Y’all, we always knew it was going to happen. When we moved from Seattle to Long Beach in 2010, we already knew that J’s long-term career goals would most likely move us at least once more- we just didn’t know where or when. Under a different set of circumstances, it could have been Dallas or Chicago, but those are not our circumstances. This is what making your living in the biotech industry is- a whole lotta crossing your fingers and working your ass off.
So we’re headed to the South- and although I was born and raised there (TARHEEL 4 LYFE), neither one of us knows exactly what we’re in for. For starters, neither one of us has ever BEEN to Atlanta. Well, ok, fine. I have been- I went twice in my twenties, to stay with some friends of friends and attend the Atlanta Pride festival. Which means DICK ALL, because not only was I 20, I was also viewing everything through rainbow-colored glasses and concentrating most on how I could get one of the people I was travelling with to sleep with me, and also I was twenty, which was, OMFG, SIXTEEN years ago. I can only imagine that Atlanta looks… different, now.
I want so much to be more excited about this move, I really do. I am 100% supportive of J’s career, and HOLY SHIT, is this ever the right move for her. I’m supportive not just because it’s what keeps food on the table and clothes on our back and toys in Olivia’s room, but because she’s a young woman making big headway in a not-super-woman-friendly industry. I’m so proud of how hard she works and how dedicated she is and I am thrilled that other people see what she does and reward her accordingly. But I’m also me, and that means I have thoughts of my own, and while I wish I could throw myself into this move with as much enthusiasm as I did the last time we moved, I have to admit I’m kinda scared.
What’s it like to be gay in Georgia? What’s it like to be a gay mom in Georgia? Georgia’s current legal viewpoint on gayness isn’t as liberal as California’s, and worrying about the safety of my family is new to me. We’ve never voluntarily lived in a place that doesn’t recognize our commitment in some way, even in a just-for-show domestic partnership way. We’ve never lived in a place that doesn’t recognize J’s role in Olivia’s life, even if she’s not her biological parent.
What if we end up living in the boonies? What if the nearest park is miles and miles away? What if there are no other moms to talk to and both Olivia and I end up alone and vinegary, unable to socialize properly with other humans? I’m finding this motherhood thing to be rather… difficult, to put it mildly, and there’s no way I’m going to be any good at it if I have to do it without companionship for 8 hours a day.
On the logistical side of things- OH MY FUCKING GOD, I have to coordinate this move and keep Olivia entertained and properly napped and fed while interviewing movers and closing utilities and figuring out what the hell to do with the cats (while tempting, turning them into slippers isn’t actually a working plan). Once on the ground, I have to find her a pediatrician and find myself a crazy-pill prescribing doctor. I have to figure out our car situation and where the grocery store is and navigate a new city’s traffic.
There’s just SO MUCH to freak out about, isn’t there?
Before I get all balled up, let me just say that when I have taken a deep breath and I’ve had a calming cocktail, I know that this isn’t impossible, and that people do this and worse ALL THE TIME. There will be food, and shelter, and new friends, and my own mother, a 45-minute plane ride away. There will be children for Olivia to steal snacks from, and mothers to sip mimosas with, and babysitters who let J and I escape for the evening. There will ALWAYS be her and I, because that is what we promised each other there would always be.
PS: Our current plan is to keep our house here in California. J’s company is offering us six months of temporary housing, so with a little luck we’ll be able to rent this house out and give ourselves a little breathing room before we have to DECIDE things. We may also be able to come back here, once J whips her new facility into shape.
So hit me: your favorite things about living in the Southern suburbs. That time you moved somewhere and were scared and how it all worked out. The super awesome person you met in a totally random way. CHEER ME UP, INTERNET.