A lot of people have been asking me if I think I'll come back from Seattle after my sabbatical is over. I'd be lying if I said I didn't find the prospect of working on interesting projects, for more money than I currently make, in a beautiful city, attractive.
But as we make our preparations to leave, I keep running into the one thing that will make us likely to return to Rochester next summer...the people in our lives.
We've been here for nearly nine years, and we've built a life. We have wonderful friends, supportive family, great health care providers. Relationships and connections like the ones we have here don't happen overnight--they take time and nurturing. And while I have no doubt we could eventually build up a life in Seattle that was rich and rewarding, I don't want to walk away from the life we already have built here.
Today we had a few close friends over for an informal cookout (well, as informal as my southern-born-and-bred husband can manage), and I was reminded of how much a part of my life they'd become, and how much I didn't want to lose that part--even if I could splice in "replacements" somewhere else.
So, what does my "why I'll be back" list look like?
- My mother, stepfather, sister, and father...all close enough to have dinner together any night of the week.
- My dear friends, many of whom are also my colleagues
- My wonderful doctors, who know me and my health and my family, and whom I trust completely
- My neighbors, who we're finally seeing again now that the grass is green and the temperatures have warmed
- Our newly spruced-up house. On an afternoon like this one, with sunshine casting long shadows on the lawn, a light breeze rustling the leaves outside all the windows, and the sounds of kids, birds, and dogs outside, it's hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else
- Summer vacation--one of the best perks of academia
- The low cost of living, which makes my relative-to-Microsoft small academic salary go a long, long way
- My new lab at RIT
That's a lot of powerful reasons to come back home.