If it isn't middle school it's high school , if it isn't high school it's college, if it isn't college it's a job and if it isn't a job, it's another job. For most of us , it is hard to escape this cookie cutter pipeline. Doing things the safe but boring way has become a reality for a lot of us. In middle school , I remember thinking adults were really lucky. I assumed that older people were luckier. That they were privileged, therefore they had more freedom. Get to high school and the envy of older folks continues. Always thinking it will only get better as I pass each stage in life.
Highschool was a trip. However I always hated the home works. I didn't enjoy doing them, yet I had to do them. They were necessary for my development as a responsible person. I understand that... and I will do it again if I went back in time. But I digress. College, was even worse. You had the projects, the labs , the home works and not to mention the soul crushing tests and exams you had to study for. The tests and the exams reminded you of your obligation as a college student . Those things sucked . Even while writing this , I can't help but remember bad memories of always falling below the average class grade on the tests. What a depressing experience that was. I am really happy I can look back on those days and shudder. While in college spending unhealthy hours in the computer labs , I consoled myself by thinking of the high paying engineering job I will most likely secure by the end of the torture. Well, I graduated and I am fortunate to say amidst all the economic woes , I secured a job.
Less than a year into the job , while struggling to meet a deadline, it dawned on me that, the underlining struggles of my life hasn't really changed that much. I was richer, I had more freedom, but the apprehensive feeling from responsibility was even stronger. The excitement and passion I assured myself while spending the long nights in the labs hasn't begun. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing has really changed. Sitting in my cubicle and punching away at the keyboard to churn out code for a product I am clearly not endeared to, I realized that my dream of truly enjoying life is still fantasy. Absolutely nothing has changed, your deadline at work is similar to your deadline for projects. Miss the deadlines often enough and your punishment will be a lot more potent than getting a C- on a project. In fact the work environment is a lot more stressful due to politics and the non linear approach to dealing with certain problems such as other employees and promotions.
Heck I felt so jaded that the idea of a promotion didn't comfort me one bit. I had no interest in moving up a ladder I didn't want to climb in the first place. Would like to mention that my job is great as far as jobs go. My boss is the coolest guy in my department. And folks at work don't patronize either, which is great. However in the grand scheme of things , I am really not happy to know that this is what I have to show for my earlier struggles; More struggle.
I would love to one day get up and travel to Sweden and Japan within the span of one month and not have to worry about how my bills will be paid. Obviously the only way I can make this happen is to find a way to make money off what I really enjoy doing. Once I start enjoying my "job" I will never work a day in my life ever again.
The cookie cutter pipeline most of us are bound to be part of, will not go away unless we make a bold stand to find something we are passionate about. Is hard and scary to consider branching off a proven path, but you have only one life to live and we all owe it to ourselves to enjoy it before the inevitable.