This isn't the place for a pithy quote on opportunity being born from failure. Rather, let me plant this seed of an idea—the same one this blog is named after: when you're done asking for permission, you will ask for forgiveness and be the lighter for it.
It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.
—Grace Hopper, as quoted in the U.S. Navy's Chips Ahoy magazine (July 1986)
My hope for this blog is that it will document not only my journey from illustrator to software developer, but a shift from imagining a world with space for me in it to claiming space for myself in the world. You may have to read between the lines to find it, but that's the bullseye I am and am not aiming towards in my own clumsy attempt at zen archery.
Right now I don't honestly know why my perfectionism anxiety falls away when I make attempts at programming, yet blooms into ugly fullness when I try to pick up a pen or paintbrush to draw (yes, I've been suffering from severe artist's block for months now). But I can bring up another quote I read somewhere recently and haven't been able to shake off:
Don't mistake what you love for what you're good at.
I'm good at drawing and, I think, illustrating. And I do love it. I love computer science, too, but I'm far from being good at it. Yet for anyone who tends towards perfectionism anxiety, the feeling of loving something you're still bad at it is the sweetest transgression. I'm ready to go from prisoner to outlaw.
Some things I'll be taking as I make my jailbreak: respect for craft and design, focus, determination, love of language.
Illustration is a craft and so is coding. In some essential way, I believe I'm not making a career change so much as a I'm switching mediums.
Right now I'm sitting in a lake house while outside lightning intermittently gives the landscape the otherworldly glow of a camera's flash. It is raining and 4:35 a.m. In my headphones The Eels' "Fresh Feeling" plays. It's a good time to start something new.
I am five days out from the start of Access Code, a 10-month dev bootcamp by Coalition for Queens (C4Q) with a 5% acceptance rate—a statistic which I am thrilled to not have known until after I was accepted. I'll be in their third iOS development cohort. The past five days have been spent doing the required pre-work, scouring Reddit for mentions of C4Q's program (all positive, thankfully), reading every interesting-looking Medium article on dev bootcamps I could find (the positive and the negative), bookmarking coding podcasts and subscribing to iOS dev email newsletters. My goal for the next few days is to finish the pre-work and get back on a normal sleep schedule.
Also to decorate my newly adopted MacBook Pro with some Etsy stickers I ordered.
This will be fun. This will be a lot of hard work.