GRATEFUL

Yesterday wrapped up the curriculum phase of my education at The Iron Yard and I feel so grateful…

This has been such a transformative experience for me. First of all, my first day of school was the first time that I had EVER used a Mac laptop. Seriously.

I didn’t know anything about computers. I didn’t know anything about syntax, I didn’t know anything about frameworks or libraries, let alone Javascript and React. All I knew of the internet was Google and Facebook, so it’s safe to say that I was technically a computer science virgin. Three months ago, if you would’ve told me that I would be a future software developer, I would’ve laughed in your face… like a big and hearty, throw my head back, belly laugh in your face. I was a flight attendant, hunni…. A traveler. A free sprit that craved freedom and deathly afraid of commitment. I longed to roam the planet in search of adventure, foods that I couldn’t pronounce, and culturally rich experiences. It was never my intention to be bound to anything, especially a laptop, staring at code for hours and being humbled af by my CSS homework assignments.

Its so funny how the universe works, isn’t it?? Everything that I love and the freedom that I have always been yearning for is exactly what brought me to this place. This wonderfully complex yet beautiful world of coding. Honestly, I initially thought about allllllllll the money I could make. I was never going to get rich being a flight attendant and even though I loved my career, my worst fear was to be one of those 60 year old bitter ass flight attendants that loathed the industry but was bound to the “benefits” and the time that I had already invested in a company because after all, seniority is EVERYTHING in that line of work. During my 10th year working as a flight attendant I started to yearn for more. I have always believed I had more to offer the world than just a well crafted cocktail poured at 30,000 feet. Ive always been pretty smart and highly driven so the feeling of not living up to my full potential was terrifying and catching up with me. So, I decided to leap… and The Iron Yard was there to catch me.

When I initially applied to school I was dazed and confused… I had just quit my job and I knew that whatever decision I made would greatly affect me for the rest of my life. Yeah, thats not totally terrifying, right?? I was not going to take this decision lightly. I did my research, attended crash courses, and finally I spoke to my soon to be instructor and mentor, Jason V., on the phone on the gloomy and unsettling day that we all found out that Trump was elected President. I knew after our first 30 seconds on the phone that this would be the right choice. Maybe it was the empathy I heard in his voice or the way we laughed like we had known each other for years, but this was it and I was hella excited.

Every day of class brought me to a different level of understanding and exposed me to a different way of thinking that while simultaneously giving me a feeling of being kicked in the gut every damn day. Not only did I have to absorb mountains of new information, I had to teach myself to think and learn in a completely new way. I had to think like a fucking computer. Fuck.

Functions.

Loops.

Requests.

Responses.

Databases.

Servers.

WTF.

I literally cried in my car everyday for the first two weeks. No joke. Hello self doubt!! Did I bite off more than i could chew? Is it even humanly possible for me to truly understand this unGodly amount of information in 3 months? I had to reevaluate my entire life at this point. Can i do this??

Heeeell yeah I could and I am… and now that Im two months deep (I cant believe its only been two months) and about to embark on my final project, I have been stretched in ways i didn’t even know were possible. I have grown a student, a person, and as a woman and I am much more compassionate than ever to other people and their own stories of progress, struggle, and success.

The same quality of life that I have always yearned for as a flight attendant is the same exact thing that learning to code will give me. I am coming full circle and loving every minute of it. I dream in code, I think about it even when I’m not doing it. Im officially obsessed with the creativity and power of creation that comes along with it. Coding has and will continue to change my life. I have A LOT to learn and even though I’m just scratching the surface, I know that this was the best thing to happen to me since sliced bread, baby. It makes me happy and yet drives me completely fucking crazy at times. I don’t know where I would have end up without coding, The Iron Yard, and my homeboy Jason V! Coding has saved my life and for that… I am truly grateful.