Monday, March 19, 2007

Unfinished Business

My earlier post was not the whole story. After writing it, I piddled for about an hour. I was still home at the time, having woken up a bit under the weather (probably allergies more than anything, as the local air quality is poor today). I had been delaying making a phone call, following up on one of the references that Mauricio Huppman had set up for me. I wanted to be in the right frame of mind. I finally made the call which lasted nearly an hour. It was free-wheeling, and encouraging. The upshot was he thought I'd find little resistance on the consulting path I'm setting up.

The letters had put me in an odd mood, thus the delay. I can't say I was really depressed by them. I'm not even sure how I'd react today if one of those schools called me up for an interview. It's an odd place to be.

In the back of my mind as well were this morning's emailed comments by Paul, goading me to jump from the plane, to trust my parachute. I had written him about the possible adjunct opportunity at [Lemon University]. Some of what follows is raw, so forgive me the lack of focus, the flightiness. Some ideas fly away with the wind like chaff. Some of this surely is chaff. I'm thinking out loud. Think of it as brainstorming, rather than edited copy. I had noted in my email to Paul:
It's a tough call for me, since I've been working and hoping for this eventuality for years now. Now that it seems likely, I'm torn. I keep saying I'm not quite ready to give up the aim of becoming a professor, and yet my sense of self-identity has been shifting. I need it less, if at all. This, of course, would simply be part time. There are logistical issues, in particular what the pay would be, and what the commute would look like (would I be teaching two days a week, three? days? evenings?). Certainly those factors would play into my decision.

But they're not all. Rocket & I have been talking about a default "exit strategy". She and I need to hash this out a bit more, but one idea we've been floating around is that, by the end of this year, unless something else takes hold to belay it, we'd plan to move back to [Former City], where we have friends, where we love the location, where there is easy access to a hub airport to conveniently fly just about anywhere in the states, and around the world. We haven't worked through all the details, but it's a thought that appeals in ways to both of us.
I had also kept Paul apprised of my correspondence with Joe Krowicki.
Thanks for the note. Great to connect with you and Rocket this past week. My gut tells me that it's time to make a decision on the Professorship. From what I gathered on the call on Friday, you both seem "done" with the idea of a Professorship. And, there is some unfinished business with you and the academic job hunt. My guess...if you get the offer and say no, you'll be able to put this phase of your life behind you. Again, just my're an entrepreneurial spirit. Teaching? Maybe. But, probably after, or while you are in the process of making your mark.

The move to [Former City] will get a lot more conceivable once you have a few accounts under your belt or have a job that pays you what you feel you are worth and challenges you in that all important dinner party way.

I agree with Joe. He talks about there being a lot of networking involved in starting out on your own. You love to network. And, you're great at it. Having been an Entrepreneur for almost 20 years now, this I can tell you for sure. The merit system works in the business world. If you're the best, are willing to let people know that in a non-threatening way, help them see how you can make them better and do what you say you are going to do, you win. In other business...the cream does rise to the top.
So there you have it. Where do I go from here?


Lilian said...

Oh dear... only you can tell! I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Ivory said...

You will find your way. Your life will be rich with things you strive for and things you never expected. Accept them all. The freefall you're experiencing is common in most people's lives. Most people live a heartbeat away from disaster - a lost job or a sudden illness can be devastating.

You're probably in mourning over giving up the professorship goal. That will pass. You've got a lot of good things in your life and a lot of new opportunities that you are now free to explore.