Well, for the first time since I’ve been down here, it rained the entire time I rode to work. Now with Bermuda rain, it’s quite different than rain I’ve experienced anywhere else. You see, the droplets seem to have some sort of supergravity within themselves which allows them to contain the same amount of water but exist in a smaller, more compressed space. What does this mean for the casual scooter driver? Well it means that at any given second, it feels like your being stung in the face by 100 bees.
The rain down here is also incredibly consistent. What I mean by that is that when you’re outside, you’re either being dumped on or you’re completely dry; “drizzle” or “light mist” don’t exist here. Thanks to the constant dump of water soaking everything in it’s path, the casual scooter rider mentioned above must do everything within his or her power to cover as much of their body in nylon- and plastic-covered materials as possible, to prevent from becoming one with nature (and by that I mean: drenched). This includes (from the top down) a helmet, sunglasses/goggles, a waterproof jacket (think of a really expensive snowboarding jacket, minus the ultra-thick lining) with hood on underneath the helmet, and matching rainproof pants. You essentially look like a plastic mummy making your daily commute to go reign terror on unsuspecting victims.
I want to take this moment to apologize for not writing much last week. Some time around Tuesday or Wednesday, I had something of an epiphany and realized that the life goals (or expectations) I had set for myself 10 or 12 years ago were not the same goals that I have now. I can vividly remember being in grade 5 and teaching Mr. Harper’s computer class, and not only teaching, but designing a web page (in notepad, none of this WYSIWYG crap like Dreamweaver) between instructions. Being a systems engineer or a network administrator was all I ever wanted to be, but somehow in the past 10 years, I’ve gone from loving computers to absolutely despising them.
I guess I should have seen this coming, and looking back, it’s pretty obvious to see that I’m just another burnout that the IT industry has used, abused and kicked to the curb, and my mental status is a very obvious reflection of that. I’ve become even more cynical than I used to be, I’ve gone to work with a pretty big chip on my shoulder, and I hate it; this is not what I wanted to grow up to be. Or if I pictured myself growing up to be this cynical, I would have pictured it being later in my life; like maybe 25.
I mean, the sheer fact that I’m not even 25 and I’ve already been burnt out from one industry really scares me. I know that IT has a huge burnout rate in and of itself, but I still worry about what could happen if I just pick another industry and end up “burning out” from that too. I know I’m still young and have a lot of idealism still stuck in me, so I really do want to experience what else is out there, but at the same time, I’ve had it stuck in my head from certain family members that doing something “crazy” like trying a completely new career path would be a waste of my “meal ticket”.
I obviously believe them (to certain a degree) because I know IT, I know how it works, I know how it runs, and I’ve made some great choices in terms of career opportunities, but I still have this part of me that wants to get the hell out of IT once and for all. Or maybe not “once and for all”, maybe just “once”. Since I started in IT, that’s all I’ve done. That’s not necessarily a problem, but I haven’t had the chance to experience what else is out there. Maybe I’d be happier as a beancounter. Or maybe I’d be happier as a factory worker. Who knows. What I do know, is that sometime in the next year or so, I’m going to start working towards getting out of IT.
How will I accomplish such an incredibly difficult task, considering that university is too expensive and that any job I might even find even remotely satisfying will almost require a degree of higher education? I know it sounds cliche, but I’d like to go to China and teach English. Those of you who really know me know that I do like teaching people new things, plus you probably heard about my possible move to be a junior high math and science teacher a year or so ago. I think this would be a great move for myself personally, because I’d be able to use my (hopefully decent) teaching skills plus I’d be able to go to a country like China and experience a completely different culture.
I’ve been researching this teaching thing for about a week now, and while I obviously haven’t made any firm decisions on anything yet, I’ve definitely been looking into what would be required if I did decide to make one later. One of things that is considered a benefit (but not required) is TESL Certification which stands for Teaching English as a Second Language. There are accredited courses online which cost around $400-800 for a 40 hour program which will get you TESL certified, which is pretty darn good. (I found these prices by using a site which is something like an Online Better Business Bureau, so I would assume these places are at least somewhat reputable).
On top of the TESL certification, I’ve downloaded two different computer courses that teach you how to speak Mandarin. I have enough material that if I start before Christmas, I could be at least semi-fluent by Christmas of next year. The courses are the Pimsleur Mandarin I, II, and III, plus the Rosetta Stone English-to-Mandarin class.
I know it probably sounds ludicrous that someone like me who has basically been given his career path to him on a silver platter would make the conscious decision to throw it all away, even if it’s only temporarily, just to “see what’s out there”. To be totally honest, it’s a combination of being an IT burnout plus realizing that I haven’t experienced ANYTHING professionally outside of IT, and I feel so sheltered. It would give me the opportunity to see the world, and would also allow me to come back (if I didn’t like it) with relatively little damage to my career path. I know it’s easier to get a job when you’ve already got one, but it’s not 100% impossible, and if a prospective employer asks, I will be honest with them: I took some time off to explore other opportunities before I made a firm commitment to any particular industry.
Anyways, I should be getting back to work. 有一个早晨好!