Hello everyone, I am 27 years old, currently a police officer working for a large well-known and respected department. After high school, I looked into a career in the culinary field, but was talked out of it by peers and family members. I held a couple of jobs before getting hired by my current employer. I have grown tired of police work and the police culture for many reasons, and am looking at a career change. My wife will soon be working as an medical sonographer making almost as much as I make now, so I figure now is the time to make that change, if ever. I have always loved food and cooking for friends and family, so I am revisiting the culinary field as a possible career choice. I've pretty much decided that the best route for training for me would be the culinary arts program at my community college (a decently reputable program for $3,500 vs $35,000 for Le Cordon Bleu or Art Institute, which I have not heard much good about anyway!). There are no other reputable schools anywhere near me, and I can't travel because I have a family so that limits my options. I have no illusions of becoming a celebrity chef, nor any aspirations to do so. I've read on here and heard horror stories painting a picture of Hell for aspiring chefs, and I'm sure the path isn't an easy one. But I'm in good shape, I'm smart, a hard worker, a quick and critical thinker, am very experienced in working long, irregular hours under stress and in terrible conditions (no disrespect intended, but as bad as a kitchen can be, I doubt ANY chefs or cooks have ever had deal with what I have on patrol as far as working conditions and "clientele"), I'm used to having to swallow my pride and take it on the chin sometimes (have to absorb lots of verbal abuse from citizens and supervisors alike). So those aren't issues for me. Basically, the way I see it is that after doing this job, I can handle anything. So I guess I'm just looking for a little perspective and advice from people who are currently trying to make their way as chefs. I have heard all the negatives, mostly from people who have been doing it for decades, but with all the negative I wonder what it is that has kept them in the field for so long. Also, is there anyone out there who has some positive experiences to share? I just think it would be great to get paid to cook and create. Is that unrealistic?Sorry, I know this is a long post, but I appreciate anyone who has some input for me. Thanks!