I’m Not the Geek I Want to Be

have always considered myself a geek. I’m into the programming, have really enjoyed learning Ruby on Rails, love doing anything on my Mac, get silly over little changes in the iPhone OS, and even though I haven’t used it as much as I want to, I get excited when there is a new iPhone SDK beta. But I did realize something today. I am not nearly as geeky as I want to be, or should be. And that is a bad thing.

My family thinks I am the biggest nerd. When I start talking about what I do at work their eyes glaze over and they kind of nod and look really confused. They’ll never get it. To them I am the epitome that they think about when they think of someone who is geeky. Little do they know that it’s really a farce.

Until recently, I really thought that I had come a long way in terms of learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Every day I was becoming more and more confident and not afraid to suggest better ways of writing the code or taking criticism from others concerning my code. But today I took a step back. I looked at how long I’ve been doing the Rails thing (oh, about a year-and-a-half) and exactly where I’m at, or feel like I’m at (advanced beginner at best). After a year-and-a-half I really think I should be further along than I am. There are times when the simplest things stump me and render me useless. There are also times when I feel like I am a joke, plain stupid and dare I say it, ditzy. Sure, Rails is ever-changing. Yes, we’re trying different things all the time. Alright, although Rails makes everything seem easy, we’re doing a lot of work that is very complex. Excuses. I should be better. I need to be better.

This past year, I took on teaching myself a little iPhone development because not only am I interested in how applications work, I thought it would be interesting to learn something new. I now think I took on too much. Now, I am not required by anyone but myself to put out an application, but it’s been disappointing to me to really get nowhere with it. I see all of the awesome applications that others are making and think “Hey, I can do that,” but the truth is that I’m not doing that. I’m not even sure if I can anymore.

A friend of mine told me today that it’s probably difficult for me to be exactly where I want to be because I am very occupied at the moment with being a mother. I do have two full-time jobs, the one I go to during the day, and the one that I go home to in the evenings. He said that it’s either get rid of the kid and focus on being the geek or keep the kid and be half-mom, half-geek. Well, of course I am not getting rid of my child, but I don’t feel that half-geek is acceptable either. I need to be good at something. I would like that something to be programming.

I by no means intend for this post to be a “feel sorry for me” kind of thing; That is not why I’m laying it all out like this. This is my blog and I needed some therapy. I’m even disabling the comments on this post because I’m not really looking for advice right now, just a means to vent. I guess I have issues. But you know what? It happens. There are times when everyone feels inferior, even people who know what they are doing.

I think this will pass and I’ll eventually be back to my chipper self, but I also believe it was time for me to take inventory and figure out what to do. I think I’m on a new mission now, to really figure out the best way to retain what I learn. Maybe find a new way of thinking. I’m going to continue reading books, writing code, and doing what I can to understand what’s going on around me but hopefully try to gain a new perspective along the way.

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