- 3 years ago
Long time regular reader, first post! You guys may have some wisdom, perspective, suggustions or stories for me!
I’m 26 and my SO is 29. I’ve been with my SO for just under 3 years. I’m an east coast farmer girl and he is a cutie west coast city boy. I was doing grad school on the east coast while he was doing grad school on the west coast (finishes in Feb 2014). I finished grad school in January (MS) and moved to the west coast to be with him while job searching. We had been long distance for 2.5 years prior to me moving to the west coast. I’m loving living with him so far. SO is the kindest man ever and would be amazing life partner. I dream of making cute babies with him.
I’m in a very lucky situation – I was tentatively offered two jobs (both in oil/gas) after months of job searching. I’m an environmental engineer/physicist. This is my first job ever.
Job 1) West Coast Job – Los Angeles
Permanent! I would not want to quit for 2-5 years to prevent looking like a job hopper, not close to family, 3 hours from SO’s grad school, SO would hopefully find a job in the area when he finishes school in February. Close to SO’s family.
Job 2) East Coast Job – Pittsburgh!
One year research tech position, this position is a stepping stone (imo) to the West Coast job (which won’t be available if I turn it down). The rest of the jobs related to this field are in the Gulf of Mexico – somewhere I don’t feel strongly about settling down for now due to lack of family in the area. The fact that it is one year means that it gives SO a few months to look for jobs and we can plan our “settling” location.
The east coast job was offered after the interview by word of mouth 2 weeks ago and I was really excited at the prospect of being close to family for a year while SO finishes school. Right now, I’m not loving the west coast, partly due to the lack of family, friends and strong dislike of traffic. I got the West Coast job via email yesterday and I’m suddenly lost. I know that West Coast job is more stable, more permanent and simply a great opportunity for my long term goals. SO wouldn’t mind living in that area since it is close to his family and hometown. Here is the problem, I really miss my parents. Grad school was 5 hours away but it never felt far away because I could simply drive home whenever I wanted. Now that I’m 2000 miles and $500 plane ticket away, it seems so far away and I’m miserable some days. I feel silly for admitting this but I really want the freedom to go home and help husk corn with my mom or rebuild the barn with my dad on the weekends.
Some additional details and thoughts –
Pay is approximately equal after cost of living is considered. Both groups of people I would work with seem equally awesome.
Pittsburgh is more flexible, the boss said that I could work weekends and take a week off every 2 or 3 months to visit SO. The boss was totally supportive/understanding of her research technitions finding other jobs in the middle of year as she knows that this position is not meant to be permanent but a stepping stone for those involved.
I don’t want to do research long term (plus I don’t have the PhD for it) – so doing east coast job doesn’t make sense for my long term goals. It gives me more research experience but no engineering experience or regulation/law experience that might be more applicable to what I want to do long term. Both jobs involve being a smartypants. I don’t want to be a smartypants forever. Long term, I think I would like to switch into regulation or compliance within govt. Goals could change though.
I am not sure how difficult it would be for my SO to find a job within his field. I thought I would have a lot of options to choose from with my degrees and it took me months to find a job. My personal opinion is that it will be harder for him to find a job since his field is fairly specific and narrow. He doesn’t feel that way and insist that he is flexible but it is important to me that he finds a job that he is excited about. I think his best options will be in DC but we won’t know until it is an appropriate time for him to find a job.
SO is really really supportive. He doesn’t want to be too involved in the decision at the risk that I make the decision for him and not myself. I want to make the decision for “us” but he maintains the viewpoint that I have to be happy with the decision because both involves at least 6 more months of long distance, maybe more. Yesterday, I was insisting on taking West Coast job because it was stable and he was totally supportive. And today, I was crying after talking my parents and he stated that “You really miss your family, go to Pittsburgh and we will figure things out.” He reminded me that you can’t put a price on family.
It is not a secret to my SO that I would really like to live on the east coast long term. Anywhere within driving distance of Pittsburgh – a lot of great cities – DC, NYC, Philly, etc. SO is fine with moving to the east coast but he can’t make any direct promises because he doesn’t know where he will find a job. I can totally accept that – I told him I would get a job near his graduate school and here I am about move away from him because nothing in this area was working out.
The west coast job still makes more sense even if I’m mopey about not being close to my family. I keep reminding myself that I can always accept this job with intentions to quit after 3 – 5 years and move back to the east coast. I can be more at peace with the decision if I know that I have a specific date in mind where I will move back to the east coast. The west coast job sets me up to switch into compliance and regulation when I want to make that switch. Or I could switch into industry. The thing is that I can’t have this “hypothetical” date of moving back to the east coast because I’m potentially uprooting my SO’s career beginnings and so forth.
I keep worrying about what if’s that cloud my viewpoint. What if I take the California job and SO doesn’t find a job in the same area? What if SO finds his dream job in DC and I feel like I have to stay at my West Coast job for another few years to prevent being a job hopper? What if I take the job in Pittsburgh and it doesn’t give me the skills I need to get the next job? What if SO doesn’t want to move to the east coast in 5 years?
It feels so hard to plan our future in this situation. I love this guy (and my family!). Sometimes I wish I could carry him in my pocket and take him with me but I really want to be respectful to his wishes and opportunities in his future as well. He is really good at what he does and I’m really excited for his future career.
We discussed 3 major cities where we would like to settle down (2 of which are on the east coast!) but neither of my job opportunities are not in those “goal” cities. But I would feel like an idiot for turning down these jobs when I’ve been sitting around doing nothing for the last 6 months.
I feel like there is some common sense answer that I’m not seeing or perhaps some sort of compromise that I’m not seeing? I wish I could be excited about my opportunities but I’m spending all day overthinking everything!
Any stories or thoughts to give me perspective??? Thanks so much!