The Art of Psyching Myself Out

I have a GoFundMe in order to try to help offset some of the tuition cost of Ruby school next year. In the part where I talk about why people should send me money, I mentioned my interest in living my values.

Also, honestly, I’d like to put my values to work. I can complain and retweet articles all day about how tech needs women, but I’m not doing anything to actually help the situation. I’d like to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

I read a lot of tech blogs, and follow a number of women in tech on Twitter, which means that I see a lot about the terrible sexism that seems endemic to the tech world. While GamerGate is only the most recent example of misogynistic assholes being themselves, it’s not like there’s a lack of terrible news. I waver between competing impulses: should I avoid the news in order to still maintain the delusion that this is a good idea for my future, or should I face the truth and go into programming with a reasonable expectation of what I might face?

A new start

I realized that I had no interest in marketing in the middle of an interview for a marketing position. They gave me a writing exercise that I was finding much more challenging than it ought to have been, and when I asked myself why it was seemingly impossible to craft five tweets promoting this company’s appearance at a trade show, I realized that it was because I actually hate marketing. I hate being marketed *to.* While I’m not one of those lofty people who claims to be able to ignore all marketing and advertisements, I am more likely to avoid products that have been heavily marketed to me.

So, if I hate marketing, and my bachelor’s degree in print journalism is about as useless as actual newsprint now…what on earth do I actually want to do with myself? I need a job, I’d like a career.

When I think of the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with, the people I’ve dated, my hobbies and crafts and the hobbies and crafts I’d like to learn, it becomes pretty obvious that programming was inevitable. It’s a field I’ve been curious about for a long time, but I’ve put off learning about it because I honestly didn’t think I was smart enough to be any good. “I’m a writer, I’m terrible at math,” I told myself. “I have the worst memory, I’m not creative.”

Well, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, and embrace this challenge. I’m going to try my damnedest to set aside my insecurities and tackle this new project with gusto. I was accepted to a code school, and in January I begin learning Ruby at The Iron Yard, here in Durham.

I’m excited and terrified. What if I was right, and I do suck at it? On the other hand, what if I turn out to love it? It’s weird that both outcomes seem equally scary, but this is a much bigger change than I’ve ever undertaken before. I’ve decided to dust off this old blog and document my journey. Even if no one reads it, I want to have it for myself, a journal of sorts.

If anyone is reading this, and you want to donate to my future, I’m raising money via GoFundMe to help me cover the $12k tuition to Iron Yard. Any help would be gratefully accepted.

59 days until school starts!