June 23, 2013

Reflections on 5 Years as a Mining Engineer

"You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet." ~Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

Today. June 23rd marks my 5 year anniversary as a real life engineer. I am finding this hard to believe which is quite a common feeling for anyone who reflects on 5 “quick” years if you can use such an adjective. (there is no such thing as a quick year is there? A year is a year. A measure of time). Gone are the days of being a new graduate with little responsibilities. This is my life now. This is who I am whether I like it or not. I can no longer say I am just dabbling in the engineering profession. I am a mining engineer.

I thought to myself when I started this occupation 5 years ago that I would only do it for a short while, say 1-2 years. And if I felt I didn’t like it, I would move on to something else. I can’t say I have always liked it. I weathered many bottom of the happiness curve situations. And have spent countless lonely nights in my bland and empty accommodation. I questioned my purpose in this field. I questioned the point of the work I was doing. I still do.

Maybe I should just be a running or hiking “bum” like so many of the online personalities I follow (Anton, Andrew Skurka, Dakota Jones, Rickey Gates and countless others)? Maybe then I will finally have some real adventures hiking across continents or travelling around the world running ultra-marathons?

But for whatever reason I have been stubborn enough to stick with it for 5 years and I could not picture my life taking any other path. There are too many weird experiences to count, too many wacky characters, and far too many lessons learned at bars I had no business being at in some far flung corner of civilization.

I am beginning to realize now that life, and how you choose to live it, is the adventure.

Daily for the next 30 days, I am going to do some mind dumping on the past 5 years. Lets call it a catch up on random thoughts, trip reports, and lessons learned during the past 5 years.

The picture is of a register for the Iron Cross in Kadoka, South Dakota as I was making my way through America to start the job.  It was the first the first time referred to where I was from as Bagdad. 

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