The THRUSTers

My beloved lectores, first of all, I missed you like a crazy wild naked man who enjoys being in the middle of the forest. My apologies for not typing anything during the last 3 months as I found myself going bloody nuts studying for (so far) the hardest 2 final exams I’ve ever done. There is no better feeling than going out of the last exam, look at the sky and listen to the voice of Ben Wallace screaming “LIBERTAAAD” (it sounds better in spanish sorry) in the head. A temporary study-free man. Hell yes.

But to business.

As some of you might already know, I am studying an engineering master program in turbomachinery and aeromechanics whose acronym is THRUST.

The NASA guys describe thrust as a mechanical force, such that the propulsion system is in physical contact with a working fluid in order to produce it. For instance, it is the force that moves an aircraft through the air as the engine does work, accelerates the gas, and thrust is generated in opposite direction from the accelerated gas, nowadays this is done with turbomachines. In other words, thrust is the force that makes you move forward and brake the fucking space time sound barrier in a plane so as to save the 8th dimension from Boromir and yes. Science.

The magic of the program (at least for me) is not the academics part itself. Yes, it is very interesting to learn a lot about turbomachinery and how you can generate such huge amount of power to provide electricity, thrust in an aircraft, power in a gas turbine, high compression-ratios to internal combustion engines, bla bla bla, and of course to benefit people and the world and feed the wallet of the bastards who run a business related with all these. But where is the magic then? The people. Yes. The people.

Since the beginning of my days in school, I have always been one of those guys who are among the top 3, who didn’t need to study more than a couple of hours for a “tough” test, who got asked by the others how to do this and that. I was always used to being the brainy egocentric prick guy who just would achieve a very good grade plus being popular enough to enjoy life and get wasted on a weekend basis. And for such a naive mind who had a bit of working aviation experience and was about to cross the atlantic for the 2nd time and start a master program, well…I thought “this will be hard, but not that hard” as I have thought for basically all the previous years.

Oh bloody hell was I mistaken.

The very first lecture we had, 5 minutes went by, and shit, my mind thought “what the actual fuck is this guy talking about”. Then I said to me to relax, it’s the 1st day, it’s a matter of reading the material and catch up on the rusty academical field. But then I realized that the other 10 who also study with me, actually understood most of what the professor said. Hollow and hopeless. That’s exactly how I felt.

You might think “you’re such an exaggerating nerd person ” but hey, despite my empire-state size ego, I have always being hard and demanding enough with myself when it comes to achieve what I want.

The months went by and time did not prove me wrong. I was NOT the smartest guy in the classroom. Nor in the top 3. Not even close. A huge life change game who made me re-evaluate the entire situation of what I was doing, why, where, with what people I was dealing with, and the golden questions: am I good enough for this? Am I really that smart ass I have always thought I was? I honestly felt I didn’t know who I was anymore and thus, didn’t know how to address this problem. I had to overcome it, I had to push the re-boot button and start from zero again. I had to re-define myself.

And then, as the months kept going by, the relationships and friendship with the people of the program increased in a very good way. I was learning from them. Instead of losing myself directly into an infinite singularity vortex, I admired these people, the way they studied, the way the focused, the way they even helped me to be better at what I was doing, to aim for a better result, for success. Everyday.

So now I will talk of each country of them as if I was speaking from them, not to judge, not to criticize, but to actually thank them for everything they did directly and indirectly that made me not only to jump high, but for the first time to feel that I was being thrusted forward by a huge power engine.

Ireland: The very first time I talked to him by whatsapp before arriving to Sweden, I instantly thought “what a fucking prick”. LOL. I was basically sure we wouldn’t get along the entire year we would be studying together. Yet again, I was so mistaken. A fucking smart ass person. The first time we went to a trip together was to Estonia in a fun hell drinking karaoke wasted cruise trip. And it was just brilliant. I spent a couple of days in Ireland with his family in December, an unforgettable trip to the arctic circle, an incredible mountain hiking weekend in Germany, plus many parties and aeroelasticity and turbomachinery problems. This person reminded me the very high importance of being a good person with everyone. One could be egocentric and would love to show off to others the smartness, but that is not a reason to make less of the others, nor to walk around threatening people and miss-trusting as if everyone is the enemy, as I did. I lived shit high adrenaline moments while hiking and exploring with this guy, which expanded a lot my vision of life. Life is to enjoy and to live, nothing less. A chronicle of our rise to power brother!!

New Zealand: My upcoming roommate in the 2nd year greek adventure. I certainly didn’t have the chance of knowing deeply this person, but I can say that there is no one I know who is nicer with people. I am a very optimistic and smiley person, but New Zealand? She always tried to put the good chick even when going through very very very sad shit. Smart as hell, yet very relaxed and confident somehow that life would just provide. A person who would help me to solve an equation, a life problem or just listen or read my shit issues gladly. Someone who has a looot to give and wouldn’t care of taking anything from you. Also, adventurous and crazy in such a way that with a broken ankle injury, would go and hike into Norway and the  swedish arctic circle because…well…because it just sounds bloody amazing. Can’t wait to climb the olympus together.

Spain: Oh boy this will be hard. I will be talking in plural now. One of them is I would say the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life. The most emotionally intense and with such a temper as well. Easy to get along with, very difficult to maintain it in that way. Ups? Our ways of looking at life and of course the previous experiences I think made us to be somewhat a bit distant from each other after certain point of the year. Nevertheless, a person who would help you literally as much as it can get and ensure that you’re doing ok. Someone who would listen and hug you whenever you need. Different frequencies, but we had crazy and very interesting moments didn’t we?

The other one is also one of the most unexpectedly fucking smart shit persons I know. I say this only because of the background we have in terms of our academic careers. He is just one of the most determined persons I know; if he wants it, he will do everything he can to get it, no matter what. He knows how to perfectly separate what is important and what is not. The biggest “Real Madrid” fan I know. The biggest defender of Spain itself I know. “Toca pelear chaval”. I will never forget him saying those words the day we wrote the advanced finite element final after he got freaking hammered the day before because his football team won the Champions League. And he bloody passed. Trips, parties, homework and aerodynamics suffering. I will always be thankful for this friendship and hope he learns the proper and correct spanish (mexican of course). Te veo en la graduación hermano, rómpela siempre!

Germany/Russia: This person is just amazing. It just staggered me everyday how smart he is. The way he addresses any problem, the way he focuses, the way he would study for a test and the way he would drink vodka in one night. Someone who I’m sure will really make a big difference in terms of engineering and technology research, I’m almost sure I will be asking him for a job at some point of my life. I remember being intimidated when asking him a question of the homework just because I didn’t want him to think I was stupid. A person who really cares for the ones closer to him. Delicious russian food, trips and freaking amazing parties in Germany and in Sweden are just a tiny part of the shared memories. Thank you for showing me the kindness and love brother, I do not wish you luck because you don’t need it at all. Na zdorovie tovarishch, spasibo za vse!!

Pakistan: This guy was like the good and nice but not crazy uncle of the family. A very very very smart person who would gladly help you and ensure that you freaking understand every single detail of what he tries to explain. Like the perfect professor. I really enjoyed that he was always laughing and singing pakistani songs. It put me in a very good mood. Deadly moves while playing table tennis. A legend. His wife cooks the best pakistani food I’ve ever tasted, plus, a tupperware of 1.5 L with pakistani food was given to me just because they enjoyed that I liked it. I certainly look forward to share more cool moments with you my friend. Opa!

India: The biggest troop of the group. The curry bringers. The indian beatles. It is actually somewhat funny and weird how indians behave. Most of the indians (if you have had the chance of knowing indians) are actually very calmed and even introverted. They would smile, they would talk with you and smile but they would almost never go out to the parties or clubs or whatever. It’s not that common. Equally, a common indian would really smell like curry all around. But these lads wouldn’t at all (which for me was just perfect). So when (at least 1 of them) you see an indian trying to learn salsa with 5 beers and half up the head and saying “this is awesome”, well, it’s just pure magic. I certainly always had a very decent and nice relationship with these lads. The food they brought to school was always fantastic. One of them drunk crazy mother fucker will be actually my roommate too. All these guys are really smart too and have a big heart. I do wish them all the best to the different destinations they go.

Mexico: The truth is that I did not write a blog about this earlier because I really didn’t feel I quite belong to the group in terms of, I’m just not smart enough; so I really told me that I had to face this challenge and prove them and specially prove myself that I’m capable of this stuff, that there is a 200,000 rpm running squirrel in my head that can actually make me be smart enough to say that I am indeed a THRUSTer. And this time, time proved me right. After finishing the 1st year with a lot of struggle and studying the entire summer to do these last 2 fucking hard as shit final exams and feel that thing that makes you say “You fucking did it” it’s just priceless. But I certainly wasn’t able to do this alone; at some point I even thought of quitting but my family and closer friends were always supporting me from father Mexico, but the fact that the ones I consider the closer ones within the THRUSTers, would say to me “dude you’re not stupid, if you quit you will regret it, you can do this and you will do this because you’re a smart guy”, damn…I do think that all that is, what really brought me to the main message I want to give with this post:

In moments when you feel you cannot do it, in those times when you think you’re done, in those eternal hours when it looks like nothing could be worse for you?…Believe in yourself; look yourself into the mirror, right into the eye, and believe. Trust in yourself. Work hard, do, BUT REALLY, do what you know it’s required to do so as to achieve your goals. It will be hard, sometimes painful and exhausting. It will take more than everything you got, but do NOT give up and LISTEN to the people close to you. Sometimes you might think you’re alone, but you’re not. And then ask yourself: What the fuck are you waiting for? don’t be lame and common and go and grab accomplish what you want. Do NOT let anyone nor anything to stop you.

Thank you my dear THRUSTers for teaching me, for supporting me, for standing me, for being there, you know I wish you all love and good vibes directly from my heart. I’ve never felt so confident of what I can do, of who I am, of what I need to do to be better, but I know there is a lot to be done. I just hope that someday I can re-pay you all you did for me and also to be able of inspiring people around me and share everything I’ve learned from you.

De corazón, muchas gracias a todos!!

“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit”

William J. Clinton

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