A short life update, a few personal grumblings, and a little freak out

7 thoughts on “A short life update, a few personal grumblings, and a little freak out”

  1. yo.

    First off, thanks for sharing. It takes courage to present your worries so nakedly like this. I’ve got two major takeaways from this. To feel satisfied with yourself, you want

    1) A job that you find fulfilling
    2) An active social life (don’t think I can help you there)

    In regards to the first, you’ve already diagnosed yourself – you know where you want to work to feel that fulfillment. So the only thing you can do is admit to yourself that the space industry what you want, & them to not be afraid to actually reach for it. “So simple, why did nobody else think of it?” Yeah, I know telling you to actually go for it is an easy thing to say, & yeah I know you’re somehow not confident in your abilities despite leading a rocketry team two years in a row to great success, & yeah obviously it is an incredibly difficult industry to get into. But what’s to stop you from continuing to try? I don’t doubt your abilities are as you say they are – you’re good at assessing yourself, but I do think you’re overestimating the ability you need to get started.

    It sounds a bit like you’re worried about… growing complacent? That all that life stuff; career hunting, soul-searching, meeting new friends; that all that ends after college. That once you get your first job that is the path you are set on for the rest of your life & that you won’t try to do anything about it. Now I don’t believe that for a second & I don’t think that you do either. But I can understand feeling worried. I’ve felt like the rest of my life is over so many times over the past couple of years… It isn’t. If you still have goals & dreams (which you do, & you have a good idea of what they are, which is better than most folks) then there’s little stopping you from continuing to pursue them. Yeah, maybe the new job will take up more of your time than you’ll like, but it doesn’t have to stop you.

    Sorry, I’m kinda rambling incoherently (& projecting somewhat). bahh..the likes of bless & sohum are always better at explaining this sort of thing… Look, all I’m saying is: Don’t be so ready give up on yourself. What your going through isn’t an end, it’s another beginning. You’ll be okay. I guess. If ya ever wanna chat, I’m usually around etc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right about the complacency – I don’t want where I will be after graduation to be the place where I stop. You remember that scene from The Great Gatsby where Gatsby points to the sky at a shooting star and says “My life, old sport, my life – it’s got to be like this…it’s got to keep going on”? I realize that Gatsby is not someone to emulate

      Truthfully, though, I think #2 is what I want more – even if I didn’t get into building rockets or other space hardware, I think I would be content with spending my time and money pursuing those hobbies on my own (have you looked into Copenhagen Suborbitals? It’s a bunch of dudes with day jobs in a garage trying to go to space.) And who knows – maybe I’ll think of a worthier industry to work in: alternative energy, racing, etc.

      But a life without people in it is…it’s just sad. And it’s ironic that maybe what I want most is also the thing I am least qualified to get. You can teach someone how to program an FPGA, but you can’t really teach them to be genuinely likable to others.


  2. I can’t relate to a lot of the specifics (like your particular vision of your night life, for example, or your desire for what you describe as excitement), but I hear your uneasiness about the post-graduation life loud and clear. I can’t take that away from you even if I tried, and I can’t tell you it’s stupid or that you shouldn’t be feeling that way. I remember lots of the same sorts of feelings from when I was getting ready for graduation, especially (as you are) facing a first job that wasn’t anywhere close to being my dream job.

    Can I give a piece of wisdom? Do you want that? If not, ignore this paragraph—but one of the things that has really come true for me after graduation is the realization that life after college slows down. A lot. You’re not longer thinking of the arc of your life in terms of semesters, small bunches of months. Now things happen over the course of years. You work for your first job for 5 years. You take a half a year, maybe an entire year to really get settled into your new life as a working ‘adult’ (lolz who is an adult here, not me). You think how you’d like to make a move towards something else, and see that the money and time required are going to be fairly substantial. So yeah, like whem says, there’s going to be a temptation to be complacent and comfortable—possibly punctuated with times of great anxiety when you want out of your current life.

    But on the other hand, you come to realize you have way more power over your life than you thought you did. It might not happen in an instant, but one day you’ll realize, “Shit, I can take drawing classes if I want to” or “You know, I’m gonna join an outdoor soccer league” or “I’m going to assess the sorts of situations where I best make friends and try and get myself into those.” It might not all be easy, but you’ve got time to screw up your courage or get so dissatisfied that you go for it anyways.

    Anyways, I’m a person who can be satisfied and want things more at the same time. At least I am now. But things do look horrid when you’re exhausted from years of killing yourself in undergrad and you’re facing a job you don’t really want to do after that. So I guess I’m saying, yeah. It sucks right now. It might suck for a while longer. But it can get better. I agree with whem. Don’t be so quick to give up on yourself.

    I dunno if this is worthwhile at all. Let’s Discord chat sometime. It’s one thing to write this all out, it’s another to actually be able to vocalize it.


    1. Yeah, we should! I’ll pop in or something more often, or maybe just put the word out on Twitter.

      I can’t say I like the idea of my personal sense of time slowing down. I mean, I kind of hope that my current job will provide me with the sort of work tempo that will keep me from feeling like I slowed down from undergrad (we typically put out projects in the space of a year or so, which is blazing fast for our industry.) And while I don’t want to kill myself at work everyday with punishing hours (60+ a week), I do want to feel like I’m making progress every few days.
      I think whats frightening socially is that when I think about how I’ve made friends before, it’s always been friends I make at work or on a project. Given that I’ll probably be working with a bunch of old people…

      I don’t know. I am 100% not the sort of person who makes friends easily and that’s been bugging me. And I’m not sure how to fix that at all.


      1. Yeah, I’m not either. I’ve kinda countered by doing some sports & other activities that bring people together in groups/teams, but even that’s not perfect. When I was thinking about moving recently, I couldn’t think of anyone I’d feel comfortable asking to help me. Which I wish I did!

        How do you make friends when you’re not in high school anymore…


  3. The part where you said you don’t have a lot friends kind of hit me. Especially when you mention there was so few people you could have a beer with.

    I’m still in high school(12th grade), and have five good friends that I could grab a coffee at Starbucks with. And I’m afraid of how I will do in college(if I get accepted).

    I don’t know what I will do, but you seem to have a good idea where you’re headed, and you seem like a cool dude. I don’t know if you’re afraid, but I sure am.

    To me life is exciting everyday. This might sound a dumb thing a teenager who has never experienced hard work in his life would say, but every year has been the best year of my life.


  4. My advice: do what you want to do. If you fail you can always try something else. You have plenty of time to screw up and recover from it. Don’t worry about failing. Just try your best and pick up the pieces later. Rewatch the Makoto bungee jump episode of AKB0048. But I suspect you’ll do much better than you give yourself credit for. Just the fact that you’re even aware of your own limitations is remarkable— that’s the first and the *hardest* step in bettering yourself.

    Also, the things you want now: you probably won’t want the same things in a few years. Think back about what you thought you wanted your life to be like in college when you graduated high school. I’m sure it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, or the way you thought you wanted it to. But you managed to find things you enjoyed, even if those things changed.

    It’ll be the same once you graduate. Your life will change. You’ll also change, in ways you can’t expect. And that’s ok.

    But dear god I pray I never become one of those old retired people who plays golf and watches TV all the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s