This is going to be a necessarily lengthy post. I got thinking on the weekend. Where am I going? It bothered me a little because despite the fact that I live a rather comfortable life, there is a distinct difference between comfort and contentment. I have the former but not the latter it seems.
I’ll describe this a little and with any luck perhaps someone will be able to relate and offer me some tips to help me stimulate my existence a little.
As of recently I live by myself in a unit in the inner north and have many good fiends, some from the forums with whom I regularly nurture a mutual interest in all things automotive but there is still something missing.
I’m an outdoors person (jeeez this feels like a personal add!) who enjoys the thrill of accomplishing something that not everyone can. I work a very flexible full time office job in Brisbane that pays well, especially for my age. I’m 24 ½ now. After school I acquired an electronic engineering degree and an IT degree. That took 5 years (which is the minimum time) and I’ve been working in this job as an embedded Linux C++ developer since graduation (2 years this coming January).
At work I have no set hours and have no trouble getting time off. Consequently I have time to go to the gym in the mornings or evenings and completely leave work behind me on the weekends. The catch is that my work is not very fulfilling or mentally stimulating. It is in an industry that holds no real interest for me and I’m pretty much there for the money. I say to my self that this must describe 90% of the employed population but still I feel like there must be some way to feel challenged in a field of endeavour that I enjoy throughout the week. It’s not so much the work that I find dull, it’s the industry. If I was working on an air defence system or a scram-jet prototype I’d be pretty pumped I think. The skills I’m learning here my help to realise that one day.
Every step up to this point had been geared toward attaining an education in order to eventually reach a good income – and to a certain (lesser?) extent job satisfaction. Well I’m there now and it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be! I’m faced with the decision to stay in a less than fulfilling job for the money and possible future employment potential or give it up in the search for work, which could be
more fulfilling but pays less and not further my career as such. That’s one big question mark in my mind, surely I run the risk of being unchallenged / unhappy in a less lucrative position. This may seem to some as if I’m complaining about nothing but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and I can’t help but feel my self stagnate.
If I were being asked to describe my interests in a job interview, I’d say something along the lines of being interested in
- Cars (obviously) and the associated social aspects.
- All forms of engineering (although I’m of the electronic discipline, I enjoy talking to a mate who is a JetStar engineer about gas-turbines and all sorts of mechanical / structural systems etc)
- Cardio work at the gym as well as playing touch footy for work and indoor soccer with OED666 and his work team etc.
- Music (I used to play rhythm guitar a fair bit but these days do more listening than creating)
I’ve looked into the air-force. I can enter as a graduate and receive a commissioned officer rank. There are so many exciting appealing aspects to this option but again along with the pay cut there is the need to commit yourself to the ADF for a period of time. Time being my most precious commodity; I’m a little hesitant to promise a chunk of it, especially during this transitional period. Perhaps the reserves would be a compromise?
Perhaps I should broaden my hobbies and work towards non-professional goals. I’ve always been interested in shooting but beyond firing a few .22 rounds at a range never really got into it.
Perhaps I should broaden my hobbies and work towards professional goals. This would alleviate the frustration of utilising only a small amount of what I worked so hard to learn (and loosing the rest) and also would look good on paper I guess.
I don’t – at this stage – want to work overseas despite the fact that this would probably further my career. Such an endeavour would find me far away from friends and family and I know I’d get home sick wishing the time away. A former high school teacher of mine recommended just this morning joining a research team in the Antarctic for 6 months. Someone who has done it described the experience as life changing… but what a thing to commit to!
One thing is certain, for all of us there is less and less time with which I can do crazy stuff (join the military, tromp around the South Pole, whatever). I do eventually want to settle down and have 2.4 kids so how should I budget my time for the next few years in a way that will
1. Intellectually stimulate me
2. Physically stimulate me
3. Provide exciting stories for the grandchildren and more importantly a buzz for me now
4. Support my current life style or one similar.
5. Keep me close to friends and family
6. Provide a sense of accomplishment.
Perhaps I should do what many decide to do when they hit their mid or quarter life crisis. Retail therapy. I’m sure a T5 conversion, GT40P’s and a dual exhaust would help me enjoy life for a few weeks
I think this is a timeless problem and one encountered by all people at many stages of life. Like everyone with these thoughts, I know what I don’t want but not what I want.
That’s the problem brief. I just thought that some of you on here probably know me reasonable well and especially some of the older folk may have sorted this stage of their life out and can give me some pointers.
Now with less spark,