Here Comes the Fun

And by “fun”, I mean tedium, stress, fear, and general grown-up time.

Those who have been following my blog for awhile know that B and I have been less-than-thrilled with where we live and his job since we moved back from Korea. He is an English instructor at a community college in an economically depressed rural area in the South. His job itself isn’t bad, but he commutes from the bigger town where we live to his work each day. We only have one car, so that limits the possibilities of what I can do with C each day. There is almost no chance of professional mobility in his school. There are some instructors who have been teaching the same thing for 35 years with no raises outside of the ones that make up for inflation.

We want to leave. We want to live in a place where we have options and where we can settle for good. We thought about leaving earlier this year, but with C coming, it was just too much to think about B quitting his job, (hopefully) getting a new one, and moving with our first child who would then be an infant. So we stayed. I think it was a good choice, but still. It’s time to think about next year, again.

It’s not just a matter of quitting and finding a job. B’s school gives him a contract in January for the fall semester, which he must sign or not sign. Here’s the rub: very, very few community colleges post new openings that early in the year, much less hire people. So basically, he has to make the decision to not sign the thing before he even has a new job lined up. This prospect was scary before we had a child, but now it’s even more daunting.

But we’re doing it. We can’t stay here any more. The longer we stay where we are, the harder it’s going to be to move later. Also, we need to move somewhere where there are employment opportunities for me, since we are unable to save any money in our current situation. I’d like to work part time, but any money I’d make from doing that would go directly towards care for C, so living closer to friends and family in Memphis is something we hope for. B is not limiting himself to teaching, since he makes next to peanuts being a instructor. He’s going to look for jobs outside teaching, but I fear that it will be a tremendous waste of time since the economy is so bad and people with experience are not even getting hired. I’m just being realistic here.

This all exhausts me just to think about it. I’ve known it’s been coming for awhile, but this year has flown by so quickly with C that it just occurred to me last week that all this mess is on the horizon. It’s scary to think about moving on without even knowing if he’s going to find a better job, but I guess this is just life.

I have been thinking about writing this post for awhile. Every time I sat down to do it, though, I bummed myself out a lot because I knew I would bum you out too. My posts here tend to be on the lighter side. Also, more and more these days I’m becoming more guarded. This is likely because I have a child now and I’m hesitant to share some of the not-so-fun stuff in our lives simply because it may affect her. I don’t even know how it would affect her, but it’s a fear I have. I simply hate being vulnerable and I don’t want her to be vulnerable too. I hate admitting that things are hard, and I hate asking for help.

But this is my life. Things are not always fun. They are not always easy. I wouldn’t be authentic to myself if I didn’t admit that this was going on. I also wouldn’t be doing any service to myself or my family by leaving stones unturned and avoiding asking for help. I guess that’s the thing about making babies: when you have them, you need to get over yourself and just do what you need to do to give them the best life they can have.

So I just ask you for your thoughts and prayers through all this. And hey, if you know of anything, please don’t be shy in telling us about it. Although I loves me some image macros, I think this is what the Internet is for.


  1. All I can do is laugh with the fun and support for the serious.
    (Unless you get really bad.
    (Like fawning over One Direction bad.)
    (Then we’ll stage an intervention.)

    What you say about finding jobs is true, but in individual cases, there are always exceptions. There might also be advertising or marketing work your husband can pick up, if he has any skill for that sort of thing.

    Either way, applause for not letting yourself get trapped, and going for the life you want, and hoping you both find a place and jobs you love straight away!

    1. Thanks, Guap. Support is no small thing in itself. Rest assured there will be no One Direction fawning.

      That you know of ;D

  2. ellen gordon · · Reply

    Emily, it’s called the boring but important stuff! We’ve all been there and some of us may still be there. And just because people don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. So keep being your own self and saying what is real!
    On a larger note, I am getting way tired of hearing about Washington’s fiscal cliff. Heck, lots of us have been living on the edge for years! And those of you with multiple children know what I’m talking about!

    1. Preach it, lady! Washington just needs to learn to cook the whole chicken and start buying generic cola. Totally agree with you, about the BBI stuff. It’s the nitty-gritty that gets us through to the fun stuff. Kind of like baby aspirin and gas drops, wouldn’t you say? ;)

  3. We’re currently in the same boat.

    I came to this city (Groningen, 160 miles from my hometown) after my parents got divorced, basically to run from the whole disaster. I found a great job here and liked the city at the time, we settled down, got married, bought a house, had a child. Then, the company I worked for went bankrupt and it appeared that besides that job, there’s nothing here to find.

    We want to move back to Amsterdam (I grew up about 15 miles from there), because there’s the possibilities, the fun, the people, the life. But besides that, a wide spectrum of universities (here there’s only 1) for my son when he finishes school and possibilities when he gets his diploma.

    There is everything, when you live there, you never have to think about moving, because everything is nearby.

    Long story short, I know what you’re talking about and I encourage you to grab the possibility when it presents itself. Once you’re in a place with multiple possibilities, and you’re happy there, you guys are going to be okay.

    1. You speak the truth, Daan. Your experience is indeed very, very similar to ours, except that (from what I can tell) Memphis doesn’t hold a candle to Amsterdam. My best friend’s dad goes there several times a year for work and he says it’s an amazing place. Best of luck to you in getting back there!

      1. Oh, Amsterdam is not that special. It’s only the most perfect city in the world. :)

        1. Which is why I want to go someday! ;D

  4. Au contraire, my little friend; I find this to be a most uplifting post. You and B. know something must change, lest Miss C. have two insane parents, and so you are changing it. You will have to muddle through the unknown to get there , but that’s the way life is no matter what. I’m so excited for all three of you!

    1. I’m glad you could see the bright notes in this post. I feel a lot better now that I’ve gotten it all off my chest. But y’know, if you hear of any openings in the ol’ Memtown, let us know ;D

  5. I’m sorry you’re in a rough patch, Em. That kind of stress is pretty awful and I think, like you said, it’s magnified when you have a baby. Here’s what I see… Two intelligent, talented people with so much to offer – you’d both be a tremendous asset to any job.
    I’ll put on my thinking cap (it’s not very comfortable, but for you I’ll do it) and get back to you with some ideas that may have potential. One thing that dyslexics do very well is think outside the box.
    And for what it’s worth, sometimes a little rain has to fall, life can’t be sunny and light all the time. You’re not bumming anyone out – only bonding and getting more intimate by sharing a dose of real life. That has more valuable than any punch line or laughter. And as Brigitte discussed in one of her posts, vulnerability is actually a show of strength. Only very healthy, strong people can allow themselves to be vulnerable. I’m so impressed by your openness, willingness to share, sensitivity and can-do attitude. With those qualities I feel this period is just a tempest in a teacup. Moving on to bigger and better… I’m picturing doors flying open as I type this. :)
    Lots of love… Lisa

    1. “Tempest in a teacup”….I LOVE that. I think I may start saying that all the time You are just too kind, Lisa. You have no idea how encouraging your words are. If you have any ideas, I am all ears! I will even forward you B’s resume if you want! Ha! He actually did find three open positions at a JuCo between Elmhurst and Highland Park that he is going to apply to, so we may be meeting sooner than you think ;D

      1. That would be AMAZING! My husband used to teach English at a community college and one time I think he taught at a tech school! LOL! I’m very familiar with that pay check dilemma. I relate to your situation more than you know. My thinking cap is on, it’s snug, but it’s on. Your little family is in my thoughts and prayers, Emily. xox

        1. Thank you so much, sweet lady.

  6. Emily – I can so identify with what you’re going through. You’re doing the right thing. If you put yourself out there – you never know great things the universe will send back. It’s good to know that you have family for a safety net if the need arises. I’ll keep my ears open for anything in Tucson – and it’s ok to ask for help – that’s what community is for. As my husband tells me again and again – ‘everything will workout as it should’. lather- rinse -repeat ….

    1. Your husband is right…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself! If you do indeed hear about anything. let let us know. I will even forward you his resume if the need arises :D Thanks, Denise. You’re good people.

      1. I have an uncanny knack of finding jobs for people…but check out the University of Arizona and Pima Community College (I know one of the English teachers there [slightly]).

      2. Emily – this might be far fetched – however since you worked in Korea, you have knowledge of different cultures – which might be in your husband’s favor:

  7. It is scary, but you will make it happen. Change just sucks…either it happens too fast when you don’t want it, or it happens too slowly when you do! I have faith in ya.

    If you give me a little idea of the kinds of things you and Ben are into doing, I will definitely keep my ears open. We may have part-time office manager type work coming up in my own office at some point. How awesome would it be to work together?!

    1. That would be AMAZING if we worked together! It would be just like college, except instead of drinking we’d be playing with babies and instead of reading Remembering Babylon, we’d be reading good books.

  8. Well, I’m just going to piggyback on Grippy’s comment. She right and she’s wise.
    You won’r be homeless, and you won’t starve, which are the basic essentials. You have community and your family which can serve as a strong safety net when needed. No matter what help you need (and we all need it sometimes), you will be there when someone needs you. It all comes full circle.
    It’s a scary, stressful situation to be in, what you’re going through. But it sounds like you’re making good decisions for your family.
    You know you have my support.
    xo s

    1. Grippy is pretty amazing. She is pretty much my online mom ;D So if you second her, I think that makes you my online cousin or something (I was going to say “aunt” but I think we’re about the same age!) Thanks, Sara. Your encouragement and support means a lot to me.

  9. That was basically our situation earlier this year, too. A couple differences, though: our school did contracts in July, not January, and we made the opposite decision to take the plunge and move jobs with a newborn. Luckily it worked out.

    I can keep an eye out for jobs at my school if you’re interested. They usually do some hiring in the spring.

    1. Yes! Please let me know if you hear of anything! I mean, we’re going to have to get the kids together eventually since they are betrothed and all.

  10. Huntsville, Alabama. Several schools for him to explore opportunities and many defense contractors for you to find employment. Give it a look. And, Memphis is within a long mornings drive. HF

    1. Thanks, HF! That’s a really good point about Huntsville! Will be looking there!

  11. bellissimom · · Reply

    It is never fun to see that a change is needed but to know it is going to be difficult to make said chane. I think it is great to have the possibility to move closer to friends and family. Having a support network nearby is invaluable when you have a little babe. So, my thought is all the stress now will be well worth it once you find a better arrangement.

    1. You are absolutely right about the support network, for no other reason than because we want her to know her family and get to see them more than a couple times a year. If you hear of anything in Austin, give me a holla! ;D

  12. B teaches at a community college? Tells me more! A good friend is a Professor at College of DuPage. Maybe she could help? Let me know more of what you’re looking for. BTW, when my daughter was little, I got a job at the preschool she attended. Worked out great for us ’cause she was cared for and I got paid. Not a lot, but she was able to go all the way through kindergarten. I’m convinced the private kindergarten made a significant difference. So, email me maybe.

    1. You.Are.Awesome. If you’d like, I could forward along his resume to you on FB. I will friend you. Heads up ;D

      1. Yes. Yes. Send the resume to FB. I will accept your friendship.

  13. Bruce Ruston · · Reply

    I just quit my job Saturday and facing all these questions up close and personal level and about to put a hold on my blog to get some space to think. I know that does not help but life is so short and sometimes this kind of risk is needed

    1. It actually helps more than you think. It’s somehow comforting to know that we are not alone in this new phase of our lives, and that there are people going through the same challenges. Good luck sorting through it all, and just know that I’ll light a candle for you when I think about our own set of job issues.

  14. This is a good leap. C’s at a great age for moving, and it sounds like wherever you go will feel better all around. It’s horrible feeling trapped. Congrats to you and B for having the courage to get out. (You both deserve a drink.)

    1. I’m feeling good about it too. I am kind of overwhelmed (in a good way) from all the good will and encouraging things people have said in response to this post. Any opportunity to drink a glass of wine – however crappy – is a good thing, methinks.

  15. You’re facing the reality of what you feel and reaching out to other people. I’m glad that you can appreciate being authentic to yourself during one of life’s trials. This is encouraging to me. I have a feeling that after you’ve put one foot in front of the other you’ll look up and realize that you’ve worked through all of this very successfully. Thanks for reaching out. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Sandee. I’m already feeling tremendously encouraged by all the kind comments you and everyone has left, and I don’t get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about all that we have ahead of us. It’s a good feeling.

  16. Being vulnerable and being able to ask for help = freedom to be who you’re meant to be & where you’re meant to be. Watch The Power of Vulnerability,Dr. Brene Brown on TED. Then get your vulnerable little self here where you belong !!!

    1. TRUE DAT. Did you know that your son is a huge fan of TED talks? ;D

  17. krugthethinker · · Reply

    I also hate admitting that things are hard and asking for help. We are two of a kind, Besfrinn! But I am so proud of you guys for taking the plunge and doing what is right for your family. A change needs to be made, and you are making it. I know it is tremendously scary not to know where you’ll land on the other side, but I also have great faith that things will turn out better than you can imagine. I love you!

    1. You are The Best. (I would put a little trademark sign next to that if I knew how to do it!) Thank you for your love and amazing encouragement. I wuv you.

  18. You have my thoughts and prayers and more. I wish you luck. C is lucky to have parents who are determined and know when they need to make a change, no matter how difficult it might be.

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie! Your encouragement and support means a lot. We are as lucky to have C as she is to have us because she challenges us to live the best life we can.

  19. Ohhh my lady. I can so relate to this post. Luckily we have the job thing figured out for Zach, but we definitely have had our share of worry, stress, fear, debt, etc. over the past year. It’s a difficult time for everyone, I think, but you guys will figure it out. I KNOW you will. You’ve both incredibly intelligent, capable people. I mean, I don’t know B really, but he’s married to you so I’m assuming he’s awesome. And don’t worry about talking about the hard stuff. It’s not a “turn-off” to us readers.

    1. Oh, p,s, Y’all should move to Nebraska. Just sayin. haha

      1. OMG don’t even think it hasn’t crossed my mind! How great would it be if we could dress out little girls up as cornhuskers every day?! Thanks, lady. You are so sweet and your encouragement and support means a lot more to me than you would think.

  20. You may not feel this way right now, but your life is still more flexible than it will be in the future. So go for it! I think you may want to consider some professional resume coaching to help your hubby develop a few resumes that look really great for different possibilities. Good luck!!!

    1. That’s a really good idea to get his resumes looked at. I didn’t even think of that, but it is something we will for sure look into. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Money is dumb. There, I said it. Now let me go back to Craigslist to sell all of my maternity clothes to pay for the extra cloth diapers I just bought form an ad on Craigslist.

    1. Money is dumb but Craigslist rules. When we lived in Chicago, it was my favorite website, period, since there were 100 bazillion things on it.

      1. I rationalize getting stuff by selling stuff on it. It seems to make spending ok…and as a person that isn’t very good at thinking of things I want or need (I do this so I remain poor but not homeless), when I DO realize I could do with something like a double stroller or more pocket dipes, I am ON THAT THING 24/7.

        1. I don’t think it’s just rationalization; there is a lot of good to the “one in, out policy” when it comes to stuff laying around the house. When we got our Kindles, we pretty much got rid of all the books we had that were on the public domain because we could just download them for free. It’s nice to clean out sometimes. It makes life much simpler.

          1. wow, that’s actually a ridiculously good idea!

  22. Sometimes being scared is awesome. After I change my pants and pretend it was the baby that made me smell like pee. You guys exude Goodness. I felt it. Good things will come, friend. I promise.

    1. Thanks, lady. After I wrote this, I felt a lot better. Everyone’s comments have been so encouraging and uplifting. Good things are coming.

  23. unfetteredbs · · Reply

    sending good vibes and thoughts your way Emily. Have faith and good things will most certainly happen.

    1. Thanks, Audra! I’m feeling a lot better already. Change is scary, but stagnation is worse.

  24. O gosh. I can understand your fear. But I also know that aiming towards a happier place for your life is better than staying somewhere safe, simply for the fact that it is safe. I’m pretty sure that no-one who has made a decision to leave a place/job/life that makes them unhappy has regretted it. You’re brave. Stick to your guns and go for it. Best of luck! And if it turns out for the worst, get in touch and I’ll send you a stick of truffle butter. Everything will be better then, trust me.

    1. Can I get the truffle butter even if things do get better? ;) Thanks, Laura. You’re so sweet.

      1. No problem. Actually, I started buying Christmas gifts today so let’s do the truffle butter thing. Send me your address. It is my mission in life to help people toward truffle enlightenment. You can be my first convert. It could be the best thing that happens to you. Followed closely by becoming a mother. Actually, not that closely.

        1. OMG! You are the best! Very, very seriously the best!

          1. Have you sent me your address already? The truffle butter is waiting with eager anticipation to enter your life…

          2. Have you sent me your address already? The truffle butter is waiting with eager anticipation to enter your life…

            1. Yes, I did. Have you gotten it? Maybe it’s being held up in customs. Haha.

  25. Sorry things are rough right now, but you’re both made of strong stuff, i know you’ll pull through.
    My little slice of Heaven isn’t a bad place to live at all…

    1. Haha! Don’t think we haven’t thought about making a run for the border!

  26. Wow are all the bloggers moving? I’ve been going through my own moving stresses and it seems to be a lot of the same reasons, I just can’t stay in this place any longer. I’ve had the same job for 8 years which if you do the math means I’ve been there since I was 17. Either I’m a savant or an idiot and I’m certainly not a savant.

    You, me, and Lisa (AGL) should all get a place together. All the other times I moved weren’t nearly this stressful. Maybe this one is stressing me out because it feels a lot more “make or break” because I won’t have my job to fall back on financially. For what it’s worth, your family will be more than welcomed into the tiny basement studio apartment I end up getting.

    1. Where are you moving? I feel like you’d said before but now I can’t remember. I think it is an excellent idea for all of us to move in together. It would make for an interesting sitcom, to say the least. It would be kind of like Full House, only people wouldn’t groan every time words came out of our mouths.

      1. It was California but now it’s North Jersey. I know, same thing, right? North Jersey is close enough to NYC so I can at least do something more than I’m doing now creatively. Hopefully I don’t lose all my savings and I’ll have enough of a resume where I can actually move out to California and get a job. I hate hopes and dreams.

  27. runningonsober · · Reply

    I thought this was a very genuine, honest, and vulnerable post. They’re hard to write sometimes. I’ve had to really work to “open up” and share my “less than” feelings on my blog, but you know what? Those posts show we are human. They show we are not perfect. And they make others feel closer to us, because they’re not perfect either, so we bond over our imperfections and fears. I hope that makes sense.

    Change is scary, moving is stressful. You’ll get through it, I promise. You’ll probably even end up being glad you did it. Just like you’re probably glad you posted this, even though you weren’t all too excited about doing it.

    1. That totally makes sense. I’m glad I posted this, simply because of all the kind words people have shared with me and the help a few have even offered! I don’t have a lot of friends in my town, and I don’t feel like I can really share my problems with the ones I do have, so I’m really grateful for the blogging friends I’ve made. You all are extremely supportive!

  28. I love what you say in the end here. That we have to get over ourselves and just do what’s best for our kids. Oh, it’s so true. I appreciate your honesty. I can tell you things are not perfect in my world…that’s for sure. My husband is a prof at a community college and I know those jobs are hard to come by. But, sometimes you have to go with your gut. I wish you well! I will be thinking positive thoughts for you and your family. P.S. I love your new picture!

    1. That’s what I’m thinking, too. Life is too short to live in places you don’t love and to deprive your kids of a better set of circumstances just because you fear change.

      Where does your husband teach? LOL we should set our guys up on a man date ;)

      1. My husband teaches at Folsom Lake College, a community college. He teaches Political Science. He absolutely loves his job. It was made for him I think. My husband could use a man date. I wish you the best. It will work out!! It sounds like you’re at the point where it was time to make a decision. I think you should definitely trust it’s the right one. It is.

  29. I’m really, really sorry about the situation you’re in right now. I’m facing a job situation myself right now, but I don’t have a child to worry about. Being a parent must make these situations even more difficult.

    His skills could translate into Marketing or Sales or even Advertising. Has he considered those careers?

    Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

    1. Funny you should say that; he is warming to the idea of changing his career path and going more in the direction of Marketing and Advertising. Even though it would mean starting over from scratch and possibly going back to school, we need a bit more stability than his current career is able to provide for us.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Jen! I’ll also be thinking of you as you get through your own job situation.

      1. Something else I thought of was a training job of some kind. Corporate training, maybe? Directly applicable skills.

        And thanks for the well wishes!

  30. It’s really hard to take a leap of faith. I’m not sure why but I have encountered a few people recently that have told me their/their family’s immigrant stories. I can’t imagine moving to a new country with two kids and $18 without speaking the language and not knowing anyone in your new place! I think maybe these people have crossed my path to remind me that I can’t control everything and sometimes I have to take a chance on the unknown to continue on my path. I’m sure years from now you will be glad he didn’t sign that contract. :-)

    1. What you are saying about immigrant families is so, so true; I’ve thought the same thing often about how hard it would be to move your entire family to another country and do so not for the “fun” of it (ie, if we decided to move back to Korea because we wanted the cultural diversity for C) but because it’s truly necessary to do so to keep your family financially afloat. It really helps me keep things in perspective.

  31. Hey, good luck with everything. I wish the best for you, and without minimizing your feelings, I do have faith that things usually work themselves out, often in ways you might not expect. C is in great hands, and sounds like both you and B are great in each other’s hands.

  32. I’m all into positive thinking, I’m sure things will turn out great for you and it’s a good thing to take certain risks at times, you know you’re doing the right thing :)

    1. I believe in positive thinking too. Sometimes it’s all we have. Thanks, Daisy!

  33. I know exactly how that feels. I am so ready to move, yet at the same time petrified. It is so much pressure to find the right city when your kids childhood is at stake. Can’t wait to see where yall end up. I say we all go to chicago get a place outside of the city and start an organic coop. Ok maybe that is a little too adventurous, but we could still have go to chicago for fun.

    1. Not even kidding, that would be a dream come true!

  34. […] We Going To Move Next Year? Games have officially begun. For past years’ installments, read this and this and this. We have decided to move next summer even if neither of us find a job right away. […]

  35. […] was looking for a new job. The level of stress I underwent during this time cannot be understated. We’ve been down this road before, but this time it was way more intense because C now goes to school (yeah, that’s a thing […]

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