Other people’s definition of success

girl

For awhile I’ve felt that I don’t resonate with the typical definition of success. It doesn’t make my heart feel anything when I hear it described. In fact, some of the material excess described makes me feel uneasy when I hear people fantasize about it.

I don’t need to be rich.

From a young age I’ve always been able to distinguish a need from a want. I know that when it comes down to it, we need very little to survive and even to thrive. I also understand that our material desires stem from an emotional lack somewhere, and I have the foresight to know that a new handbag will only be a temporary fix at best.

pennies
I’m good with my pennies, thanks

Anyway, I bring this up because I was reading an article in my Medium Daily Digest called “5 Things I Had to Give Up to be Successful“. The first thing the writer says he gave up is Other people’s definition of success.

He talks about the standard agreed-upon version of success that society has, which is especially propagated during college. But “by this definition, I was a complete failure.” And boy can I relate to that.

He goes on to say,

“At some point, I realized that I had to give up other people’s definition of success. This is one of the most difficult things to give up because it is so deeply embedded in our cultural narratives that it becomes the standard by which we measure our lives.”

This issue of defining your self-worth by how “successful” you are plagued my 20’s. And really, it wasn’t until I sold out and “got a real job” that I finally felt the shame dissipate. But I wasn’t happy. Isn’t it possible to live a life filled with an abundance of happiness and also a complete lack of shame? Cause that’s what I’m looking for.

I also totally resonated with his point that “Even as entrepreneurs we have collectively agreed that fame and fortune are the markers of success,” because I know I’ve felt shame when comparing myself to my other freelancer friends who are out there hustling in their own way.

i now go beyond other peoples' fears and limitations
We have these “Power Thought Cards” by Louise L. Hay in our staff bathroom, and this one was up today. Perfect.

So what do I actually want?

The answer to this could easily be 100 more blog posts, but in short: I want enough money to live the same frugal and minimal lifestyle I live now, with enough extra that if I wanted to splurge, I could. I want enough extra money that I can invest for retirement. And I want enough extra money so I can travel. But that’s it.

And aside from money, what do I want? I want a family. I want to get married and have children and I want to nurture that family. And I also want to maintain independence and work on my own projects and goals. I want to continue to progress. I want to prioritize family and friends and in-person experiences over digital ones. I want to prioritize my health.

cute little fam

And that’s it in a nutshell.

 

 

What goes on at an fCC meetup

Today I went to my first freeCodeCamp meetup, and it was great! We met at our local collaborative working space, and sat in the conference room. The Colab had tea and coffee available for us so that was a nice perk, too. It was stormy out today, and with the windows open we had a pleasant breeze and background rain to listen to.

We chatted a bit about why each of us is interested in learning to code, and about the various benefits for future job potential. Then we did a couple pomodoros of individual work on freeCodeCamp. I started the Javascript section and got a bunch done! I haven’t worked using pomodoros in awhile, and it was nice to be that focused.

On breaks, we shares updates about which sections we had just been working on, and asked for help if we needed it. We were all at different points in the course, so some stuff we talked about I could relate to as I’d already done it, and other stuff was a glimpse at the upcoming sections for me. It was cool to see each others’ progress and just to know that there are other people in my town who are doing the same course as me. It definitely motivated me to keep going!

And on that note, off I go!

keepinitreal
The Colab keepin’ it real

 

 

Crossroads

all aboard

Greetings, fam.

Today I want to talk a little bit about what’s been mulling around my brain for the last week or two. This post is a personal one, about what the heck I’m doing with my life.

Here’s the deal —

I’m considering leaving my beloved job as a preschool teacher’s assistant to devote my time to coding. There’s six weeks left of the school year, followed by six weeks of Toddler Camp (can we just collectively “awww” at that name? This is my life, you guys.) Totaling 12 more weeks until I’m done for the summer. And quite possibly for good.

playground

My plan these next 12 weeks is to up my 3-job-having game and do freeCodeCamp on the side (a hustle already in progress.) Hopefully by the end of those 12 weeks I’ll have made a decent dent in the coursework and can possibly even start taking freelance clients again.

I’ll have saved up a few months’ worth of living expenses to cover my then 2-job-having butt for another few months, while I finish the FCC curriculum and then hunt for my goal of a full-time remote coding position.

I figure I got about 5 months before the code hits the fan.

(I was also hoping for a 3 week getaway to Europe this August, so we’ll see if I can still fit that in! I’ll keep you posted.)

So what’s there to think about?

Well. I guess nothing. Because honestly, I picture myself a year from now, and I see two possible versions. One looks a lot like me now: tired, sick often, but gets to hang out with my short little friends all day. Heart is full. But I’m also struggling financially with no end in sight.

The other looks like a more rested version of me. She is healthy (albeit has more eye strain). She is maybe still struggling financially but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. She’s applying to a few jobs now that FCC is under her belt. She feels free. She feels confident. She feels ready.

I want that second version to be my reality. And I know it can be. But I have to make the leap and go for it.

Okay. Yes. You’re right. I need to leave my job at the preschool.

Thanks, fam.

Bootstrap: a conversion story

bootstrap

Well that was fast! I just finished the Responsive Design with Bootstrap section on freeCodeCamp and I had to double check that I actually completed all the lessons.

Let me tell you, Bootstrap is super easy to use! It’s so intuitive and simple. It’s great! It also offers some really cool stuff.

Things that were new to me:

Wells. You can give a div a class of “well” and it gives it a look like there’s depth to the div. Super fast styling!

Font Awesome. Font Awesome is a library of icons that you can add to buttons (things like a thumbs up, or a cute little paper airplane for submit buttons). All you do is add Font Awesome to the top of your HTML and bam, you have access to the library.

paper airplane

Things that were not new to me:

The general concept of responsive design. I’ve been doing that for awhile already and after a long time of NOT doing it that way… let’s just say I would never, ever go back.

grid layout

Creating divs with class “row” and using a grid. I’ve been using Foundation, not Bootstrap, for the last few years. That just happened to be the responsive framework I chose to learn, and I liked it so I always used it. But I like Bootstrap and that seems to have a few more features and also it seems to be the trend, so thanks to this section in freeCodeCamp, I’ve now converted.

That’s all for this week! Happy coding, friends.