I’m sitting on my couch tonight, with a slight headache and mild eye dryness after staring at a screen for much of the day. I am also crying tears of profound joy. Joy of the simplest and sweetest kind; the joy of accomplishment.
Because of this.
Yup, that simple little outline of a house brought this
basketcase tough cookie to tears.
You see, I made that. I created it, using a bunch of letters and numbers. Numbers and letters that look like this, in case you were curious.
When I was a child, I tested in the 99th percentile for verbal abilities, and the 49th percentile for math. While I was able to attain top of the class marks in advanced placement English Literature, History, and even Biology, I was stuck in Algebra II while most of my friends were in Physics or Calculus. Thankfully, my math teacher, Ms. Scotto, was a beautiful and patient soul, or else I would have probably failed. Even with her expert tutelage, I barely scraped by with Cs.
Math and I have never been friends. In fact, I considered mathematics to be a bit of a bully; the only subject who could royally kick my ass. The fear, along with other teachers not quite as kind as the lovely Ms. Scotto, eventually turned pathological. I swore when I graduated high school I would never do math again. I had no need for it, no interest in it, no time for it.
Of course, dramatic oaths rarely lead to permanence. Math would eventually come back to get me somehow.
While I deeply love yoga, and the incredible benefits it has for body, mind, and spirit, I craved something else to study. Not to mention, when you’re madly in love with someone whose home is halfway around the world from yours, being a full-time yoga teacher is quite the challenge.If you want to move and see family, building up a client based practice and constantly leaving is very difficult, if it’s even possible. I’ve wanted to get an advanced degree since the day I graduated university, but I wanted it in something I can use.
I deeply wanted a challenge; something to stimulate my analytical brain which had been so dormant since high school. I wanted a career that I could really advance in, that could keep me learning and stimulated for years to come. A career that would allow me to travel, work with fascinating people, and who knows? Maybe change the world, if I’m very, very, lucky.
Of course, this career comes at a price. For me, that price is my old nemesis, Mathematics.
I burst into tears when I saw my homework worked with the Fibonacci sequence. I stuck my fingers in my ears and yelled “lalalala” when talk of integers came up. I ran screaming any time there was a word about the dreaded square roots.
Luckily for me, Anthony, who is the reason I am able to pursue this career in the first place, is quite sensible. He told me to buck up, and either choose to embrace what mathematics I’d have to use, or find something else to do with my time. And then we spoke about the Pythagorean theorem, which was my assignment of the day. We talked it through, and he broke it down for me in detail.
And for the first time in my entire life, it dawned on me. Holy cow! Math can actually be fascinating.
I mean, how incredible is it that there is a formula that can actually predict the final side of EVERY RIGHT TRIANGLE IN THE WORLD?!
I mean, isn’t that incredible? Even more so, that Pythagoras had that much time on his hands?
Since that day, while I still struggle with the numeric side of programming most of the time, I no longer have fear of it. I even embrace it, and send my feebler left brain energy of strength and love. I feel it working, growing, and getting stronger daily.
The house you see above is all math.
It’s all created using points on a graph, division, and logic. It actually hurt my brain as I did it, but as I kept drawing each line, charting each point, it got easier, and I got faster.
And I did it.
I built a house using just letters, numbers, and my own brain.
Don’t get me wrong. I still have a long way to go, and from the looks of it, the math is not going to get any easier as I get into more complicated programming.
But, at least for this moment, it sure is all
GLine uphill = new GLine (100,50,200,100);
I swear, if I can do math, anyone in the world can do absolutely anything.
Dream big, friends. Dream big.