What are your goals really worth?

Keyeric Bristol
Jan 26 · 5 min read
Photo by James Day on Unsplash

So, for my first professional blog post, what am I writing about?
React.js? HTML, CSS? Anything code related? Nope. I’m writing about ambition.

So I suppose I should start by introducing myself:
My name is Keyeric(Key) Bristol and I am a 23 year old aspiring Software Engineer. I am currently a full time student at the Coding School called Lambda School.
So far I’m about 7–8 weeks into their Full Stack Web Development course and I’ve learned a little bit about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and React and I made my own portfolio (It’s not finished yet, and honestly, it probably won’t be until I graduate from the course).

I have a YouTube playlist updated (mostly) weekly about my experience in the course.
Check it out here:

So I would’ve liked to write my first post about Lambda and my experience there but I have to do something else first: My origin.
I was born in Virginia, raised in Georgia until 6th grade when my family moved to Maryland and I’ve been there ever since.
Until last week.

I’m homeless.

So why is that important and how does it tie into this article’s theme?
I’m homeless in Phoenix, Arizona. Those of you skilled in American geography will immediately notice something. Those who aren’t (my people) won’t get it. Arizona and Maryland are ALMOST on complete opposite ends of the United States. Maryland being near the northeast and Arizona being near the southwest.
Why am I in Arizona? I went on vacation to see a friend.
Why am I homeless? My home situation was not the greatest and I was told that if I stay outside of my mother’s apartment overnight, that would be the equivalent of me moving out.
Let’s pretend I was a freeloader who didn't pay any rent or contribute in any way. At my age of 23, she’d be at least partially right in her statement.
But that wasn’t the case.
Although not a lot of money, I paid my rent that I worked 7 days a week at 4 am at FedEx Ground to make. I would come home from my backbreaking work and spend all day at Lambda, trying to better myself. Before Lambda, I wouldn’t really do anything. My chores and entertaining my cat, but nothing productive.
Some backstory for those who haven’t seen my YouTube channel:
I tried to go to College in 2015 for English Education and did not succeed. I went to Southern University in Louisiana and marched in their band for one semester. However I wasn’t able to adapt to the long practice hours while also being away from home for the first time. Long story short I failed all my classes because I couldn’t balance time to Study, Sleep, and Practice.
Since then I’ve been working dead end jobs on and off.
Fast forward to slightly before the present: my home situation as it stands: I was a whim away from being kicked out because my mother felt that my brother (24) and I should've been gone by now.

I felt that all the work I’ve done over the past few months at FedEx and Lambda warranted me some degree of stress relief. FedEx agreed, in that the Paid Time Off(PTO) I earned was approved for the time I wanted. So, in December, I bought a plane ticket and reserved a place to stay during my trip. I setup my laptop so that I’d be able to attend class while I was away from my desktop.
But the Sunday before the flight, I was told I wasn’t allowed to go and that I “had done nothing to deserve a vacation” and that if I go, I stay gone.
For those thinking: “She just didn’t want you to go far or get hurt or something” or other such things: my mom never knew my friend was in Arizona. All she knew was that I’d be staying somewhere else overnight. She didn’t care if it was a hotel, or an apartment in the same complex.

Even though I had already put in my time off, bought all the things and only had to pack a couple days of clothes, I was informed that I had essentially wasted my time and money.
For the readers who don't get/have PTO, you don't get that back. You can’t cancel it. In some companies you aren’t allowed to come to work during your paid time off. No double pay for you.

So why is any of that important? I wasn’t about to let my money go down the drain like that. I already barely make anything to begin with ($15 an hour for 4 hours a day, 5–7 days a week (you can come in on weekends if you want but not required)) so now what?
Well I had already done research on where I want to live after starting my coding based career. Top of the list: Phoenix, Arizona.
Why? Low cost of living, high developer salary, and Silicon Valley-esque tech growth (Don’t believe me? Look it up).
So my home situation was already teetering on being kicked out anyway. So why wait for the nail to hit me?
I was going to Phoenix for vacation, I would eventually be homeless anyway, and I wanted to move to Phoenix at some point anyway.
Why not do all 3 at the same time?
Granted being homeless was never part of “The Dream”

So the reason for the article title (Finally, right?).
If given the choice to leave everything you own behind for a chance at the life you dream about, would you take it?
Do you believe in your own ability to stand up after the fall?
If you’re religious, do you have enough confidence in God’s plan for you to take a leap of faith?

What are your goals REALLY worth to you? What are your dreams actually for?
I don’t want you to answer that now. Think about it. Look around at the things you have. Think about the things you want. What’s stopping you?

Now, I might not get anywhere and this entire article could turn out to be the last evidence of a terrible decision.
Or I could gain the life I want away from an environment that I don’t.
Only time will tell.
But I can tell you one thing: I’m not giving up. I have a dream and I’m going to grab it with both hands.
What’s your excuse?

Keyeric Bristol

Written by

Software Engineer and all-round fun guy.

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