I’m not an engineer. Yet I am, in a way. I stumbled upon a description of Hedonism that I find fittingly: “Paradise engineer.” This is how I see my life, engineering paradise. I’m not talking about beaches and martinis, but rather, an existence which is overflowing with interesting people, opportunities, and experiences. To me, that’s paradise.
Rather still, I admire the engineers. They crave exactness in a world of chaos. Back-ups and redundancy when everything possible could go wrong. They thrive in this against-the-grain probability and scope. If that’s all there was to being an engineer, then heck, I’d have declared long ago.
And I was sitting in a Caribou Coffee one afternoon when six to seven flannel-attire, early thirty-somethings walked in and sat at the table. They immediately dived into an engaging conversation. Laughter, tears, intelligence flexed… It seemed to have it all.
“That’s what I want to engineer,” I thought. To me, I’ve always had this scene in my head where my dining room table is used more often than anything, scratched with memories and coated with coffee stains… It’s where I have friends over constantly to talk about everything from life to school and all the outliers from the two. It’s this mix of the Italian’s sense of family and the Danish “hygge,” which conceptually translates to coziness. I also have the image of a place with very large windows, lots of sunlight, and a I’m-eating-all-of-your-square-footage kitchen.
In this vision, I’m eating and cooking healthy. I exercise and have the energy to go about my projects. I have free time to follow random opportunities. I have a challenging, yet interesting slate of courses. There’s a random little bonsai tree by the window. I decline with a resounding “nooooo” often to maintain this paradise, and that’s okay. I have separate places for work, school, and home, which helps me switch gears and not confuse any of them.
Truth is, I’m excited again. I was bouncing off the walls last night and Wes kept on laughing because he hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing my late-night craziness. I’m excited because things are looking like they’ll fall into place. The three big wins are: courses, roommates/place to live, and an internship.
Next semester, I’m looking to take:
- Brief History of Imagination (Dr. Maisto of Psychology and Dr. Swisher of Architecture? Watch out)
- Game Theory & Strategic Behavior (Good ol’ Perry’s going to be subsidizing my hot chocolates again)
- Honors Micro-Economics
- Scuba Diving
- Approaches to Literature
- Italian 2
And then I’ll drop one the first week and fill it with the 1-credit BHP practicum. Interesting slate of courses? Check.
I reconnect with my now-graduated buddy Caleb Tuesday night. We’ll be talking about the prospect of me moving into a new place. I’m spending my entire week with people who fill me up, including potential roommates. I’m sure I’ll find some wonderful people to room with. As much as I’d love to move into this
place, I think that’ll be down the road.
BHP holds mock interviews Thursday, and I’m going all-out in hopes that I can snag an internship for next semester in the process. TIAA-CREF is still in sight, too. I have to keep at this for it to happen.
“The sweet life” can be engineered. We have to wake ourselves up to what could be, define it, write it, and then build it.
(I got that image from jaymug)