I finished my education as electronic engineer in 2001 and got a job even before that because the demand was high. The only condition was that I would actually pass the final exam. 😉 I moved to another city and lived as single in my own apartment. One day my step dad called to find out, if I wanted a cat. It turned out that the cutest little kitten suddenly showed up outside front door begging for food. We never found out where it came from, but it was very hungry and the dog kept chasing it, so something had to be done. My mom had moved to another place far out in the countryside with farmers fields around a farmers old house, that she and her husband rented. I called her up, to ask what to do with the poor kitten, and she agreed to take care of it. I put it in a cardboard box and headed out on the highway to take it to its new home. It certainly didn’t like that. It was a brave kitty so it escaped the box after much scratching and meowing. And then it was all over the car, so it turned out to be a very dramatic ride but we arrived an hour later, with my hands full of cuts from the little bastards claws. My mom was very fond of it and named it Felix.
A couple of years later my mom got a puppy, and I can’t say that Felix was happy, but eventually the puppy learned how sharp the claws of cats actually are. After some time the dog got the upper hand and started chasing the cat around the property, and the cat eventually left for good.
I often visited my parents those days, since they were living in the countryside, and I was sitting in an apartment in the city.
I really needed to get out and have some space around me and enjoy nature. Around this time the wireless technology started taking of. I spent time with my step dad setting up wireless networks and learning about this new technology.
At work I got involved in designing circuits for microprocessors and programming FPGA’s. I attended courses to learn about these things, and I improved my social skills.
Working in a job I needed to deal with all kinds of people which I was not that used to living in the cosy environment of the educational system. Once in class our teacher told us, before delivering our reports back: “You guys are lucky, that there are neither money nor the life of other people involved in your work.” I needed to get in gear and start producing value. I also learned to finish what I started, since this is what the customers see. They’re not really that interested in whether or not you’re having a great time. They pay and expect to get a product.
In my spare time I felt drawn to the open source community and I spent time learning about Linux. I spent countless hours setting up my own servers, configuring and compiling. I did translations of some of the desktop programs into Danish. That’s the beauty of open source. Everyone can contribute and there’s a large diversity, which also makes the software strong and resistant, just like it is in nature. It is quite alive.
My new assignments at work involved designing power supplies, which I found quite challenging. There are so many parameters and unknowns, that even when I felt that I had the theories figured out there would be some small subtle factor, that would turn out to be important. Of course this would get better in time, but it really is a craft with a lot of depth to be explored. It may look quite innocent on the surface, but there’s a lot to be learned to be successful in this area. I then began working with temperature related tasks. Because of the ever shrinking electronic products it becomes harder to get rid of the heat, that is wasted inside the products, when they operate. In order to move heat you need a big surface, and that is precisely what is not available in small products.
After a few years I was starting to get the hang of it and lived my cosy low risk single life, but the apartment was really starting to get on my nerves. It was too hot in the summer and there was no recreational area around it, so I started looking for a house to buy. I realized that I spent a lot of time in my parents garden, and there were really no excuse for getting my own, now that it I earned enough money to pay a mortgage. After some searching I found a house built in 1960 on 730 square meter plot with five old apple trees and great opportunities to create a garden.
Even such a simple thing as mowing the lawn was very exciting compared to rotting in that hot apartment. Finally it was also possible to keep pets, which I was used to all my life, but couldn’t do in the apartment. Eventually I found a girlfriend and she moved in with me in this house, together with her cat. It was really a great time, and everything was just as it was supposed to be.
And this is the damn thing about being human. Once I had built this great base in my life, I think I got bored with a lot of things. I started asking questions. I started consuming websites for lunch. Pretty soon I stumbled upon the work of Steve Pavlina. He writes about personal development and at that time I believe he had written about 500 articles on the subject. A pure creative genius. I realised the benefits of turning vegetarian and started changing my diet. It was not easy, but it was one of the most meaningful things for me to do and I felt excited and alive once again.