Is every moment of our lives built before we’re born?
Maybe…I don’t know for sure..
But in life, there’s always ups and downs..
And they make life worth living..
We’ve never realized how high we’ve gotten,
without the perspective of how low we had actually been…
So, let’s continue this story. The first part is here. Well, in the summary, the first year after my graduation was the phase on a transition from college life to real life. It mostly about trying hard to figuring out how to be grown-up man, and trying to figure out, not necessarily who I am, but how to be who I am.
And, like I said, I felt thankful to experience the assignment to Field/Site at the first year of my career, because I was forced to learn faster about engineering. And yes, not only about technical things, but also in regards to personal development, because I also involved to work with many types of worker (blue collar, white collar, client/company man engineer) and many different character of people.
The 2nd Year – Back to Square One
Well, after long struggling & lot of hassle, harsh reality, and sometimes bully (again, you can imagine, as fresh graduate engineer working at Field/Site on small company with very tight schedule of EPC project nature, working 7 days per week, for sure it’s tough), then I decided to leave this first company when project almost completed.
Besides that, the harsh reality about working on EPC Project with project contract-basis, there will be no certainty once project completed. I mean, once project completed, I have to find other project to work. It was good experience in terms of technical though, but of course, I need something better, something stable.
I needed the better things in terms of compensation, more established company, and more stability concerning my future career path & career growth. Therefore, it means I was back to square one, become unemployment again, and I have to find other job.
Okay, this time was the lowest point of my life. It took me around 3-4 months to get a new job. During those 4 months, actually it was harder to find good job compare to “my fresh grad time” one year before.
Because, if I applied for fresh-grad position, most big company would prefer fresh-grad who just recently graduates, rather than engineer like me who already worked for 1 year. If I pursued engineer position, there was no position for 1 year experience, normally company would consider at least 2-3 year experience. But, I told myself, the story not over yet, that there will be light at the end of tunnel.
Although I was optimist, but there was a time where future-worried slap me. In the time struggling to find new job, I doubted myself whether I’ve made wrong decision to leave the first company. But, that was also the time where I made promised to myself, that I would not leave one company (whatever the situation) to other job, unless I’ve already been accepted/employment contract from other company have already presented to me.
I felt that I want to stop and go back to the beginning. I was struggling to find meaning. I was struggling to find direction. Where do I head to, knowing that my life was not like most of my college friends.
But, it was during that lowest pint of my life that I understand & learned the hard way that a person should be happy whatever particular point he is in life. Life has different stages, each with its own perks, and we’re always at the right point in our lives, at the right time, whatever the situation is. It might not seem evident at that time, but it’s true.
Getting 2nd Job – Change Direction
Again, after countless job fairs, job applications, tests & interviews, etc., Then I got new job. The recruitment process took almost 2 months. From hundreds of candidate at the beginning, only 7 engineers accepted & signed employment contract. And the second job was a big company who have operated worldwide.
However, the line business of this second company I worked with was different (e.g not EPC). It’s company for Manufacturing the Line Pipe and OCTG for Oil & Gas Industry, which made me have to work in manufacturing factory. I was excited, this second company I worked with was already established company, they gave decent compensation package, and they have clear career path program. Beside that, surely I couldn’t stay jobless.
Well, I thought I also needed this change. Working in different business line and different type of work would allow me to see another point of view as engineer. Although I was struggling to adapt at the first month after join, but funny enough, after working for 8 months on factory, I felt that I’ve found my destination at that time.
Until, I got my first invitation from my friend who getting married.
Seeing Friend Getting Married for First Time
Well, you see, I still remember that moment, when I got the first invitation from my friend who was getting married, and opened the new chapter of their life, It gave me strange & anxious feeling, you know. At that time, I felt somewhat surprised to discover that I still didn’t have life quite figured out, especially when I’ve reach at some stages of age on life.
Because, when you’re single, and your friends or people that closed on your life start to get married, every wedding invitation presents a strange moment of self-evaluation. What it’s really asking is, “Where do you see yourself..??” Especially, with my busy daily life working, just so I can be able to survive for myself, where I have no time to think about serious relationship (let alone married).
I realized that, in reality I’ve been forced to just “survive” day by day on real world. I’ve been forced to be settled as a guy who working 80 very un-funky hours per week, just so I can pay all bill at the end of the month. I asked myself, was this really the kind of life that I want to live for the rest of my life? This kind of question, struck me for a few months.
Was this really a kind of life story that I want to tell my kids someday, like “well kids, I’ve graduated from college, got a job in factory, then my life would be through on same motion wake-up in the morning, go to work, then come back home, and repeated again, until I met your mom & then you’re born”? Whaw, really? How the heck am I going to do this for the next 30 years? What about traveling & seeing the world?
It made me re-thinking about my life. And no surprised, I became overwhelmed also at that time. And then, I remember, that day after work, I just went to the beach, to Anyer Beach, to ease this anxiety I feeling. I was standing there that day watching sunset, far away from anything. Far away from buses and noise.
I was thinking about the disturbers of mine. Questions I had: whether all this was good, whether I’d make it. There was a constant disappointment in my head and myself. Because when I was at college, and I’d get an A on some engineering test or whatever, I’d get this good feeling about all the things that I could be. But then, the reality at that time, I hadn’t became any of them. In the end, no one can share our burden. Each of us alone must answer the question, “What does it mean to be alive?” And in the vast infinity of time, “How do I matter?”
Then, I knew I had to make changes. I’m the one who responsible for my own life. I realized what I wanted was to live the life, a different life. I didn’t want to go to the same place every day and see the same people and do the same job. I wanted interesting challenges. I wanted dynamism.
Then, exactly after one year worked in factory, I handed my resignation. At the same time, I got good opportunity to work in major EPCC Project where I was responsible to handle NGL Pipeline. And each time I looked back with my life, I usually say “this is where it all went wrong, and this is how I made it right, so I can become who I am today.”
To Be Continued….
Okay, enough for the second part. I’ll continue on third part next time.