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Dual Career & Some News

December 29, 2011

Before I start on my 2012 goals, I need to talk about some stuff that is going on next year that will affect our yearly budget.  I just got a new role that could give me some good experience and exposure within my company, but how does that fit in with T’s plans?

So, here’s the news.  T’s been in school FOREVER and he is finally graduating this year.  Now everyone he knows can stop asking him if he’s done!  Yay!  (For the record – he’s been fully supported by stipends/fellowships the whole time.)

He is planning on pursing a job as a professor.  To really be competitive, he decided to take a job as a post-doc for a year, which is basically a staff researcher position.   While I’m willing to move for his job ONCE, I’m not really prepared to do it twice in two years.  So, for now, the plan is for me to stay in L.A. while he’ll be based out of the SF Bay area.  The post-doc is joint between two universities, so he’ll be on the east coast a lot too. The good news is that he’ll be more likely to find a job in a two-career city we actually want to live in (like staying here!).  The bad news is that we’ll have to embark on a temporary long distance marriage.  Ick.  (Worth noting – if my promotion and my new role hadn’t come through, I might just made the move anyway, even though a year is short.)

We don’t know exactly what he’ll be doing for his living situations, other than making it as cheap as possible.  We’re hoping he can rent a room on a flexible basis from a friend’s parents, but nothing has been worked out.  It is not ideal, but we’ll make the best of it.  I plan to visit him out east and make a trip to NYC (it has been years!), and trips between L.A. and SF are easy.   We will finally get a chance to explore the northern part of California!

We’ve done long distance before, but our lives got SO MUCH better when we moved in together.  Still, this is what we have to (or want to) do.  For now.

Some of the reason I’m so supportive of T’s pursuit of being a professor are entirely selfish.  A professor job would give both of us the opportunity to have a very international life.  Eventually.  He’ll have the opportunity to go to international conferences every year, and I’ll (sometimes) have the chance to come with.  At some point, he might do international sabbatical or take positions abroad.  One of my biggest passions and priorities in my life is travel, and I want to raising our kids with international exposure.  Also, once he has a job, it will be very stable.  This means I won’t have to make sacrifices for my career, however I’ll be free to take on some career risk as necessary.  Being supportive is good for us – but it is also good for me.

Still, it is not all selfish.  We could have a pretty awesome little life if he took a job at the company he worked at this past summer instead.  We’d still have sweet travels, he’d make quite a bit of money right off the bat, and we wouldn’t have to move until we wanted to.  For me, this would work out even better.  For T, it is an obvious second choice to his passion.  So I’m willing to support him, I’m willing to be apart from him for a little bit, and I trust it will work out for the best for our little family.

Would you ever consider a short term long distance marriage?  I’ve done some long distance relationships, and while it is hard, it is certainly possible.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Becca permalink
    December 29, 2011 9:41 am

    My friends did it their first year of marriage, actually. They were living in NYC and she had to do a year clerkship in CT. Of course, that is a lot closer, and they were able to spend their weekends together, but it definitely worked. I think you and T will be just fine.

  2. December 29, 2011 12:38 pm

    My husband and I were apart when he was deployed for a year. You will be fine. I don’t blame you for not wanting to move twice in 2 years. That could really put a crimp in your career plans.

  3. kyla permalink
    December 29, 2011 12:55 pm

    I am amazed at how this really sounds like my current life. My husband and I have been together for almost six years and married for two and half. He was in school for almost the whole time. He received his PhD last December and them started a post-doc this past Aug. For the post doc he moved about five hours away from us. We also wanted to keep expenses low so we got rid of our joint appointment and I moved in with family- while we rented a place for him. I chose not to move up as the current post doc is only short- he has won a prize and we will be heading overseas to Spain in the fall of 2012. We will be in Spain for 2-3 years and then he will pursue a professor position.
    Distance is not enjoyable but it is all good if you have a good relationship. I have been using the time to save money and get ready for our move and to get pregnant. We now have a baby due the start of September so just prior to our move.
    It can be all so exciting when dealing with living abroad.
    Good luck with your endeavors

    • December 30, 2011 9:50 pm

      I’d consider moving if I had family nearby, but the only way for me to reduce rent significatnly would be to enter into a roomate situation. Not really ideal since we still want to have a “home” together. We’ll see though.

      Good luck to you two as well!

  4. December 29, 2011 9:27 pm

    I think I’d definitely consider it, but I don’t think the boy would. I’ve mentioned me going away to get some work experience for a few months/half a year, and he freaks out when I mention it. I did move him down here, so I guess that wouldn’t be very fair, to then leave him here and go somewhere else, but long distance has never been an issue for me if it’s short-er term!

  5. December 30, 2011 9:47 pm

    I would be pretty weirded out, I think, only because we spent most of our relationship long distance and neither of us want to do that again. I’m worried that there may come a time (not for any particular reason though) that we’ll have to consider it because neither of us are in really flexible fields.

    I’m glad he landed a good post doc opportunity but I wish it were under slightly better circumstances!

    • December 30, 2011 9:54 pm

      Maybe it has been so long since we have done long distance that I’m forgetting how crappy it is. :/ I just know how great life is now, together.

      It sucks, but if it gets too horrible, I can look for jobs in the SF area. It’s just hard to make these decisions when the situation is, by definition, temporary, and my income still is quite higher than his.

      But really there is not a more ideal place for me to look for work, so it is in part my own career selfishness that is causing the situation. I don’t know. Not ideal, no matter what answer i choose

  6. January 2, 2012 3:47 pm

    We chose not to do the long-distance thing when I got my offer in VA. Sometimes I wish we had (more money!), but ultimately, being 3000 miles and 3 hours apart would have been painful. I’m jealous that you’ll get to visit SF so regularly – it’s such a neat area!

  7. January 3, 2012 7:28 pm

    Jealous! That sounds like a great job – not constant travel, but the opportunity to travel to cool places from time to time.

    Long distance would certainly be tough. I’m not sure I would be particularly good at it, to be honest. I’m terrible with phone calls and texts, and he doesn’t email or use social media. We did do it at the start of our relationship (mainly via post as you aren’t allowed any tech at army training) and it was hard – and we barely even knew each other at that point!

    That said, I would definitely be up for it for a certain period of time. I’m naturally a loner, so I don’t think feeling isolated would be an issue. However, T wouldn’t be very keen – physical proximity is pretty important to him, and us working opposite schedules last year was a bit of a strain on us.


  1. 2012 Goals « Stacking Pennies
  2. 2011 Goals: How did I do? « Stacking Pennies

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