Nerds can dither too

I flew up to Seattle yesterday to meet my new neice. Fiona is, of course, absolutely adorable and charming and we (my parents and I) sat and watched her scrunch her face into the silliest little expressions for hours on end. Ah, the joy of newborns. I held her, and didn’t feel one teensy bit of maternal urges. If that doesn’t prove to the rest of them that I really and truly don’t want kids, well, I’m not sure what will. Regardless, she is a little doll and I am already trying to figure out just how often I can make it up to Seattle to visit without driving my little sis and her husband crazy. My sister did mention that I have a standing invitation -something along the lines of ‘my futon is your futon’ – which of course is a hard invitation to pass up when there is a teeny little baby up there who’s just as cute as she can be.

I should just note here – I’m gushing over my little neice, and this is certainly not to infer that I don’t ooh over my nephew just as much. It’s just the neice is brand new. I’m entitled to do more gushing right now.

My brother-in-law – the father of the nephew, not the neice – is looking for a new job. And he’s lately been sending my dad and I emails with some of the job offerings he’s found. In Napa. Yes, Napa. There are jobs for computer nerds in Napa. This completely boggles me. Napa inspires images of rolling hills and yuppies sipping wine while they relax in spas. Not pasty-faced, coke-bottle lens-wearing nerds hunched over keyboards muttering incomprehensible blatherings about select statements and grepping, a word which always seems vaguely illicit somehow, but don’t ask me to explain because then I would just end up sounding silly (oh, like I don’t already). But regardless, there they are. Positions paying decent money, up in a gorgeous area of California. Okay, so it would be further away from my friends in both directions, but oh gosh (she says with a dreamy expression on her face) that might be bearable if I could actually be home every night and never have to worry about my billable vs nonbillable hours and whether taking vacation will cut into my quarterly bonus, and be able to actually make long-range plans during the week because I could guarentee not only to be in town, but most likely that I would be home at a decent hour and could do stuff. It’s a tempting thought. And I freely admit that I’m scared. A big squawking chicken, if you must know. I’m scared that if I went to go looking for another job they all would look at my pitiful level of experience and knowledge and they would laugh in my face and in rude and nasal tones, loudly point out that my degree is in Nutrition, not Computer Science, and you know how you always feel like you’re one step behind everyone else in this industry, clinging on by your fingernails trying to figure out all these tiny things that everyone else seems to just *know*, well, it’s because you’re *stupid*, so why don’t you go away now. Sigh. So here I am feeling like this and dithering about what to do when I quit doing consulting because I *am* going to quit consulting because I don’t want to do this traveling anymore, but what am I really qualified to do, and darn it all it would be awfully nice to figure this out pretty soon because I want to buy a house one of these days, and I’m 30 now and it’s time. It’s past time. And I get this email from my brother-in-law. The father of my nephew, not my neice. With a job description that he is looking for. And my first thought reading through this is ‘oh my god, I can actually *do* this!’ So then I go to the job site and what do you know, I find another one that I might actually be qualified to do.

And all I can think now is, well, there goes that excuse. And can it really hurt to toss my resume out there and see if anyone bites? Because I’m on a project now that’s fairly stable and while the commute might be long, at least I am not living in hotels and flying back and forth every week, so it’s not like there’s any sense of urgency. What do I have to lose?

So why am I still so scared?