Wednesday, March 31, 2010

mixed feelings

So we're seriously considering selling our house, since Princess Charming has a wonderful job 90 miles away (and has been doing a terrible commute - and crashing at my parents' sometimes - for well over a year). This wasn't really the intention when we bought it two years ago, but no one can control small businesses (not ours!) going under and in that case no one (logical anyway) can turn down a position with a great company that is a great fit when facing impending unemployment, even if it is rather far from home.

I am so stressed out about this.

There's a lot of reasons for this, but a big one in New Jersey. HOWWWWW do I keep going back? There's benefits, don't get my wrong. My family (well, my parents...I have a tiny family) is there, I have a couple of friends I'm still in touch with there....but it is Jersey: the land of the strip malls, incredibly high real estate taxes (and housing costs to match), fake nails, bleach blondes, and really wretched traffic on "highways" that resemble access roads in TX without the attached freeways. And there's this vague sense of failure at moving "home," even though this time it has nothing to do with me personally and really is a great career move for Princess Charming.

Also, I clearly need a new job to make this work (shhhhh.....I'm not discussing this in my current job yet), and given NJ's current state budget, this is a problem since I work in higher ed and don't really want to commute to NYC from the area we plan to live in (likely 45 min via bus or train, then some subway time, for at least an hour total without accounting for delays and walking...yuck...that's worse than what I do now), so I have no idea if the schools are going to start hiring (not a lot of private schools- i.e. schools with cash - in NJ). Postings have been slow so far, and I don't want to just take A job. I want THE job. OK, maybe not THE job, but something on the right path for my career and in an appropriate pay range for my experience and education.  Easier said than done, especially when thinking about keeping our commutes reasonable.

And lastly, I am really sad to leave here. Not for logical reasons. I don't have a bunch of close friends here. I'm not attached to SEPTA. I'm a little sad to leave our house which we've made a good little home, but not super sad (its a 1950s split for heaven's sake!). I am, however, pretty bummed to leave my rugby team here and my college kids that we coach. I am really dreading telling both of them, and sad about it to the point I'm really tempted (well, lets put the job hunt IFs aside for this) to just figure out how to stay through the fall competitive season. I was more reasonable about this before our tournament this past weekend, and am now totally bummed. I spilled the beans to a teammate on the plane, and her reaction was "but, if you get a new job, this is it! you'll be gone after the spring!" Yes, I know that. But hearing it is weirdly heartbreaking. And my two top college players came on the trip (and were rock stars) and I already feel like we're abandoning them and totally letting them down by moving and I have no idea who we can find to replace us for their fall season. I am sad on their behalf sort of, and don't want to put that kind of pressure on their captain. This, logic says, is nice of me but a completely irrational reason to put our lives on hold. We do get paid for coaching, but it's not much, and probably works out to something like $5/hr (I don't want to do the math on it).


I know this is a good thing and good for us family and career wise, and I know things could be worse in a multitude of different ways and that we have it pretty damn good, but I'm still kind of bummed out today.


  1. Miss Em! Being one of the "Jersey kids," I can commiserate with that "HOWWWW do I keep going back?" Haha, of course, I really only got out once. But I've got my eyes peeled for the first fruitful opportunity to get the hell out.

    Life has a crappy way of working out sometimes. I'm proud of you for taking this in stride though, and considering it as possibly a good thing!

  2. As a fellow Jersey girl who definitely doesn't fit the Jersey Shore/bleached blonde/strip mall lovin'/Mustang driving stereotype, I say go back to Jerz if you need to.

    Gov. Christie Creme has destroyed higher ed's budget, but there are still jobs slowly working their way down the pike. Montclair, in particular seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

    Most importantly, just because you leave your job doesn't mean you leave your students. I felt horrible guilt after leaving my last job, but I'm still in contact with many of them, 3 years later, and still write letters of recommendation for them or even get the most lovely e-mails from them thanking me for something I did when they were my students.

    Best of luck!

  3. What about moving up the eastern "coast" of PA (like Northampton or northern Bucks counties)? You somewhat avoid the craptacular real estate taxes of NJ. Plus, it sounds like NJ's education and civil services are going to be in the toilet for at least 4 years (and probably longer - I mean, how do you re-start those programs after they've been decimated?).

    Just some thoughts.

  4. Greg, that's an option, but it'd be a good commute for both of us. This entirely revolves around Chris's job (wouldn't be moving otherwise). But given how much is posted right now, I should look out there...

    Tina, that's good to hear...and Montclair would be a great location for me...