Like I alluded to in yesterday’s post, I have decided to quit my job and move to North Carolina. Here are all of the details that led me up to that decision. I’ll try to be brief, but make no promises because there’s a lot I haven’t been sharing!
The Quest to end Long Distance
Unless this is the first post you are reading or you’re one to gloss over the personal details of this blog, you probably know that I am in a long distance relationship with a boy named J. LDR’s always need an expiration date. You either have to break up or move, but you can’t continue long distance unless there’s a good reason. The end for us was always J’s graduation this past December. We started 2010 with the goal to live in the same town by summer. Ideally he would find a job up near me since I already have one, but for about three months that proved dead end after dead end. No one seemed to be hiring in the DC area and if they were, the competition was fierce with overqualified candidates in the mix. In the middle of February, I told him to look for jobs in NC, where both of us are from and there are more contacts available. I love the state and have so many friends there anyway, so I would move towards him if he found something there first. About a month ago he got a job and that’s when I started to look.
My Job Search
I have been looking for jobs fairly aggressively since March. At first the search was pretty depressing because I was going after listed jobs that no doubt had hundreds of other applicants. Then I took a different approach: I figured out the companies I wanted to work for, sent them my resume (whether they were hiring or not), and ending up with six phone interviews with three different companies and two networking calls.
Last week, during my four day weekend, I managed to land three in-person interviews and one networking lunch. Of the three official interviews: one I hated, another I could tolerate, and one I absolutely fell in love with. The third one is my dream job at a dream company. I literally have to tell myself to stop day dreaming about it.
To Stay or Leave?
I came back to town Tuesday overwhelmed. I needed to make a decision by this past Saturday whether I was going to move or not because my landlord needs one month’s notice. If I moved out by June 1, then I would live with one of my best friends in NC who needs a roommate at the end of May (so could be perfect). The choice was either to move out in hopes that one of the interviews will turn into a job, or be stuck until at least July 1st and risk giving up a great job that would need me to relocate soon and also getting stuck having to pay a month’s rent and missing out on NC housing I would have June 1st. My decision affected my currnet roommate, who told me she was flexible, but that one of her friends has a vacant room at the end of May (also, potentially perfect). I needed to let my landlord and both of the “roommates” know by this past Saturday.
I was hopping to hear from one of the jobs before this past weekend, but Friday came and went and I didn’t get an answer. My Dream Job emailed me that they were checking my references on Friday, which is a good sign according to some Twitter peeps.
I couldn’t sleep last week and kept going back and forth about my decision. Do I move and hope that I get one of these jobs? Should I stay at my current job and just be patient that something will eventually come along? Do I risk everything I have now–my $41,000 salaried job–for something that is not guaranteed? Do I stay and risk giving up a cheap NC apartment and potentially a good job if I can’t move in time? Am I choosing unemployment in this challenging economic market?
Believe me–it was a really tough decision.
My Rat-Inspired Epiphany
Friday evening my roommate was out and none of my friends were available, so I was stuck alone with my torturous thoughts. I couldn’t stand it so I walked downtown where there was distraction. However, when I got there I never felt more lonely. Usually I like shopping alone, but I was surrounded with people who had someone. Be it a spouse, a child, a friend, a sibling… everyone I saw was with someone and it only made me more depressed.
Still confused, I walked back home with plans to watch a dependably happy romantic comedy and sip a large glass of wine. As I was about to sit down for a nice meal of Mexican leftovers, I saw the most horrifying black creature scurry across the hardwood floors from my couch to a chair in the corner. I shrieked and jumped on my coffee table, trying to figure out what to do. I took a large gulp of the wine in my left hand and speed dialed my sister with my right hand. I told her about the rat slash mouse slash diablo-incarnate, and she recommend I call someone to help. Is there anyone to come over? No, I answered. Your neighbors? Don’t really know them. Your guy friends? They’re out of town or busy and 30 minutes away. Your coworkers? None live near me. I told her I’d figure something out and she wished she wasn’t six hours away so she could help. I ended up calling my landlord then hibernating in my room for the rest of the night.
But I realized how pathetic I was—I had no one I felt comfortable calling. Not that a mouse was a huge crisis, but if I were living near J, I would have a handful of kindred spirits who would come to my rescue in a heartbealt. And that’s when I realized it: If I am surrounded by the people who love me unconditionally, then I can survive anything, including unemployment. It may not come to that (and I really really hope in the next month I get a job)… but if it did it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Home is Where the Heart Is
It will be such a blessing to be close to my family. This time last year my mom was first starting her chemotherapy and just thinking about last year’s summer months make me shudder. It was so hard being far away during that time. Thankfully she is doing better now, but I realized so much last year that my family means the world to me and I’m so ready to be within an hour’s drive.
I’m also so ready to be a real girlfriend in the same town as my boyfriend. A few months ago one of my coworkers said she had a friend she wanted to set me up with at a party. I couldn’t believe it. “I’m not single!” I told her. I’m done being independent and I’m ready to have my support system close by. I feel like an anti-feminist quitting my job and moving essentially for a boy… but just thinking about being near him makes me happy.
So this is where I am today: I have one month to find a job, pack up my DC life and move back to the familiar to brave the unknown. I know, that sounds dramatic, but to me giving up such financial and emotional security is dramatic. I also give you permission to call me a PF-blogging failure. I am fully aware that all of my financial goals and possibly savings may go out the window, but I’ve already planned an unemployment budget if that’s what ends up happening. I plan to give my notice in a week or so at my current job.
I’m really optimistic about last week’s interviews. Of course my optimism scares me because I don’t like the alternative, but I am really hopeful that something will work out in the next few weeks or months. I am equally nervous/scared/excited about the possibilities but I can’t wait to share with you what ends up happening. :) Thanks for reading this looong post and joining me along on this journey back to the SOUTH!!!
**By the way, thank goodness I have not seen any traces of the diablo rat since Friday night. Me thinks God placed it there to give me some direction, then took it away. Perhaps? ;)