Friday, November 6, 2009

New beginnings (again..)

I have now been in NYC for almost 4 months. Really not that long of a time, but I feel amazingly settled in. My transition to living here was definitely one of the easiest I have ever made. I won't pretend that I know all the ins and outs, or could tell you exactly where to go to get a good cupcake or anything (cupcakes are still really popular here), but I know my way around the subway lines pretty well at this point and feel really comfortable wandering the streets.

Living in America is definitely easier than living in a city overseas, but I still miss it sometimes! I'm extremely glad that I moved here and gave it a shot - because I definitely am much happier here than I ever could have been in Jacksonville, FL. I am a big city kind of girl. I miss the stars and the beach, but I love the hustle and bustle and walking down the city streets.

This is titled new beginnings because I have switched organizations. I now work at Planned Parenthood. My job at my previous organization quickly went to shit when my supervisor and I stopped getting along and we realized that our end goals weren't exactly meshing. I won't go into detail- but let's just say that it wasn't working out, so I was transferred here.

Today is day 6 and so far I really like it!! Everyone is extremely nice and welcoming and the sort of work they're doing here is much more my speed than the business services that were being carried out at my previous org. I'm working on a campaign to get comprehensive sex-ed into public schools in NYC by recruiting parents to push the principals to implement the available curriculum. As someone who grew up with probably too much sex-ed by my dear mother, I was never confused as to what sex was or what exactly a condom was and how to use it. However, I know most kids aren't blessed with parents as open as my own, and most schools don't offer much help (scary pictures of genital warts don't count). As such, I fully support this initiative and am excited about working on it!!

Something that's interesting about working here is figuring more out about what I believe. I've been reading up on feminism, the pro/anti-choice battle, sex-ed, and all sorts of other political and personal issues. I've always categorized myself as pro-choice because I truly believe that it is important for each of us to be in charge of our own bodies. For too long women were used as baby machines and it wasn't our choice whether or not we had children. For me, being forced to keep a child in my womb that I didn't want would be torture. Having a child that had been forced into me would be even worse. (I avoid saying that I only support abortion when it's a result of rape or because the mother is in danger because I don't believe that - but I do think it is especially important to support a woman's right to choose in those instances.) Having said that, I think it is an extremely difficult choice and I'm not sure that I would make that choice myself- but like many freedoms- I believe it's very important to allow each individual to make that decision for themselves. A woman's body doesn't suddenly belong to someone else just because she is pregnant.

Feminism is another issue that I keep running into here. Obviously, I am a feminist, as well as a humanist. I have been for ... a long time - but reading certain publications and peoples' opinions makes me realize that I haven't been the best one, and I have avoided categorizing myself as one before. There are many negative stereotypes associated with being a feminist, but the more feminists I meet (and love!) the more I realize that those stereotypes are completely ridiculous and I will never again refuse to label myself as such.

Also- I really kinda want a tattoo.

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