Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I don't want to punch you in the face...

*begin rant*

I am not prepared to move out of my geographical location to pursue my academic career. I do not stand in judgment of people who do this, I think everyone has good reasons for choosing the paths that they do and I also firmly believe that there are many right paths to success and happiness. But for me, moving away is not an option, and these are the reasons why:

1. I want to live near my family and friends. I love them all, I love spending time with them, I love watching them spend time with the mini-me and I want the mini-me to grow up having a large extensive family and friends as part of her daily life. I have lived thousands of miles away from my family and friends and I hated every minute of it. My family hated every minute of it. We missed each other terribly and were miserable. My family is the most important thing to me.

2. I need and love the support. While I know I could raise a family and have a career with just my husband and I, I wouldn’t be very happy doing so. I love having the support of my family and friends when I need it. Baby is sick, but I have an important experiment, call Grandma! Need an extra car and person to move furniture call Uncle! Don’t have time to plan a birthday party ask Auntie! Having a rough week, go out to drinks with the girls I have known since college! I am an extremely extroverted affectionate person and living amongst a community of people who care for me and who I care for is essential for my happiness. I do not want to give this up. It is not an easy thing to build/find/create and I do want to have to spend the time&energy to create a new one.

3. I do not want to force my husband to relocate. Just to be clear, I am pretty sure that if I really really wanted to move somewhere for my dream job my husband would make the sacrifice because he loves me that much. The thing is, I don’t think he should have to make the sacrifice. I don’t think uprooting him from his career and his friends and his family is worth my career. I don’t think a job, no matter how amazing, is worth it. I know he would suffer at some level and I am not okay with that at ALL.

4. I love the weather and geography here. I do not like real winters. My bad knees get achy in the super cold weather. I love green things. I love riding my bicycle year round, I love trees and oceans and mountains and greenery everywhere that I go. Winter makes me sad, I do not like being sad.

5. I love the diversity and politics here. It is not fun to be the only ‘other’ in a situation let alone in a city or university. I like living somewhere that has so many ‘others’ that no one is sure what normal is. I like have tasty cuisine from around the world at my fingertips. I like celebrating everyone else’s holidays. I like that I don’t have to constantly explain my ‘otherness’. I like living somewhere liberal and progressive, even if it means having to put up the occasional sanctimonious hypocritical hippy.

I realize that this decision limits my possibilities for a job, any job, at any level, in academia immensely. I know things will be more difficult for me but I think the sacrifice is worth it. I am hopeful that although more difficult, I can still have the career I have dreamed of. I have a plan, sort of, well… maybe more of a general idea. But that is a post for another day.

For now I just wish my professor would stop assuming that I am willing to move to Timbuktoo and beyond for a job, especially since I have repeatedly told him that I WILL NOT RELOCATE (to another state) for a job. Professor you are awesome in so many ways, and I am grateful for that, but you hate your family, have no friends, and no life outside of science. Your idea of a good time is to get drunk while reading grants, your emergency contact is our lab manager, your best friend is a blind deaf cat that shits on your bed. Relocating repeatedly to advance your career was no big deal to you. It is a big deal to me. I don’t expect you to understand it, but can you at least try to respect my decision?

Okay, okay that is asking too much... how about you just stop getting that expression of total and complete horror every time I have to remind you that I WILL NOT RELOCATE (to another state) for a job.

Because, seriously, it makes me want to punch you in the face.

*end rant*

1 comment:

  1. Amen!!

    When will people understand that a person's individual choice does not invalidate their own choice? My decisions are my decisions, not a commentary on anyone else's decisions or life.