TGIF y’all! Thank you for your patience while I took two weeks off from blogging! It was a much needed time-out and I took time off from social media too! Once in a while I think that’s important!
Today’s post is Part One, all about life as a Resident’s wife, and I’m also entitling it “Make it Work”
You KNOW I would never lie to you… residency is REALLY hard. Read on.
Match Day: The Big Day Before Residency Begins
I really need to start with the match, before residency even begins, because this is a crucial and pivotal time for both your SO’s career as well as for your relationship. And I’m going to be real with you. Here’s the full lowdown.
As you know, we were living in Rochester, NY for Tony’s Medical School. I. LOVED. Rochester. It was my “happy place”. (Hard to believe with all of the snow, but it truly was!) Even though we lived in a tiny apartment with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp with no dishwasher and now we had a toddler running around, I seriously didn’t care. This place was my place. In just 3.5 short years I had made some incredible friendships, gained some professional growth opportunities that I don’t think I could have had otherwise (teaching, owning my own practice, working at a few different resort spas, networking), and my surroundings just made me generally feel good. With all of my favorite restaurants, places to go and things to do, I truly felt like I was living the best lifestyle. Also, my parents had moved there, so we had lots of free date nights and lots of family time which was very enriching for all of us, and we were living only 2 hours away from Tony’s parents, which meant lots of visits with us and their new Grandbaby. The housing market was so reasonable and the public schools are literally #1 in the nation. Rochester had everything I would want as a permanent home and a place to raise our family.
So, there was only one problem.
Tony’s dream was to train at Harvard. He set his sights on Brigham & Women’s Hospital, which meant, moving back to Boston.
I’m going to be honest here, like I said. I resisted this BIG TIME.
BOSTON?! My feeling surrounding it was “Been there, done that!” I had already gone through the heartbreak and anxiety of leaving my great job behind, my clients, coworkers, family and friends. I had mentally and emotionally moved on. Also, not to mention, as many of you know, Boston is an EXPENSIVE place to live, and although you make an income during residency vs. no income in school, you are still in training, and your salary reflects this. We had to live within 20 minutes of the hospital, which was in Brookline. This meant tripling our housing overhead, which, as a self-proclaimed financial nerd, quite honestly, pissed me off! I really didn’t want to trade my affordable lifestyle for a cramped apartment that cost 3 times what we were paying in an area that definitely was not as nice as my beloved Rochester. (Not to mention having to delay home ownership at least another 3 years, which, as a financial nerd really got under my skin!) Also, this meant moving away from having my parents only 11 miles away and my in-laws only 2 hours away. I hated the idea of taking Isla away from them (and me too! I don’t like living far from family!)
But. I had promised Tony when he started this whole medical journey that I was behind him 100% and that I would follow him wherever he needed to go (as difficult as that was and as much as that meant I needed to sacrifice.) Match Day that year was March 17th, and so that winter Tony had to finish up all of his interviews and get all of his prospects in order. I texted my former boss at Bella Santé as I described in my previous post about possibly moving back and she was so receptive to my coming back that it felt like a tiny ray of light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel.
Tony had also interviewed at Duke (among many other interviews) and because he liked it so much we decided to take a second look there, this time together. It was sort of a compromise from Rochester to Boston because it had the affordability of Rochester that I loved, and Duke was also a top program, which was very important to Tony. It was our first airplane trip away from Isla since she had been born! We went only for 3 days. I had an interview set up at a spa/plastic surgery office as well so that I could scope out what the local spa and medical aesthetics scene was all about and see if this place had potential for us to move there.
Do you believe in signs? Well, I do. And man, did we get some signs on this trip that Boston was where we needed to be for residency. As soon as we landed, a snow storm hit the area. Not just the area, but the ENTIRE South. One of my girlfriends who lives in Atlanta actually had to beach her car on the highway that night and stay at a total strangers’ house it was that bad! (This was back in 2014!) EVERYTHING in the Research Triangle Area (that is, Raleigh/Durham) shut down. My job interview? CANCELLED. All of the restaurants and shops shut down. The entire city essentially closed its doors on us as soon as we arrived.
“It’s settled then.” I said to Tony as we took off our snowy shoes and grabbed the room service menu. “I guess we are moving back to Boston!” Tony said. The next day after some of the snow melted we explored the area and decided it might be a great place to land for Fellowship (and it’s where we are now! And we finally own a house! YAY!)
So, that was how we decided, and on Match Day, he did match at the Brigham!
For Part Two on Monday I will share what residency life was like and WHY it was the most challenging leg of the journey!
Thanks for stopping by! XO, Ashli