The Decade Project - #2
Back in 2008, I graduated college. I had always had jobs and full time jobs during summers, while all my compatriots racked up debt and partied. I always felt like there was work to do, you know? Always felt like most people were lazy and entitled, unwilling to do what needed to be done to make the world a better working place. And I was of course, 100% right.
In the last 8 months I was assigned to the most difficult project of my career to date. I had a ball busting schedule, hard line specifications, a big customer, and all the usual players. This project not only required mechanical engineering, but plenty of electrical and software coding to boot. I did a ton of overtime in January to get this thing ready to go out the door in March and we made it. And when it got to the customer’s site we had even more issues with the unique power configuration (Singapore uses GFCI breakers everywhere apparently.) But after a few weeks we resolved them as well and completed the victory lap. I bought my engineers a cookie each for their efforts.
Every certain number of years you have to be woken up from your sleep. This was my year. So now I’m reflecting on how long it’s been since I had a project this hard and I’m coming up with this number: 10. 10 years since anything remotely this difficult has crossed my path. I put it down back in 2009 as well, and I remember it fondly. What else did I do in the last 10 years worth mentioning? Maybe I should write them down.
List of really cool things I did in the last 10 years:
Moved out of my parent’s house at 18 with my own money for rent. Good luck on finding kids who even contemplate that any more.
I designed and built a guitar tube amplifier from scratch. It still works!
Worked for Tesla Motors in it’s infancy. Helped build the first prototype Model S sedan from an old Mercedes. Designed and prototyped things constantly while there.
Designed a chlorine generator with touch screen PLC to control it and programmed everything myself.
Bought a house in ‘10 and spent the next ten years fixing it and loving it!
Got layed off in the financial crisis (By choice mind you, told my manager “this is the worst job I’ve ever had” and asked them to let me go).
Deadlifted 500lbs. Once.
Benched 300lbs raw. Pretty easy with a good routine.
Attained a six pack, like a really good one, for like 6 months.
Recorded 2 albums and a demo with my band.
Played 143 shows with my band. Holy crap that’s a lot.
Found the girl of my dreams. This might get crossed out later but whatever here it is anyway.
Learned to dance Lindy hop, East coast swing, Charleston, and West Coast Swing.
I Quit drinking. 3 years sober.
Became a manager
My pay increased 120% since I started my first full time new hire job after graduating college.
Traveled Europe a bit. Went to a bunch of dance competitions in the good ‘ole USA.
Learned to handle people better.
Learned to see when people are manipulating me for stuff (pretty much everybody does, I just didn’t realize the extent of the bad that motivates normies)
Held a full time job with no more than 2 weeks off since 2009. Probably only had 2 weeks 2 or 3 times.
And sometimes it still feels like I wasted the last 10 years of my life. Jeez the time flies doesn’t it?
Readers, reflect on your life after college, what are you proud of? You likely haven’t done as little as you surmised.