I never touched computers much in my younger days, because I was told, literally that I would break it because I was a girl. I still hold a tiny bit of that fear, but it has changed.
I might break it because I didn't catch that error on line 52, and being a woman has nothing to do with it.
I quit college after my first year due to the onset of Bipolar. It went through my life like a wrecking ball, almost taking me out of this world. After many years of battling myself, involuntary admittances, medication changes, and therapy, I made a decision. I decided I wanted to be a mom. I also decided I wanted to live. As my son grew so did my confidence that I was worth something in this world. I had lit my own fire instead of waiting for the darkness to end.
My first go at programming was around 2009. At the time there were free html files of Zed Shaw's Learn Python the Hard Way, and he even sent messages in a forum to people sometimes! I was the one who made it to near the end of the book having no idea what the $ symbol meant. Yeah, Hi Zed, look at me now!
I gave coding up for a few years after getting through the final Flask project of Learn Python the Hard Way, thinking I was destined to work in manual labor and was wasting my time (broken self: meet new self. YOU GOT THIS). After finally getting a job that equipped me to financially support my family with ease, I decided to play with Python again around 2013.
I started with a book about pygame, wrote a few games, and fell in love. This is something I could do, this is something I want to do. I viewed it as a hobby, not undertaking any serious amounts of time to it. Tragedy struck, and changed all my perspectives.
After losing my fiance who passed of cancer in April of 2017, I moved me and my son to California with my sister and made some decisions. She has always been a huge source of inspiration to me. I wanted to code, I wanted in to the world she's been a part of for so long, and I needed to start me and my son on a new path. I wasn't going to let my worries and self-doubt stop me from trying to make things better any longer. Loss has a way of reminding you how much there is to fight for in life.
I still have days I want to give up, but then I head into my job which barely affords life in this trailer park, and it brings me fuel. Fuel to do something, rather then nothing. Fuel to chase this dream.
With every code that runs as planned, a piece of me is triumphant. With every bit of code that spectacularly fails, I get to learn something exciting and brand new. And I secretly feel powerful, like, did you see how I made that memory error happen!
With every project complete, and idea followed through, there is a burning inside that can not be extinguished. With every new thing I learn, or accomplish my future is getting brighter.
I'm going to keep the fire burning. One day soon hopefully, I'll get paid to do it, but until then, this is fun, this is rewarding, and I'm not giving up on my life any longer.