New Beginnings

Matt Joyce

At a wedding earlier this year in Seattle

As some of you may know from my Instagram, Matt and I have had some big life changes recently, and I want to share with you what has been going on. Even though I’m so behind on other blogposts and work, I want to write this post because my goal with this blog has always been to use it as a diary of sorts. I also feel like many of you may be able to relate to our situation, and can probably give us pointers too!

About a month and a half ago when Matt was in California, one of his former colleagues introduced him to a new exciting startup based in San Francisco. He and the founder met up for coffee and Matt’s interest was piqued. Great opportunity, not the best timing, as I am not done with my dermatology residency until next June 2018 (and our lease in NY ends August 2018!). However, the more we prayed and talked it through as a couple, the more evident it became that this was the right decision for his career. Matt has always dreamed about working at a small Series A startup, but he never got the opportunity despite living in the Bay Area. Then I matched for residency in NYC in 2014, and Matt chose to move with me and had to leave several opportunities behind. So this time around, when it ultimately came time to make a decision, I encouraged him to take his dream job in San Francisco, even if it means we are going to be long distance for 9 months. We made this decision when I was on vacation in Paris and he was in Lisbon, and after a lot of thought, Matt will be moving to SF in one week. Talk about moving quickly!

One thing that struck me when thinking through this decision is how difficult it can be to juggle two professions in a marriage in which both people are career driven. This applies to couples both inside and outside of medicine. Geography, career opportunities, and timing don’t always match up perfectly for both people in a relationship. And that’s when you have to make the hard choices. In our case, the decision was swayed by the fact that I miss home and I want to move back to California in the near future anyways. So great job for him + home for me = a no brainer. Doesn’t mean it was easy to make that choice though.

Another thing people have been saying to me is that Matt is lucky I let him take such a risk in his career. I don’t really see it like that! I think about the time that Matt supported me through my super risky decision to last minute switch to applying in dermatology. He was there for me 100% and encouraged me to pursue my dream job all the way. He then moved to be with me across the country, even though his career options were better in California, and he had JUST moved out of NYC 3 years prior so he could finally explore Silicon Valley. So I feel like now, he definitely deserves to take his shot when it is given, even if it means we have to be apart for some time.

For someone (ME) who has never been in a long distance anything, the prospect of a long distance marriage is daunting, but hey, it’s only for 9 months. I see this as A) a chance for both of us to grind hard at our jobs at a critical time in our respective careers (him in a startup, me in terms of studying for derm boards and finding a job) and B) an opportunity for me to gain a little independence living on my own for the first time away from my parents. I’ve always lived either 10 minutes from my parents or with roommates, so honestly, I’m not used to living on my own. But these next 9 months will be an experiment, and luckily for me, I have many many good friends to count on in NYC.

So looking ahead, I’m so excited for Matt to have his moment in SF, and I’m really looking forward to having 9 more months to explore this beautiful crazy city that I now call home. Here’s to new beginnings!

2 Comments on New Beginnings

  1. Rupali
    October 24, 2017 at 4:30 pm (4 months ago)

    Congrats on making this tough choice guys! This post is super timely for me because Kiran & I are going through something very similar. We both finish residency this June and have to decide which direction we each want to go with our careers! I am hoping to do a one-year fellowship at Stanford, and originally he was going to stay back and do a “clinical instructor” year here too, but he has some great job prospects now in locations where we would both be happy settling down, so we are thinking that it may make sense to do l ~1 year of long distance. Totally not an easy decision to make (we’ve also never been long distance), but hoping we can use the time apart to work on our individual goals! And, I’m also hanging on to some idealistic hope of working on myself/my lifestyle/mindset a bit before we have kids in the near future! It’s great to hear about another couple going through the same thing, and I’m sure you guys will be glad you made this decision!

    • Joyce
      November 4, 2017 at 11:14 pm (4 months ago)

      I️ miss you! Thanks for sharing; I️ have no doubts you and Kiran will figure it out and make it work. Can’t wait to hang out once we move back to the Bay!


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