Monday, August 22, 2011

Knowing Your Audience

I had a conversation with another friend and it was surprising how simple she made it for me to understand why I struggled this summer in my writing. It has always been such a relief to me but ever since I closed it off to the public I didn't know how to express myself. Beforehand I knew anyone could read it and for my own good, I had people who truly cared about me tell me I should fix that because of how private some of my thoughts may seem. Well the problem with that is after making the change to privatize, I no longer knew who would read it. I had a select group that I had invited to read it but I didn't know how each of them would respond. I never really got feedback from anyone in particular (again with a few exceptions which I am grateful for) so to narrow my audience and get the same results was not upsetting but confusing. I didn't know who I was writing to. If I wrote to the public I had a voice. If I wrote to one person then I could express myself to them privately. But to this new audience it was like having a private discussion with someone while allowing others eavesdrop. It just felt like a very odd and uncomfortable conversation for me. So for my own sanity, I am going to undo what I did and make this open to the public again. For those of you that do not know me, this is typically the deeper side of an easy-going and fun-loving individual. Don't judge a book by its cover or even a couple chapters, read the whole thing. If people read this, they won't know me or understand me, but they will be on their way to beginning to.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moments of Reflection

I know I haven't really writing all too much as of late and honestly, it has been killing me. I will definitely say that I haven't just been sitting around doing nothing this summer. I have been working my tail off to be quite honest. I was able to do some fun things here and there with a bit of planning... spent time out at Cape Cod in Massachusetts, saw an outdoor production of the Wizard of Oz on the coast, had a lobster dinner, had a bunch of family outings, watched a bunch of movies on my unwritten movie list, made and remade acquaintances of both new and old friends. I realized that honestly I am not that patient even though at times I think I can be. I recognize that out of a lot of weaknesses there are a couple I should really try hard to change. These are things like not being a party person, never really working out, and believing that I am not really worthy or able to do a variety of different things and by doing that I sell myself short in a lot of ways.

There have been a few really good conversations though that have also been reflective but in a more positive way. I thought about my relationships that I have had and do have with my friends and I realized that though I have made many solid friendships at college, my strongest friends I made back at home. You don't pick your family but you love your family and as those relationships grow you would do anything for them. If I had to pick someone who wasn't already my brother to be one of my brothers that person would either be Jared Crain or Caleb Earnshaw. I know I typically don't use names but these two men would do anything for me and vice versa. They are the kind of men that I wouldn't think twice of asking them to be groomsmen or to bail each other out in a pinch. They are like brothers to me because not only have we all been through different things but by learning from our experiences, we can each relate to one another and have an understanding of the effort and strength it takes us to become better men, to overcome and recover from our weaknesses and past mistakes. We all have supported each other in our low times and celebrated each others highs as well.

And that would be a good description of my summer actually: filled with highs and lows. I prefer to deliver bad news first because it makes me feel that the good news is that much better but really neither one was an extreme case. Only a couple of weeks after purchasing my first car, I was commuting from work and got a driving ticket which would haunt me all summer. Eventually it got taken care of and the charges were lessened and I got to keep my license but nevertheless it was not fun to say the least. Then the good news happened here at the end of the summer. I was commuting every day to my work as an intern for a biomedical device company in Lawrence, MA. On my last day, my group of coworkers in the Research & Development Department decided to take me to lunch. It was a lot of fun and afterwards we all exchanged contact information and all of them had kind words to say. Apparently I might be cut out for this kind of job after all. But the nicest thing that was said was by the VP in our division. He was a family friend who I always had been curious about his work and had asked him lots of questions until I was old enough and experienced enough that I thought I could ask him to see if he could get me an internship with his company. The compliment he left me with this summer was the best of all. I thanked him for giving me the shot and before I could say more he stopped me to tell me he was grateful. I asked why and he said, "Thank you for making me look good." He said a few more things about hiring friends and some take advantage and others worked hard but it was that simple phrase that stuck out the most. Thank you for making me look good. This compliment was coming from a VP, developer, and head engineer in a top 5 ranked best pre-IPO medical companies to invest in according to Forbes magazines. Honestly, he just being my family friend and old scoutmaster and it would have had the same effect on me. It was a good summer and an invaluable experience.

When I think long term however, there are a lot of paths I could take and there are a lot of variables that would change my direction. For instance, I loved my internship this summer and the company itself is definitely cutting edge and going places in the industry. However a piece of advice that I got from my adviser was that I needed to see more corporate companies. All the ones that I have worked for so far are successful start-ups. I need to work for companies that have multiple locations throughout the United States. I need to work for companies like Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, or BAE Systems. I luckily actually have a job with one of them when I get back to school but it would be best if I did a full on summer internship to get a better look at the feel of a corporate company. I am going to go through my contacts and try a couple of companies but again that is still too near-sighted of a perspective. The kind of perspective I am talking about is more on the idea that in three to five years I should have my undergrad under my belt from BYU (1.5 to 2 years). If I am single still I might want to forgo an internship post graduation and secure residency in Utah so I can transfer to the University of Utah for grad school in biomedical engineering. If I am married, then it would be best to move out and start looking for a good company that I could put my roots into whether that is a new company or back to one where I have worked before. So far I am on route with my goal to graduate without any debt which would be fantastic so I want to keep that going of course.

I have plenty of other goals as well. I figure that I need to be more patient when it comes to dating. I should keep my friendships solid with my married friends, rekindle a couple of those and maybe they will have friends they could set me up with or extra food in their pantries, who knows? Then again, I also want to start working out. I never have really started and I think if I got serious about it then not only could I get healthier but I hope it would make me more attractive as well. I really don't know where it would go. So in the end, I really don't think my goals have changed much at all... keep on top of my health physically, socially, and spiritually, while keeping up my grades and education so I can get the best job possible. Now if only there was something more. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe it is the fact that there is always more that you can see yourself improving on and so it feels like you are always incomplete or hopefully when I meet that special someone then at least some of that feeling will go away.