Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Utah or Not to Utah?

That is the question!  A couple of months ago I announced on here that we were moving to Utah.  Andrew had been accepted at the University of Utah in a dual-degree MBA and MS in Engineering program.  Cuz he's a smarty-pants.  He was also accepted at UCI and USC, both of which are local but have less-appealing programs.  So we began hatching a plan to move to Utah.  It has been very exciting to think about moving someplace new!  I like new stuff!  But there are a lot of other things to consider as well:
  1. This program in Utah would be full-time so Andrew would not be able to work.  And here's some shocking news: engineers in the biomedical industry make more money than university administrators (at any level, not just my lowly slave-girl level which it doesn't seem I'll ever be able to break free from unless I start doing such a crappy job they'll do anything to get me out of my position as opposed to how I think they feel now, that they want me doing the same thing until I DIE, which will happen sooner rather than later if I am doing the same job forever!).  *** Sorry, where was I?  I blacked out for a minute.***  Oh yeah, so monetary issues are a big consideration.  We could get by on 1 income in Utah and be happy... if it were Andrew's income.  On my income alone... let's just say we'd have to make some serious life changes.
  2. I don't know how well we would fit in in Utah.  I don't know how well I would fit in, in particular.  I'm not sure if anyone knows this about me but I tend to have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut.  Utah is pretty politically conservative.  We are (mostly) not conservative.  Also Utah is well-known for a particular religious group and Salt Lake City is 50% Mormon.  We are (very much) not Mormon.  I know that this might not seem like a big deal to some people but I am a social being.  I am interested in those around me and I like interacting with people.  I love hearing other perspectives but constantly being bombarded with ideals that are not your own, whilst considerably outnumbered, and possessing the temperament I do (Lady Gaga tells me I was "born this way, baby" so I accept it) with the burning need deep inside my soul to be heard and understood and given just a modicum of respect from time to time... well, these are just things to consider (to say the least).
  3. Andrew and I really like the freedom we currently possess.  That freedom comes at a price (discussed in item #1) so to give up income is to give up those freedoms, including making choices like flying to New York for a long weekend just to see Spiderman on Broadway, going to visit a new country every year on our anniversary, eating dinner out "just cuz we feel like it" or having kids when and how we want to.  Yes, school would only be for 2 years, but we are not making the choice between school vs. no school, we're making the choice between [good school + fun life] vs. [better school + less fun life].  And let's face it, we're not getting any younger.  Two years can make a world of difference if we want to have children.
  4. In addition  to those freedoms we enjoy, we also enjoy having a savings account, stocks, 401Ks, etc.  We might have to make a serious dent in those if we go to Utah.
  5. Despite my rant in item #1, I like where I work, I like my job and I like my friends there.  Andrew likes his job too.  He's doing really important (and currently well-recognized) things there.
  6. We like living in Southern California: our condo (which we just fixed up), the dog beach, theme parks, the variety of things to do or little cities to visit every weekend, the weather, how close we are to family and friends throughout California and in Vegas.  We would be sad to leave here.
  7. Our dogs don't like snow.  We drove with them to Colorado once, in December.  They got out of the car to go potty along the route and each time they would hurriedly jump back into the car and sit there shivering for a good 5-10 minutes.  We ended up bundling them up in blankets.  Such California dogs!
So, as you can see, we have a lot to consider.  But we've come to a conclusion.  We decided "not to Utah!"  I mean come on, how can I stand to watch my puppies shiver every day in the winter?  They'd stare at me with those big brown eyes, "Mommy?  Why are you doing this to us, Mommy?  Why don't you love us?  Where is the dog beach, Mommy?  Why won't you take us there?"  Have you seen Maisy's face, people?  She has powers.

Mommy, Daddy, I'm a California girl!

So, in California we shall remain.  And we're happy to do so.  Okay, so there's a little bit of remorse, "But the program was so great in Utah."  But we'll get over that.  The nice thing about all of this is that we had 2 wonderful choices in front of us.  If only everyone had that problem!  By staying in Cali we kind of  get to have our cake and eat it too.  Trust me, we'll enjoy every bite!


  1. Point number seven cracked me. California dogs indeed!

    Even though you guys decided to stay in Cali, I think you would've been fine in Utah. It's got a big snowboarding/skiing culture, which is anything but conservative. A few friends of mine are from there, and aside from the 3.2% beer, they love it.

  2. You are probably right, Robert. I was certain that would be the case when we were set on moving there.