Escape Route


Five months ago…

Lance and I had a Very Serious Conversation about six months into our tenure in California, after both of us found gainful employment and had sampled all the local fast food chicken fingers (Carls Jr=::thumbs up::, Jack in the Box=::go to hell!!!::).

It was in this conversation that we decided, hey, yes, we were going to move back to Philadelphia.

For many of the reasons covered in past posts, we had to leave that door open. As of October 2014, though, we weren’t actively pursuing employment back in Philly, since we were barely halfway through our apartment’s lease.  We figured we’d wait until around February 2015; not only would that give us about three solid months for both of us to find jobs before our lease ended, but we could also use that extra time to assess our fit with California.  Maybe we’d decide to stay, after all…

Having this timeline helped. It gave us a clear, if rough, exit strategy, a red eject button we could push if we needed to.  And it was still far enough in the future where we could give California an adequate chance.

…Except we didn’t.

I found out in October, through the grapevine known as Google Chat, that a position had opened up at my old employer–a good position, a clear step up in title, responsibilities, and pay compared to what I had in California. The kind of position, too, that didn’t come along every day. The kind of position worth potentially moving for.

So…even though it was bucking our established timeline, I applied for it, except I didn’t tell Lance at first. I kinda just wanted to see what would happen without him emotionally investing in it too much, since I knew he would. Of course, I’m a terrible liar, so he ended up finding out pretty early on, even before my first interview (sorry to ruin the suspense).

Every day following my two rounds of interviews, Lance and I would talk with each other on G-Chat, and not long into any ol’ conversation, Lance would drop the, “So, have you heard anything yet?” bomb.

Me: Do you want to go to BJ’s [editor’s note: an actual chain restaurant in California] for dinner?

Lance: Did you hear anything yet?


Me: Did you pay the Verizon bill this month?


Or the classic…

Me: What do you think about going down to San Diego this weekend?


Lance still claims–to this day!–that he wasn’t getting his hopes up and that he wasn’t burdening me with undue stress. I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions.

Anyway! Lance, at the same time, had been working with his former employer, doing work from home part-time. With that foot-in-the-door, we figured Lance would have an easier shot finding a job back in Philly should the opportunity present itself.

I got a formal offer in mid-December, with a non-negotiable start date of January 5, 2015. There it was, our eject button.

I pushed it.

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