On Saturday, Erik and I drove all the way to Connecticut (reality check: three miles) to attend a networking event for the Diabetes Hands Foundation (the organization that runs one of my favorite diabetes social media networks, TuDiabetes).
While I was there, I started chatting with founder Manny Hernandez and a couple other diabetes advocates who were in attendance. We started talking about our various D-gadgets, including continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. Manny said that he had recently gone on Animas because he wanted an insulin pump that would eventually integrate with his CGM, the Dexcom. I casually mentioned that I wasn’t planning on going back on an insulin pump until the Animas Vibe, which has just been submitted to the FDA, was on the market. I predicted that the Animas Vibe would be available in a couple of years (knock on wood) because none of the technology in the Vibe is new, just integrated.
I also casually mentioned that would be about when I’d be ready to start planning for pregnancy.
So of course, that tipped off an entire conversation about pregnancy, and babies, and moving, and school, and jobs and all those other interrelated topics that basically control your life post-college. After we left, I started thinking that perhaps this would make a good blog post, just to get everyone on the same page with what we’re doing.
I’ve mentioned — again, casually — over the last couple of years about babies and moving and jobs and whatnot, and so I thought I should clarify where Erik and I actually stand with our plans for the future.
It’s actually a really easy update: we have no freaking clue what we’re doing.
I think most people can understand that anytime you undergo a big life shift (like going back to school and changing careers), there are a few things that shift with it. Originally, when Erik and I were first married, I was under the impression that we would live out here on the East Coast for a few more years, and then move back to Oregon (where my parents live) so that we could have a much more affordable cost of living and where my parents would be able to help take care of our kids while we worked.
That plan has understandably changed. Not that we’re not planning on moving back to Oregon, but we also aren’t actively planning it either. I also thought that we would start having kids after two, maybe three, years of marriage. We’re less than three months out from our second wedding anniversary, and it’s safe to say that I will not be getting pregnant any time soon. At least, not if I can help it.
Right now, the plan is for me to attend nursing school out here in the New York City region. I’m not applying to any schools outside of driving distance from our apartment here in Westchester. Erik really loves his job, we have a great church community, we love our town, and we’re close (but not too close) to NYC.
After nursing school, all bets are off. Because NYC is such a desired location, even nursing jobs are competitive here. Maybe we will still be here when I’m done, maybe we won’t. Maybe we will start trying for kids the year after I finish school, maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll be in Oregon again, maybe we won’t. (I could do this all day…)
Not having a clear picture of where we’ll be in the long-term is definitely scary. I find that most of the other folks I know (both online and offline) are buying houses, settling down, having kids. It would be nice to have the sense of security with my life, but we’re just not at the point where it makes sense to make any firm decisions. While we love where we live, it’s not the easiest place to have a family because it’s so gosh darn expensive. (No, really, it is. I’m not being dramatic. The property taxes in my town are the highest in the country.) However, having been in Westchester now for almost two and a half years, it’s easy to want to stay. We have finally adjusted and adapted and even adopted the suburban life here in Westchester, but it’s also not the easiest life.
When people hear that Erik is from Minnesota and I’m from Oregon, we often get the question “Do you think you’d ever move back?” For a long time, the answer was yes. I couldn’t foresee myself living forever in NYC, and for a long time, I did not enjoy living in Westchester either. But the thing about living in a place long enough is that it starts to grow on you. You form relationships with your neighbors, you find a church home, a favorite wine bar, a favorite running route, a favorite Mexican restaurant. You start to feel like a local instead of a visitor. And that’s a nice feeling. The idea of moving and having to do this all over again is frankly pretty scary. I don’t have a lot of roots on the West Coast anymore, having been out here for almost 6 years. Moving to the West Coast does not really feel like “moving back,” like it did when you would go home for the summer in college. I don’t know very many people in Portland anymore, and those who I do know have moved on with their life, have their jobs, and significant others, and friends.
I suppose I’m as committed to moving and having children as I am about going back on an insulin pump. It’s something that I want to do. Eventually. It’s something that I will do when the circumstances are right and the opportunity fits. But it’s not something I’m going to rush into. It’s not something I’m going to put a timetable on. Because there are so many variable to making the decision that the best course of action is just to wait and see what happens. I’m keeping my eyes forward and my heart open. And when the time is right, I’ll know.
And you can bet your boots I’ll be blogging about it.