“I Want To Be A…”

Designer and developer!

Specifically, a user interface designer and a front-end web developer.

Yes, at the not-young age of 28, I can finally answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Prior to my 27th birthday – also my golden/royal one – I created a post about how I hadn’t yet been able to answer that question. I went through several phases, but I always came back to something that revolved around creativity. I feel like being a UI design and front-end web dev combine my two of my biggest loves: art and technology.

However, something disappointing I learned some time again is in professional environments, designers and developers spend very little of their time designing and coding, and the majority of the time doing meetings and paperwork. For that reason, I want to get into freelance. Sure, that will require paperwork too, but hopefully, not more than designing and coding. I also want to do freelance between it’s rare for a UI designer to code or a front-end web dev to design. In other words, I want to do both. I wouldn’t oppose to doing one in a traditional job and the other as freelance.

But first things first. Tomorrow, I begin an accelerated course for front-end web dev. I guess school isn’t as boring as I claimed it was as a kid. I certainly don’t avoid. Granted, I didn’t pay for this course, but I am still willingly attending. That probably makes it very easy to be excited about.

Learning Priorities

I seem to continually forget something: This is my blog.

I shouldn’t be shy here. This is my space to express my feelings and my thoughts. Yes, it’s public and people can give their opinions in return, but I control what’s here. Of all internet spaces, I should never be uncomfortable. So long as I keep in line with WordPress’s policy, I should never feel it’s unsafe or embarrassing to write something here.

So, I won’t.

Lately, I have talked about my goals. While I have never enjoyed school, I enjoy learning (I can’t get over the irony of a place intended to support learning destroying the love of it), and I want to learn several subjects. Human languages, programming languages, science, math, design. The list goes on, but those are at the top. However, I’ve realized there is such a thing as too much learning. Or at least, too much in a short amount of time.

My 29th birthday is this year and I can’t get over this mental/emotional crisis that I am “late”. However, overwhelming myself won’t slow down time or help my mental stability. A new friend who is helping me learn a certain subject advised me to prioritize what I want to learn that will help me now versus later. My fiance and a different friend also gave me this advice. I can’t say I disagree with them. However, I have decided only on two priorities, and am struggling to choose a third.

What I decided so far:

  • Spanish. I’m not dumb enough to think I can advance my skills to almost native-like in one year. I couldn’t do in twenty-two years, despite exposure to the language, so it certainly won’t happen in one! But at the bare minimum, I want to become conversational. This is mostly because my (future) in-laws are Hispanic and some do not speak English (or not do not speak it well enough to be understood). I also want to avoid embarrassing myself. I tried to tell my fiance’s mom I loved her Christmas dinner by saying “Yo lo amo (I love it)”. Not only is this not linguistically correct (it should be “Me lo encanta”), but my pronunciation utterly sucked and she may have heard it asĀ “Yo te amo”, which means “I love you”. I do love her as my (future) mother-in-law, but that was not what I wanted to say! I’d say “awkward” in Spanish, but I don’t remember that and I will not look it up right now (“embarazada” means “pregnant”, not “embarrassed”!).
  • JavaScript. Since I want to be a front-end developer, and I can’t seem to learn much more from HTML and CSS, I want to advance my very minimal skills in JavaScript. I am taking a boot camp that focuses on front-end development, so I will need to prioritize this anyway. Now, those aren’t the only languages used front-end. Some others are React, Angular, Vue, jQuery, and Swift. JavaScript can also be used for back-end. But it HTML, CSS, and JavaScript seem to be the main “trifecta”.

I want to say the third priority is Java. However, my only reason for learning at this time is for software development boot camp my job offers. If not for that, I would have never bothered to learn this language for the time being. Java is more commonly used for back-end development and mobile development, and I want to eventually learn the latter (which will probably go hand-in-hand with the former), it’s not my focus right now. If I don’t choose Java, my choice would be math. Specifically, pre-calculus since I plan to pursue a degree in computer science some years down the road. Of course, I can always change priorities.

In the end, my ultimate goal at the end of 2023 is to not be in the same position at work I am currently in. I want to prioritize whatever will get me out the fastest.

Not Old (Yet), Not Young

I’m 28. Maybe that isn’t old, but it certainly isn’t young either. Really, I stopped being honest about my age offline after I turned 26.

I talked a little before about teaching myself coding. The good news is there are a lot of community spaces for learners and newbies. The discouraging news is I find myself very outmatched in age. It seems in so many, if not all, of these spaces, everyone started coding at the age I was still carrying around a teddy bear.

Yes, yes, I know. “You’re never too old.” But figures of speech are just that. Figures of speech. I can never stop being reminded I wasted my youthful years doing… whatever I was doing that is wildly insignificant now. If God is real, when I die, I will ask why he didn’t give me better intuition as a small child. Seriously, why did I miss out on the intuition to build a necessary skill? Probably because I was stupid and wanted to build blocks, and adults let me so I would shut up and stop crying. *sigh*

Eh. Maybe that’s harsh (probably not), but if I had a child, I would absolutely get them started on coding and programming at as early an age as possible so they avoid this problem. Even if they grew to not want a career related to IT, they’d have a skill they can fall back on. That’s the one thing I miss about not having a child. I won’t have the pleasure of watching my child have a better and brighter future than I do. Granted, I’m fantasizing, but I know I do that a lot. I’m beginning to understand why some parents live through their kids. It’s tough to admit you don’t have the capacity/capability to reach your dreams, and your kid has better chances than you via youth. That’s a terrible thing to do to a kid, but I think I understand it.

Truthfully, I don’t think I am capable of learning because coding is such a humongous field, and IT never stops evolving. There will always be things to catch up on, so I have no idea at what point I could consider myself employable, if that point can arrive. Supposedly, it’s not about memorization, but I want to see how that holds up in an actual job. I feel like it doesn’t. But I’ve also known for a long time I’m not good at anything, so why am I talking like this is surprising? It’s not, but you get my drift. I mean, I’m good at finishing coursework, but so are kindergartners, so who cares? I want a skill most tiny children don’t have, not one most do.

Well, this quickly delved into a post of self-loathing. But it’s really honesty and trying to humor myself. I remember being asked what’s unique about me, and I answered I don’t know because I don’t know. Professionally, there is nothing unique about me. I work in a warehouse, I worked in retail, and I finished coursework. By the way, roughly 39% of the US population has a bachelor’s (not associate’s, which is what mine will be) degree, and it can still not be enough to qualify for anything. It really is little more than a piece of paper to bypass filters. Part of me feels like I’m getting it solely to prove I’m not a total idiot (of course, the two are not mutually exclusive).

Do I have any positivity to add to this post? I really don’t. I’m painfully aware my thirtieth birthday is coming sooner than I would like, and I’m simply glad there is no upcoming high school reunion.

Well, I can always achieve my dreams through fictitious means. And really, my only dream was financial stability. I didn’t even reach for the sky and I still fell flat. Ouch.

Loneliness

It’s amazing one can have a partner and still feel lonely.

Maybe the nostalgia isn’t completely dead. Okay, for my school days, it is, but I’m starting to feel there is one thing that could make me want to relive high school: my friends.

I miss them.

Recently, one of my friends – or, I suppose, former friend now – cut contact with me entirely. I will never know why. The last he told me, he wasn’t well and wanted to be alone. I apologized, as that was the first time he mentioned it, wished him well, and said I hope he feels better soon. He thanked me for it.

A day later, I was blocked. Ouch.

Obviously, I’m not entitled to anyone’s friendship, so it’s absolutely his right to no longer be friends with me. But knowing that doesn’t stop me from wishing I knew why.

I hated high school with a passion that rivals the sun’s fire. But I miss walking home with my best friend every day. I miss my friends and I getting together during lunchtime in the courtyard. I miss when we would play in the leaves while we waited outside during fire drills (two students were suspended for that; we still did it).

It’s no wonder “best friends forever” is aimed at teenagers. Most friendships can’t stand that test of time.

It’s life, I know. It happens. It also makes me understand people who seemingly can’t be single. Loneliness can kill people. I’m not afraid to be alone, and at times, I prefer it, but contrary to belief perpetuated by the internet, being introverted doesn’t stop me from wanting time with my friends. But most have little time, as do I, I recently lost one, and some no longer live in the same state. That leaves my boyfriend as the most free one. Much as I love him, I still miss my friends.

When I told my boyfriend I’m unsure I want to live beyond Dec 31st of this year, or beyond my next birthday if I live beyond the former date, he insisted he would see to it I live a long life. The implications of that aside, I really can’t help wondering what this obsession is with having a long life. Even as a teenager, I didn’t see the point, but with the future absent of light, I’m more confused at 26 than I was at 16. I mentioned in a previous post I think I’ll always struggle with depressive feelings, and I certainly don’t want to fight that struggle for the next fifty years. That’s not “brave” to me. As I said in my last post, I’m simply stuck. I’m not here because I want to be here. I’m here because I can’t take myself out. My existence wasn’t my choice, but I’m stuck with it until I can access a sure solution to solve it.

Only music distracts me somewhat from these feelings, but the music has to go off eventually.

The End Of A Decade

The 2010s are almost over. I must admit it’s been an eventful decade for me, especially since its start was terrible! The same could be said for the first decade era I lived through (2000 – 2010), but I don’t remember much before 2006.

Occasionally, I wish I remained in my hometown and grew up with my childhood best friends, especially since there was ultimately no good reason for moving as much as I did, let alone to new cities (my mom didn’t get along with people). Reconnecting with my childhood best friend via Facebook only serves to strengthen that wish. It’s to the point I’ve made sims and stories based on what my life could be like if I never moved. It’d likely be the same, but it’d be in the place I called home and the events of 2010 (which I call the worst year of my life) would’ve never occurred.

Of course, I wouldn’t have my current best friend, nor any of the friends I have now, and I possibly would have a more distant relationship with my boyfriend since it’s harder to get to where he lives from my hometown than from where I live now. There’s a reason I’d be content burning every year of my life that preceded 2011, and that particular year is only because it’s the one where I met my best friend. Otherwise, I’d burn every year before 2015, when I met my boyfriend. If I didn’t have him, I’d burn every piece until July 2019 when I got my current job.

Cheesy as it is, the power of love and the power of friendship are real. It may be a bit unhealthy, but I’m not kidding when I say my friends and my boyfriend are the only reason I care about my life. Yes, my family is excluded from that because, as much as I love them, I strive not to be like any of them. They’re terrible role models.

The one thing I can say is almost every year of this decade had a major event. Sadly, the one in 2010 is the biggest one, and it’s another reason I’d burn that year to utter ashes if I could. I’m going to skip that one and start with 2011 because I simply do not want to talk any more about 2010 right now.

  • 2011: I met my best friend of now eight years (and counting)
  • 2012: Nothing! I would say I turned 18, but that age really changes nothing.
  • 2013: No more high school! I’m free! Hallelujah!
  • 2014: I learned community college sucks and dropped out.
  • 2015: I met mi amor, and as of January 2020, we will have known each other for five years (and been a couple for 4 1/2)!
  • 2016: My first job, which I was foolishly excited about. If only I could’ve foreseen how much I’d grow to hate it.
  • 2017: I’d say being promoted to full-time, but that was an utter disaster and is the reason to refuse to ever try for a higher position again. So nothing for this year too.
  • 2018: Back to school, and it was a waste of time and money.
  • 2019: The year of the jobs! Counting a second job I’m about to start (that pays more than my current, but is seasonal), I will have had six jobs this year! Seven if I count the school’s internship and eight if I count my recent venture into DoorDash. I’m happy with my current job, though. Just wish they would stop sending people home early every day! Tax time is going to be fun. Six jobs will owe me a tax form (not seven; DoorDash sends a form only if a dasher makes $600, and I doubt I’ll hit $100).

I am looking forward to 2020 – mostly to celebrate five years with my boyfriend and hopefully going on the special trip I’m trying to save up for to be our five-year anniversary special – but I’m also scared of what the next decade will hold. I hate I’ve lived where I currently am for almost ten years. I certainly don’t want to live here for another ten.

One of my high school classmates has a master’s in psychology and recently got an internship she was aiming for. She graduated a year before I did, and she has definitely accomplished a lot in those seven years. My best friend, six years after graduation, is going to comic and anime conventions, and having the time of her life, often in NYC. I’m so happy for both of them, but I admit I wish my life was thrilling like theirs are. Unfortunately, I couldn’t care less for school or conventions, so those things wouldn’t make me happy. Aside from where I live, I genuinely am happy with my life, but I really don’t know if I have any exciting interests. Strangely, I did achieve something none of my friends have yet: my driver’s license and a car. But that probably still pales in comparison to being on the way to becoming a therapist or being a regular at conventions. Maybe I’ll find something someday. Maybe not. I guess that’s the pitfall of liking a quiet life where your favorite spot is beneath your bed covers. Too bad quiet can’t be exciting.

If nothing else, I want the 2020s to be the decade I finally accomplish my ultimate goal: moving into my own apartment!

And a passport. I want to get that just to have it.