritual life (how do I find time to make it so without community to lean on) and health (I really want to start eating Mediterranean style and finding time to exercise) and so on.
There you have it. A stream-of-consciousness word vomit of an update. Still here?