Building Steam for the Tough Road Ahead

“I–think–I–can, I–think–I—can”, simple words from a modest blue engine that faced down a grueling mountain with not much more than sheer willpower. This is the type of determination that I adhere to and aspire to have in my life. Tell me that mountain is too high and I’ll find the tools to climb it. Tell me that river is impossible to cross and I’ll find a raft to cross it. I live for the challenge of the unreachable and the unattainable; strive to tackle new problems with vigor, good spirit, and an open mind.

My latest challenge comes in the form of three simple words, “find a job”. While this may seem like a simple task at first glance, closer inspection reveals that it may be one the largest challenges I’ve ever faced, turning my mole hill of a problem into a mountain. The recent state of the US economy and job market makes this is one of the worst times to enter the working world, dumping a lot of recent graduates like myself directly into unemployment – an undesirable state of being for anyone. Dorian Waller, a friend of mine described the situation best during a conversation that we had on trip from to Tacoma to Seattle,

“Unemployment is going to be one of the most challenging experiences you’ve ever faced. In the end, it will either make you a stronger person or leave you completely broken.”

His view as I’ve come to accept it, is a rather realistic outlook on unemployment. Two drastically different outcomes exist and lets just say I am not a fan of the second option. I’ve experienced the feeling of being lost and broken; don’t really care for it. Purpose is something no human can live without. Every life has meaning; should be supplemented by being able to contribute some of their talents to this vast world. Fortunately I have been able to fill my recent “free-time” with friends, family, volunteer opportunities, the occasional run and late morning walks with my dog Judo.

Life isn’t fair; doesn’t make time for people that don’t do. In light of these facts, I’ve decided that I am going to build some steam and tune my own engine for the tough road ahead. In the next few months I plan to grow myself professionally and personally. I plan to accomplish this by acquiring new computer skills, staying informed about new developments with social media, meeting new people, writing for leisure and most importantly searching for my dream job. After all, what’s the point of life if your not enjoying what you do and the person that you are?

I’ve equipped myself with the proper tools and rolled up my sleeves. I am ready to tackle the challenge ahead with vigor, good spirit, and an open mind. I won’t get dismayed over the lack of tracks ahead or the general large steep incline of the mountain. Nope, instead I am building steam, retooling my engine and chanting a few simple words that I learned when I was young reading a “kids” story, “I–think–I–can, I–think–I–can.” Look out mountain! You may seem daunting and foreboding for now, but may God stand as my witness, I am going up that mountain.

Busted train in an empty valley