My wife is finishing up her MFA this year, and our lease is up in August. We have to decide where to live next, and it's giving us some headaches. Special snowflake inside.
For many years we lived in Cleveland, Ohio. We both worked in the burgeoning theater scene there, but while I was content with my work, both paying-job-wise and artistically, she had a string of unfulfilling service jobs and not a lot of artistic work. Three years ago she decided to apply to graduate school, and we moved to Staunton, VA where she could study Shakespeare and Performance and get a dual MLitt/MFA degree. Her goal is to teach theater at a college level.
She graduates this spring, and now we have to figure out where to go next. I have no idea how to do this. I have not lived in many places, and as an independent adult I had only lived in Cleveland before moving where we currently are. I would love to move back to Cleveland; our friends are there, her mom is there, there is an artistic community that already knows us and that we could use as a base of support for our future theatrical endeavors. She is afraid that if we move back to Cleveland, we will stagnate and never improve, and we will be stuck there for the rest of our lives.
Another complication is my job. I still work for the company in Cleveland that I was working for before we left. I am a front end web developer for a small but successful web design firm. When we moved, they graciously allowed me to work from home, and it's been great. They obviously value my work enough to keep me on, and I appreciate that loyalty. If we move to another city, I don't know if a) they would want to keep me on remotely on an indefinite basis, and b) if they could necessarily afford the salary of the place we move to. A Cleveland/Staunton salary is not the same as a New York salary.
Criteria we have so far:
- Should be a city. Having lived in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley for 2 1/2 years, we know we both prefer cities. I hate New York City and will never live there.
- There needs to be a thriving theater scene.
- There need to be nearby colleges where she could apply for adjunct/assitant professorships.
I'm not necessarily asking for suggestions of where to live. But how do you even start figuring that out? I don't know how to research something as vague as, "Where would I like to live next?" And I can't certainly just point to a map and say, "Let's move there!"