One of the worst kept secrets around is that I’m ready to move on. Other than to a few close friends and family I’ve never said it outright, but I suspect it’s more than obvious to anyone paying any attention at all. Memphis was never a place I planned on staying for a great length of time, but having the happy luck to fall in with a good team and a collapsing housing market made my three-and-out plan all but unworkable. I’d mostly made my peace with that. Or at least I thought I had.
The last year has proven to be more challenging professionally than I ever expected. And I’m not using “challenging” here in any of its quasi-positive connotation. The truth is, the last year has mostly sucked, but I didn’t know exactly how much it sucked until this morning when I found a federal job announcement in my career field for a position near my home town. I seriously considered it for way, way longer than I should have if my head were in the right place. I say that because although geographically desirable (to me at least), the job would have been a two-grade demotion, loss of $15,000 a year in pay, and I’d have to pay to get myself and all my stuff from here to there.
But I still though long and hard about it. And not in that wistful Norman Rockwell way. I’m talking about in that running financials and contemplating living in your parent’s basement for a year or two kind of way. You know it’s bad when voluntarily living in the basement to get away from what you’re doing now and for less money doesn’t seem all that bad by comparison. Yeah, I know I should be thankful to have a job and intellectually, I am. Emotionally, though, I’m spent… and it’s showing.
If anyone in Western Maryland sees me working weekends to make extra scratch in a couple of weeks, at least they’ll know why.