“I’ll get out of California, I’m tired of the weather…
Oh yeah and I think I’ll go to Boston,
I think that I’m just tired
I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind…
I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset,
I hear it’s nice in the Summer, some snow would be nice… oh yeah,”
A little over six years ago, my wife and I moved from Boston to California… just before that song got popular. I was the mirror image of those lyrics… traveling in the opposite direction, but for some of the same reasons (“just tired”). The two biggest reasons were my wife and my careers. Her job was wearing on her. When you work at a federal prison and the inmates are the bright spot, you know things are not good.
At the same time, my current company was paying me in the bottom 5 percentile of my Salary.com value as a senior software engineer. At the time I got the job, 2004, things were still pretty bad after the dot com bust. When company’s VP left the compensation database lying around… well, let’s just say it was clear I was being taken advantage of. There were people with much less experience making a lot more money. I made my case for an increase, not mentioning that I knew others were being paid more, but it wasn’t successful. I didn’t get any more money, any more stock, or even more vacation time. I rarely ask for anything and they didn’t even throw me a bone.
My wife stumbled on a rare opportunity out in San Francisco. By rare, there are probably about 200 jobs in the country that my wife can transfer to as a pharmacist with the military. I had never thought about leaving Boston, but I was pissed off enough at my company that I said, “Go ahead, might as well apply.” She did. After three rounds of interviews, we were on our way to San Francisco.
I had always lived within a 15 mile radius of Boston. I had underestimated how tough the adjustment period would be for me. All my friends and family were in Boston. My brother was making me an uncle! Many of my friends were having their first children, too. I didn’t know anyone out here in San Francisco. I missed Boston.
That song became a dagger to my heart every time it hit the airwaves. I became extremely jealous of that fictional person who traded places with me… leaving California to go to Boston.
In six years, one can make a lot of adjustments. I joined a Meet-up group with a lot of people who came to San Francisco from Boston and were interested in sports. Together we shared a lot of highs and lows. We watched the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins win world championships. We watched the Patriots lose a couple of Super Bowls. In time, we did things that were completely unrelated to sports like tour Napa wineries. We got together at Christmas. I didn’t realize it until this year, but for the third straight year, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house.
On the blogging side of things, I met enough people to fill a think tank. There are too many to mention, but a few that stand out are Kevin Gillett to SVB and her husband from The Digerati Life, and Revanche from A Gai Shan Life. Actually each of these people are stand-alone think tanks.
Today, I am that person in the song. I’m no longer the mirror image.
As my wife and I packed the car to go to the hospital to have our baby, she got an email alert on her phone. The military had just sent over the official paperwork for her new job in Boston. We are going home!
I’m not even sure what that word means any more. The last time I went to Boston, I had to ask how large the medium sub at D’Angelo’s was. They confiscated my Bostonian membership card on the spot. They say home is where the heart lies. If that’s true, Tony Bennett’s is still here in San Francisco. After talking with my wife, our hearts lie in two places now. We are Robin Scherbatsky caught with ties in two places, but neither feeling like a true home. The episode ended with Robin learning a lesson that we are hoping sinks in with us: We’ve got two homes and with that comes twice the awesomeness. We get to get back to our Boston roots and ridiculous accents (Side Note: watch this 30 second commercial for typical Southie Boston accents) and we know the Silicon Valley culture (a little more on that in a future post).
Baz Luhrmann sang, “Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.” Truer words have rarely been sung. Today on the news they had a big weather advisory that it had been raining for 20 minutes.
The hope for later this week is to do a financial analysis of the move, which, as it usually does, played a key role.