I can finally share with you what Shoes and I have been grappling with for the last 3 months.  Three months of applying, interviewing, interviewing, interviewing, interviewing (did I get them all? - so many interviews), conversing, pros and cons, tears on my part (yep), weighing options, and wishing we had a crystal ball.

We never found a crystal ball.

Darn it.

Shoes has accepted employment with the Attorney General's office of Washington, representing the interests of Washington State University.  He's moving to Pullman at the end of this month.  I'm moving at the end of June.

But this isn't a general life update post.
Not that easy.
This was kind of a terrible-awesome decision.

I moved to Portland 3 years ago to come to graduate school.  I decided to move away from the Vineyard Town and go to graduate school because I needed to do something for myself.   I had, in previous years, gone through a soul crushing divorce and needed to know that inside me were still the things that would get me through the rest of my life.  I needed to be on my own.  It took a year of therapy and two years of divorced lady excercise classes at the Y to be able to come to that decision.

Before I moved to the Vineyard Town, I told former husband that I would follow him anywhere and that we would make it work (which landed us in the Vineyard Town).

In 2008, I said, "No more following boys around.  I've got clinical SKILLS (picture that like this:  SKILLZ) and they need to be honed and I need to be working with people (picture that like this:  the clinical world NEEDS me, yo.)."

It's 2012.  At the end of the school year, I'm following a boy back to rural Eastern Washington.

This is after I've rocked the house with my GPA and my abuse/trauma scholarship (man, social work school gives out depressing scholarships) and my job at OHSU and just got told yesterday that my internship would consider hiring me.  If they had the funds.  (They don't, though.)

Get it?

Oh, how I love this boy.  Deeply, genuinely, truly.  And oh, if you could have heard our painfully honest conversations about this move.  If you could have heard him say over and over and over again, "I'm not sure this is best for you, Lisa.  What about your licensure?  What about your career development?  What about urban social work and racial disparity and access to mental health services?" (He really said all of those things because his ears work very well.)  If you could have heard me saying, "I'm just not sure I can follow a man to a town I have no connection to".  (I really said that.)

But what's the alternative?  I stay here and maybe find a job and wait for something to open up for Shoes.  (Forecast is kind of yucky right now.  Mental health clinics taking massive cuts.  And Shoes has technically been looking here for a year and a half.  Even with his law experience, he can only find unpaid internships.)  I could move back to the Vineyard Town ... and cry every day ... where the chances of me finding a job are far less than staying here.

Or I move to Pullman and pull every trick out of my hat to find a job.

The compromise is this:  if no job in 5-6 months, I find a job in Spokane (79 miles away) (of which, oddly, there are jobs for people like me) and we rent a small studio apartment for me to stay in when I'm too tired to drive back or the weather is crazy.  The other compromise is that we don't bail for at least 2 years, but if in 2 years it's no bueno, we do bail.  We save ourselves.  We save our marriage.  We save our careers.

I'm no mathematician, but I think an hour and a half (Pullman to Spokane) is LESS than four hours (Vineyard Town to Portland).  (Right?  Graduate school hasn't eaten that part of my brain, right?)

Neither of us are sure this is the right decision.
But what's a "right decision"?
It's impossible to tell.

We move forward. 
And moving forward seems like a very good idea.


  1. Anonymous on February 12, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    I love you.

    What I see with my therapy hat on is that you have discussed this honestly, openly and not pulling any punches or hiding any fears. You've both been willing to look at every option.

    I went through a similar thing when I decided to give up work and be a housewife. Everything in me screamed that I had sworn never to be dependent on a man again...EVER. But I heard a small voice telling me that I was learning about letting go and trusting THIS man...and myself. Knowing that no matter what ever happened, I had the strength to survive anything.

    And I jumped...and the net was there. And I grew in my trust, and my fear ebbed. I let go of my own bank account even "gasp". I let go just this month...of my own personal phone listing (it only cost me $1 extra per month, but I finally decided it was yet another of those things I did so I wouldn't feel like I had disappeared...I'm still here...and I hate talking on the phone anyway...so why do I want to make it easy for people to find me?).

    It boils down to trust not just in your boy...but trust in you and in your strength, and in your ability. You've been through hell...you survived...and if hell came back you would survive it again. So you make as informed of decisions as you can and trust the universe that whatever comes your way is all part of the grand learning curve.

    You're awesome. And I love your writing...Yo...Word.

  2. BreAnna on February 12, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Your compromise seems perfect. I know this was not easy to come to by any means and I hope that you have peace in your heart. As for if this is the right decision- you and Shoes will make it work regardless of if it was "right" and I'm sure that you'll ultimately be better off because of taking this leap of faith.
    I look forward to visiting you two in Eastern WA! Our partners with their matching names can do country boy things together while we drink wine. ;)

  3. Lisa on February 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    @Willow: Word. So hard to let go of that fierce independence. (Hanging onto the phone listing is so something I would do.)

    @B: Ha ha ha ha. "Country boy things" are exactly what I picture the brothers from a different mother doing! And I will steal you away to Moscow, or the Vineyard town, for wine.


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