The Debt Story

As with most young people who enter into and after much trial and tribulation exit college, I woke up in the ‘real world’ a bit over my head. It would be one thing to say I started from scratch or with nothing. I, however, was starting with something….that something was just a negative number! A negative number to the tune of (let’s just round it) $50,000. Did anyone else cough or gag just now? I never seem to be able to look at that number without choking at least a little.

My 5 year (Kstate is a 5 year progam…I didn’t drag that out just for fun!) undergraduate and subsequent 1 year masters degree cost me quite an arm and a leg. My first year in a private Catholic College (GO RAVENS!) definitely didn’t help that. 5 years with the ever rising public school tuition and I graduated with about $43,000 in debt. On top of that, I had decided on a whim to take my then boyfriend and I to the Bahamas on my newly discovered VISA credit card. Some of my private loans also began accumulating interest prior to graduation (another thing I apparently was not educated enough on before being granted the loan…) and here we are at my $50,000 ball and chain.

Ball and chain is not an exaggeration. There is nothing more crippling than knowing the money you are working day in and day out to earn belongs to someone else. It’s a really depressing thought actually! It’s even more depressing when you have automatic withdrawal and you wake up one day per month and a ton of your money just disappears.

I can’t go back to college and deliver more pizzas and take out less ‘help’. If we could all go back and teach our younger selves these lessons, we’d all be really boring people now! But what I can do, and encourage many people to also do, is develop habits now to get my hind parts outta debt. It’s not easy. And I’d be lying if I said I figured all this out by myself. By some miracle of miracles there was a church down the street from me hosting a class called Financial Peace University. Someone donated a ‘starter kit’ for me and off I went.

Dave Ramsey is a pretty amazing motivator and his plan works for me. I don’t like it a lot of the time. I’ve never been one for delayed satisfaction as I’m not the most patient individual on the planet. (Imagine…) I do like knowing that soon and very soon all my money will be mine to do with as I see fit…and Sallie Mae can kiss my lunge induced booty 🙂

Again, I repeat, IT IS NOT EASY. I have to tell myself no a lot. I have to deal with waiting for sales. I STILL do not own a credit card. I haven’t for 3 years now! Well, technically I have a corporate card. But I don’t view that as mine and I don’t get to use it for personal expenses. I buy groceries in bulk at Costco. I eat most of my meals at home (or at Ray’s home). I gas up ONLY while on the Missouri side of the city. I bought a car with cash…and then subsequently took out a deer with it and had to buy another car with cash. *sigh* (That’s for another day and another post!)

I still have my indulgences…I drink wine and get a massage once a month. I like to go see a movie with friends. I drink wine. Oh…did I already mention that? 😉 I get to do those things though only if they are in the budget. And I make sure they are in the budget!

This is not an overnight process. I have good months and bad months. I have days that I curse Dave Ramsey. I have days that I praise the habits I’ve developed. I still have what I’m hoping is another 18 months of paying off my debt.

And I’m happy to say I’m officially halfway there!

$25,133.64 as of this morning on Sallie’s website.

Her days are numbered!

Interacting With People

Recently, as with many of life’s lessons, I’ve noticed a trend in my life of being confronted with an opportunity to improve on an area I know I personally can struggle with: interacting with people.

People just don’t make sense to me. I don’t really enjoy being super social, but I can be friendly. I can also genuinely love people, albeit cautiously. At my new job, after 6 months of being confused on how to interact, I decided to take a step back and just observe how everyone else did it. And I am learning a ton so I wanted to analyze what I’m learning and write it down to reference these lessons when I need to improve my people skills 🙂

The first lesson I am learning is that communication is a large hurdle for almost everyone. For engineers, that hurdle is more like a mountain. The biggest mountain. A mountain that is also a volcano…a violent and moody one 🙂 Is that descriptive enough? Are we all on the same page? Engineers suck at communication. Mostly because we put all of our communication on paper in the form of numbers and drawings…and I think we tend to treat and talk to people the same way. Precise, simple, and to the point. (In the real world we call this rude…btw). There are two major problems with this that I have begun to notice, and these problems are applicable to life outside of my workplace.

The first problem is that most of the time what we think is crystal clear and completely understandable is actually vague and may make very little sense to the person you are conveying the information to. Especially because we tend to forget they don’t have the context that is up in our heads, that goes along with the information we are feeding to them. When they take that information, if they even can, and do what they think you are asking of them they generally will either not do it right or get frustrated with their lack of understanding and not do it at all. Then with both people frustrated, and incapable of communicating their frustrations, you end up with a toe to toe situation.

Which leads into the other problem of how we tend to interact to each other. There is a tone. Ray calls it “The Tone”, but it’s a tone of voice. An edge. It is slightly condescending, and insinuates that what you are saying is an insult even if it doesn’t sound like one. In the professional world, especially in my industry of engineers, this tone flies around in abundance. I hear it all around me, I’ve been on the receiving end of it, and I’ve listened to it being used in reference to a person that was not there to even defend themselves. I don’t understand it because when it is used a line is being drawn in the sand. You are placing yourself and the person you are talking to/about on opposite sides of that line. This line makes it almost impossible to interact with each other and inhibits any type of team effort.

While it seems a simple concept, it appears to me that people in these situations forget that they are relying on each other to get their goal accomplished. Specifically to get a quality project out the door, on time, and 100% accurate. Logic would tell you that if you need someone’s help, the last thing you should probably do is not treat that person very well. Right? If you need someone to do something in a timely manner it would benefit you to communicate as accurately as possible while also thanking them for their efforts. At the very base “treat people as you wish to be treated”. Ah…kindergarten…

The point is, when there is a common goal, there has to be a common respect. There has to be someone heading the effort who is 100% capable of communicating the goals. Communicating the feedback. Delivering and receiving the constructive criticism. Someone hedging all ‘gossip’ and non-constructive behavior. And that ‘someone’ at any point in any given time can be any one of us. We should ALL be capable of communicating, without tension, without rudeness, with complete clarity.

And if we can’t, we have to have the ability to stop the breakdown before it gets out of control and regroup. We have to have the ability to apologize at the lack of communication or the creation of a misunderstanding. We have to be capable of leading by example and being humble enough to stand down in a stalemate.

In the workplace, in life, in relationships, in friendships, and even in your relationship with our Savior. Interacting with others is so very important. It’s an art. And we should all be working to be fantastic at it so that we may promote a life sans tension and stress!


The Interview

A few weeks ago one of the girls in my small group (Dry Bones) for teens at Holy Trinity asked if she could interview me about my experience with an eating disorder. She was writing a paper on society’s opinion of beauty, and wanted to spend some time on society’s effect on self-image etc. It was a harmless question on her part. For my part, it was probably the last thing I needed (or it was exactly what I needed) as it fell on the day of one of the hardest meetings I’ve ever been a part of and on the tail end of my 3rd relapse in 10 years. Since that evening was our weekly meeting for Dry Bones I decided to opt to open the interview to the group as discussion.

If a person ever wants to have a reality check, they need only to spend an hour with a group of teenage girls.

After a few very sensitive questions laced with apologetic tones at what they presumed was an invasion of my privacy, the cautionary sheet was lifted and they dove in head first. Let me first say that I can’t pretend I know the answers to all questions about eating disorders. I can, and usually do if asked, answer all questions as they pertain to my own experience with anorexia. The cool thing I find in answering these types of questions is I am forced to evaluate it myself.

Being asked to do this interview while simultaneously struggling with a relapse was quite the surreal experience. It’s hard to tell a group of headstrong, loving, caring, wonderful teenagers all the reasons you should never allow yourself to get sucked into an eating disorder while voluntarily succumbing to the pressures of one at the same time.

The first question I had a hard time answering was the most obvious question for them to ask: Why? I could go on for hours in a circle of random and evasive answers to this question. I usually do. The truth? A combination of being unsatisfied with how I looked, a lack of faith that I was loved regardless, and a strong reinforcement that being smaller/skinnier/cuter/prettier would ultimately make me happy above all other things. Even my own life, as biology and logic would prove that not fueling your body ultimately leads to death. (Enters Satan and his tricky ways)

A second question (or questions) from them that made me almost laugh and cry at the same time was: What is it like now? Is it hard? Can you ever get over it? Describing what it is like has never been easy for me. Especially when trying to be sensitive to my audience and not look like a complete crazy person. After 10 years of living it, the best example I can give for what it is like is to revert to a movie scene 🙂

In The Lord of the Rings Trilogy there is a scene where Gollum is having a full blown conversation with himself. Well, there are 2 of him, each one representing 2 different personalities. Obviously the two personalities are fond of each other, and yet in constant conflict. Their desires and goals are the same, but the means and motives to achieve those goals are polar opposites. One personality is more tolerant, slightly gullible, and eager to please. The other is impatient, verbally abusive, and unforgiving. At one point the two personalities are literally screaming at each other in what turns into Gollum physically putting his hands over his ears and asking the mean personality to shut-up.

That is an extreme example of what it is like. My logic tells me one thing. My eating disorder tells me another. It affects the reflection I see in the mirror. (Ray equates it to the mirrors at the state fair). It can dramatically affect my outlook on my entire day. The worst part is on the days that I cave and do something like skip a meal, rather than being satisfied I feel guilty. And then Satan creeps in and feeds off of that with thoughts of failure and being pathetic etc etc. There is even the low blow of “if you really loved God you wouldn’t do this to yourself”.  It’s really a disgusting and painful circle. And illogical to boot. Long story short – I can’t win. I just have to be strong enough to tell myself to stop and hold on to what is real.

It’s a fight. Sometimes it’s daily. Sometimes I can go days without it. Sometimes it’s really freaking easy. Sometimes it is so hard I want to scream. Depends on the circumstances of my life. Unfortunately, it’s not something I will ever get over. I will beat it. Everyday. I’m too damn stubborn not to and I am loved by some of the most amazing people (God being at the top of that list). But it’s never going to go away. That is the reality I accepted when I started down this road so many years ago.

By the end of the ‘interview’ and group discussion I was filled with a lot of mixed emotion. I was feeling like an idiot because of the relapse. I was feeling guilty for not being stronger as I was staring the reasons why I need to do better in the face of my Dry Bones girls. I was feeling loved at their open-armed acceptance to my human weaknesses. I was feeling exasperated and annoyed at God for His OBVIOUS hand being at work at that particular moment. (exasperated and annoyed = acceptance and thanks…) And I was feeling exhausted from sharing personal information I never share.

Ah…the beauty of transparency.

300 Lunges?

Today was the beginning of one of the hardest weeks in my fitness world:


It’s the week where each of the classes I teach completes 300 lunges over the course of their one hour of torture working out with me. They love and hate it all at the same time. I had the idea after my own personal trainer and friend in college made ME do them and I was sore for days upon days. After teaching for almost 5 years now, my body still hasn’t gotten used to it. It’s a challenge each and every time. By the time I get to my 4th class this week my legs will be begging for lunge week to be over.

The coolest thing about it though, is it never really seems as bad as it sounds. I mean, think about how anyone would react standing in a room with some crazy energetic short girl with a microphone at the front telling them they were going to complete 300 lunges over the course of the next hour. Skepticism is an understatement.

But I set the class up so that they tackle this monstrous goal one little piece at a time. I like to think I disguise it so they don’t even notice, but I’m not THAT good 🙂 We start with just a simple set of 25 lunges on each leg. Between each set we do some upper body work. Maybe some core. There are 6 different sets of lunges, all different types. We work all the muscle groups in between. And by the time the class is over they have accomplished something that seemed impossible just a short hour before. And most of them, despite the hate they have in their eyes for me, have a smile on their face.

I tackle a lot of my life’s problems this way. Many times I find myself standing at the foot of some God-awful (side note: where does that description come from???) mountain staring up at what seems like an impossible task. I groan, probably louder than the people in my classes do, and I scoff at the injustice of it all. How dare I be asked to do something so hard! How could I possibly do all of that? What do people think I am…some kind of Superwoman?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say at times I’d rather just not climb the mountain. In fact, there are times I’d prefer to set the mountain on fire and just walk away while the mountain and all it’s problems and obstacles burn down behind me.

Somewhere along the way I learned that major tasks in life really aren’t that major if you just put them in perspective. 300 lunges?!?!? No thank you. 25 lunges? Well…ok…I can do 25 lunges…

To-do lists can be overwhelming if you look at the whole list. But if you just look at the top two items, well that’s not so bad. Losing 100 pounds is totally and completely daunting! Losing 10 pounds? Doesn’t sound as intimidating. Running a marathon is scary as H-E-double hockey sticks. Running a couple of miles (13 times…) doesn’t seem as crazy. Granted, I still haven’t been able to work up to that one yet…maybe someday my math won’t be as good…

We’ve all heard the cliche “One Day At A Time”…and as totally cliche as it is, it really does fit. Why must we feel we have to tackle the whole world, our whole lives, every crazy little thing all at one time? Why not just tackle the small portion we are equipped to handle right now and let the rest wait until we’re ready for it (or trained up to it…if you will)?

They say most people don’t chase after large dreams and goals because the task or journey just seems too hard or long.

Well, I certainly didn’t wake up one day and do 300 lunges.

I started with 25. I celebrated the victory.

And then I found…I was hungry for more…

10 Years

Recently Guitar Guy and I were discussing time and how fast it seemed to be flying by. In the middle of that discussion he took it upon himself to remind me that I graduated high school in 2002…and that it was 2012. I brushed it off and told him I didn’t want to talk about it. He laughed at me (he does that quite often) and said something to the effect of “whatever, I’m not letting you get out of this” and we moved along in the conversation.

About a month ago I received an email from the Eudora High School Class of 2002 President reminding me and a few others that as class officers we had basically volunteered ourselves to the planning and hosting of the 10 year class reunion. I had been the vice president (Guitar Guy enjoyed ‘being right’ about me not getting out of it).

So there have been a few emails back and forth about the dates, the plans, the activities we’re all working to get booked etc. It’s been interesting dealing with the adult versions of people I interacted with as a youth/teenager. And in doing so, I find myself laying in bed on a Sunday morning thinking back on my life in Eudora, KS.

We moved to Eudora when I was 11. My parents were ready to be closer to family and to be able to help out on the farm, so they uprooted my 4 siblings from our life in Perry, KS and moved us into the house they designed and helped build down the dirt road from my Grandma and Grandpa Abel. It was a huge adjustment to go from a class of 24 kids to a class of 80. To go from riding my bike all over town to living 6 miles outside of town. To go from doing whatever I wanted to in the summers to being responsible for my siblings so my parents could help on the farm. Oh, and did I mention the morning chores on the farm? Oh yes, I fed cows every morning before school.

Eudora, KS and I have a love hate relationship I think. It was a typical small town with it’s small town politics and gossip. I was definitely of the middle class popularity group. I participated in all of the sports and activities that were available to me. I starred in musicals. I sang in choir. Was a captain of the volleyball team and basketball team. I broke records on the track team. My dad was a coach and a teacher at the high school.

I am definitely among the group of people who would not go back and do it all over again. I remember feeling small a lot. I remember feeling unsure and incredibly insecure. I remember being so ready to go off to college I considered graduating early.

I worry at times what it will be like to be back among all of those people. Will I fall back into the same old Brandi I was back then? Will I be able to hold onto the person I have become? Will I be able to look beyond who the other people ‘were’ and see them for who they are now?

I certainly hope so. God knows I am so much more than I was back then. Hell, I’m so much more today than I was yesterday. Life’s lessons have molded me so that I can become more like the person I am supposed to be so it is only fair for me to believe the same of the people I graduated high school with. Right?

Well I suppose I’m going to find out on July 27th, 2012. With Guitar Guy tagging along for his own amusement 🙂

Learning To Let Go

Believe it or not, submission has never really been something I have excelled at. As a child, I had a tendency to believe I knew better than even my parents. As a teenager, I made my own way and made choices based on my own experiences rather than the advice of well-meaning others. I chose a college nobody else thought I would like because I felt comfortable there. I transferred to a different college because I knew I needed a fresh start. I chose boyfriends based on my own feelings. I chose to spend years starving my body because I knew better what my body should look like. (yes, that is sarcasm)

I had expectations of myself that most people wouldn’t understand and that annoyed people. I chose not to drink in college until I turned 21, mostly because I liked the challenge of being different. I chose to join the rugby team because I wanted to try something new even though everyone else thought I was crazy. I chose engineering even though it was hard. I chose to not be promiscuous in college even though that made people around me think I was judging their own lifestyle choices.

I chose the Kansas City area because it was centrally located and most of my family was here. I chose Holy Trinity Catholic Church because I liked the music. I chose to seek out a way to participate in the band because I wanted to satisfy my creative outlet. I chose to take up running because I wanted to be a hardcore runner. I chose to find jobs teaching fitness classes because I wanted more income.

I’m unsure if it’s age, or experience, or exhaustion in carrying the weight of walking in this life ‘alone’ that has brought me finally to the truth. I find it ironically ‘funny’ that I’ve spent much of my life encouraging others to listen to what God is trying to tell them. I’ve urged people to give up their worries and let God carry it all for them. I’ve asked them to pray on choices and learn from their mistakes in an effort to find the path God is leading them down.

And yet, until recently I never stood back and looked at all those choices I’ve listed above (and many many others) and seen God’s hand weaving between all of those choices I made ‘for myself’. I had never really looked at the connections, the choices that brought me to where I am today, and thought God had really anything to do with it. I never made any of those choices after spending hours in prayer (or even a minute…) and hoping to hear God’s advice whisper through the trees in assurance that I was doing the right or wrong things.

Today I laugh at myself. I laugh at the ridiculousness of ever feeling alone. Of ever feeling as though I was doing it all by myself, for myself, because I knew best what I needed.  Sometimes I wonder if God ever got red in the face after screaming at me for so many years to just simply ‘listen’ instead of making my own way. Looking back on it all it is really easy to see the moments where His patience with my stubbornness grew thin. Those moments in particular being the more obvious 180 degree lifestyle change experiences. I have to give Him credit for sticking with me this long and for having such a wonderfully entertaining sense of humor.

I stand today, feeling as though I have my arms held out wide to my sides. Hands lifted toward the heavens, a slightly sarcastic raise in my eyebrow, and a light hearted laugh on my lips as I silently pray, “fine, take it. Take me. Lead me. Use me. I don’t want (to pretend) to be to be in control anymore.”

While a statement like that before would have made me feel surrounded in chaos and confusion and fear.

Today I feel at peace.

I lean not on my own understanding. My life is in the hand of the Maker of heaven.

I give it all to you God, trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me.

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open.

There is nothing I’ll hold onto.

The Best Gift Ever

Growing up in a big family with little money and a baby sister who is allergic to EVERYTHING (I love you Kendal…) having a dog was a dream we knew we’d never realize. We did have an outside farm dog named Dollar that we loved but rarely ‘played’ with as he was running all over the countryside. I especially wanted a little puppy that could snuggle with me in bed and wait for me at the bus stop and help me eat my veggies at the dinner table. My parents made it very clear that was never gonna happen.

BUT there was this exciting day in every college student’s future that involves being given money and gifts to help you start your life in the ‘real world’: Graduation Day.

My parents began hinting at a graduation present at the start of my 4th year in school. Because of the extended stay I did in college for the Master’s program, I had 3 whole years to think and plan and ponder what I really wanted. I knew I wanted a puppy. That grew into a desire for a big dog. And slowly over the course of the last year up to graduation my love for Siberian Huskies developed.

I found a breeder in Washington, Iowa called Timber Ridge Huskies and called them up. They had a little due at the end of March that would be ready for pickup in late May. It was a sign J My mom sent them their down payment and I was told I’d be given first pick. I had decided that a male pup and I would get along better than a female. On March 28th I was informed that only 1 puppy had survived the birth and that it was a female. I was disappointed but asked that they send me pictures just in case.

I was hooked. She was adorable! I sent them an email back that just said, “She’s mine. I’ll see you in May!”

I drove up to Washington to pick her up after I graduated. It was the best road trip ever. She sat shotgun with me either up in the seat looking out the window, or when she grew tired she curled up on the floor beneath the air conditioning vent and slept.

Over the last few years (she is almost 4!!), Kaiah and I have grown into quite the ridiculous pair. She is my baby. She’s got a serious attitude problem and is incredibly vocal. She behaves as though she is human and deserves to be treated as such. I think it’s hilarious. We snuggle in the evenings, run together sometimes, play at the park, and just enjoy each other’s company when we can. She cries when I cry, she smiles when I smile, and she plays with me when she knows I need a distraction.

She’s a spoiled rotten pup. But I love her to death. She is one of my besties.

Ash Wednesday – Another Beginning

Today is Ash Wednesday. The official definition (according to wikipedia) of Ash Wednesday is: in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter.

Here at 4:10pm I’m still walking around with Ashes on my head and have moved from annoyance to entertainment at the bewildered expression upon my co-worker’s faces. Oh Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday has been a part of my life since I was born. I was born into the Catholic faith and despite a few minor attempts at rebellion and some longer stints of bad attendance, I still remain a strong member of the Roman Catholic church today. When I was younger Ash Wednesday was a day where my parents dragged me down the street on a Wednesday evening to get some ashes on my head and then back home where we would promise to give up something as a family. As I got older that evolved into getting drug out of bed to go to Morning Mass and trying to wipe the ashes off of my face before school (oh the shame), and then being forced to ‘do something as a family’ for Lent. One long, cold, Lenten season my parents decided we were going to go to Morning Mass as a family…every day. I began to appreciate sleep a lot more during that 40 day family experience.

Once I was off in college, Ash Wednesday became a day where I had to give something up. During those wonderful years fighting the war against the eating disorder I usually gave up things like chocolate, or peanut butter, or all sweets. Even during the long years that I just didn’t go to church I found things to try and give up. I was successful one year in giving up cursing. I actually did a really great job and had to pay myself a quarter when I failed and dropped the F-bomb.

Obviously…that one didn’t stick. I should probably work on that again….

But I digress, Ash Wednesday and Lent in general has evolved for me personally over the years. Last year I dedicated myself to doing random acts of kindness for one person every week. It was really cool doing something for others rather than focusing on me. I liked it. And now, here I am at the starting line of another 40 days.

This year, however, is a game changer. I’m looking at this Lenten Season as a warm-up to the marathon of life I have before me. This year is a chance to make or keep implementing some amazing changes into my life, and continue to work towards having the life that I am meant to have. Did I give up something specific? Well that’s the understatement of the century. Someday I’ll elaborate on all of that.

For now I’m choosing to be excited for this new beginning. Another race. Another start.

I am Brandi Abel. I’m 28. I’m an Engineer. I’m Catholic.

Oh…and I still really like wine. (no I did not give that up!)

Why Engineering?

Sometimes I actually ask myself this question with a raised fist to the sky and an agonized tone in my voice. Other times I shrug my shoulders as if to say, “Why NOT Engineering?”

It’s probably easiest to start, once again, at the beginning. The idea of being an engineer first started forming in my brain with small influences from my parents. We grew up on a tight budget, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom/in home childcare giver for most of my youth. We struggled financially, but we made it work. I hated just making it work though, and like most kids I wanted to be able to do the extras other kids got to do like family vacations and eating out!!

So when my dad started talking about how I ‘should be an engineer’, the only concept I really remembering holding on to was the mention of them making a lot of money. And I was sold. In junior high and high school I was told over and over again how smart I was and how great I was with numbers. Math and science were my greatest subjects (albeit my least favorite next to art), and it seemed natural that I would choose to be an engineer. So I started taking college classes in high school to get the ‘dumb credits’ out of the way. I started prepping myself for engineering. Did I even really know what it was? I didn’t have a clue!

I did have second thoughts for a month or so right before high school graduation, and on a whim enrolled at Benedictine College in their pre-law/law enforcement program. I considered going into crime scene investigation, but then realized I also hated chemistry and biology…so that wasn’t gonna work out.

After my first year’s struggles with anorexia at Benedictine I decided I needed a fresh start, so I transferred to K-State because they had a great engineering program. Once I had made that decision, in true Abel fashion, I charged after that diploma without a second thought about it. I had made the choice to be an engineer, an Architectural/Structural engineer no less, and by God that was what I was going to do.

Pretty sure after my first internship I realized I probably should have thought about what I really WANTED to do, but then, I’m not one for changing my mind so stick with it I did. I didn’t really know exactly what an engineer was upon graduation even, but after 3 sorry internships and 1 fairly sorry first job out of college experience I now know. An engineer is a person that reads a lot of books filled with rules, and then uses those rules to create things. That’s a really general definition, but it is what it is it fits.

Side note: I absolutely hate the phrase It is what it is. Seriously, what does that phrase even do? It’s like saying “you know, to win this football game they are going to have to score more than the other team.” Duh and thank you for wasting precious oxygen just to state the obvious.

Back to the point: For the most part I chose to be an engineer because of the money. I then stuck with engineering because I absolutely cannot quit things once I begin them.  I chose architectural engineering because it sounded cool and had 97% job placement at graduation. I chose structural engineering because it was one of the hardest forms of engineering and who I am to take the easy route?

Do I hate what I do? Most days the answer is no. But then I wouldn’t say I love it most days either. It pays the bills and it can be very entertaining. It also has the added perk of driving by a building or structure and being able to say “I totally did that.” Who doesn’t love a good stroke to the ego now and again!

God Gave Me You

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