Is This A Permanent Situation?

Just four months ago, my family and I moved into a faux-New-England-style rental cottage with a killer view of San Francisco Bay. We departed our southern California home of 20 years—in Rancho Cucamonga, CA—and 24 hours later, were residents of an East Bay town I’d never heard of six months before: El Cerrito, CA.

(As a point of geographical reference, El Cerrito spreads three miles or so east from the bay shore, between Richmond on the north and Berkeley on the south—two decidely disparate neighbors, for sure.)

As an essentially lifelong southern Californian, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact I now live on the eastern San Francisco Bay. I can’t get used to the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, which I can view from any rear window of our rented home. And I haven’t quite discerned our family has been blessed with good fortune—or if some cosmic trap door might swallow us whole at any moment, and burp, “The joke’s on you!”

Most of all, however, I keep wondering, is this really a PERMANENT situation?

That uncertainty comes for a couple of reasons. First, I, or rather, we didn’t exactly CHOOSE this relocation. No, it’s more like fate (and circumstance) handed us a transfer notice. At the beginning of 2009, my wife and I both found ourselves unemployed. (I had been without a job for … well, I’ll get into that; let’s just say it was “for some time.” And my wife, who has been our principal breadwinner during my extended jobless streak, found herself in the same boat a little over a year ago.) So, we endured a year of living fretfully, first depleting her severance package, then burning through most of our savings. As they say, “… when the end seemed near,” my wife received a job offer with a BIG condition attached: Pulling up our lifelong southern California roots and moving north, since the job was based in San Francisco.

Now, as relocations go, this one is actually pretty cush. It’s sort of like being forced to eat dessert: I can’t help but enjoy it, that view and all. Even if “part of me” wishes this move had been the result of deliberate planning and weighing of options; or that it had been brought about because I’D been the one to land a new job. (For sure, that’s what my WIFE wishes.) But, even if we all grow to passionately love living here … well there’s the second reason this deal seems so tentative: In order to stay here, I simply have to find a job–or contribute substantially to our income in some way!

So, that’s what this blog is going to be about: Chronicling my “epic quest” to reverse my (mis)fortunes, professionally. To, once again, join the ranks of the gainfully employed. And to increase our chances that, if and when the opportunity arises to pull up stakes for greener pastures, we do it on OUR terms, and to a place of OUR choosing.

Not that, for the time being, I’m complaining. This view really is sublime …

The Golden Gate At Sunset ... From Our Little Hill in El Cerrito, CA


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