Amy got a good job in IT today, making about what J did for most of the years we were in Michigan. I’m thrilled for her, of course; it’s always scary when your kid has prolonged unemployment.
It’s also the first job she’s held since her transition, where everybody knows her as Amelia. I imagine that for her, that must feel like a major obstacle overcome.
I can’t help but think that she never would have been able to get a job like this in Michigan. She has no experience in IT at all but knows a lot about it. My husband struggled greatly in the same field in Michigan, despite having a degree (which Amy does not) and years of experience. Meanwhile, my husband has also significantly advanced in his career just because of being down here and has doubled his income since moving down here.
I can’t help but think bitterly about how my former best friend reacted to me trying to move down here, especially because I had friends who contributed to a GoFundMe account they created to give me seed money to make the move possible. She said I made a mistake by moving to Michigan and wanted everyone else to pay for it. She said lots of other horrible, hateful stuff too, like that she doubted I’d make it because Texas doesn’t like “moochers” and that she lost respect for me for asking for help. I never really forgave her for that or trusted her again.
But it remains the only time in my life that I’ve ever asked anyone for help—even when we lost our car and later our house. I’ve never asked anyone again and wouldn’t dream of doing so. Even though we certainly had scary times between then and now when it looked like the bills wouldn’t get paid, I just buckled down and got through it without asking for help.
But it was the best investment those friends could have made in me. I ran with it, determined to make the most of the chance I’d been given. Today, we’re all thriving simply by virtue of being here. And I’ve never lost my feelings of gratitude towards those friends who believed in me enough to think I could be so much better off if I could get out of that economically dead place. They were right. And even though it’s been 6.5 years, I’ve never lost that feeling of pride in myself that I made the seemingly impossible happen.