You won’t believe the number of “One Year Ago” posts I’ve been seeing lately on the blogs I read. I’m not complaining. They never get old, considering everybody’s one-year-ago is different, but it’s got me relentlessly thinking about one year ago in my own life. It’s weird because the past year does not feel like it’s wrapped up neatly, has any significance, or that the disjointed parts of it even belong in the same person’s life. A year ago, I moved to Waukegan, IL (which I hated) and met the most wonderful baby boy I’d nanny for the next few months (who I loved).
I moved to Waukegan with my husband because he had an internship nearby, and it was the only place within our budget. When we moved in, our apartment smelled like someone had been chain-smoking in there for years, and the carpet had a sticky film of cigarette-crud all over it. I vacuumed up cigarette-butts from under the radiators along with a couple of nails and a pen. Our neighbors (both in the building and across the street) screamed at each other throughout the night, and I found a chunk of somebody’s weave on the sidewalk one day while I walked to the library.
Every day, I escaped to my job, a house in a nicer neighborhood with the sweetest 4-month-old baby boy. I could forget I lived where I did, and spent the day encouraging him to roll over, listening to Oldies, and entertaining him by wiggling my feet (seriously, babies are eeeeeasy!) Every day, I eagerly waited for Andreas to come pick me up, and while he was there, living in the Waukegan ghetto never seemed so bad.
That arrangement seems so much longer ago than it was. I miss that baby immensely. I got another nannying job for the evenings after Andreas left to finish his education in Denmark, and I miss that goofy baby boy, too. As much as I didn’t enjoy living in Waukegan (especially alone!) the wonderful people I met there made it bearable, and I was even sad when I left. I miss the babies, their families, and my knitting group, but occasionally it feels like I dreamt up the entire five months that I lived there.
My life is a lot different now. I don’t have a job, and I actually have loved all the places I’ve lived, even though there have been far too many of them, in my opinion. Even though the two halves of the year feel completely detached from one another, the feeling of “waiting” has permeated the entire year. I’ve been waiting for lots of things, including but definitely not limited to: babies (of my own), our visa situation to be figured out, and being able to finally finally set up a home with Andreas. We’ve been married for more than a year, and I’m getting more and more anxious and excited to have a place of our own to set up with our things, and decorate according to our tastes.
I’m still waiting, and probably will be for another good chunk of time, but as we set up our room in our next apartment, I’m getting a glimpse of what it will be like to set up our own place someday, and let me tell you, it looks good!