Since announcing my decision to take my talents to the North Coast, I've been really surprised by the overall reaction. I'm surprised that there was any reaction at all, to be honest.
The reaction from friends back east was pretty awesome. Diana and I both had a huge outpouring of excitement from our friends around Northeast Ohio on Facebook. There was some level of validation that I got from this, I suppose because uprooting yourself to be around people you like works better if they like you back. Not that we're despicable people, but you know, it's good to hear the love.
The reaction from coworkers included a lot of non-surprise, but given my long struggle with the real estate situation, few people have had to listen to me bitch about it as much. The stranger angle was from several people who said they really had a lot of respect for my decision, for two reasons. The first was that I was doing what felt right for my family. The second was that I was leaving Microsoft to do it.
I definitely want to write more about working at Microsoft, but it is interesting how a great many people find it shocking that anyone would leave the company. (I don't know if you read the tech press, but a great many people from much higher pay grades have been leaving a lot lately.) Yes, the pay is great, the benefits are the best in the industry, and it's a pretty sweet company. But at the end of the day, for all but the people who have the highest stakes in it, it's still just a place to work. Ultimately what I look for in a job is a place where I can solve problems and see the effects of my work. You don't have to work at Microsoft for that.
There is a certain amount of sadness from folks here as well. In the absence of our closest friends, we've made some tight friendships here, sharing the experience of having a child with a bunch of other first-time parents. Leaving that is hard. Even harder is leaving the close proximity of Joe, Kristen, Nina and Mason, our closest West Coast family. It has been fun to see the kids growing up. I won't get to help with the shipwreck in the back yard, either.
This will be quite an adventure, that's for sure. The decision didn't come easy, even if it was obvious. I'm certainly not looking forward to moving a third time in the span of two years. In any case, the wheels are in motion, and our stuff will be on a truck, four weeks from today.