What do you do when your dream becomes a reality?
# Emulation of my life in CoffeeScript
freakout = ->
for num in [10…0]
console.log num + “ — Breathe….”
console.log “Now what?”
luckyDay = (age) ->
taija.dream = true
taija.state = “employed”
happenstance = [“someone believed in me!”, “I got a chance to shine”, “found a way to make it happen”]
console.log “At age “ + age + “ my dream came true because ” + happenstance
crazyLuck = (max, min=0) ->
return Math.floor(Math.random() * (max — min) + min)
doSomething = (day) ->
if typeof day == ‘number’
if crazyLuck(100) == 29
console.log “What happened?”
console.log “Fake it till you make it! :)”
daysInAYear = [1…365]
day = 1
while taija.dream == false
for day in daysInAYear
day = day + 1
if day == 365
taija.age = taija.age + 1
console.log “Taija is now “ + taija.age + “ old!”
Taija is now 24 old!
Fake it till you make it! :)
Taija is now 25 old!
Fake it till you make it! :)
Taija is now 38 old!
Fake it till you make it! :)
Taija is now 39 old!
At age 39 my dream came true because someone believed in me!
10 — Breathe….
9 — Breathe….
8 — Breathe….
7 — Breathe….
6 — Breathe….
5 — Breathe….
4 — Breathe….
3 — Breathe….
2 — Breathe….
1 — Breathe….
We all have our dreams;
something we wish we could do, but the supposedly realistic part of our mind remind us why it’s just not feasible and chastises us for even thinking about it. Mine has always been to create wonderful things. What exactly it was I wanted to create didn’t become clear until I got into my 20s (still feeling like a child among condescending adults). I had always been an obsessive organizer, logical and practically living inside my computer. As a woman, I know there are some who view this as strange, but I grew up loving games and technology and no one thought any different of me for it. I started with Python, creating little script and tried to get into it many times with tutorials and guides, but something wasn’t clicking — I hadn’t found the personal component. The problem was that I was simply trying to learn the language, not thinking about what wonderful things I want to create.
Then came along a different world;
a world where virtual reality wasn’t just a fantasy, motion control and “smart” devices weren’t mystical and out of reach. I could not only handle all these things, but I could also change them, control them, develop them to my liking! Suddenly, coding seemed like the easiest thing to do — it was naught but a logical method to create the world I want. The realization that coding is what I really want to do in life was such an amazing relief. And even during some very dark times, it was the one thing I always could immerse myself into. I learned how to put together a full-blown open source home automation system from bits and pieces. I created a bot that throws insults at me.
Little by little, I realized I could do these things myself. People shake their heads at my crazy ideas and conceptions, but technology never ceases to excite me and motivate me. Even stupid things like a toy dog with TTS capability.
Anything felt possible and I wanted to be at the forefront of tomorrow’s inventions, but I was afraid to dream too much.
And as my whole world was upside down, along came a chance…
A marketing company with a technology department unit who create unique campaigns, games, and other solutions was looking for software developers. It felt too good to be true, but in those quiet moments in the night when I laid in bed, I allowed myself to imagine a little, and giggle. Me, a software developer? I have no prior formal education or real work experience; the most I’ve done is work in a small team on the leapgim. I know I have it in me, “potential” they always say”, but what I’m interested in actual skills and knowledge, something you can show to others.
So I applied, against all my inner doubts. I poured myself into my application, saying “to hell with it” to common conventions and just showed who I am, bare as can be. I talked about my passion and my own projects, as well as my failings in the social aspects and how my Asperger’s might affect (positively or negatively) me and my working style but I won’t demand or accept any special adjustments.
A few days later, they replied and asked me to do 3 assignments in any language I want. The fact that I wasn’t rejected outright gave me hope, and even though I was in the midst of moving, I decided I would do everything to complete those assignments in beautiful, clever code. I would’ve expected something comprehensible, but the assignments were surprisingly straightforward and as I completed each of them, having possibly too much fun in the process, I grew more proud of myself.
Even if I didn’t get the job, I’d be damn proud of myself for completing tasks that someone else had deemed important indicators of my skills.
A job interview!
Holy hell. I wasn’t as scared as I should’ve been, because I didn’t know what was coming. If I had known I would be grilled by 5 different people for a total of 3 hours, I would’ve certainly needed a paper bag when walking through those doors. I had to code on the wall, with a pen, there on the spot. It was like all my biggest fears came together to have a party. But the interviewer soothed my worries a bit by telling me that back when he was being interviewed, he totally flunked that test. I was able to succeed in most of the assignments, even if I had a little help. There were some parts where I failed horribly and definitely said several stupid things.
But everyone was very nice and it was amazing that I seemed to get along with all of them. I threw some jokes in, attempting to pass as a normal human being. They seemed like-minded, and I could tell they genuinely liked me even through the lopsided goggles which I view human interactions through. But that doesn’t mean they would hire me, and I was convinced that this was the final nail in the coffin. Maybe I had looked good from afar, but now, staring at a small girl with a shaved head who rambles awkwardly, they came to their senses and draw a big NOPE on my file.
Except they did’t. They saw something in me.
I got a job.
I’m a Junior Software Developer.
I’ve been working for a week and it’s amazing. Being able to code for a living is crazy, because I’d do the same free, just for fun. The atmosphere is creative and lax, and everyone has a say.
So now what? I should be ecstatic and happy as one can be, and I am. But at the same time, I’m confused and scared to death. I’m scared I don’t live up to their expectations, that I end up doing something stupid, that what is a dream turns into a nightmare of my own making.
I feel like I screw up every good thing I have because happiness scares me and dreams are safer when they’re not realized.
What to do when someone gives you the perfect chance and a dream becomes a reality as the result of work and tears? For now, I’ll dance.