Escuela, Familia

Los Angeles, I’m yours (for now)

“You need to leave California, Cindy… I know you don’t want to, but you’re going to need to, especially when you start looking for a job. There are no jobs here.”

I wasn’t thinking of my former advisor’s words when I decided to apply to a job in New York. Nor was I thinking of them in the video conference interview or day-long interview on site. And it didn’t come to mind as I waited to hear back from the review committee and weighed the pros and cons of a potential move. They came back to me after making my decision.

Five years after my advisor told me I needed to leave California and I pouted about it, I am finally leaving, now it’s with my little family.

On May 1st I made up my mind — like a lot of high school seniors waiting until the last minute to choose a college. Rather than submit a statement of intent to register I would soon sign an offer letter accepting a position at a university in New York.

I bought the hoodie after my interview. I figured even if I didn’t get the job, Xavi could build up his collegiate wardrobe. No need to only wear blue and gold.

It’s a big change for me and my family. We’ll be going from LA to an area with about 6% Latino population. I’ll no longer be in the land of 70 degree January days. My parents, siblings and most of my extended family won’t be a short drive away. I know they’re happy for me, but if Xavi was my grandson/nephew I’d be sad about no longer seeing him every other week.

Career wise it’s also a big change. I’ll go from a very selective public university that I’ve been at for 16+ years as either a student or staff member to a more selective Ivy League university that I’ll need to learn a lot about. I see myself carrying a map as I walk around campus, just like the tiny freshmen.

I’ll still be in STEM education for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students, but with greater emphasis on the E in that acronym. My position will also come with more responsibility.

His face when he heard about the cold and snow.

I’m excited about this new opportunity but also fretting over the move. I don’t know anyone in Ithaca except my future co-workers. Sean, Xavi and I will leave an awesome support network (read: free babysitting from grandparents), extended family, lots of friends, co-workers and jobs we really like, our neighborhood and comfy apartment, and a church I’ve begun to feel at home at thanks to getting involved with the confirmation program.

I’ve only moved twice but I don’t think going from home to dorm and then dorm to apartment shared with college roommates really counts. It’s certainly much less daunting than a cross country move. While I’ve spent a lot of time in New York, it’s been in NYC or Long Island. Ithaca is 4-5 hours away from our New York City/LI friends and family. Last, we’ve been lucky to have the transition to parenthood smoothed out by having family nearby. I joked about the free babysitting, but that’s just one perk. It’s even better to see Xavi playing with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and bringing a smile to Papá Chepe’s face with his silliness. On the bright side, Xavi will get to see his NY family more often.

I’m making a list of all the things I need to do (and eat!) in LA before we leave in June. We’ll certainly be busy, but mainly I want to spend the last few weeks at work leaving my boss, coworkers and replacement in a good position. At home, I want to make sure Xavi gets plenty of quality time with his LA family.


18 thoughts on “Los Angeles, I’m yours (for now)

  1. Congratulations on your new position at Cornell!! I can’t help but, feel a little sad that my CA hamcat is moving to NY! I was hoping that our paths would eventually cross…. Maybe they still will.
    I hope you continue to blog and share your life with us. Good luck with getting all of your ducks in a row in the next two weeks. 🙂

  2. Welcome to the terrordome.
    AKA: Im actually really excited for you. It doesnt totally suck out here. LOL. Congratulations sweetie.

  3. WOW, congratulations! I’m sure this was a hard decision (harder still because of your little family), but it sounds like a great opportunity and a place that needs you there.

    I hope you update with your transition, as I am looking forward to those updates. I’m sure you already know this, but little X will do fine and will enjoy NY a lot!

    P.S. I was alerted to this post because someone in my Facebook made a comment on your post, and I recognized the picture of your son that was attached to the post. Small world!

  4. Momo says:

    I’m going to miss your Chicana in LA stories. Please keep up your blog as I’ll be looking forward to reading about your Chicana in Ithaca adventures. I’m curious to know what Mexican food is like over there and people’s opinions of Californians. Congratulations and good luck to you and your family! Glad I got to meet you in person, if only for a brief moment, and geek out.

  5. R. says:

    Wow! Congrats Cindy! Sounds like an incredibly exciting time for you and your family. Looking forward to reading about life and winters ;( in Ithaca.

  6. Congratulations Cindy! I hope you guys will have a smooth transition and that Xavi will adapt quickly. Good thing you’ve got a little more time before the move. Have fun these last few weeks!

  7. Too bad we’re probably not doing the road trip (can you imagine that with a toddler). A stop in Vegas would be fun. Sean has never been!

  8. Maybe we should have another game night at P’s house before I would leave. That would be fun. Hope all is well. I don’t intend to close the blog down, maybe moving could revive it as there’ll be a lot of newness.

  9. Gracias! I’d ask for tips about the cross-country roadtrip, but I’m not doing that. And winter experience will probably be: I MISS SUNSHINE!!!

  10. Thanks! When the time comes to figure out how to entertain a snowbound toddler, I’m gonna bug you for tips. I hope that’s okay.

  11. Ana says:

    Congratulations on the job and best of luck with the move! I’ve enjoyed reading you through the years and can’t wait to read all about your new experiences. My heart breaks a little for your parents and siblings who will miss Xavi so much (and you too of course!) I have an 18th month old (only grandchild) and I know my Mexican parents would probably follow us if I tried to move away!

  12. Brenda says:

    Welcome to the East Coast! Its nice knowing there’s one more LA chicana out here. 🙂 Congratulations on the new job, Cindy! Best of luck on your journey, though I am sure you don’t need it. You, Sean, and Xavi will have so many adventures discovering and settling in to your new home! Enjoy it!

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