Friday, August 22, 2014
I guess everyone who knows me well knows I love living in New Orleans. Though I’m not from here, it’s the closest thing I’ve got to a home. My mom lives here, she moved down because I was here. I came back here, after suffering through law school, a miserable unwanted divorce, and Hurricane Katrina (I ranked those by badness, by the way). I just really like it. I’ve never made friends as easily as I did here. I’ve had the most fun playing music here. I sold art here even when I didn’t live here. I love my yard, and my transplanted Bushwick tabby does too. I love my porch.
What I don’t love is trying to make a living here. I was really lucky to get hired at iSeatz before that job became impossible. It was a big pay cut for me, but it enabled me to move and not feel the pinch too badly. Unfortunately, we ran out of front-end work to do. Colin and Paul would ask me what I was billing hours to, and I’d just shrug my shoulders. I couldn’t stay there, spending thirty five hours a week watching a clock tick (fooling around on facebook really).
After I quit that job, I did all right freelancing for a while. I built or helped build two Minimum Viable Products, one of which I built from scratch in Ruby on Rails. (It’s in private beta or alpha now; the other one was an actual working product that made the founder no money, and he quietly killed it, thereby thoroughly screwing up my portfolio.) Lately I’ve been doing the simplest web work, fixing old sites with a lot of tables in them. Maybe I should count my blessings. Maybe this is the perfect job for me. I make an okay New Orleans salary; it’s half of what I made in New York (it was three-fourths when I was at iSeatz). I work from home. It is easy.
Recently, though, I got recruited by a firm in Austin, and I wasn’t recruited by a recruiter spamming the southeast with emails. I got recruited by the creative director of the firm, and she was looking for someone with real tech skills who is also creative in his or her own right, preferably an artist. They flew me out for an interview, they just walked me around the office and let me talk to people and took me out to lunch, and basically made me feel valuable. I thought “why aren’t they looking in Austin? Is there something wrong with this firm?” but their Glassdoor rating is good, very good in fact. (Better than iSeatz, but who isn’t?) And they made me a really nice offer. So today I have to decide whether to take it.
I really like it here. I don’t want to give up my band, it’s the best one I’ve ever had. (Funny, that was the only thing that almost kept me in Brooklyn.) I will miss all my friends, but there are a handful of people I really don’t want to say goodbye to, people I depend on every single day; somehow I’ve hidden from myself the fact that if I go I won’t see them as much any more. I am pretty resigned to everything else. I just don’t think I can afford to not go where they want me. New Orleans is comfortable, mostly, but I just don’t think it can support me.