Wednesday, December 16, 2015


As I was walking down West 20th street with music blasting into my ears, towards my new job (yes, I got an amazing new fun extra job which will not only pay the bills but also give me industry experience), 8:30 in the morning, I tried to do a happiness calculation. It should be no news to anyone around me that, to put it plainly, I hate Sweden and I love New York. But New York comes with a few consequences, among others a lot of complications regarding Zoe. But in this calculation I considered only my own happiness:
  • When with Zoe in New York I'm 100% happy, no matter my job or having a boyfriend as long as I can pay my bills
  • When in Sweden with Zoe I'm 70% happy but goes down to 50% when having to deal with my job (and no, I cannot just get another job, as an academic you can't just get a professorship at another university, which btw would matter zip since they are all intertwined in terms of colleagues anyway)
  • When in Denmark with Zoe I'm 80% happy but I don't know anything about working there 
  • When in New York without Zoe I'm 50% miserable going up the longer I'm away with a 6 weeks max
  • When I'm in Sweden without Zoe I'm 90% miserable with the 10% being my one good friend there
  • When I'm in Denmark without Zoe I'm 60% miserable but I don't know anything about working there
Living in New York right now gives me 50% with Zoe but when she starts school in Sweden next year her dad is only allowing me to have her here for 4 months out of the year, which equals holidays plus a bit of extra (I guess). To see her for 50% I will have to spend 2 months in Sweden. That model would then give me (70% happy x 2 months +100% happy x 4 months) + (50 % miserable x 6 months) = 5.4 months happiness + 3 months misery.

Living in Sweden would give me 50% of time with Zoe, probably one week/one week. That model would then give me (70% happy for 6 months) + (90% miserable x 6 months) = 4.2 months happiness + 5.4 months misery.

The last model is complicated, it involves me working in Denmark but living in Sweden because Zoe has to go to school there. But I would be able to be in Denmark when I don't have her. I would probably be able to have her for max half a week per month in Denmark due to school. This would then give me: (70% happy x 5 months + 80% happy x 1 month) + (60% miserable x 6 months) = 4.3 months happiness + 3.6 months misery. This model also includes a crazy commute for me with an hour flight twice a week at least. Not something sustainable beyond a couple of years.

New York wins hands down in both more happiness and less misery. As I walked through the revolving doors into the elevator lobby, I let the results sink in. Before I got off on 6th floor I had texted a colleague/friend of mine the words I knew he would get immediately "I'm in."

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