Friday will mark 3 months of me being a working man, and today marks 3 months having moved out of home. Not sure how I feel about these things, but – wait for it – I’m gonna let you know. (gee, did you see that coming? not me, coz, totally…)
*ahem* Let’s structure this. And let you in on what I’m doing – no deletes in this post, just restatements. You get to see my thought process. Which obviously isn’t as structured as this, because I added this after writing some lines below. That are after the cut.
Sydney, and Moving Out
If we want to work it through in chronological order, I guess Sydney comes first. Moving up here wasn’t so much a step out as a step back. But not in a bad way. Argh. Let’s start that again.
Sydney is a place you literally have to experience yourself if you ever consider it. Does that make sense? I don’t know. Sydney can only be absorbed properly by living in the place for a bit. I guess that’s true of all cities, but some cities take longer, and Sydney is one of them. I first moved [back] here [because this was where we landed after coming from India]
10 years ago after year 6, and 10 years later [(or 15 years later, if you want to measure it from when we first got here)] I find myself back here, after university. I like moving because it lets you get the feeling you just hit refresh on life, and while you might not reload exactly where you were, it’s a way of cleaning some cruft out. Terrible metaphor. Before this move, I’d always been glad to move for the possibilities it offerred (I can’t spell, seriously. How do you spell ‘offerred’? I know it’s a word), but this time I sort of knew where I was going and what I was getting into.
Only, I didn’t. I was moving out.
Huge. Big step. Life affirming. Lesson teaching. Way to Go. You learn things about yourself (e.g. your natural tendancies) you don’t while living at home. You appreciate the effort required. You appreciate the simple cost of things. It’s the human equivalent of leaving the nest, cave, pouch, insert appropriate young-leaving-parents animal metaphor here. If you can’t flap those wings, you fall. If you can’t get that food, you starve. If you can’t do everything that you need to keep going, you stop, or go backwards. It’s harder than it looks. But at the same time, if you’ve got enough grounding, you’ll be just fine – I know I am. Sure there are whole weeks where nothing gets done around the house, but in the end it still comes up smelling of roses – because it has to, because I’m living here and it’s mine, y’know?
Don’t kid yourself. Move out. Move to a totally different city, town, country, just somewhere far enough that you don’t have a safety net anymore. You’ll learn right quick, and you’ll love it.
Anyway, Sydney: cool. Love the weather, in case I haven’t mentioned that enough already. Traffic & roads suck, restaurants have turned up a little below scratch, but by and large I’m content. It takes time to build up a peergroup, a sense of mates, but that too shall come to pass. Which brings me to my next topic.
Why’s that, you ask? Because Work redfines everything. It opens possibilities, doors and whatnot, but at the same time, it limits your choices. Watch out.
(I’m blogging about work, I know, but I’m talking generalities here.
Please don’t fire me)
At uni, you get to explore as many aspects of your personality as you choose to take advantage of (so my hint is: take advantage of it while you can). You get to meet people from a variety of backgrounds in a variety of fields with a variety of interests, and if your interests happen to intersect chances are you’ll see them again and develop friendships. Take advantage of this, too. You will find in the workforce that you are suddenly surrounded by people who have a similiar skill set to yours, and occasionally even coinciding interests.
But. You will see these people every day, regardless of whether you like them or
net not, whether your interests coincide, whether you choose to spend more time in their company or not. This can be a good thing if you happen to find yourself surrounded by people who you can click with and can easily spend the rest of your life with, but if you don’t have that, you’re stuffed. Well, if you don’t have anything to fall back on from there, you’re stuffed. You won’t find time or opportunity to really develop new friendships (unless you’re really dedicated) outside the workplace. Life suddenly is a lot more predictable. Again, some people find that a good thing. I don’t like it nearly so much (probably why I enjoy moving so much).
To look once more at the topic of my work itself: I’m a developer. I’m working on reasonably advanced software, and being in a bank it’s fairly easy to predict the product domain. I’m trying to avoid being a corporate clone. I don’t have to wear a tie to work, and I typically work 9~6, with an hour or so for lunch. With the commute factored in it’s 8-7. I cook my own dinner when I get home, and about once a week my own lunch. I am very much enjoying earning money & managing it because it gives me a sense of actual usefulness of my time. I’ve been given a couple of responsibilities at work, and while I enjoy the challenge, some days it is quite daunting to think that I have been given this much responsibility this early in my life – and I’m much younger by far than the other graduates, which is both a blessing and a curse. I work with a good team, and I still get that insane sense of satisfaction whenever the work acheives something tangible – and the corresponding lows when things are going haywire and/or rapidly downhill.
One thing I find about my particular stream of work is that… well, you have to wonder to some extent how is it that it’s worth the money they’re paying me? It’s a long way from me to the primary producer who ends up putting food on my plate. How is it that the brain cycles I actively engage in this “programming” I do daily actually acheives something to make food appear? I understand in the abstract sense that money flows around and all that, but you still have to
wonder ask yourself occasionally… what is it about the work you do every day, that adds value to the world, in a way that the world returns the favour?
I think I’ll just leave it on that half-expressed contemplative note.