Can’t stop, won’t stop

Well, it’s all happening. I apologize about the lack of updates but between the busyness and the intense emotions and trying to wrap things up at work, I just haven’t been able to find the time.

But, we are fully aboard the moving across the country train! I put my notice in at work, told my parents, announced it to facebook, talked to the realtor, got an official offer letter. We’re actually doing this.

Which is not to say we believe it all of the time, but it seems to be trudging along nevertheless.

We told my parents last week. I spent the entire day with my stomach in knotty cramps, having anxiety shits and counting down the minutes. I took an ati.van before we left and we said a little prayer on our way into the restaurant. And then . . .it went SO WELL. Like, SO SO WELL. My mom did none of the guilt trip stuff I was expecting. She was, and is, genuinely proud of me and excited, while also being (understandably) sad that we’ll be so far away. She’s taken it in stride – asking her friends how to use skype and planning flights out. I think there may be a few hiccups along the way, in terms of her understanding how things will work, but I also feel like she is genuinely seeing how this will benefit me and L and Ansel and not just focusing on how sad she’ll  be. And that is what I need.

We announced to FB as well, via our cute kid: 13445788_10153714792621864_4554601936756029692_n.jpg

Folks were surprised but excited, mostly. We’d already told our besties – the ones in Denver are bummed, the ones in other places are excited. Everyone is being incredibly supportive.

We met with our relator (our former neighbor, who sold our last house and found us the one we’re currently in) who told us we didn’t have to do anything to fix up the house (in contrast, 4 years ago when we sold, we were told we had to re-finish the hardwood floors, get a new roof, build a closet, and on and on and on . . .), scheduled us to meet with a stager, and told us he might even have a buyer for our house before it goes on the market. And, don’t trip, we would LOVE to sell our house without the bullshittery of showing it and listing it and blah blah blah. Even off the market, he thinks we’ll get $270K, which even after relators fees and closing costs, would mean banking $100K+ for debt payoff and a future down payment. Hoping this goes as smoothly as everything else has.

This weekend is our yard sale (L and her mom are there now, selling things off somewhat successfully, from her report) and on Tuesday the big deal cleaners come (our relator includes the stager and cleaners now – this did NOT happen before and it feels fucking luxurious!) with the plan to ‘preview’ the house at the end of next week (our realtor lists it on his company’s site, they take pics, show it to the maybe interested folks) and then gets listed on July 6th.

Meanwhile, I still can’t walk. But, I’m soclose to being able to – just 10 days until it’s scooter independence day! I’m in a boot now, which is lovely as hard casts get itchy and stinky and uncomfortable. Things are progressing as they should, according to the doctor, and I’m super excited to be able to walk soon, although I have realized it’s likely I won’t go from scooter shackles to dancing freely; I imagine there will be some pain and re-acclimation before I’m back to doing a lot of heavy activity)

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In the midst of all that, we enjoyed Pride – Ansel adored the parade and wanted to join almost every float that went by. he also STILL has glitter in his hair.

It’s been almost 100 degrees this week and right now, the thing getting me through it, is knowing that next summer, I won’t be living in a place where that happens. Now, anyway – we’ll see what climate change decides in a few years.

And finally, OMFG what did Britain just do and can this just be one huge fucking cautionary tale for the US?

Too much, never enough

There nothing I can say about the massacre of 50 LGBTQ people of color that hasn’t already been said better, more eloquently, with more thoughtfulness. So why try, right? Maybe I’m grateful to live in the era of social media where sharing the eloquence of others is so very, very easy.

Like almost every other queer person I know, I am taking this mass shooting (never never did I think there would be so many to choose from) harder than all the others before it (even Columbine, which happened single digit miles from me while I was a junior in high school), I have been weepy all week, filled with rage, so very very sad. Like almost every other queer person I know, I am both shocked and not at all surprised by how quickly this massacre was swept under the rug, how much more quickly people jumped to the terrorist rhetoric (like most, when I heard the news I assumed the shooter was a white man, because they are usually the type to express their homophobia in bullets) Like almost every other queer person, my heart aches at how even many of my close friends and family don’t seem to ‘get it’ and even those who seem to are mostly talking about gun control and not homophobia and transphobia.

And I’m wrecked that just days after our beautiful Latinx family was slain, another trans woman of color – Goddess Diamond (#sayhername) was killed. The genocide of trans women of color is much slower than the one that happened in Pulse, but it continues, relentless, without pause. My heart is heavy to raise a white son in this culture, praying both that he does not become the target of hate but even more than he does not become the perpetrator of it either.

And, in the midst of this, there is the deep complexity of one of the biggest transitions of my own life. The excitement about a new possibility, the hope and day dreamy wonder snuggled up right next to the sadness of leaving the friends and family I love, the only place I’ve ever called home. 35 years worth of memories in a single square state. There is too much to feel.

 

The details.

I figured I’d give you all more details, because I am REALLY excited/nervous/terrified but there aren’t many folks I can talk to about it right now, as a plan for the telling must be developed and crafted.

It feels so surreal. Last Tuesday, L and I were sobbing our little hearts out about the dream of a move to Olympia, fostered lovingly for weeks, that was dashed. That night was so awful, because the decision felt so wrong. It was such an involved process, and it felt so clearly right. But the idea was gone in an instant. 8 days ago the dream was dead and gone. 8 days ago this other potential path wasn’t even on the radar. 8 days ago, I hardly even remembered that I’d applied for this job.

And now, it looks like we are likely going to move to the Seattle area in two months.

I feel like I’ve been very vague here, so I should catch y’all up.

So, when L was in the middle of the process with the school in Olympia, this job came across my desk. It’s a health educator position with the family planning section of the Seattle King County health department. I have worked with these folks before, because they wrote and publish a really incredible curriculum which I sought out and got trained in a few years back. The training was even more impressive than the curriculum, and I got to know one of the trainers because I enjoyed it so much. I’ve stayed in touch with them as they’ve begun a process of doing more involved research on the program and publishing it more widely. Which is how I ended up getting the job announcement.

I submitted my application at the end of April, and aside from the standard ‘we received your materials’ e-mail, I didn’t hear anything until last Wednesday, when they asked me for an interview, which happened last Friday afternoon via skype. They told me that day that they would likely call my references and get back to me with a ‘preliminary decision’ by today. The preliminary decision turned out to be a job offer. I’m sort of in shock because the last time I got a job offer after a single interview, it was for a part time retail gig while I was in college. Since then, I’ve always had to do at least a phone screen and an interview, if not 2 or 3 full interviews. My imposter syndrome is on high alert!

And the offer is DREAMY, y’all. I knew that a job with public health was a good gig, but I didn’t realize HOW good. For starts, the annual salary is almost 10 thousand more than I make now. In addition, the medical and dental insurance is fully covered (ie: I would pay no premium) for my entire family. We currently pay $140 per month for Ansel on the healthcare marketplace, and another $150 for L through her work. This benefit puts that money back in our pockets, plus the money I pay pre-tax for my insurance at work (nominal, but still.) They also have a mother fucking pension. Y’all, no one has pensions anymore! There is a pay increase at 6 months, and then annually thereafter. And all of the other folks in this same position that I know have been there for 10+ years, which speaks highly of the kind of work environment.

The job itself also sounds fabulous. I’ll be housed in a family planning clinic, and my job duties will include providing one on one sex education to youth at the clinic, as well as providing some sex ed in schools, training teachers to implement sex education in schools, and doing outreach to increase the number of youth accessing services at the clinic. The role I’m in now is HIGHLY administrative, and I miss doing on the ground work with young people in communities. I left that work because it almost always paid much less than the boring admin roles. So it’s exciting that I’ll be able to do the stuff I love. The job sounds really autonomous and varied, with tasks really varying day to day, which I also love. The clinic I’ll be in is in South East King County, so actually about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma. And because the salary is good but still not enough for Seattle proper to be affordable, we’ll probably be in Tacoma or the surrounding area.

They are being incredibly flexible with start date, and so we are aiming for August 15th for me to be out there and ready to work, getting a lease secured for Aug 1, with some time to move out there in the weeks between. I want to give my current job lots of notice so I can really fully wrap things up and leave in a good place. I have loved my time there. I still adore my colleagues. My boss is incredible, and the culture has been magical.

But, it’s also definitely time to leave. In the last week, there have been multiple conversations about the budget that have left me feeling less than secure about the organization. My current job would be the last (or close to last) on the chopping block, since I run a 5 year federal grant. But we are in the hole already, bare bones budget, with a board of directors that doesn’t seem to get what ‘fundraising’ means. There will be no raise this year, and if things don’t turn around quick, it’s only going to get a lot worse.

I’m ready for this adventure. And, I’m also terrified.

For 4 of the 9 weeks we are planning to be here and prepare to move across the country, I’ll be non weight bearing, in a cast, on a scooter. There’s a house to pack and sell (lucky for us, we are in one of the best sellers markets in the country, in a house that is in a very marketable price range and a good area), a job to close out, a rental (hopefully short term), and the general logistics of moving three dogs, two dykes and 1 baby from Colorado to Washington state.

Well. Here we go.

Gratuitous picture of Ansel, who, thanks to the Happy Sleeper, has been laid down in his crib awake the last three nights, smiled up at me, rolled over and gone to sleep and then slept for 12+ hours:

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