Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Portrait: Northern New Jersey

I live a few minutes outside of New York City in northern New Jersey. Needless to say, living so close to the city is expensive and everything from groceries to homes are quite inflated. Somehow my husband and I have gotten by the past 4 years living together, though recently it's been difficult. I'm pregnant with twins and, upon telling my previous employer this so they can prepare for me to schedule doctor's appointments and such, I was let go due to "the economy" and a "lack of new jobs" (I work in Human Resources and my primary job is placing talent...so, no talent=no need for me).

My initial reaction was to sue the hell out of them, but since they're a well-known luxury goods company and I was just a lowly temp, I came to my senses and moved on. I'm currently doing freelance proofreading from home, which doesn't pay much, but helps with a few bills here and there. My husband has a full-time job with benefits working in the city, so luckily, we have some sort of stability.

I fear the cost of baby items (times two, since they're twins) once my children are born. I worry about how we can provide and hope that we'll be able to handle this new creation of a family. We're excited and scared for the future. We currently rent a home and had hopes of eventually buying one, but by the looks of our financials, that's not a priority for some time. I had hoped to eventually go to graduate school so I can finally get out of the HR industry, but that will be on hold as well. While our dreams and aspirations are certainly attainable, those that require substantial financial support will have to wait.

There's so much more I'd love to share; the fact that even though I have health insurance, almost all of the blood work/prenatal care I receive is not covered in our network, causing excessive bills on top of co-pays and the actual cost of the births. The foreclosed homes in our area, the increase of crime in our community due to those who are forced to steal to get by; the obsessive coupon cutting and penny-counting elders I see everyday, the fear of my 82 year old grandmother having her social security cut; the cost of our heat bills...all of these stresses swirling around, causing one to pause and hope things get better before they get worse.

Northern New Jersey