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Facing Adversities 2.0(20)

March 31, 2021 As we get into full swing of the new year and things are starting to open back up... Show more

As we get into full swing of the new year, vaccines are being distributed, things are starting to open back up, and life is starting to show a glimpse of what it used to be like before the pandemic, I'm still here trying to discern what. the hell. just. happened.

I think we can all agree, 2020 was a loaded burrito of anguish, frustration, hopelessness, and straight up bad times. It also forced us to slow down, take a break, and reflect on our daily routines. It showed us areas of our lives upon which we can improve as well as the things we're doing correctly. It made us realize how therapeutic something simple like spending a day with family and friends can be. We saw how fragile our lives and livelihoods are and how quickly our entire world can be turned upside-down. We also saw how quickly humankind can adapt to hardship.

One of the biggest adaptations I've seen throughout the last year was the multitude of companies, big and small, realizing how important it is to implement current technology in this day and age. I knew I would be asked to create more online systems for my employer to keep up with the need for virtual communication, and as I added those systems, we were met with good feedback and even better web stats. I've also heard a lot of businesses bring their work online while employees were asked to work remotely, and it's worked so well for some that their seemingly temporary situations are starting to turn into permanent work-from-home jobs and office spaces are being sold because of the convenience and cheaper costs.

These kinds of transitions are much less likely to be seen unless push comes to shove and change becomes a necessity. Even some of the smaller things that people were able to do to find creative workarounds to recent perils was a true testament to how resilient we are as a species.

"You get out what you put in"

March 4, 2021 None of us would be where we are now without other human beings... Show more

None of us would be where we are now without other human beings. We would not be able to walk or talk without learning and observing from those around us and mimicking their actions. I would not have been able to write this without the help from teachers and my parents teaching me how to write, just like you would not have been able to read this if it weren’t for those in your life.

Throughout our life, we join social groups and those social groups form a life of their own, no matter how big or small the assembly of people is. Within these groups, trends are set. Cultures and traditions are made. Random tidbits of information are dispersed. An entire environment is created, an ambiance comprised of each individual within the constructs of your conglomerate. Oddly enough, our very way of thinking sometimes differs as we go from one group to another.

If you’ve heard the saying “you get out what you put in,” you’ve probably heard it said in a way that describes the hard work and effort that’s needed to have the life we all want and deserve. While this is true, this saying can also be accurate when it comes to our attitudes towards our environment. If you go into a situation looking for the worst or interact with others seeking the nastiest qualities about them, chances become exponentially higher that you are going to find them. If you experience your life with more optimism and try connecting with people with more empathy and patience, well, you’re still likely to get hurt, but that likelihood does go down at least. The demeanor you radiate to those within your environment is going to be the same energy you’re going to get from them. If it’s one of vileness and toxicity, who are you really hurting but yourself in the long run?

Another hinderance of our small ecosystems happens when there isn’t enough diversity. I’ve heard people complain that to them, diversity and inclusion is just a fad or trend. To me, however, it’s a necessity to maintain relevance. While it’s nice having likeminded individuals surrounding you, there’s a certain point where moderation dissolves into disproportion and people fall into a rut where they are only hearing what they want to hear and anyone who thinks differently is wrong without any further context or questioning. That’s when vileness and toxicity start to rear its ugly head.

Essentially, (in most cases) we are the ones in charge of our own environment. If you decide to stay in an environment of negativity, that despondence and despair will burn through you like acid. If you’re keeping yourself in a position where you’re always hearing just one side to every story, you’re doing yourself as well as those around you a disservice.

Facing Adversities

April 7, 2018 We all go through a time or two in our lives where we have to face adversities; it’s one of life’s few certainties... Show more

We all go through times in our lives where we have to face adversities; it’s one of life’s few certainties. In most cases, we as social beings are able to find a group of likewise individuals, who share these adversities with us, and are able to go to this new found group for support and questions you may have. There are times, however, that this is not an option. Whether it may be you’re too proud to ask for help, or can’t find those facing the same issues as you, there are times where we have to face these obstacles alone. In my opinion, these can easily be some of the harder problems we face in our short time here; because these problems are the ones where we have to learn and grow on our own, without the possibility of asking those who have faced this issue before. These can also be the times in which we grow the most.

For me, the biggest adversity was being unnaturally short, or so I thought at the time. To give you an idea of how this affected me growing up, when I was 16 and got my license, I was 4’6; four feet, six inches tall. I always dismissed it, thinking I would grow eventually, but it wasn’t until I was 17 when I finally found out something was wrong. That was when they did an MRI at St. Louis Children's Hospital and found out that at the base of the brain, where the pituitary gland should be, there was no gland there. I was born without one. For the next four years, I had to take daily shots of Human Growth Hormone and then monthly shots of Testosterone to simulate the glands that weren’t getting the instructions to release the glands' hormones naturally. To this day, I still have to apply Testosterone gel daily.

This is an odd, rare condition, so it's hard asking those around you for help when they have little to no idea of what is even going on in the first place. Even doctors that I've talked to seem to have very limited knowledge on the subject. I did a lot of research of the condition online, and most of the stories I’ve seen were much worse, as a lot of those without the gland don’t even have the motor skills fully developed to function without assistance.

In an interview, I was asked “What would set you apart from other applicants?” The first thing that comes to mind is obvious… facing adversities. Being able to face something that very few people have had to go through has given me a lot of strength, in my opinion. While the condition in my life could’ve been much worse, it’s something with which I had to learn to be flexible. I had to learn to improvise within an instance. I learned to take something that can be considered a burden and used it to become a more patient and resilient person. It taught me that it’s not what you have; it’s what you can do with what you’ve been given in life.

Ready for the Next Chapter

March 19, 2018 As they called my name at the graduation ceremony at my now Alma Mater, Full Sail University, so many things were running through my mind... Show more

As they called my name at the graduation ceremony at my now Alma Mater, Full Sail University, so many things were running through my mind. It’s hard to keep track of it all as it all happened in an instant, but the most prominent thought in my brain was “don’t trip.”

When it was all over, I returned to my seat (without tripping) watching other graduates walking up to get their diplomas, and I was so relieved to finally achieve my Bachelor’s degree. A little over 3 years of going through school full-time while working over 50 hours some weeks, while volunteering at my favorite nonprofit (Chakota Therapeutic Riding Center – working with the children and maintaining the website), and while freelancing for clients on the side can seem like an eternity some days. Now that I look back, however, I’m glad I was able to take on these tasks and come out unscathed.

Doing this all while taking an accelerated Web Design and Development program, I was able to prove to my peers, to my friends and family, to my potential clients or future employers, and most importantly – to myself, what I’m capable of accomplishing. I can take on a pile of responsibilities assiduously and I can succeed with my immense self-discipline, attention to detail, and composure. That’s enough of patting myself on the back for one day.

Now two weeks after graduation day, I look back at the past few years and it didn’t seem long at all. In fact, I am kind of grateful for the times I was up until 6 am finishing my C# programming assignments. The nights I could only see lines of code in my sleep when I couldn’t figure out an issue with my PHP project. The times I zoned out at my job trying to improve my Node back-end server application. These are the strenuous experiences I had, some of which made me question my decision in this field, but these also shaped me into the Developer that I am today. These experiences are also hopefully the foundation upon which I can build a lucrative and flourishing career in Web Development. Looking forward, I am ready for the next chapter in my career, and I hope you are all ready for me as well.