Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Official?

I wasn't just nervous; I was terrified.  A million 'what-if's ran through my mind as the plane lifted off the ground as my stomach turned somersaults.  The ground was falling beneath us as I tried to even my breathing and focus my eyes on the airplane wing.  "During take-off, the wing lengthens to create a larger pressure differential to create more lift.  Once we are in level flight, the wings will contract to their normal length."  Aerospace engineering; I can do this, right?

Today, one of the more senior engineers in my group came out to greet me, "I've been hearing rumors about you."  I looked at him nervously, my mind racing about the stories I've been telling people since I got here, nervous little factoids that probably reveal too much.  "Rumors?  What kind of rumors?"  He smiles, to encourage me.  "Well, not rumors, I guess, so much as the fact that there are other people here talking about you.  Someone from another technical group asked me, 'You guys are hiring rocket scientists now?'"  Another engineer called me a rocket scientist.  Does that make me one?  I blurted out, "I wish."  

There is an airplane taking off from the airport that we can see from our office window everyday at noon, headed to Japan.  I asked my coworker who pointed it out, "How do you know?"  He responded, somewhat sheepishly, "I know my airplanes.  The only airline that utilizes that type of airplane is JAL.  I'm a nerd, I know."  I tell him I like that nerdiness; I wish I knew my planes.  "But you know space," he adds.  I'm not sure that I do but I'd like to.  I like watching that plane though.  It makes my world feel a little smaller.  

My roommates are wonderful and from the moment I've moved in, life with them feels like summer camp.  I never attended overnight summer camp but this is what I imagine it's like.  We talk about boys and laugh about life.  When I asked them if we could make s'mores, they both looked ready to oblige.  

The commute is short in the morning and long in the evenings.  It feels surreal.  This is my life?  Surely, I'm just subbing in for someone right now, a warm body to take up space like a placeholder.  I try to tell myself, "This is your life now."  But it still feels unreal.  

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