The Tale of Chemical Engineering (Part 2 of 1)

Before reading this post, read this post:

Read it? Good. Nine months ago I posted this amidst what I would call “the end of predetermined youth”, which I think everyone who has lasted those years from the ages 5 to 21 being taught year in year out goes through, and seeing as it is possibly the only post I have put up here that is truly revealing, I think that it should be revisited. This will hopefully be rather cathartic, in the same way that the previous post was.

Basically, the crux was I was worried about deciding. Not that I am indecisive, at least, I’m not sure if I am, but I was worried that the decision I made would determine the rest of my life, which to anyone is a rather disconcerting moment.

On the other side of the decision, with what one of my contemporaries called “hindsight”, I suppose I can ally my fears with some good old fashioned perspective, but I still stand by the fact that this might not be what I want to do.

So, I have been working here for 6 months this month, and this means that I am going to be half a year into the rest of my life, and also means that I should have a good feeling for this life and this lifestyle. So, the good points.

Firstly, I am enjoying what I am doing. I work the usual shifts and feel for the meantime, that I am part of the team and that what I do is not surplus to requirements. I have my own little project, direct contact with the client, and basically get offshore when ever I need to, which I can imagine for any prospective engineer is a damn good place to be.

Also, the money is good. But, I hear you say, “Money isn’t everything!”. The problem is, it actually is. It allows for me to buy stuff that I enjoy, eat things I like and can live in a place I really do like too. Also, it keeps others happy too when I am slightly flush. There are a few problems, such as large car payments and others, but the bonus of offshore work is the rather large bonus you get when you come back. I am not ashamed of the amount of money I got paid for 2 weeks offshore, and if someone wants to know, I can tell them.

Finally, I also like the banter. There are some really good people in the office that I can get on with which is much better than there being a few total tools. Infact, there is only one person that is slightly annoying but seeing as he is neither in my department, nor do I ever talk to him, my happiness is high and my work ethic is well balance. Sounds good to me.

There are a few bad points, and this is why I still am not sure about what I want to do. There is the problem of location – I live 150 miles from where the person I love does, which puts a bit of strain on the relationship. Also, having to work offshore lines the pockets but doesn’t help things from either end.

The work can be boring as hell as well as enjoyable. When offshore I ran out of things to do and for the first time since Air Pollution classes, I was bored till my balls fell off. I had simply to wait until I was to go home – my most recent trip, which begins on Saturday the 9th should be much quicker, only being 5 days and that I have a stack of stuff to do aswell.

The final problem is that I still have those pangs of obscurity. I don’t want to be famous but I do want to do something different, and I feel that this blog and Sleepwalk Capsules are kind of a moonlighting type thing, but my dream is to be able to do it for a real publication.

My point seems to be this, and echoes a point made in the prequel post. “Forget about jobs or anything afterwards, do something that you will feel passionate about, and will have the most "fun" doing.” The thing I have found while working is not only is the first part still true, I am finding even though I didn’t stay true to that, when I chose academics over ambitions, you can still do the second part.

“After all, that's the only thing that is important.”