The past year has been one of great learning for me. Both my wonderful girlfriend and great job combined have taught me many lessons and etched more than a year’s worth of maturity onto me. I have also become a mess of contradictions: while feeling young and invincible (still), I also sense the rapid approach of both cynicism and wisdom that often accompany old(er) age.
I know this year will be one of great change. I’m officially in the latter half of my twenties, I’ll have had 4 years of industry work experience under my belt, and big decisions to make, such as buy or rent when my lease is up (and all the associated implications that would have).
Part of the reason for my internal confusion is because I’ve been blessed with a job that has given me visibility and influence at a scope I couldn’t have begun to imagine as a relative whipper-snapper in the company. It’s been like a lanky kid going through puberty. The physical reality is there, but the mind hasn’t Â grasped the entirety of what’s happened. The feeling of invincibility to have almost no fear in meetings, discussing problems and solutions with some seriously smart and senior people, while also beginning to develop the maturity to frame discussions in the right manner to achieve the best outcome. At the same time, ignorance truly can be bliss, and unfortunately, I haven’t had the luck to be spared any detail when it comes to the business or the organization.
It’s also within that context that I’ve seen my work experience drift more towards the strategic, the higher levels. I find myself missing the deep and intimate work on technically challenging problems and seeing it through to the end. In a somewhat idyllic way, I sometimes long for the all nighters in the engineering labs at university, ploughing through the latest calc assignment or FPGA design project. The goals were straightforward and little in the way of convoluted scheming was needed to accomplish them. It’s rarely that simple to do anything these days.
So, it’s with these thoughts that I enter 2014.
In the past half year, I’ve posted three times. That just won’t do. I’m back on the job. And while I risk this commitment falling through before it even starts, since I don’t have a pipeline of posts just waiting for me to click Publish on, I’m bursting with topics I’ve wanted to write about, but haven’t been disciplined enough to find the time for.
So many things have changed over the last half year.
After an absolutely hectic half year or so, the neglect here should finally be at an end. I’ve missed writing.
Exciting news incoming in the next week or two! I may finally have something worthwhile to write about. 🙂
Boy, it’s going to be toasty. I’m making the trip up to Mount Rainier on Saturday. I’m excited. The plan is to start the hike from Paradise this time, so the sun isn’t behind the mountain the entire way, like the last time, when I started from Sunrise.
Yes, I’m trying to switch over to Fahrenheit. At least I know 90 is warm.
So after fumbling around for the first couple weeks, I’m starting to become more comfortable with this whole independent thing. I just needed a kick in the pants and a change of mindset, provided to me quite serendipitously.
This past Thursday, as I wrung my hands in agony, waiting for technical difficulties to be sorted out during the internet install at my apartment, missing meetings I had booked, I was pretty sure I was screwing up not two weeks into the job. Dealing with situations on my own and being responsible for all my actions (or inactions) are definitely key components to making it in the real world. The minute the tech was done, I rushed back to the office, just in time for a Program Manager specification writing ‘bootcamp’, where I hoped to wash away my time management sins from earlier in the day.
It was during that seminar that the eye-opening line came, “Nobody Knows the Answer.”
Alright, so it was in the context of designing a feature area, but I think the lesson holds true for life. Nobody really knows the answer. Guidance is one thing, but looking for someone to hold your hand, while you walk along the path of life, is not the best idea. Those uncertainties I’ve had? Others have them too. Don’t expect others to know what’s best. Do the research, and make a decision. That’s my advice to myself.
Speaking with some friends, both at work and outside, I’m beginning to realize I’m not the only one mucking my way through.