The Adventure Begins!
Today is my last day of work for a week. I’m going to be burning through a lot of my accumulated vacation this month as I prepare to move to ECC. I’m taking all of next week off to go out there and take care of various things I need to do to be employed by PECMC. Fingerprints, paperwork, housing. I’m looking at a couple of lofts and a couple of apartments within walking distance (3 miles) of PECMC. There’s a loft that I really like the look of online, but it’s expensive. In fact, unless I want to live in a shoebox, everything is expensive.
But I’m going to accept that. I’m moving to a large city on the East Coast of the United States. There’s essentially no such thing as cheap. And I do not, at least, need to find a place in Manhattan, where rents can be up to $5/sqft for decent places to live. ECC is cheaper, and I think I’ll be able to get a good place for about $2/sqft. But that’s still way in excess of St. Louis, where good housing can be got for under a dollar per square foot per month. So it’s a little sticker shocky. In essence, my entire raise will be eaten up by my rent.
And the benefits, at least the financial ones, are not as good as where I am now either. And the taxes are higher out there. So all in all, my standard of living as I move out to ECC is going to drop. I’m going to end up with roughly the same take-home income in a more expensive city, in a smaller home, and have to save more for my retirement than I did in my previous position. These things make me concerned, some. I can obsess about planning these things.
But. I need to remember that all I can do is what I need to do today to prepare for tomorrow. I can’t save half a million dollars today. I might not be able to save that much in my whole life. What I can do today is put away a sensible amount of my take-home income, blah blah blah. And that won’t change when I’m in ECC. I will still be able to do, each day, what I can do each day. And I will be in a good position to do that.
Each time I face a new challenge, I feel like I forget how much the last one terrified me. I need to remember that this upcoming challenge, while daunting, is exactly what I have spent my entire adult life training to do. I need to remember that this, in and of itself, is a privilege. I have studied and published and worked to make improvements in health care delivery systems using computer simulation and other operations research techniques. Now, I have been hired to do exactly that in a wonderful place.
So it’s exciting. Are there drawbacks? Sure. But every situation has drawbacks. I am going to be in the best possible situation I could ever have reasonably requested. And I don’t even have to settle for my potential alternative job – a tenure track professorship.