It's hard to believe, but the day has almost finally arrived. Today is the last full day that we'll be in NC. It's been a busy, busy last couple of weeks. On Saturday, we had a small get-together to say goodbye to our friends here and to let them know that we were leaving in less than a week.
This week has been a busy nightmare. Last Friday was (finally) Chris's last day at work, so he's been home this week to help pack and take care of Vivian. Today I had to go to the dentist (for my 3rd visit in the last 6 weeks) and then drove home to pick up Chris and Vivian to head to the chiropractor for our last adjustments. My sciatic nerve has been acting up again. BOOOO! After that, we headed to the attorney's office to sign the lien waiver and deed. We won't physically be here for closing on the 29th, so it was nice we could get things done early.
I thought I would reflect a bit on my time here. My stint in NC was only supposed to be for 3 months -- during the summer of 2004. I was a grad student at Virginia Tech in Industrial and Systems Engineering and had a summer internship at IBM. About 6 weeks into my internship, I decided to stay in NC and not return to my graduate program. Most of this was because of the lack of funding (as in I didn't have any) and the fact that I also didn't have health insurance and I became seriously ill while living in VA. I bought my first house in Apex and then was offered a perm position with IBM, where I stayed for 2 1/2 years until I was laid off in November of 2006.
I learned a lot at IBM, but I knew (once again), that industry wasn't for me. I considered transferring to North Carolina State, but I wasn't too happy with the rigor of the program. After IBM, I worked as a consultant for a year which was another interesting adventure -- one week I worked 80 hrs, the next week only 5 hrs. I also decided to buy a new house. I wanted a yard for Lilli and I was tired of dealing with HOA dues. So, I bought a house on 3/4 of an acre. I love this house and didn't really intend to leave it so soon (2 years and a month), but it's definitely time to move on.
Last year was a really amazing year. I remember having dinner on New Year's Eve in 2007 with my friend Tanya. I told her that I was completely happy being single. Little did I know that a wonderful man that I had met several months earlier was going to become a permanent fixture in my life. I remember talking to Chris in January about my plans for delaying my PhD program by a year. I needed to work and earn a lot more money (since consulting was so sporadic) and stay in my house to break even. I had also just started at Cisco. He kept encouraging me to pursue my goal.
I ended up delaying my PhD program by only a semester and started last fall, while pregnant (and now married) and working FT at Cisco. It was rough, to say the very least. Chris said we would take one semester at a time. I finally had to leave my position, which worked out for the best since it was eliminated while I was out on maternity leave. It also reduced a lot of stress, which wasn't good for the baby.
I continued my program FT during the spring semester, while managing a newborn as a stay-at-home-mom. Many probably thought I was nuts. Well, yes. Some days were better than others, but again, I have an extremely supportive partner.
I never thought this day would come...that I could actually complete my PhD, especially with a husband and a baby and a dog in tow. But, we're moving to make it happen and we couldn't be happier for the next chapter in our lives.
NC was just a pit-stop, where I learned so much about myself. It prepared me for the journey to come.
So...goodbye NC. Maybe we'll be back...maybe we won't. Never say never! :)