Moving Upward.

So now that all proper parties have been formally notified and all of the legalities are in place, I can announce what I’ve wanted to share on this blog for some time.

I am moving to San Francisco to join Max.

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This has been a long time coming.  I mean-when we first sent Max up to SF in July, just after our marriage, he packed one suitcase and headed out to see if this experiment with being a sommelier would pan out.  In our minds, there was a good chance he would not take to this environment, and while the opportunity was too good to pass up, it was pretty much a shot in the dark.  Understandably, we didn’t commit much to that venture at that time.

Since then, Max has sky-rocketed to sommelier/wine director success at one of the best restaurants in the world.  He is what we jokingly call “food famous”.  Sometime before the holidays this year, Max and I had a conversation in which he turned my world upside down by telling me he thought he needed to stay up in San Francisco for several years at the very least in order to really take advantage of his position and get us set-up.

I had never considered moving away from Los Angeles.  It is all I have ever known, and truthfully, about all I’ve ever really desired to know.  I’ve toyed heavily with living in New York.  I had to make that choice when choosing colleges and again when choosing law schools; turning down NYU for USC and Fordham University for Southwestern Law School.  Part of me always regrets not taking one of those opportunities to explore the city of New York that I love so much, but then again, I wouldn’t be with Max if I had gone.  Max and I had been looking into buying houses in LA before he left.  We looked in West Hollywood and Beverlywood and Cheviot Hills.  We had future dream houses in LA picked out in our minds.  But when he told me he wanted to stay in SF, I immediately knew I would move.

The first idea, because we are so fucking responsible sometimes, was that I would stay in LA until I could find a great job that would further my career in SF.  I had two very successful interviews in SF, but when it came down to the wire, I did not get the job.  I was devastated by my rejection for the last position.  Everything had gone PERFECTLY.  I knew I was getting this job, and good thing, too, because basically my entire future with my husband and everyone’s hopes and dreams for us happily growing our family was on my shoulders, I think to myself.  If I get this job, I think, everything falls perfectly into place, but oh god, if I do not, when will I ever be reunited with my husband again? How will our marriage survive years apart? These interviews had been few and far between and entertainment law positions are not plentiful in the Bay Area.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  I made it down to the final two candidates for the job and lost out.  I will never know why.

I was devastated and my mom came over that night and I cried on her shoulder in my bed.  As if she knew what I was thinking already, she said, “You know, you don’t have to stay here.  You would like to move on from your job, anyway, and maybe it is time you do what you want and need to do for yourself and your family.  You can always get a job, a great job, in San Francisco once you move.” She gave me permission to do what I was already wanting to do, but I felt irresponsible moving without a job lined-up in the new city.  I would have counseled any friend not to do that.  There will be a gap in your resume.  You will eat through your savings. Other concerns.  But I had friends who were unfulfilled in their current jobs and were starting to leave them just to figure out what they really wanted to do with their lives.  I was seeing how happy they were.  They were not stressed about not having money for rent.  They were making it work.  So I knew I could, too, and I made the decision I would move in May-the month of our one-year wedding anniversary, come hell or high-water.

At that point, I was still applying for jobs in SF, but I was no longer so desperate; so stressed.  Back when I was, I had written my old firm, where I had worked before coming to my current position, asking them for a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile. I never heard from them, which I did find odd considering we had a really great working relationship.  Seemingly out of the blue, once I had decided to move to SF, I did hear from one of the two partners of the firm.  He said he would gladly give me a glowing recommendation, but more importantly, was I looking for work? I told him I was, but in San Francisco and, unfortunately, that precluded me from working for the firm, which is based in Orange County.  He proposed I work from home for the firm from San Francisco.  There is a case right now that they are working on that sounds very exciting involving the California state government and counter-terrorism.

I was hesitant to take the job because it is litigation, which I haven’t done in several years.  However, the perks of a great work/life balance tipped the scales.  The partner, Mike, and I negotiated my offer for over a week.  It was a pretty grueling process-two lawyers negotiating all the fine points of an employment offer.  Last Friday, we locked down all the basic terms and I received my offer letter on Tuesday of this week.  I gave my notice at work that same day and have been designing my dream home office ever since.

Now hold up! We still have no place to live.  Max has been living in the basement of a house inhabited by 3 other roommates.  There is no way I’m living, let along working on a federal litigation case, out of a basement.  So now the apartment search is on in full effect.

I’m flying up to SF this weekend.  We have some apartment showings.  We intend to live in an apartment in the city while we work on qualifying for a mortgage, a process we have already started but with everything else that’s going on, will likely take us a great while longer.

So, that’s it.  I’d like to announce a new chapter in my life.  The changes include the following:

  • Living in a new city for the first time.
  • Living as a married coupled (sort of-we did have about 4 months before Max left)
  • Getting a dog. (Of course, I will rescue.  Likely an older dog who just wants to lay around my office with me.)
  • Returning to litigation work.
  • Working from my home for the first time.

That’s a lot of change! All good change.  I’m particularly stoked about feeling like I can responsibly get a dog again.  With my schedule being more my own, I think I will really be able to give any animal that we adopt a very responsive, loving, and attentive owner. I look forward to fantasy days of walking around the city with my pup and some indie hipster coffee and feeling the San Francisco wind.  I look forward to weekend days with Max exploring new places in the city.  I know that most of my days will not be quite so lovely, as I’ll be working my ass off, but I hope to get out a few times a week to go to a yoga or spin class, pick up a fancy pressed juice, and explore a little of my new city.

San Francisco, I hope you welcome me.  Here I come!

Me in SF in 2009!

Me in SF in 2009!

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