Been quiet ’round these parts, eh? Hasn’t been too long, but there’s a big ol’ reason why. Brace yourselves, this is big news.
Nope, not pregnant. Sorry, mother-in-law, co-workers, gal pals, and that random grocery store bagger.
My husband got matched for an ER residency.
WTF is a match, you say? I’ll break down med school into 10 super fun, super easy steps.
How Med School Worked
- Work you fanny off to get into med school
- Get rejected for 2 years
- Get into med school
- Move 1,400 miles away to Florida from Michigan
- Work your fanny off in med school
- Decide you want to specialize in Emergency Medicine when you graduate
- Pass lots of board exams that cost thousands of dollars not included in student loans
- Apply to 24 Emergency Medicine residency programs at hospitals around the country
- Stress that your name is on a list at a hospital that wants you too
- Pop some bottles because you’re going to be an ER doc since you matched at a hospital!
1400 miles away.
It’s immediately a binding contract, folks.
My initial reaction was pure joy. I honestly can’t describe to people outside the medical community how difficult this road is. The path alone is difficult, as it should be, I mean, reality check, you’re learning to save lives. But there’s an underlying, unyielding cutthroat atmosphere most people don’t know about. There’s always a concern the stars won’t align and you’re basically screwed out of doing a speciality you’ve trained for f*cking years to do.
Don’t believe me? I know 2 people in my husband’s med school circle alone with outstanding board scores, GPAs, extracurriculars, nobel peace prizes, nieces selling girl scout cookies and whatever else hospitals are looking for in residents, and they still didn’t make the cut.
So let’s rewind a little…
On Match Day, we eagerly awaited the almighty email you get if you’ve been matched at a hospital for residency. I was putting the last dish into the dishwasher before I packed up to leave for work at 7:30 am (that makes me sound way more domestic than I am *adjusts domestic goddess halo*) when the hubster came over and showed me his phone. It was an email. THE email. He had been matched. In Emergency Medicine! I have not seen that sort of smile from the hubster in nearly 2 years.
2 f*cking years.
Think about that. Let that seep into your mind. 2 years of unwavering stress.
It was the smile of pure joy.
We hugged. Cried. Hugged some more.
Screamed. Scared the ginger kitty. Hugged some more.
There were several sighs of relief as we crashed on the couch and the weight of 10 years of trying finally lifted from our chests.
Then that bittersweet knot filled my throat.
Michigan. Another move. Another 1400 miles. Away from a job I love. A career I’ve really solidified. Away from 300+ days of sunshine. And palm trees. And a career. And sunshine. And palm trees. And did I mention sunshine?
Michigan. A place I loved. A place that for 25 years molded the badass not your average gal that I am today. Where family and friends still live. But still a place we probably have no intention of living permanently. (Residency isn’t forever.)
While we always knew it was a distinct possibility that he’d get placed outside where we live in Florida, some outlying factors basically cemented the deal over the course of the last year. So when we got the news about a month ago, it wasn’t all that surprising.
It was a situation we had discussed previously at length.
We knew what this match meant.
We’ll be living long distance from one another.
A Long Distance Relationship
The hard reality is my current job as a senior copywriter may have the ability to work remotely, but not full-time. I have responsibilities that require some face time in the office. I’m also not close to a point in my career that I have the flexibility of picking up and moving however far away for however long and still maintain the same type of salary and title. I’d love to be able to open up my laptop and talk to some clients from an office or a tiki hut and ultimately I’m working towards that. But that’s not the reality of it currently.
I’ve also carved out a nice little niche for myself in my current company. I like where I’m at – and I’ve honestly never been able to say that in the 13+ year of marketing experience I have. I’m open to other career possibilities and sure, things can change 6 months or a year from now, but being happy at my job is important to me.
So is the hubster.
So after a bit of contemplation, I pulled my boss aside a bit ago and explained the situation. Without hesitation, he was supportive and understanding. I will have the flexibility to work remotely on certain days so I can fly and see the hubster (and he can see me), as well as take time off when necessary, so I can remain here, in Florida.
CAN YOU IMAGINE ALL THE FREQUENT FLYER MILES I’M GOING TO RACK UP?! Boo-yah.
I’m not sure what the first 6 months will look like living apart. I’m not sure how I’ll feel this time next year. But as I told my boss, it will be a learning process that we’ll take 6 months at a time and then do a checks and balances to reevaluate.
I think about the fun times the hubster and I have had in Fort Lauderdale and I’m going to miss the life we’ve created here together.
Truth be told, though, med school didn’t allow for much of a constant companion over the past 4 years. I’ve mentioned before here that you need to be okay with alone time if your partner is in the medical field. There were and still are hard sacrifices to be made.
But that said, I’m obviously going to miss the comfort of a having my main squeeze around. We’re a damn good team when both of us are present. So the thought of building a routine without him nearby is scary.
I’m also totally the gal that thinks a burglar, donning black and white striped clothes and a matching cap, has broken into our condo only when I’m neeeekid in the shower. So this should be fun!
Plus, even sadder, now I’m solely responsible for taking out the trash. Son of a bitch.
Don’t Do Tomorrow’s Dishes.
None of this is officially happening until July.
I’m going to enjoy the next few months with him here and make the most of it. We’ve already put together a shared Google Doc for Things to do in Fort Lauderdale Before the Hubster Leaves. Because, you know, helllloooo, I’m Caroline Type A Peterson.
In May, we’ll get to celebrate his long-awaited graduation. In June, we’re traveling to South Korea and Japan for our farewell tour. Get it? See what I did there? More on that later…
After we get back, I’ll most likely be his back seat driver on the way up to Michigan and then grab my one-way ticket back to Florida to begin the long distance relationship life.
When all is said and done, the hubster supports my chosen career as I’ve supported his. I think that’s the most important nugget in all of this.
1400 miles or not.
Any words of advice or support from the peanut gallery? (Psst. That means you guys and gals reading this.)