I have a couple big announcements. First of all, my PhD defense is this coming Friday! If all goes well, I will be done with grad school forever (minus paperwork and hopefully minor revisions). This has been a long time coming, and I'm really excited. So far I'm not too nervous yet. My dissertation is done, my slides are done, and I already held a practice defense. For the rest of the week, I'm planning to polish my talk some more, make paper copies of everything for my committee, and figure out what I'm going to do for refreshments. We'll see if the nerves hit later.
In other news, I accepted a job offer! The whole thing came together really quickly, much faster than I had anticipated. I did three rounds of interviews with this company in the span of about a month. It was grueling, but I'm pleased with the end result. The work sounds interesting, challenging, and flexible in scope. It's a bit of a stretch for my current skill set, but I think it'll ultimately be a good move for me career-wise. The compensation is fair (maybe even more than fair), and the benefits are good. The only downside is that first I have to relocate to a small East Coast city for 6 months of training. Then I'm moving to the Seattle area! (I'm already dreaming about all the hiking, rock climbing, and skiing I'll be doing in the Pacific Northwest...)
Last but certainly not least, J is going to move with me after all! When we had talked about it before, he thought it wasn't a good time in his career to make a move just yet. However, after we came back from our trip to Europe, he said that he had given it a lot of thought, and he felt that it was only going to become harder to move later on. We still need to work out the exact details and timing, but I feel really good that he agreed to come with me. Right now our tentative plan is to do long-distance for 6 months and then move together. I think long-distance will definitely be challenging, but at least we have a target end date.
You know, I'm amazed how everything came together in the end. Just a month ago, I was stressing out about well, everything. Now it's all pretty much settled. I feel like there's a lesson in here somewhere. I should learn to trust that things will work out, because they usually do. Now I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life.