One time, I made a guest post at a friend’s blog and the title was “Tales of a Reluctant Surveyor“. Despite the fact that I stayed in engineering, I flinched and resisted it mentally with such unfathomable and perplexing reluctance for so many years. I only took it semi-seriously in the board exams, shamelessly threw it away in the first two years of work in my vain attempts to pursue writing in a disorganized manner, and revisited it when I felt like no other job on earth could satisfy me.
For something that I decided on so flippantly and with the golden fleece (Biblical sign) as a 16-year-old girl, the field of geodetic engineering has become a part of who I am and my way of life. So much so that I am being handed some other opportunities in the non-engineering industry that promise to pay me so much more and I could not entertain them.
Why oh why? I am just so in love with what I am doing here and now. I cannot imagine myself doing otherwise at this point. I have hard days where my complaining tongue gets the best of me. It’s the same in romance where you complain about your partner but you never think about leaving him just because you got annoyed by something. You just complain, c’est tout. But it does not mean that you do not love what you do. There are gripes that call for a resignation which pushed me to leave my other employment attempts. And they are distinctly different from gripes of hardship that needs to be overcome.
Of the many engineers in my world, I am not the one who earns the most. My kumare nd blockmate now earns times five or times six of what I get twice a month. But I earn enough to feed myself and a few other mouths. The psychic benefits, the kick or intellectual orgasm when I accomplish something in the mapping world, and the plain reward is in the work itself. Yes, the waking up in the morning and staying up late to finish a map drill, the marketing meetings where I get to sport my newfound shoe fetish, the fun banter with my officemates, the continuous learning process, the new people I meet on a daily basis in each project I get assigned to, and the very work itself that makes it all so meaningful.
And yes, even when I shed more than one tear when the error closure is bigger than my hand, when the lines don’t align, when there are missing nodes that can kill a deadline, when the client is throwing occasional tantrums at the expense of my own emotional stability, I still love it.
Because if you do not have this love for the job, you will leave at the first sign of pressure that you see. And it’s something that money cannot buy, no matter how many people can delude themselves into thinking that this is so. When you are meant to do something, you can do it no matter how many times you get screamed at or how many times you get it wrong. Even at times when you want to leave, you cannot. You just love the thing and the thing feeds you like it’s your lifeline. If that is not genuine love for the job, then I don’t know what else is.
I cannot recall where my flippancy to my industry turned into dead seriousness. It must have been when I started taking mapping and programming subjects. It must be when I started doing magic tricks to my calculator to my utmost fascination. It must be in college when I was digging for a 1904 mojon with my bare hands in Zambales soil with my good friend Jill. It must be when I was overdosing on Skyflakes at McDo Morayta three months before the board exam.Or probably it was in previous places where I felt so stifled and unused because I could not do anything geodetic in it.
It was a cumulative emotion, a solidified thing that had me going back to my roots. And we can never stray too far from what we are meant to do.
As it turns out, despite my addiction to writing since the age of 7, despite my initial dream to become a journalist in my high school yearbook… I am in the right place. I will be forever thankful for the turns this life has made. It was hard to understand and endure while I was figuring things out but now that I am here making maps for a living and writing on the side, I have never felt more fulfilled and convinced of the path that I have taken. Nothing beats the peace of mind that comes from defeating our most taciturn and lackadaisical tendencies and turning it into a solid commitment.