1. The greatest sacrifice of all is the impossibility to live close to my sister and my niece Klubnikis. It is painful on a physical level not to be able to see them every day.
2. The second biggest sacrifice is Montreal. I love this city so much that I had dreams where I was having sex with Montreal skyline. Enough said, I hope.
3. Living in a big city is something that is crucial to my happiness and also something that I had to give up. It was so hard to get used to living in a small town that I get depressed just remembering the effort it took.
4. The climate. I suffer greatly from this intolerably sunny and hot climate that I have to experience all the time. Health-wise, it is so bad for me that I’m forced to spend the entire summer (that lasts at least 4 months around here) locked up inside with an AC. The sensory deprivation and the unhealthy food in this village also require a lot of off-setting.
What I didn’t give up for this career and that everybody else is mentioning is money. Realistically, I would never be able to make more than I get for a professorial job. The only other career I can imagine myself having would be working from home as a freelance translator, and there is no way I’d get more doing that. Besides, I’m an immigrant, so the salary I get feels enormous to me.
Without any exaggeration, however, I’m ecstatically happy with my life right now. So I guess it was all worth it.
What did you give up for an academic (or any other) career?