Why did I move, and why I will continue to do so
Throughout last couple of years, the most often asked question I received was why did I go somewhere and for the love of God how??? When I changed my environment again, the very same people were even more puzzled: “Why and for the love of God how did you do it?” Really fast it got very boring being asked the same question by a bunch of pale faces. Let me start a series of FAQ questions so I can direct the curious minds here when needed.
We are all born equal, but some are born more equal than others. Growing up is just a process of realizing that fact. You come to understand why does Joe have a 1000 piece LEGO set and you are here making Santa sleds out of your 50-something rocket space ship set.
Being a kid it does not bother you. You set yourself and your LEGO set to be anything you want. Sometimes you might snatch a couple of Joe’s bricks to make your next creation (in the end I am Croatian, we pick things like that up in the crib days — thug life), but in the end the creation is only yours. To take away from this, point 1: “Seeing the possibilities — creativity”. Point 2: “Finding joy in everything you make on your own”. Another thing, that kids are good at is taking in knowledge as sponges. We have all put our palm on a burning red-hot stove once, and never again. Fool me once… And usually the knowledge comes from our experience exchange with the environment. Our fist contact to our environment are the people we look up to. First our parents, then our teachers, and then all other figures, sometimes even football players and celebs. And what they tell us is exactly what they been told. Be as it may, with a bit of updated opinion. Something like updating your internet router with a new firmware. But in the end it is the same box, limited by its own architecture. This way the little colorful sponges are shaped to become like everyone else, or the yellow sponges with the green rough end. Point 3: “Becoming normal”.
Normal means conformation with the social norm. You learn to accept your 50-piece LEGO set because that is all you are entitled to. Point 3 overweighs the previous 2 and you accept you only have a rocket ship. And if you want more, you have to earn it through good ol’ hard work. For me as a good pupil in high school the next expected step was to become a good student. Mechanical engineering was the only interest of mine that made some sense. Constantly I was pushed to have a backup. What if you fail? Weird way of thinking I thought to myself. No one asks what if I succeed. In the end, I did my own thing that felt best however sharp and uncomfortable mechanical gears get.
Luckily I still had a grain of curiosity left to outweigh the weight of being normal, which meant finishing all my studies where I started them, if possible, ASAP, and decided to go on an Erasmus exchange in Germany. Unfortunately, I chose Germany as my sense of normality suggested that the Germans are the best engineers. These days I would have opted for a more southern option, but even that would not have changed the outcome. Realizing all this new possibilities, made me more curious about what else is out there. I realized that there are different levels of entitlement. Because, jaaa natürilich wir haben all this great facilities to study at as we pay taxes that go for the greater good of everyone. I guess they didn’t get the crib training most of Croatians get, where in the 10 rules of theft, a golden one is that sometimes the taxes end up in a private pocket of the most humanitarian cases ever known, the crooked politician. An exchange means you eventually get back. And even though all this widened horizon I got by learning new cultures and languages, I came back to an environment where the sun never rises, that’s how narrow the horizon is. Why did you go, how did you do it, were the questions when I got back home. For the love of God (making a cross gesture) WHY? Demotivated, I sat down, did what I was supposed to do until I earned my chance to change the eco-system again. Not because I was unhappy with what I had home. Croatia is a wonderful place to live, despite all the previously mentioned negativity. I went because I knew I could and I wanted to do MORE. Maybe naively thinking about something that can bring use to society. Instead of working on a next best race car, I decided to work on the better, cleaner future. I don’t know if it is my altruism or the general way the so-called millennial generation was shaped by new technologies. Finally I opted for wind energy.
Anyhow, I leave for Czech Republic (or the millennial name Czechia, because it is easier to be tagged in one #) and Denmark, the country of those freaking LEGOs which then I really could not have afforded (the obligatory reference to the expensive Nordic country). I play my cards, pull an ace from my sleeve and go all in to finish my studies in the US, while Obama was still president. I add a couple of degrees to the azimuth of my horizon view. Learn how socially aware an economy can be. Where every student is entitled and supported to live on their own, independently. I understood the minimalistic Scandinavian approach how to live with just enough to be cozy and enjoy life (#hygge) and also learned how there is an economy so brutal that everyone works their ass off just to repay the debt they piled on just for wanting higher education.
Then, I said ok, lets blindfold one eye and come back to Croatia, because I am a real nationalist, I mean patriot, and decide to give Croatia another chance. Just being able to obstruct my view should do the trick, right? Let see.
Finding a job is something else. You need to experience it to believe it. Please, don’t, mkay. I don’t want to talk about the market and make you depressed. I will limit this to my experience. Before anything I wanted to work in my field. Other than a couple of showroom (showhill in this case) wind turbines there is pretty much nothing existing in the structure of renewables in Croatia. I even did what is the first step in Croatian job seeking cheat shit (can I say pun intended?) and used my network to work in my leverage. I would have gone to my political party but I am not involved with any of the leading players. After googlin’ the contacts my network provided and seeing the top scores were the news articles where these contacts were involved in, allegedly, multi million $ scams. -Oh boy, I am set for a job for life and a house on the coast!, I thought to myself. Unfortunately, even then they said their hands are tied because of the market situation. Limited support for renewables, even though, for example, Croatia is one of the sunniest EU countries. Something that is always promoted, using the hot Croatian booties, by our GDP working mule, the tourism industry:
Imposing taxes for wind and prioritizing the construction of a coal power plant is beyond my comprehension. So the next best thing is that I can fall back on is my mechanical engineering undergraduate degree (mom’s was right, I did actually have a backup alternative). Other than a couple of growing and exciting companies, rather only one, there was not a lot of options. I even settled and went in an extreme direction, just in order to stay in the country, by interviewing for a job I can not do well, working with people I don’t like, not creating anything. Falling in perfectly with the norm and not questioning the establishment, sponging.
That was the tipping point. I set off to apply for a job abroad. Couple of interviews later a call came in. A job where I was put in focus. Where I will be supported to further develop my horizons within the field of wind energy before finally deciding in which area of business I will be making a change. Because, in the end it is not about the job. It is about being self-aware, creative with all your possibilities in order to find joy in your creations and I would add, define your own norm.
Refreshing… Firmware update available… Do you want to update?
What will I be working on? I promise it will get more technical…. Maybe… Eventually… To be continued…