Buckle up to your seat belt Cindy, because this ride is about to get crazy!
To explain a little bit of my situation in a minimalist fashion, this is my backup plan, and I am determined to succeed. There is no plan C - Z. THIS is my backup plan.
The date is September 14, 2020, the time is 6:56:38am Central Time Zone, and I am listening to the 6 unaccompanied cello suites (Composer: J. S. Bach) being performed on Marimba by my previous professor -- Gwendolyn Dease. (On iTunes of course, not live, but how awesome would that be?)
So, to provide a more detailed background, here it goes:
In March of 2020, I was living in Chicago, Illinois working as a "Special Events Coordinator" for a music not-for-profit. I remember it so vividly even though it was a short 3 months ago when I left. I still even remember getting a surprise meeting invite from our Chief Development Officer to break the news that due to the cancellation of the fall season and the ramped spread of COVID-19 in our country, city, and community, that my position had be completely terminated from the company to conserve funds in more important areas for the companies lifeblood. Understandable, because business is business, but still hurt all the same. I had worked for a year and a half learning how to interview properly, rewrote my resume about 10 different times to please any employer that would have me, after completing an 4 months internship in Aspen, Colorado to learn HOW to be a not-for-profit event planner. The details, the planning, the collaboration, the administration, the feeling when it succeeds, the feeling when it fails, the lessons learned, and the progress made.
Backing up to January of 2020, I had heard about Flatiron School from a now friend, Shanon Langan, who completed this program recently in Chicago in the UX/UI Design track. I learned about this for-profit education company from Shanon at my Co-worker and close dfriend’s birthday party (Hey Hey Nick!!) while having drinks at Sidetracks in my glorious 'sporty spice' ensemble.
I started looking into this program, and I began to think "What if I could be a software engineer?" My best friend is already doing it. My cousin works in IT as well. I began to pick both of their brains about what it's like, with not really being able to understand or grasp a true understanding of what it is. I still don't know half the things it is or what we can do with it. . . yet.
I read the syllabus, set up a meeting in February with one of the admissions team members to get a better understanding of what each program had to offer. Seemed too good to be true, even more so when I read the Job Report of "96% people who complete this course find a job within 3 months working in their field, with an average minimum salary of $75K." To put this in perspective, that was roughly 40K more than what I was currently making at the time.
What I DID know is that:
Technology as we know it isn't going anywhere any time soon, and,
If I moved, I could EASILY find a job programming at any company around the country or even the world
(HA, jokes on us because of the poor response to COVID-19 by the current administration, the EU and probably other countries have placed a travel ban on U.S. American's because of our poor response and containment of the virus. How's that for irony from the previous travel ban's on China and the Middle East? #wasntmychoice #ijustlivehere).
To recap, I was let go because of COVID-19, and I was needing a sign to apply and start my new journey. All the pieces just seem to fall into place. Last day of work was June 30, 2020, my lease ended June 30, 2020, was already thinking about doing the part-time while still working full time (but I lost my job so that changed rather quickly), and my boyfriend still lived back in Oklahoma.
Therefore I took the plunge, moved back in with the boyfriend, grieved for my loss (I'm still grieving to this day.), basically convinced that I'm more depressed than I was before and took the proper steps to get home. BUT, as for the depression bit, I can at will compartmentalize and think what I need to make things happen and that's when I started to think, "Hey, I'm creative. I'm determined. I have a hard work ethic (at least I think). I can do this. I can TOTALLY do this." These were all things I thought to myself as I summed up the courage to apply. And within 2 days, I had been accepted, gotten a Scholarship for partial tuition cover, AND gotten a loan to cover the rest. And fast forward 2 months after my acceptance into the program to today, September 14, 2020. Today is technically "Day 5" but have been working in these materials all weekend as well so it's "Day 7" for me, Haha (there was a holiday on the Monday we should've initially started). I'll be blunt, I am struggling to understand the usage of all of the operators, enumerators, through iteration & looping but like I said before "THIS is my back up plan." I cannot afford to be defeated, nor will I accept such an outcome without fighting for my education. I want to learn. I want to improve. I want to be a productive member of society and make the world a better place for people younger than me. If I have to figuratively kill myself to learn this in order to improve my life and in turn improve others with whatever skills I will ascertain, then so be it.
I'm here. I'm willing to learn. I'm ready to continue growing. I don't like the struggle. I don't like not being able to ask my teachers in person how to troubleshoot, but hey "If it was easy, everyone would do it.", right?
I am still mourning the loss of my hard work getting my previously and most recently lost job, but hopeful to look forward and through different lenses for other opportunities such as Flatiron School.
If music, 8 years of college, 3 degrees, 5 summers of drum corps (DCI), 7 gold medals, 3 silver medals, 2 bronze medals, and countless other accolades has taught me anything. . . it's this.
"Trust the process."