8. Who I Am
Like everyone else, I am what I think about and am therefore a summation of all of my previous actions. My three sources of income right now are my job at T-Mobile, my job at Old Chicago, and the occasional “job” of being tech support for family and friends. I have a frustrating family life and I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do with my future both during and after college. Like many of my peers, it required a large pile of student loans for me to get a college education in the United States.
Not that I expect pity for those loans or my lower-middle-class income; I live a relatively fortunate life. I’ve never really wanted for food or shelter, and even by food and shelter standards I’ve done quite well here in sunny, mountainous, Disney-based-a-section-of-Disney-World-off-of-our-downtown-area Fort Collins, Colorado.
The above is what I perceive as “normal” about myself, as twenty-four-year-old white American males living in the year 2016 go.
None of it, however, is the part of my present that is guiding my future. I try and improve my family life and do a good job at work, but these are not the things that are the center of my focus right now. The things I am focused on are my identity, my career, and, someday soon, building a family of my own.
I have found that in order to decide what to do with my life, it was helpful to have a strong grasp of who I am—my strengths and weaknesses, my innate talents, and the types of people and environments that make me the best “me” possible. I think when we do not understand ourselves well, we feel lost, which is why so many people my age and younger don’t know what to do with their time or their futures.
To this end, I decided to ask people who knew me about who I was, take personality quizzes, take long walks, and generally do a lot of soul-searching. The Myers-Briggs Test came in handy by describing me as an INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging- like Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, or, less fortunately, Heisenberg in Breaking Bad), and the book How The World Sees You recognized that my core strengths lie in prestige (holding myself and others to high standards) and innovation (producing creative solutions to problems).
These and other bits of information about myself helped me come to the realization that I am creative in a problem-solving sense, but not the most artistic of people—I simply wasn’t meant to write fiction novels or play guitar. I do have the ability to analyze technical or structural problems and come up with an effective, unique solution, however, which, when combined with my fascination with technology, means I’m a perfect fit for the world of software development.
To that end, my Ruby on Rails projects at Bloc.io (like my current project, Blocitoff, a self-destructing to-do list application), my side practice at Codewars, and my goals of building a Meetup group, interviewing leaders in the tech and personal finance fields, and eventually starting a career as a software developer are my focuses now. These are the things that will build a new, more exciting, and (ideally) more lucrative career for my future, so I can feel proud to start a family with my amazing girlfriend someday.
Excelsior, dear reader. Excelsior.