Monday, February 9, 2015
It’s been 2.5 years since I moved from the midwest for two dreams: to serve the poor and to figure out what I’m supposed to do with an engineering degree.
For 1 year I served the poor and because of that, it threw everything off. It gave me new perspective on life. It helped me understand how cruel the world is and at the same time, how loving it is. It also helped me understand that culture is merely a concept that defined by dreams, relationships, religion, and personal drive. When I was growing up I also considered culture something you are born into and will always have with you, boy was I wrong. Now I’m not saying that the small town midwest boy a grew up as isn’t still apart of my culture, it is. But that part of me is what makes me unique and not similar as culture would suggest. At one point in my life I was told that I was lucky. How? I was told I grew up in a small town in the midwest of the United States. That alone made me lucky.
The students and families I worked with in my volunteer year, truly showed me how lucky I was and still am today. I owe that to my parents. But luck always has side effects. Because of my “luckiness” I feel like it made me ignorant to the world. Not ignorant to the problems of the world, rather ignorant to the people who suffer because of those problems. My volunteer position “humanized” the world. It showed me behind every extremely complex decision both political and moral, there are people suffering because of the outcome, or lack of outcome..
After my volunteer year, I set off for my second dream, which seemed selfish, but something that has always been apart of me: to work for a large tech company and impact the world. To be a valued and needed member of something. Now I have always held leadership positions, been on committees, been apart of decision making, and make logical decisions that would greatly impact organizations I was apart of. But I was always looking higher. Why? Probably because it always seemed like “I can’t” would always creep into my mind and then it was a challenge. “I can’t continue the legacy of good trumpet players”, “I can’t focus to become an Eagle Scout”, “I can’t make it through the core engineering classes”, “I can never lose the weight”, “I can’t run a marathon”, and “I’m never going to be smart enough to get into a big tech company”. EVERY single one of these “can’t”s I accomplished above and beyond what I ever expected.
Being “smart” enough to join the tech world as an engineer would always eluded me, until I had the opportunity to live in California. I guess if you dream hard enough and never give up, even if it is subconscious, things will work out. I think I the biggest thing about not giving up is taking every opportunity that presents itself. Because of that persistence, I’m now a technical trainer teaching a framework to fortune 500 companies.
To say the least, I have reached the other end of the tunnel of my mission in California. So now what? I don’t know. I really don’t. For the first time in my life, I don’t know. Every goal I have ever had as a boy I have achieved in some fashion. Most at this point in their life have set new goals of buying a home, fixing a home, getting married, having children. For me though? Not yet.
I have arrived at the other end of the tunnel with no where to go. I should really figure that out.