You Aren’t Supposed to Have it All Figured Out Yet

Except for your future grad school, future job title, and future home location. Oh plus the number of kids you’ll have and their gender.

Let me brake it to you all. There is no set way to go about living out our life and fulfilling our purpose. To try and do it one persons way is like also trying to fit their shoes, pants, and hat. The likely hood of that going well for you is slim to none.

Image result for trying on clothes too big

(Actual picture of me trying to be an engineer)

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

Hey Malcolm, what exactly am I preparing for?!

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn

O.k. so happiness is what exactly?

“feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”

I go through this little battle in my head everyday. I’ll be driving down the dry Mojave desert road and think, I just have to turn this truck east and keep driving. I just have to get through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, then Illinois. Indiana here I come! It won’t be that bad. I can sleep in the truck. It’ll be worth, it’ll be worth it.

Then I turn down Inyo street, pull up to my duplex, turn the truck off, and go inside.

So going home is what would truly make me happy then? No, that’s not quite it…

Oh. It’s about not facing tomorrow here. That’s more like it. I am so scared of my future that I can not possibly be happy. I am so consumed with feeling like I can’t do it, that I associate the career I’m pursuing as miserable and dreadful alike. Recently I was given a new project at work. This project entails the concepts that I have been studying in my undergraduate program, but I have never felt so lost and foreign to something. Suddenly, I can’t be an engineer. I don’t know what I am doing. The job scope of being an engineer only entails full time anxiety and depression due to feeling lost. This is obviously not true of this field, but I can’t help but feel that way every day moving forward. I feel like I’d never find my niche as an engineer.

So maybe there needs a mix of both Malcolm X’s quote and Jim Rohns. It is important to educate and prepare for our future, but it is crucial that we know how we will fare in that future. If you want to be happy in the future, I believe that it is every bit as important that we try to reach some form of happiness in the present. They say that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something. If happiness is at least attempted to be obtained everyday, then before no time, happiness would be something measurable and better understood on how to monitor it for yourself.

Before I got this horrid project at work, I planned on going to MIT to study Technology and Policy, I was going to aim to be an astronaut or work with mission operations at NASA. I was going to have two kids, a boy and a girl. Now because of this project, I think I just want to go back to my little home town and make way down to the bar for Karaoke night on Thursdays. Joking…

My point being is that while it is important to have goals, it is also important not to write your future in permanent marker on the inside cover of your bible. Wanting to be an astronaut is such a daunting career goal, that a very real pressure of performing more precisely than the robot I’m probably fumbling to build engulfs me. We can’t treat our lives like painting a car. If a section of primer didn’t get sanded enough, and the paint looks a bit rough, then it’s o.k.. Resanding the entire car then repainting it isn’t necessary to get the job done.

“But there’s people who make career changes ALL the time! How do you explain that?” Well, if I had to take a guess, they probably used the wrong kind of primer for the paint they were wanting to use, and it just wasn’t going on right. While this project has been tough, it made me start thinking about working in this field for the long run. What if this is more than just rough primer? What if this entirely the wrong primer? That is o.k., but I must become very o.k. with changing my situation to something that makes me happy while still understanding the effect that it has on my future.

I would like to close this blog journal today by making it clear that having large dreams is healthy and that wanting to do all the right things now to make them happen is surely a normal feeling, but it is also just as important to remain flexible. Don’t stop listening to your heart. If you are being compelled to start writing, learn how to be a carpenter, run a green house, or become a test pilot, then it is important that we don’t shut that out. If an exciting an intriguing opportunity presents itself, you should take it. Suppressing your best potential will only harbor feelings of resentment towards what was once your big ideal dream. It is o.k. for our dreams to change. It’s o.k. for our hearts to pick the happy path.

I want to be an architect and interior designer.

Author: Courtney Simpson

I am a Purdue University Mechatronics Major, currently in my Senior year. HOORAY! I am also proudly a Brooke Owens Fellow. I am a woman in aerospace and I have a family of 80 women just as passionate as I am about all things in the sky. I have worked closely with other Engineering students on some really amazing projects, and have big ideas I hope to implement some day in the tech world! If I'm not at school being an engineer, I am either at the gym lifting heavy objects, or I'm in my art room or kitchen letting my creativity run loose. My passions are not so technical. They're deep and sporadic in nature. Welcome to not so technical blog where we put science into life, and emotion into living!

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