....about moving back to the States: American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation
So most people know that we plan to move back to the US in the relatively short-term. And while I am BEYOND excited to go back, see my family and friends, eat my favorite food and start our life up North, I am also scared about how that life will be. Every day I feel like the news about the US economy and job market gets worse. They say "oh we think the worst is over" and then a month later, "we've hit a new high on the unemployment rate". Not only that, it doesn't seem that unemployment is affecting just one age range, but all of them.
When I was in college, we were all under the assumption, due to how the market was, that getting a job would be a piece of cake. Not only that, but you the person seeking the job, had the upper hand over the company who wanted to hire you. Why? Because multiple companies wanted you, and so they had to fight to get you, to show you why they were better than their competition, woo you, negotiate with you. Now, understand that some people really did take advantage of this, stringing companies along for the ride. I would never do that. But when you have several companies who want you and who offer great opportunities, all of which you are interested in, how they heck are you to decide?
Now, however, the job market isn't like that. At least from what I have heard from friends and from what I have seen in the news. So why, and how, can we just up and leave our great jobs here to the unknown there?
I worry that we won't live as well there as we do here. Not that we live like kings here, but by Chilean standards, we have it good. We save half of what we make, we live in the downtown business district, we have a car and enjoy social events as they arise. Compared to the average Chilean household, yes, we live a nice life here. (See Andrea's description of the segmentation in Santiago.) And so obviously that is what we expect there too.
I have voiced these concerns to Christian. Because they don't only have to do with the job situation, but also health insurance. We all know insurance in the States is ridiculous and as Emily pointed out, Chile's health insurance system is pretty darn efficient if you have private insurance. But I'll leave the health insurance topic at that for now. So what was Christian's reaction to me babbling on and on about how I feel like we are going to fail in the US? "Bueno, si nos va mal.....siempre podemos regresar a Chile." Translation: If we don't do well, we can always move back to Chile.
And you know what? That hadn't really crossed my mind. And he is 100% right. If we can't find jobs up there and aren't living the life we want, we can always move back to Chile. We know we can get good jobs here because we already have good jobs. And Christian having experience in the States (read: fluent English) will only make him more of an asset here.
But while that is an option, it is still scary and I don't really want to find myself in that position of having to make the decision to move back because of financial/job issues. So ya, that NY Times article I linked to above......it makes me nervous as heck. It makes me worry even more that I won't be able to find a good job--not to mention the fact that I don't even know what I want to do when we get back. Should I stay in accounting? Transition into a different career? What job will I love? What will Christian do? Will he be able to find something without stupid racist people discriminating against him? (In case you are wondering, we won't be moving or ever visiting Arizona so at least I don't have to worry about that.)
I guess we just have to make the jump, even though it is scary and there are a lot of unknowns. I obviously don't do with well all that uncertainty, especially when it has to do with things that are out of my control. But I feel like it is now or never. And if we don't make the jump, we'll always be left wondering. I just hope it turns out the way I see it in my dreams....