I mentioned back in November that a friend of mine was moving her family to the Pacific NW from California and would be living with me while she looked for work and housing.
It worked out very well for both of us. She now has a job in her field, a house in my neighborhood, and a new lease on life. She's been working for the past month, and will move to the rental this coming week-end.
I bring up my friend's case because she has been talking about moving here for years. It took the loss of a job she'd held for more than twenty years in California to give her the impetus to finally move. In doing so, she left the city she'd been in for quarter of a century, the state where she was born and her family still lives, and her home which was underwater (and being short-saled). She brought with her two children who were not at all sure about their mother's new "whim."
But here they are, two months later, and everything is different.
After suffering a massive ego-tromping when she got fired, my friend wasn't even sure she'd be employable in her field. But this isn't California. People with her credentials and experience are harder to find here, and it helped that she was used to commuting in California traffic, such that a 20 minute drive to her new job didn't phase her. In fact, her new job, which was offered to her the same day she handed them her resume, makes even better use of her skills than the position she held for some twenty years. She's still learning the ropes, but she can already tell that this employment is less stressful and more fulfilling than her previous job.
She hasn't quite adjusted to the weather, though I keep telling her that one does get used to the rain. I haven't the heart to let her know that so far, this has been an especially dry winter.
But she's found the neighborhoods and schools more integrated (her children are African-American) and much safer than those she left behind. Even rent (which I consider outrageous) appears reasonable to her, based upon similar housing in California.
Right now, she trying out the local churches to see where her family fits in, and expanding her circle of friends beyond those two or three (including myself) she knew before she got here.
It took courage and a lot of planning to make such a drastic change in her life. It probably would not have happened had her job situation not been so traumatic.
But the real point of this story is that not every financial setback is a tragedy--with the right attitude and a willingness to take risks, it can be the start of something much brighter.