A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

End of dilemma

Posted by Pepper on January 2, 2016

In this post, I had written about a pressing dilemma we were facing. I had promised myself I would update this place once we had crossed the bridge and taken a final decision. Like a lot of you guessed, we were trying to decide whether or not we should move back to the US.

Sometime in early October, Mint’s company offered him a new role. But that role was going to be based in the company headquarters in San Francisco. They gave us a week to decide if we wanted to take it. Now, while we always knew that Mint had the option of moving back to the US at some point, I was still taken off guard by the sudden proposal. This opportunity was tied to a significant career jump for him. There were way too many aspects to consider and a week just didn’t seem like enough time to make a decision. So we requested them for more time and they agreed to give us a month.

The big question that was gnawing at me was this: Why were we considering moving back to the US when we consciously chose to move to India. I can safely say that both Mint and I are quite happy with our lives here. Fortunately, we haven’t been put in the category of people who move back to India only to realise that R2I has been a mistake. We love our life here. On most days atleast. Why then, would we want to disrupt this wonderful setting and move back.

The answer to my question is quite simple, and in my heart, I knew it. The one big reason we would consider moving back to the US is the money. Mint and I bought a house in Mumbai when the real estate boom had occurred, benefiting a million people who had invested in property 5 to 10 years ago. But for us, it meant paying a sky high price for something that others had bought for a fraction of a cost not too long ago. We have a humongous mortgage and we are nothing but slaves to EMI. And we have signed ourselves up for this slavery for the next 25 years. By moving to the US (even if it chose to be there only for a few years) and earning in USD, if we could prepay even a part of our massive loan, wouldn’t it be worth it?

We faced two main road blocks. The first was my company. I am running an organisation that does some complex work, I certainly can’t drop the ball and flee. Thankfully, after a lot of brain storming, we were able to come up with a solution for that without toppling over too many things. Our second concern was adopting a baby. US immigration does not assure you a dependent visa for an adopted child. A lot depends on what your location is while adopting a baby, how much time the adopted child has been in your custody before you apply for a visa and so on. We realised, if we decided to take up the US offer, we may well have to give up on the idea of adoption completely and just go ahead with having our own baby at some point.

We did our initial research, calculated our living costs in the Bay Area, calculated our monthly savings, compared them to savings made after future increments in India, weighed pros and cons of life in India and the US and basically tore ourselves up in pieces. Before we knew it, a month was up and we still hadn’t been able to make a decision. The parents, sister and close friends were living on the edge, waiting to hear our final decision. We kept putting them off. Mint’s company further extended their deadline and the extra time made it even harder for us to decide.

On one hand, I loved my life here. Living close to my parents is the biggest blessing. On the other hand, I knew we needed the extra cash. Moreover, the BFF is moving to CA next week! Things would certainly be brighter there with her presence, even if we wouldn’t be living in the same city. Also, Oregano would be around. But again, I felt so unprepared to live away from my parents. We share such a strong connection, I wondered if the deep, deep longing I would suffer from on a daily basis would be worth the money.

I did a lot of soul searching in those few months. I questioned myself and tried to figure out, what it is that I really want in life. I think I have a fair idea now. But at that moment, what I wanted most importantly was an answer. I wanted to make a final call. Living in this state of uncertainty was killing me. And after a lot of deliberations and consideration, we finally decided to let go of the offer and stay put in Bombay. Maybe I will get into the reasons some day. Maybe I will not. All I can say is that arriving at a decision lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

Can I say we will stay here for good? I’m not sure. We decided to let go of this opportunity for now, but we may consider moving back at some point if we really need the money. Maybe later this year. Maybe after a few more years. Or maybe never. I don’t know. Life is uncertain. For now, I am just so glad we have chosen to be home.


28 Responses to “End of dilemma”

  1. My Era said

    More power to you Pepper-Mint 🙂
    I can imagine how difficult it must have been to stay unbiased in the presence of a lucrative career opportunity. But your decision goes out to show that you guys are clear about your preferences in life. It makes a powerful statement and shall serve as a foundation to help you build your future on with this big decision taken (even if it is just for the time being) care of.
    So glad this year has dawned with this dilemma sorted for you 😀

  2. Bikramjit said

    My best wishes pepper. . I am sure as you said you both have made a good decision as you have thought of all the ins and outs..

    So good luck with that.. its commedable that you guys decided to stay as till date yo7 guys are the first couple who I know have made that decision.. hats off to you guys. .

    All the best.

  3. srividhya said

    That’s a hugggggge decision. I can understand the dilemma. Ahhh adoption n bringing d kiddo to US is yet another massive task. Glad u were able to come to a decision. Things will be all fine. 🙂

  4. senora said

    I think everybody experiences this kind of situation where we have to make a difficult choice. The only thing is we have to be happy with what we decide. Good that you are happy with the choice you guys made Pepper :). All the best!!

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Senora. We have had to make a lot of choices in our life and have learnt to not second guess our choice once we’ve made it. Whenever I feel troubled by the fact that we have to choose, Mint rightly points out that we are privileged that we have so many choices 🙂

  5. You know, when you make a decision and as a result, a huge weight gets lifted off the shoulders, it usually is the right decision :). Yeyy!

  6. Wow that is a momentous and courageous decision. Wishing you a very happy new year! Hope it all works out the way you want it to 🙂

  7. Nail biting post ! Over reading the entire post my mind was swaying between both decisions you could have made – Finally , got to the answer in the last para!
    Life’s about the choices , me make na Pepper ! Remember what ever you have decided will be the best decision for yourselves !
    Both have their Pros and cons ! Glad you guys could come to a decision after the grinding decision making process!

  8. It makes sense to stay back in India since you guys already decided to get back from USA to India for good 🙂 It must have been a pretty compelling reason to make that choice then and hence this choice now is the right thing.

    • Pepper said

      That’s not true, Amelia. We didn’t decide to get back from USA to India ‘for good’. We moved to India because that is where we wanted to be at that time. Fortunately things worked for us and we loved it here. So we chose to be here even now. But l, in our world, there is no forever or ‘for good’. We will be where we like to be at that present time. If India is not the best choice for us later, we may consider moving again. In fact, not just to the US. My ideal destination is a place like Singapore, that isn’t as far away from home as the US is. Seems unlikely but one can dream.. 😀

      Who knows what the future is.. but we surely don’t live our life being bound by any ideas that translate to the words ‘forever’.

  9. Decision making is the toughest one of all. The way you wrote it was intense, you can surely consider writing some thriller :). Glad, you were able to finally make a decision. Happy new year dear!

    • Pepper said

      Haha.. I just wrote whatever I felt and experienced in that time. It sounds like that probably because my life seemed like a thriller back then 😀 Glad the mystery is over. Phew!

  10. Deepa said

    oh sweetheart! I was so, so, so hoping you would move back here, if only so I could grab you for awesome chocolate sundaes whenever the mood struck us:-)

    But, the decision must’ve been deliberated over a zillion times if I know you well and it must be the best for now. Still, I can hope for a near future move na. And I will, for sure.

    A very, very Happy New year to both of you. I wish you much needed rest, good nurturing food, health and fun holidays in 2016.

    • Pepper said

      When I thought of the pros of moving back, i thought of you. I thought of all the sundaes we would get to have together…
      But yes.. we can still hope for something like that in the future. And meanwhile, please use that time to reclaim every bit of your health that you may have lost out in the past few years. I want to do crazy and fun things with you so you better be prepared !

      Happy new year to you guys too!

  11. I can so understand what you guys must have gone through to reach the final decision. S and I had to make an important decision few weeks back and it literally killed us to keep brainstorming our options (will share more when I can talk about it). I am really glad you made the decision finally.

  12. Jo said

    Decisions.. decisions.. decisions.. Our life is what we choose right. This decision shows how clear you guys are on what you want from your life. Good luck.. 🙂

  13. […] I remember entering 2016 with a high. I was full of hopes and dreams. There was so much to look forward to. My work life would no longer require me to gallop at a frenzied pace. I finally had the reigns in my hands and I believed I could trotter at an even and enjoyable pace. We were hoping to adopt a child. And most importantly, we had gained clarity and taken a stand when it came to this hugely complicated decision. […]

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