Ada Developer’s Academy emailed me to let me know I have been accepted into their sixth cohort!!! When I found out, I was on my lunch break at a pizza place in Springfield. I had been obsessively checking my email for almost a week, so my phone wasn’t far from me when I heard the soft ding that signaled I received an email. I took a look and saw that it was “the one”. Pausing for a moment before opening it, I readied myself for acceptance or rejection. When I saw the first words – “It is our great pleasure to congratulate you…” – I stopped reading and sat back in my chair, stunned.
I momentarily pushed away a tumult of thoughts and emotions to call my sister-in-law and future roommate, Jessica. Tears began streaming down my face as I told her the news, and I realized that I hadn’t allowed myself to believe that acceptance was even in the realm of possibility. It hit me all at once – my whole life was about to change – at least for a year, but possibly forever. After telling Jessica, I called my partner, Matthew, to let him know. Then as I let the news sink in, it surprised me to realize that I would miss certain things about my job. That I would miss my friends and my old life. And that it is crazy that I am about to change everything at 31 years old, after 10 years of pursuing school psychology and only a year after buying a house.
But in spite of all that, I also had this incredible realization that I am doing exactly the right thing for me. I’ve thought a lot over the past year about taking risks, being a lifelong learner, and what I want the next 10, 20, or even 30 years of my life to look like. I want it to be a life full of friendships and family and a certain measure of security, but also one of professional fulfillment. I have had and continue to have serious doubts over whether I will be able to find that sense of long-lasting fulfillment in my current field. A friend that has taken a lot of professional risks over the past couple of years, to great success and improved happiness, gave me a “congratulations” card that said the following:
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”. – T.S. Eliot
I have never thought of myself as this brave or daring person, or as someone who takes a lot of risks. If anything, I have “played it safe” at certain key junctures of my life, afraid of social or professional repercussions. I have felt this fear grow as my stability has increased over the past five years. But at the same time, my yearning for a different, more informed version of my life has grown. By more informed, I guess I mean…more informed by my knowledge of what being an adult is really like. When we make choices about college majors and careers, we have zero idea about the daily slog of adult life. Now that I have a clearer picture of this, I am happy to say that I love many of the choices I have made – my partner, my dogs, my daily routine, my house, my friendships, and many other little things. But one area where I missed the mark is my career. As I step forward into this next phase of my life, I am recognizing more and more that this is okay, because while I don’t plan to remain a school psychologist, I can still take so much of what I have learned in the past 10 years with me into this next stage. I think the timing is right too. I am at a point where I truly feel as though I am just moving on to a new opportunity, not giving up because of stress or burnout. This would not have been the case three years ago.
In the time since I learned I was accepted, my sister-in-law Jessica already found us an apartment in Seattle and we are signed up and ready to go. I actually helped her move into the place, and wow, does it have an amazing view!! The photo attached to this post is the sunset off of our balcony.
I start the program on August 8th. I plan to keep this blog up to date when I start the program, more to document my experience than anything else. Feel free to follow along with my adventures in learning to code here.