Wednesday, May 27, 2015


The other day, I started crying over a tiny, tiny thing. It took everybody by surprise, most of all me, because I realized I am stressed without really realizing it.

This has been building up, subliminally. When I first got the email from the USCIS  scheduling  my green card interview, I saw it at like 3 am and had insomnia for the rest of the night.  My comfortable and yet uncomfortable world was going to shift.

I have to say, there is nothing as frightening as an amorphous concept. Moving to a different country. Managing alone with a toddler who, according to my mother, leaves every child she has EVER seen, including her very active sons, in the dust with respect to the energy and activity levels. Plus, she is an absolute daredevil with tons of determination,  unfortunately no fear, and only a small measure of caution. For better or worse, her mama has plenty. Of each quality.

I think what makes it especially bad for me is my biggest decision: EVERYBODY is telling me to leave Gauri here, atleast for a month or so while I move back and figure out where I will be and settle down. This decision, atleast makes sense from a practical standpoint. I may have to interview in different parts of the country, for one thing. If I am hopping on a plane and staying in hotel rooms, it makes sense that Gauri stays settled in familiar surroundings during the process.

But what makes it worse is my family trying to persuade me to leave her in India long term, with them bringing her to see me, and me flying back frequently, for a year or so. Lots of people have done it, they say. This is true, we know a few. You will not be able to watch her as closely as we do here: this is also true: In India, she has an army to watch her and keep her out of trouble without burning out in the process: A great grandma and grandma and grandpa and an uncle and aunt and maids who are nuts about her, not to mention a mama who supervises the whole deal.  You replace that with one mother and one nanny/au pair, and you have to ask....but how will that work? Yet, it will, I know. You just need a system. But when you sit halfway across the world trying to envision that system, it becomes hard.

But she needs me. And god knows, I need her. My mom has told me to set the me-needing-her bit aside in my decision making process. I cannot. Right now, a month's separation is all I will agree to, but the chipping away continues. And even the thought of being away from her for a month is heart rending. And equally heart rending is the thought of taking her away from all these people who care about her: they need her too.

Yet, I HAVE to get out of India. This country is not for me. Having lived here 3 years now almost, this, what I knew at 22 when I first left, has been soundly reiterated. But when is the right time to make the transition?

Not to mention the job stress drama. Yes, networking really matters. More about job searching later. currently trying to pin down recruiters in various companies. Like slippery eels, they are. Anybody know any fabulous head hunters who recruit for life science-related positions who I can entrust my resume to for a fee, let me know. 


  1. Tough decisions! I can not imagine leaving my child behind for a month, let alone a year! Could one of them not come with you here for a year? A child so struggled for, so longed for, so loved would be impossible for me to leave for a year.

  2. No wonder you are stressed! I'd just take Gauri with you from the outset. I can't imagine doing anything else.

  3. Wow! Those are incredibly difficult decisions to make, and I am sorry you are being (lovingly) pressured to consider leaving her with your family long-term. I can really see how you are caught between two cultural paradigms in many, many ways.
    One thing I know is that you are a very intelligent, strong-minded and considerate woman, and that whatever decision you make will be the right one for you. I find that when things get really stressful, it helps me to just thing of what's in front of me instead of considering anything long term.
    My thoughts are with you.

  4. Stressful is an understatement for sure. Leaving Gauri for a month makes absolute sense, with all the travel & hotels, etc. Leaving her for longer? I don't know, that hurts my heart to think about. I think it's unfair to be told to remove the you-need-her bit from the decision process. That is a huge factor, too large to just be put aside. Bigger than that, IMO is that she needs you. A year is a long time, especially at this age. And I agree with what Michele said about leaving a child you so struggled for. You deserve not to have to miss a thing.

  5. A month would be hard, but doable in order to get things organized and settled and figured out. A year though? No way in hell. That is such a huge chunk of her time developmentally - no way would I do that if I had any option to do it otherwise. You will figure out a system that works for you - I believe in that!