Well that was telling.
I stopped by New Trier today. The athletic director there, Jim Bloch, was my AD back at Glenbrook North, and is a good friend. As we were catching up, he mentioned that they were creating a half-time Sports Information Director position. The job would be all the things I've done for free over the years... gathering and coordinating information for all the school's sports teams at all levels, handling media requests for photos and stats and whatnot, passing the same stuff on to tournament hosts and what have you. The other half of the job is as building computer support (primarily Windows, but that's cake.)
This is, for all intents and purposes, a job with my name written on it.
It only pays $40,000/year. Well, I shouldn't say "only". $40K is what I started for at Qualcomm. It's damned good money to start at in a public school. It's damned good for a non-teaching job. It's not the $66K I was making when I left Qualcomm, but you know what? It really doesn't matter. I'm in a financial state where I can make 40K work. I have money in the bank. I would make a tremendous profit off the sale of my house. It's still cheaper to live in Chicago. The school is right next to the Metra tracks, so if I found a place somewhere close to the lakefront, I can just ride the train to work. I wouldn't even have to deal with the shit traffic on the Edens.
There are people in Poway I'd miss, but they'd all be happy for me. My social life there has been kind of limited... a have tons and tons of friends in and around Chicago, there's always something going on here. (Oh yeah, and family too.) There are no anchors tying me to San Diego. Sure, I'll actually have weather to deal with again, but I grew up with it, I'll get used to it again.
Opportunities like this do not happen often. Indeed, you're lucky if they even happen once in your life. I can make this work financially, so it's foolish for me not to try. I would forever be kicking myself if I didn't--an opportunity this perfect will never come again. If it doesn't work out, there's no reason I can't go back to ordinary engineering.
Keith reminded me of the relevant quote:
"Here's the only thing I know that makes any sense when it comes to money: find what you enjoy doing, find what moves you to passion, find what you can't *not* do, and the miraculous thing about it is, if you're half decent at it, and dedicate yourself to getting better, and keep at it, after a while, sonuvagun, you can almost always find a way to make a living off it.
Well, before taxes, anyway."
-- JMS, 13 Jul 2002