Moving on (and up).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

As I mentioned the other day, Mario and I came to a decision. A big, life changing one. 

I'll start at the beginning:

As those of you who have been with me for a bit may know, I graduated from college in May. At the ripe old age of 32. I have a kiddo and a husband who travels (a lot), so earning my degree was a huge personal accomplishment. 

For the past 9+ years we've been following my husband's career path. Then one day, while at an all time low, I decided to pursue my own career and take charge of my own happiness. Here I am, four years later, the proud owner of a bachelor's degree. I went into this knowing what I wanted to be when I grow up: a physician assistant. Which requires 2-3 more years of grad school.

We've known for over a year we would need to move after I graduated, as the nearest PA program is at least 90 minutes away. Last spring Mario changed positions within his company and can now work from anywhere. Just when I needed to move on to move up, he scored a position that will allow us to do so. Life has a funny way of opening doors, no?

PA programs are fiercely competitive. Which gave me two options:

Option A: Apply everywhere. Wherever I get accepted, we'll move. On short notice, in most instances. It may not be the place we want to end up, but we'll make it work.

Pros: Not having to delay my career. 
Cons: We may end up in a place we don't love; career opportunities may be low after graduating necessitating yet another move; an inability to plan ahead; a serious time crunch; cost of living/housing uncertainties.

Option B:  Find a place where we really want to live. A place that's closer to family, has good schools for Jared, and a PA program for me. A place we can see ourselves staying long term. A place to call home. We'll move and I will apply to the nearby program until I get in.

Pros: Living on our own terms; the ability to plan ahead (i.e. buying a house, getting settled, finding the right school for J, etc.); loving our surroundings... the list goes on.

Cons: I'm severely limiting the number of prospective PA programs; it could be years before I am accepted. Am I willing to take that risk?

After a lot of soul searching and many conversations, Mario and I made a decision. Rather suddenly, actually. After years of going back and forth, fretting (on my part), and feeling uncertain, we just did it. No more pro-con lists... simply two people going with our guts.

We are moving to the Portland area next summer. During our vacation we stayed with friends in Vancouver, Washington for a couple days. They took us around the area, we scoped out houses for sale to get an idea what the market is like, and integrated ourselves as much as possible in such a short amount of time. We loved it. It's right between Mario's family in Montana and my family in San Diego. There are great schools for Jared, a large airport for Mario's work travel, and two PA programs for me. It really is the perfect fit for our family.

Still, my anxiety is high. There are a lot of things to accomplish before next summer. Starting with selling our house. Homes in our area aren't selling well, but most do not compare well to our property. We've played the would you pay x amount of dollars for this house? game with each other. We would. But we've also seen it go from abused and neglected to a lovely home that fits us perfectly. Our blood, sweat and tears have made it what it is almost 6 years later. Will someone else appreciate it as much as we do? Isn't that always the big question when selling a house? 

What's also hard is deciding how much more to put into it. New blinds? Sure. New bathroom? Not worth the cost. We'll know more when the realtor comes on Friday. Fingers crossed she doesn't tell us it's worth less than we owe which is our biggest fear. At a close second is the worry that our house won't sell in time for us to leave next summer... putting our plans on hold. Selling a house during a New Hampshire winter is nearly impossible, which means we have the fall and the spring to find a buyer.

I am also trying to navigate the next year in terms of what will best equip me to be an outstanding applicant. The sort of jobs I am looking for are scarce... I spent over an hour searching yesterday to no avail. My anxiety ramped up another notch. We need the extra income for our moving fund and I need current healthcare experience. More importantly, I want to feel fulfilled over the next year. To have a sense that I'm flexing my mental muscles and putting my hard-earned knowledge to work.

The fact is, worrying won't help. It never does. Last night, as I expressed my rising anxiety to Mario, who is 3000 miles away, I realized that I need to let go. Our best has to be enough. What is meant to happen will. 

Perhaps PA school isn't in the cards for next couple years. Maybe I'll get in on the first try. Perhaps the house will sell in a month and our biggest worry will be finding a rental for the duration. Maybe it won't. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Learning to live with the unknowns in the meantime will make our destination that much sweeter when we get there.


  1. Sounds like you have a great plan. Good luck with it all!

  2. Congratulations! Exciting times coming soon :)

  3. Good luck with your endeavors - moving on to move up is never an easy path, but it sounds like you have a team traversing the trail with you (and that is half the battle).

  4. I am so happy for you and excited for your new adventure! :)


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