Life is fucking hard.
No one taught me this as a child. I was given the same path as I'm sure many of you were.
Go to college. Get a good paying job. Settle down with a woman five years younger than you (thanks dad). Live a life filled with security.
My parents sheltered me from just how hard this shit is. I was shielded from what it means to be black in America. And to be quite honest, I really wish they hadn't because nearly every day, I see something that I didn't even think was possible.
Being black in America means you have to work twice as hard. Prove yourself twice as often. Or just throw your hands up and give up. Settle for life a few rungs down on the ladder, appreciate the little you have, and never worry about clawing your way to the top ever again.
How many of our parents decided to do that? How many of them looked at the way the world treated people of color and they decided to opt out forever? Do you think they regret their decisions? My dad wanted to move to Los Angeles and write music for a living. My mom, she wanted to be a famous novelist. But he stopped writing songs 30 years ago and she hasn't written a chapter in decades. Their lives have been undeniably filled with happiness. But there are times when I hear the disappointment in my moms voice that she didn't become the first J.K. Rowling.
The truth is, I was not born into a family of risk-takers. I am going against the grain. By trying to do anything in technology, where failure is high and opportunities are low, I am going against my genetic make up. My biological need for security.
This path is filled with panic attacks, depression, failure, as well as fits and starts. One minute you're up and the next you're down so far that it looks like up to you
But keep pushing. Because all you need is one phone call. One email. One interview. One chance encounter to change your path forever.
J.K. Rowling said it best --
"it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all - in which case, you fail by default."