the best way to explain what i do for a living is for me to say that every day i am approached with problems that people can’t or don’t want to understand. and i try and figure them out.
my job title is a loose collection of different nouns and verbs that are easily interchanged, but not-so-easily applied to another single person. destroyer-of-worlds. chief-fire-putter-outter. breaker-of-internets. pink-haired-loud-mouth. easily-hyphenated. intangible-insufferable-illogical.
i ended up in the position i am in by failing a lot. not on a big project once in a while. but by making mistakes every day. multiple times a day. three a minute. failing so many times that 98% of them aren’t even blips on the radar of my memory anymore. so let’s talk about it.
a coworker of mine.
coworker: I don’t do change well. Or challenges. I feel like I am challenging myself
coworker: which is GOOD
coworker: it’s awesome
coworker: but it makes me nervous
coworker: HUGE fear of failure.
coworker: crippiling almost. and in regards to everything I do
me: what’s wrong with failure
me: failure is great
me: it’s a benchmark you can use
me: you can’t use uncertainty or apathy
me: they have non-values.
me: no variables.
i learned everything i know (which isn’t much, i’d prefer it to be a lot more) about the web development, internet, social media, web standards, non-profit, content management, photography, making-logos-bigger game by trial and error. by being thrust into situations others would balk at. this is all cultivated by taking chances, jumping in, trying my best and in most cases …. landing flat on my face.
let me tell you about content loading for 80 hours for a client, when no one else would do it, because of an oversight. take a guess how many times i’ve forgotten a squiggly bracket in a php loop, or missed a semi-colon in some css? how many hours spent with my head in my hands, how much sleep lost and how many cans of dr.pepper do you think i’ve put in to this by now?
there are some projects with names that make the blood drain from my face as the first syllable is mentioned.
ask me about the time i lost a website.
there are things that i’ve overestimated, things i’ve made that have been underwhelming, and inbetween?
fuck up after failure, staring at lines of monospaced communication aimed at inconveniencing electrons. tricking them into showing what i want them to.
and all of this failure, all of these screw-ups, all of those late nights un-learning bad habits and developing worse ones has made me into a better person.
someone smarter, more adventurous, and more self-assured than i ever expected myself to be. someone more able to help those around me than half of the people i’ve ever met in my life. a person who can admit when they’re wrong, do the things no one else wants to do, and spend an entire lifetime trying to be something just a little bit better.
and i can’t wait for what i’ll fuck up next.