During my years at primary school I recall having a fascination with the solar system, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up..
As I went on to high school my interest shifted to marine biology and my incredibly supportive family helped me to get some practical experience in this area before I'd finished Year 10. With this experience though I'd decided that I didn't like the idea of being in a lab/office all the time, I wanted to be outdoors more, maybe marine biology wasn't for me.
When it came to my final year at high school and it was time to decide what I was going to do at university I don't think I had a clue....I knew that I liked being outdoors and that I loved the beach and the environment. The degree called 'Environmental and Coastal Management' therefore made sense so that's what I put down as my number one preference, next thing you know I'm at Deakin doing the course.
The course was coming to an end and I was doing pretty well in the engineering subjects so I decided to upgrade and go the double, I figured it would enhance my chances of getting a job as engineers were considered to be more employable (and coincidentally were paid better!).
The outdoors and environment were still things that I highly valued so I took on the 'environmental' stream of engineering.
I start doing work experience in the engineering field and then applied for a job as an engineering consultant, at this time I didn't even know what a consultant did and had to sheepishly admit this during my interview when asked - but somehow I still got the job!
Eight years passed as an environmental engineer and I then attended my chartered status interview applying to be certified as an 'environmental' engineer. At the end of the interview they broke the news, they don't think that I'm an 'environmental' engineer, I'm actually a 'civil' engineer so that's the status that I'm granted.
I think we all have a those points in our life where we stop and ask ourselves what on earth we are doing, this was one of those for me....how did I come to be so far from where I thought I was going?
Without realising for several years I progressively moved further and further away from those things I'm passionate about and somehow became a largely desk bound civil engineer. Don't get me wrong I don't completely dislike the job I'm currently doing but if I had the ability to hit reset and go back again, would I put myself here...at this stage I'd suggest most likely not..
Which brings me to this fantastic quote from the movie Braveheart:
"Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it"
If I had to ask myself if I've been following my heart the simple answer would be no. I've been climbing the corporate ladder without even stopping to take a breath, I suppose you could say I've followed the stream of life down the path of least (or logical) resistance.
So what next....I muster up all that courage in my reserve and do the unthinkable...hit the big red button 'RESET'.
Leave application approved - big wide world here I come!
Time to get energised again by those things I'm passionate about.
Mandy Habener (Dumas)