Monday, March 5, 2012

Start Today

Okay, dear readers, I have something important to share with you - the big news I've been hinting at for weeks but haven't yet been able to publicize.  To be honest, I've drafted this post a dozen times and have consistently failed to explain myself eloquently, and so I'm just going to put my announcement out there in black and white:

I quit my job and will be moving back to the United States at the end of May.

I've slowly been telling people (as appropriate) over the past weeks as my decision and its consequences have unfolded; the easiest way to explore what this means is probably to elaborate on the most frequently asked questions I've received.

What?  You quit your job?  Why?
I'm sure you'll understand that I can't answer this here, unfortunately.

But why do you have to move back to America?
I don't have to move back immediately, but my current non-sponsored visa expires in June and I am not, at the moment, eligible for another visa.  Unless I find another job in the UK that will go to bat for me, I have no choice but to return.

Okay, so find another job!
I'm working on it.

Alright, yes, getting hired in this economy is easier said than done.  Why don't you just get married?  Your boyfriend is British and you've been together for more than three years - isn't a spousal visa the next logical option?
Jon and I are, obviously, talking about the effect that being long-distance will have on our relationship and the strategies we can use to cope with what will be, inevitably, a difficult separation.  However, we're not willing to let bureaucratic complications dictate our relationship.  We're not ready to get married, and so we won't be fitting in a quickie ceremony before my visa expires just so I can stay in the country.  We have agreed that an ill-timed wedding of convenience would be more damaging to the long-term future of our relationship than a period of regular transatlantic flights.

I still don't understand.  London is the best city in the world.  I would move heaven and earth to live there.  How can you reject all of the options available to you that would let you stay in the UK?
London is an amazing city.  It is.  And I have been very happy here and I very much look forward to the day when I can move back and be happy here again.  But - and this is a big but - I don't think that happiness is geographical.  I firmly believe that I can belong to more than one place and I firmly believe that I can be happy in more than one place.  Yes, it's going to be incredibly difficult to pull up the roots that I have spent the past two years cultivating, but I'm not closing the book; I'm just starting a new chapter.  (Oh, man, I love me some mixed metaphors!)

Fine, I'll give you that.  But what will you do next?
In the short term: I will be off work this week and next and will be making at least one trip back to the States in the next 10 weeks to start the moving process.  My last day at the office is scheduled for 18 May.  I'll return to DC at the end of May and will move back in with my parents while I figure out what's going on.  In the long term: I really don't know!  It's really scary, to be honest, and I owe a big thank-you to Jon and my family and my friends for being such wonderful sources of support during this time.

Of course, I'll share all of my progress on this journey with you as it winds on, dear readers.  Wish me luck and strength and courage - I'll need it and you as we go on!


  1. I am sad for you, but excited for me! We can run together! And you can come see my (still mostly undecorated) house.

  2. Best of luck to you and much happiness too! If you ever are in South Ken/Knightsbridge/Chelsea during your time off and want to grab a coffee and chat let me know.

  3. Good Luck with everything. I know this will only lead to bigger and better things down the road. I know you'll be back in London soon! =)

  4. Oh my gosh, this is huge! I'm slightly {read: way jealous of you!}, but I know this can't be easy on you and Jon! Hoping everything goes smoothly with the transition and moving! Let me know when you're leaving in May b/c I'm coming down of a wedding in May and would love to hang out before you take off!

  5. Big change is scary but I'm glad you've got such a great support system while you work out whatever comes next for you! :)


  6. Good luck on the next chapter! I'm sure it's scary but also it's full of possibility which is exciting. It definitely sounds like you're making the right decision for the right reasons which is the most important thing :)

  7. Aw, good luck Betsy! I can't wait to read about your life in DC (I lived there for 10 years!) but will miss your London adventures! And as someone who did the US-Uk relationship for a long time, you guys will work it out :) xx

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  9. Very wise words. You're right that your happiness isn't geographical, and you're also right not to get married just to sort out a visa issue.
    When my (then) boyfriend had to return to the States after 3 years in London, we weren't at the point where we would have become engaged, so.....we split up. We soon realised that wasn't the answer so decided to have a long distance relationship and see what happened.
    22 years later, I think it all worked out.
    You'll be fine!

  10. Awww, such sad news. But I'm happy for you to have made such a brave decision. Being sponsored through a job that isn't fulfilling is pretty awful (having done it for nearly 3 years) and you are right to make your own happiness. Good luck, DC should be thrilled to have you back and London will cry for its loss xx

  11. I'll miss having you this close! Though I'll enjoy seeing you in DC also.
    I know how difficult this will be. I'll be thinking of you.

  12. Best of luck to you! It sounds like you know what you are doing, and everything will work out in the end but you have to be happy and I don't blame ya. I hope you will still blog though I can't wait to read more of your journey and experiences.

  13. I am so behind on my reader, and I just am now getting to this post! I think you're making a very mature decision, and you obviously don't need to justify your reasoning to any of us. You know what is best for you, and I hope you know that there are so many people that will support you through all of this. So good luck my dear! And I can't wait to follow along as see where the next chapter in your life takes you :)


  14. Wishing you the best of luck with your move back to the States! Before I moved over here, we did the long-distance thing for a year and a half with flights back and forth every 4-5 isn't always ideal, but it's do-able and was totally worth it! It really sounds like you are doing the best thing for you and that is what counts! Good luck!


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