Saturday, May 9, 2009

Leaving for my Internship

I leave in exactly 1 week. The closer it gets, the sadder I get about the prospect of leaving Mr. Phizz for the summer. I know it's only for a summer, and actually we've done this before, but not since we've been married....and I am just....sad!!

Recently I met a friend of Mr. Phizz's from the old days and she was telling us how she just got a TT job at Northeastern School. We were like, "great!!" She said the only bad thing is that her fiance just got a TT job at Deep Southern School. The plan is to take both of the jobs...and just...live the beginnings of their marriage trying to get tenure at these two very different and quite far apart universities.

The whole thought just made me depressed. Is that what it comes to? When you have two high-flying individuals with separate career aspirations? I can do anything that's temporary, like on the order of months, but I could not decide to live apart from Mr. Phizz for 5-6 years. What happens if they both get tenure? What...happens?

How common is it for academic couples to just live apart for substantial parts of their lives, or for indefinite periods of time?

I will not live apart like that from Mr. Phizz. This summer, I can handle. But whatever happens afterwards...no. I dont' think so.

16 comments:

EthidiumBromide said...

That's what I worry about long-term... for the next 2-3ish years while I finish my Ph.D... fine, no big deal. But what if I can't get a post-doc where Husband is doing his residency/fellowship? Do I just give up everything I've worked for and become a stay-at-home-wife and have gone through a Ph.D. for absolutely nothing? Or do I commit to a post-doc in a different location, and then we wind up living apart 7-8 years instead of 2-3 years, which also means that either I become a single mother, or we don't have children at all?

Mrs. CH said...

I think it comes down to deciding to do that. I know DH and I could never do that, so I am "sacrificing" my career a bit and will find a job wherever we move. I don't really consider it a sacrifice though, because I'd rather be with DH than not.

Luckily he's going into industry and I am open to a variety of jobs, so it's a bit easier. It would be really, depressingly, difficult if we were both trying to find TT positions.

My masters supervisor and her husband were married for a few years before he was able to move to where she was...and she had 2 kids in the meantime as well (with him! LOL). I couldn't even imagine doing it all alone like that.

So, anyway, I guess my point is it comes down to your choice. If you want to be with Mr. Phizz, then you might end up having to sacrifice a bit on your career, you know?

The way I decide these kinds of things is to think about how I'll feel when I'm 90 and looking back at my life - will I wish I took some job far away from DH even if it was my dream, or will I wish I was with him?

It's a tough situation - I hope everything works out for you guys! And good luck with your internship!

ScientistMother said...

I think Mrs.CH is right about you and mr.phizz having to decide what you want as a couple. Once you know that, then you can decide how to proceed. Which doesn't mean that you have to give up your dreams. Mr.SM and I have talked about what to do once I finished, my PhD. Ultimately, for us, the decision will come down to what is happening at that time. If I get an amazing Post-doc offer, yeah we would move but it has to be somewhere that he can work. We won't move for just any offer. What is or is not mr.phizz willing to give up? This isn't a decision you make on your own. A couples decision, with each person putting their cards on the table in terms of what they are or are not willing to sacrifice.

PhizzleDizzle said...

I just mostly feel really sad for the couple I was talking about in the post...I know I wouldn't have the ability to do what they are doing.

As far as what *we* will do....I guess it's hard to say. All I know is neither of us will want to live apart from the other in any semi-permanent capacity. The rest will have to work itself out. I probably might be willing to sacrifice a bit more, but I don't know how much right now. It will be a complicated interplay.

Either way, I'm sad to leave and I'm sad for that other couple...but I guess it's what they are willing to do, so maybe I should just think of it as more power to them.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

You'll figure it out when the time comes to make that decision. Dr. Man and I lived apart for a year while he did his intern year and I continued working on my PhD. (And oh did I get crap about not moving with him. Half my family thought that this was a prelude to a divorce.) I don't think we'd do it again. Or at least not without a solid plan for reuniting in some city.

Anyhow, I think this is one of the difficult things about being a two-career couple. It always seems like each person has to give up something (whether it's a job prospect or living together). It seems really common for academic couples (where at least one person is in academia) to live apart for some period of time. Off the top of my head I can think of at least four people who have done or will do this (me, Julie, Unbalanced Reaction, Alice) and there's probably more that I'm forgetting.

Will Mr. Phizz be able to visit you (or you him) during the summer? That may make the separation easier. Anyhow, this is really ramble-y. I hope that you feel less sad (or better or whatever word I'm searching for here) soon!

Nicky said...

I'm really sorry you guys have to be apart for the summer. I don't think S and I could have done that, even before we had the baby. We rely on each other too much for too many things.

S has already agreed to move for me, depending on where I get a job, but we're limiting it to a list of cities where he wouldn't mind living (and is fairly certain he could find an acceptable job). If I can't find a job I want in one of those cities, we'll just stay put.

We both want careers, but more than that, we both want to be reasonably happy and we both want to be together. That's where we're placing our priorities, long term.

Good luck for the summer! It will ultimately go faster than you think.

ScienceGirl said...

I am sorry you will be separated for the summer; I hope it goes by quickly!

Long term, Hubby and I are also playing the priorities game, and have decided that living apart is not an option. It remains to be seen what we will have to sacrifice for that, but that is one of the reasons TT positions are not looking too attractive to us.

Frozone said...

Mrs.CH I thought you articulated that really well -- I see it the same way: Unfortunately it's not possible for each partner to seize every opportunity for their career *and* stay in the same city and have kids. When our daughter was born, I set aside graduate studies and took a maternity leave from my career. Now, being a parent, I have to "put myself back together again" by learning to be a working mom and weaving research time back into my life again. It was a huge sacrifice. But like Mrs.CH and the other girls said -- it's about deciding what's most important to you, and letting the rest go so that your partner also has room for their own dreams.

Frozone said...

P.S. Say, Phizzle, will you still be blogging while on your internship? Because I will miss you!!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Man, that's tough. I bet your internship passes really really quickly though, in the way that new and exciting things tend to do.

I could never live away from my hubby for any length of time. The longest we went was 1 month, and even then I visited him! He's absolutely 100% tied to Vancouver unless he decides to completely switch careers, but that's OK with me, I like it here ;)

Psych Post Doc said...

I could never live apart from my husband. I knew this a long time ago and it's ultimately one of the reasons I left academia. To be able to live in a place that we both loved and were both able to work.

I had a mentor who lived on one coast of the US and who's partner lived on the other. Lukily they had enough money to see each other relatively frequently but so far that's been going on for 4 years, I couldn't imagine that life.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Mr. Phizz and I have already planned one trip for him to see me - a whole week! Happy:). And I am coming back to see him and go to a wedding, so it should go quickly, all in all!

I counted it out, and a 3 month internship is really only 60 work days - i mean, that's not a lot at all! It will fly by! (I hope).

And frozone, I do plan to blog while I'm there, though I'm sure I will only do so at home and now on corporate bandwidth :).

The lab pixie said...

Phizz that's really a bit crap. How far (by car or train) is intern-city from Mr. Phizz?

Myself and Mr. S are two hours apart by train and nearly that by car. And have been for two years now (we started out around the corner from each other in University town). To be honest, the first while was the hardest-we had to get used to a whole new way of communicating with each other-Mr. S hates phone conversations, but learned to have them. I had to accept that some days he wouldn't be in the mood for chatting. And it wasn't my fault, and over the phone there was little I could do. We manage quite well now, and are looking forward to finally living together come this autumn!! :)

Where we are moving, Mr. S is fairly gaurenteed a job in his field, and there are pharmaceutical companies. I have given up wanting to be an academic researcher and so am willng to go where he wants for a while-the poor man has been waiting on me to finsih my PhD for a while now... I don't have a job secured, and may not get one for a while, but for now, being with him, is more important to me than finding the perfect job. Perhaps it helps that I am feeling tired of chemistry at the moment, and will take something I would not have previously considered in the hopes of reigniting that love...

Unbalanced Reaction said...

What a crappy situation! :-( N.A. and I lived apart this year, while I did a visiting ass stint and he started his TT. In a few weeks, I'm going to be moving to his zip code to start another teaching job. I know we are lucky, but we are two of many who have successfully solved their two-body problem.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Pixie, we are going to be 6hrs apart by plane. Yes, the US is that ridiculously gigantic. So the number of quick weekend visits or even "I really just would like to see you tonight" opportunities are...well, zero :/.

We have been apart before though, so I know we can handle it, I'm just so used to having him around now...:(.

Unbalanced Reaction, you *are* lucky! Good for you, I'm glad you've found a way to be together. That's wonderful. I am crossing my fingers for the same. And welcome to the blog, thanks for commenting!

I leave TODAY!!!!!!

Jazinator said...

Have fun on your internship. I hope everything goes well, and don't worry the time will just fly by.