My Aunt-in-Law has this red button that when pressed announces “That was EASY!” I often feel like “EASY” does not apply to our life. Instead, I need a big red button that says “That was a PAIN IN THE ASS!” Because we are so conditioned to PAIN IN THE ASS-type events, when something EASY happens it feels incredibly UNEASY.
The Professor has been job hunting since October. He submitted tons of applications and had promising feedback, but sadly nothing panned out. When I found out I was pregnant his focus shifted quickly from academia to industry – maybe this was a sign that it was time to change directions?
An email to a former colleague and a couple phone calls later, the Professor stood ghost-white in the doorway and said, “Well, I have a job… I need to sit down.”
The job is with a tech start-up in Durham, North Carolina. He will be working with world-renowned experts solving exciting mathy-problems to fulfill contracts with big agencies*. There will be a large learning curve and an element of risk, but ultimately this job will offer more experience than any tenure-track faculty position, take his research in an exciting new direction and give him the opportunity to work with some very cool people.
So he said yes, and then we sat silently on the couch feeling rather uneasy. “My goodness, that was terribly easy,” I said. “Did that seem too easy? … Maybe it is high time we get a little bit of easy… I think this easy is overdue. Let’s embrace it.”
So we opened a beer and promptly started researching Durham, NC – a city that had never been on our radar and we knew nothing about.
Over spring break we visited Durham and immediately fell in love. It has the gritty feel of a city on the cusp of something big. It has diversity, art, culture and an incredible public garden on Duke’s campus. It has a Lemur Center and a Goat Dairy. It is two hours from the beach and two hours from mountains. It feels like such a manageable size after living in NYC for three years. It has fried green tomatoes. It has people who chat casually with you in the grocery store at 7 a.m. It has farmer’s markets, a grocery co-op with tiny carts for Sabine to push and many parks to explore. It has a low cost of living. It is ripe with career potential for me when I am ready to go back to work. We had dinner with the Professor’s new team and they were all lovely, kind people. Several of the Professor’s childhood friends live in the area and opened their home to us when we visited. They were so kind and by the end of the visit declared that we can rest assured knowing we have “family” when we get there.
It will make a wonderful forever home.
It is just what we need after this last miscarriage.
It gives me something to focus on instead of obsessing about if/when we will try for another child.
Last week the Professor started working part-time remotely for the company while he finishes up his full-time job in NYC. We will move to Durham in August. There is so much to do before then in preparation and so many NYC adventures to have before we bid this big, dog poop-covered, crazy cool city adieu!
*I know this is super vague but I am working to respect his professional boundaries!