I Have Made Fire

Learning programming on my own has been an incredibly frustrating experience. By comparison, it makes studying actuarial science in school seem like almost a breeze.

It’s like being on a boat, out at sea and in a storm. Everything seems to be fighting you, and you know the waves are just going to keep coming. It’s hard to tell if you’re making any progress at all.

I’ve often found myself stuck on a single problem for days. When I do finally solve it after a painful process of googling and trial and error and half-baked comprehension…VOILA! Another problem presents itself.

Staying motivated is hard.

Sometimes I just want to smash my monitor, hurl my built-like-a-brick Das Keyboard at my MacBook Air, and scream at the remains of my tormentor, “I JUST WANT TO DO X. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST DO X YOU STUPID @#$%^&*!!!”

Often, just visualizing it has an oddly calming effect.

Yet I keep going, with the hope that I will get better. I may be very far, too far maybe, from where I want to be, but I have come a long way, and this is the only path that will lead me there.

A series of problems is a series of little victories waiting to be achieved.

Someday, I too will have made fire.

(The scene is from the movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks. I wish I could’ve found a longer clip showing his previous failed attempts at making fire. Then, you’d understand his ecstasy at the end.)